How to Use Social Listening to Sell More
Being a business owner without access to customer feedback is like being a watchman with a blindfold. What sets you apart as a business owner is your ability to deliver what your customers desire. To do this without listening to your target market would be leaving too much to chance. This is where market listening comes in. Focus groups, customer interviews, and feedback surveys have all been used to peek into the market’s mind, but nothing presents as great an opportunity to get market intelligence as social listening.
Defining Social Listening.
Social listening is an act of information gathering from various social media like Quora, Twitter, and Reddit. This involves scanning, on average, over a hundred thousand posts to identify and isolate the posts relevant to your brand and your competition.
Why is Social Listening Important?
The main reason social listening is superior to most other methods of market listening is that it has a higher honesty ratio. When a focus group is being questioned about a product, it is often demonstrated, the group leader guides the overall opinion. Similarly, businesses conducting customer feedback surveys struggle with the fact that recipients may be biased in favor of the brand (especially if they are incentivized to fill the survey). On the other hand, your customers are unaffected by a sense of being monitored when they are having spontaneous discourse on social media. This gives you access to unfiltered opinions of your customers as well as that of your competitors’ clients.
Insights from such intelligence gathering can give you the edge in product launching, research and development, and market moves that establish you as a market leader.
How to Get Started with Social Listening?
To get started with social listening, the first thing that you need clarity on is who your audience is. This will guide you to which social platforms your customers are most active on. For a distributor of vlogging cameras, the platforms to watch would be YouTube, Facebook Watch, and Instagram. On the other hand, a manufacturer of decor items may be more interested in Pinterest. Reddit has dedicated communities for markets ranging from stay at home moms to part-time day traders.
Once you have identified your audience and the platforms you want to monitor for their feedback, you need to go narrow on the specifics you want to gather intelligence around. By being intentional about what you want to monitor, you will come up with a set of keywords. Keywords for social listening almost always include your brand name and names of the products you are either producing or plan to produce. You may also include your competitors’ brand names for intelligence gathering purposes. Someone’s unsatisfied client is your potential lead if you play your cards right.
Use Social Listening Tools.
At this stage, you have the list of keywords that you want to look out for and a set of social channels you want to monitor. What you need now are social listening tools so that you do not have to spend hours manually scrolling through over a hundred thousand pages daily.
Brandwatch is a consumer research platform that relies on social listening to give real-time data on conversations surrounding certain keywords. With Brandwatch, you can understand your audience’s sentiment towards your brand as well as your competition. It also helps you foresee trends by providing intelligence on the density of discourse around different topics.
As is evident from the name, ReviewTrackers helps you monitor websites for reviews of your products as well as those of your competition. For small businesses, it is possible to use this service to monitor local competitors and capture the market made up entirely of unsatisfied clients.
A compliment coming from an average Joe does not carry the same weight as one coming from Brad Pitt. The same is true for conversations surrounding your brand. Talkwalker not only helps you monitor different conversations surrounding your brand but also enables you to monitor comments and mentions surrounding these posts. You can, with Talkwalker, track the conversations as well as the significance of these conversations to your brand or market. This is ideal for catching trends and coming to the market with products your audience is excited for.
To summarize, your effectiveness as a business owner relies on your ability to know what your customers want. While interviewing customers may be helpful, it is much more effective to learn from un-intruded conversations that they are having online. This is where social listening comes in. By knowing where your audience is the most active online and making a list of keywords you want to monitor, you can have your finger on the market’s pulse. With the right tools, you can find potential clients who are unsatisfied with your competition. Apart from this lead generation strategy, you can also improve your products and learn about things your audience is excited about so that your next product or offer is a much better fit for the market.