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Being a business owner is not easy in this modern and technological era, especially when you are overwhelmed with new tools that claim to help you discover more clients than ever before. However, there are genuine ways you can use the tools you already have to find out what you need to know – you’ve just got to be willing to listen!
Social media is a dominating factor in most people’s lives, especially when it comes to sharing opinions on how well a business has done. Rather than just letting these comments pass you by, social listening will help you to act on what you hear.
Social listening requires you to monitor your social media accounts for any mentions of your products, your brand, your service and your competitors. Doing this not only keeps you in the loop on how people feel about what you are doing, but it also gives you a chance the track and respond to comments as well as analyse the demographic that is sharing them.
Not only is this a powerful way to keep your finger on the pulse of your business, but it also provides you with detailed audience analytics that can help you grow your brand. Take a look at our top tips to help you listen effectively.
To use social listening in the most effective way, you should give it its own workstream to ensure that all comments are processed and analysed properly.
Ideally, your social media team will take responsibility for this as part of their daily social media work with tools like Hootsuite, monitored by the social media manager, who will need to be responsible for feeding it back to you and growing the workstream to be as effective as possible.
You don’t need to worry too much about how to find the easy feedback as each comment will create a notification that can be logged and replied to, helping you to avoid any issues from spiralling out of control. Plus, any customers that have taken the time to appreciate what you do or what you sell can be thanked publicly, encouraging more to do the same.
However, you and your social media team will need to come up with a way to ensure that all feedback offers value to the customer rather than trying to appease them and just move on, as this will be counterproductive.
Rather than asking your social media team to hold complete ownership of every post and comment, find a way to share what is being said with the wider team. Your lead social media team member can send out daily, weekly or even monthly emails with the messages that have been received and asks for input in the responses from team members who are best placed to answer them.
The social media team can then share the answers with the customers to ensure that they get the most accurate and appropriate reply every time – impressing everyone that sees the exchange online.
Eclincher is a great service that can help your social media team achieve the results you want to see, as it allows you to assign a comment to a specific group or individual in your organisation for them to share the reply required. Each assigned comment can be tracked and chased by your social media team, too, meaning that no customer is ever left waiting too long for a response.
If you only ever look at what you are doing right or wrong, you will not be able to offer genuine competition in the market that you work in. instead, add in competitor social listening too to find out exactly what others are doing well and not so well!
We all know that customers will share their issues online in a bid to get a resolution and these competitor complaints are valuable nuggets of information that can help you to understand what the market is looking for and where to take your product and service. Don’t be afraid to tell your team what people are complaining about so that your teams can work on creating a solution that will win you new customers.
If you only ever look for comments that are aimed specifically at you or your competition, then you are likely to miss a lot of what is said. In addition to what you are already doing, you should also consider following specific hashtags that will give you a wider understanding of your customer needs and their feedback. Tools like HubSpot Social Media Manager can help you find out exactly what you need to be looking for.
Your social media team should be able to tell you the most commonly used hashtags that are associated with your business, the products you sell and the feedback you get. Asking them to then follow these hashtags will then give you more information on what people think and what they want to see being offered in the future – helping you to generate new leads and create new business opportunities.
The old adage that the customer is always right may appeal to your customer services, but when it comes to social listening, you need to be prepared for mistakes. Incorrect spelling of your company name or products or wrongly tagged people can leave customers feeling like you don't care, whilst you are blissfully unaware.
Rather than letting this trip you up, make sure that your social media team are looking for different ways of spelling your company name and check for mentions of staff names that haven't been tagged, as these would not show in your other search results.
Doing this will help you plug any potential gaps and provide you with a robust social listening workstream that is proactive and effective, a vital service for every business.
At Key Business Marketing, we offer a range of services, including content creation, SEO, PPC, and social media management. Get in touch with us today to discuss your marketing needs and unlock your business' potential.