To define social listening would be to say that it is the act of monitoring social channels for conversations taking place surrounding a trend, product or service while looking for opportunities to participate in those conversations and engage customers or prospects with valuable information. Now, that may seem like a mouthful or just a bunch of advertising jargon, but social listening is real and it can have a very strong effect on your business when done properly.
As business owners, our goal is to find and connect with our target audiences on as many levels as possible. This helps us to better understand their needs and how we can react to those needs to make the sales our business needs to stay open. Today’s consumers are constantly sharing random bits of information using a variety of social media channels and, through effective social listening, we can pick up on what they want, what they need and what will bring them into our businesses.
This is where social media get tricky; you could spend a great deal of your time “listening” to what your target audience has to say and still miss out on the important pieces of information that are vital to your business. Although there is no direct formula for social listening, we have put together a short list of key topics to follow:
Demographics – Today’s demographics aren’t as cut and dry as they used to be. Consumers have varying levels and segments of interests and social listening will help you find just the right combination.
Competition – Social listening also works on your competition. BY understanding more about what they are doing and what their customers think about them, you can make the necessary changes in your own business to avoid some of the pitfalls they have incurred.
Attitude + Psychographics – Let’s forget about ASL for a moment and go a step further. Sure, age, sex and location mean a lot, but what about the triggers that cause consumers in various age groups or regions to make purchases. Here you will find out a lot about your company, yourself and your customers.
Social listening can be compared to tuning in on an informal focus group created just for your business or product. This focus group is telling you all you need to know to bring in more customers and give them exactly what they are looking for when they arrive.