Psst…people are talking about your business behind your back. You need a social listening plan to hear what they’re saying.
The good news is, you don't need expensive, time-consuming focus groups to get to know your target audience. Customers and prospects are giving out free insights into your industry every day on Twitter. The bad news is, if you’re not actively listening, you’re missing out on priceless information.
What is Social Listening?
Social listening is the process of gathering information from conversations related to your business, industry, and target audience on social media.
Monitoring these conversations leads to a better understanding of your customers and prospects, allowing you to maximize your marketing efforts.
Listening on Twitter Enables You to:
- Find users with problems your business can solve
- Stay informed on industry trends
- Keep an eye on your competitors and what’s being said about them
- Search hashtags for conversations about specific industry topics
- Understand customer complaints
- Celebrate customers praising your business
- Discover new product ideas and ways to improve existing ones
- Manage mishaps and get ahead of possible crises
Search for People Mentioning Your Brand
According to Sprout Social, 63% of customers like when brands join online conversations, and 83% like seeing brands respond to questions. It’s important to search for tweets that mention your business with and without a direct “@” tag. Some users will directly mention your company account, others will simply tweet about it in plain text. Both forms contain valuable information, so don’t miss out.
Look for Conversations About Your Competitors
What do customers like about them that you could implement? What do people dislike about them that you could avoid? Which audiences are they reaching with their posts?
Find Users Complaining About Issues Your Business Can Solve
One of the quickest ways to turn a prospect into a buyer is to build trust through solving a problem. Discover these issues by searching keywords and monitoring how users reply to tweets that mention industry products or services. Discovering customer pain points can help you discover new product ideas and improve the products you already offer.
Keep Tabs on Popular Hashtags and Influencers in Your Niche
Searching relevant hashtags is a great way to see what people in your industry are talking about in real-time. Influencers are often the ones sparking these conversations, so it’s important to keep an eye out for their content and interact with them when appropriate.
Remember that you don’t need to respond to every tweet. If your business wasn’t tagged directly, you might want to think twice before jumping into the conversation. Joining online discussions uninvited can make your company seem spammy.
If gaining a better understanding of your audience and maximizing your marketing sounds nice to you (it sounds pretty nice to us, too), then it’s time to create a social listening plan that works for your business. Here are a few of the Pivot team's favorite tools to help you start social listening.