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Social listening is the process of searching the Internet for comments, conversations, and any shared content that happens to be brand specific. Active social listening can give greater insight into what is being said by a community. If all you are doing is checking and responding to social media notifications you are missing out on opportunities to expand or connect further with your current online community.
Why Listen to Digital Conversations?
By actively listening to digital conversations you can collect valuable feedback and resolve customer concerns. People reaching out to brands do expect a reply within a reasonable amount of time - the average response time being within a few hours. This includes members of your community who do not directly mention your brand. Whether they realize certain typos and mistakes can lead to their messages being easily overlooked or not, most want to converse with the brands they follow. Especially if they consider your marketing channels as an alternative to traditional customer service options and not just a means to bring awareness to their satisfaction.
By monitoring your brand’s online presence you can avoid public relations failures, help existing customers or entice potential community members.
What to Listen for on Social Media
Knowing what goals you intend to achieve by actively engaging in social listening is the first step in creating your strategy to “listen” to all the online chatter concerning your brand and competitors. It’s important to understand what you should listen for.
This short list of what to search for online will help define an insightful growth hacking strategy to implement:
As a passionate founding member of Idea Hunt since its launch in February 2016, I am always looking out for ways to share some love on my own social media accounts.
Here is a perfect example:
Idea Hunt was mentioned using a hashtag on Twitter that we, Idea Hunt and its ambassadors, sometimes use in tweets. We also frequently use #happyhunting and #innovation to name a couple.
Positive Social Listening - Idea Hunt Mention on Twitter
Did you notice how other hashtags were included in the tweet?
Marcus Tonndorf is aware that people who track and follow these particular hashtags might have an interest in what Idea Hunt’s innovative crowdsourcing platform can do for their brand.
Here’s how I retweeted Marcus.
Using the @ symbol I mentioned Idea Hunt. Short and to the point, with a positive brand description followed by the #innovation hashtag. Reason being, several of my Twitter followers use it on a consistent basis. There is no question many of my followers and others will likely see it. This presents an increased opportunity for engagement.
My opinionated response on Twitter
Speaking of potential engagement, below is the conversation between myself and Idea Hunt that soon followed the previous tweets.
Social Listening Done Right by Idea Hunt
Once your community views your brand as a frequent participant in online discussions they will begin to regularly look for your engagement. People will go the extra mile to tag your brand’s social profiles instead of merely mentioning you within conversations.
Recommendations and disapproval of brands are expressed sentiments which occur more often than most companies realize. Fortunately for them, these companies are joining forces to tackle online reputation management and brand growth. Participating in social listening will kickstart your growth hacking efforts to reduce or even eliminate missed opportunities. It is a great way to be open with your community and build brand loyalty.
If you are up for a little social fun, participating within a social engagement experiment, share your thoughts about this post on Twitter or Facebook. If we miss your post, be sure to tag us next time around! I don’t see that happening though, because our community growth manager actively listens on social media. She’s awesome at it too!
Ready, set, let’s get social!