We touched on social listening as part of the fundamentals of social media lead gen, but it’s important enough to merit its own post. Learning to listen well on social media pays dividends across all channels by giving you deep insight into your prospects.
Listen to Everyone
Your customers and competitors have a lot to say that’s useful, but tune in to a wider range of voices, and you could be surprised by what you learn. Follow some of your competition’s followers. See how your prospects talk to each other. Pay attention to critics, product reviewers, and industry journalists. The more you plug into your customer base, the better you’ll get to know them in less obvious ways. You never know when a tangential Twitter thread is going to give you your next big idea, so tune in.
Hearing your prospects’ signals on a surface level – number of followers, click-throughs, and other important metrics – is important, but it’s not quite the same as active listening. Understanding your analytics depends on revealing the underlying patterns behind them. When you develop content that goes viral, you need to know why so you can help lightning strike twice. Tracking the patterns – when do people share? What do they say when they retweet? Who else interacts with the content? – tells you what you need to know.
Do More Than Monitor
Social monitoring, an objective collecting of facts and figures, is meaningful too. Listening adds a subjective element, a surrounding sentiment that tells you a more complex story. Put your social monitoring in context with current events, industry disruptions, and other influences that affect how people feel about your brand to listen more effectively.
Turn Listening into Sales
One of the greatest challenges social media marketers face is making the leap from social channels to sales. Social media is an outstanding way to market, but it’s also an under-utilized tool for selling. The key is to link sellers with leads, bringing them into the conversation in its earlier stages instead of introducing them only at the end of the buying journey. Your marketing automation system is ideal for this kind of networking because it already integrates sales and marketing.
Work with a Team
DIY works for some projects, but not for something as far-reaching as social media listening. Social media has become more complex as channels merge with one another, fuse mixed media, and incorporate cross-platform hashtags. Don’t go it alone; find a social media marketing rock star who can help you coordinate for better listening.
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