We were recently speaking with a client about utilizing social media and I was a bit taken aback at how negative they were. They honestly felt as though it was a waste of time, that they simply couldn't achieve business results with their customers hanging around on Facebook and other sites. It's disconcerting that this is still a prevalent belief by businesses after a decade of learning how to deploy the strategies and tools to assist. Only 24% of brands say they do social listening
What is Social Listening?
Social listening is the process of utilizing real-time monitoring tools to listen for mentions of your brand, product, people or industry online, as well as measuring the mentions over time. Special tools are needed because search engines do not report this information in real-time – often missing a majority of the conversations on social media sites altogether.
Rather than bloviating through a presentation of outrageous statistics, we just demonstrated to them how it worked. We've been testing Brand24 for a little over a month now and love the ease with which to set up and monitor our own brands, people, products and industry through the platform – then get alerted when there are opportunities. Brand24 has a very clean interface, is affordable, and has comprehensive email alerts.
Using Social Listening to Protect and Grow Your Business
We showed our clients how to leverage social media for the good of the business, running through a ton of scenarios:
- Service – we ran some queries and identified where their brand had been mentioned online, but no one from their company responded. It was a lost opportunity to get ahead of a negative situation and help one of their customers out… but they missed it. The company didn't realize that conversations were happening where they weren't directly tagged in the conversations.
- Sales – we ran some queries on their services and showed them where some potential customers were online asking about the very services they had to offer… but the responses were all the prospect's network trying to provide some advice. Imagine if one of their sales team had swooped in and provided some professional feedback. New customer? 54% of B2B marketers said they have generated leads from social media
- Promotion – the company was attending some industry events where they were promoting their services. We showed them where other folks in their industry were setting up scheduled meetings with prospective customers prior to the event via social media. 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media
- Marketing – the company was doing some traditional marketing but never pushed folks to their site for more information. On their site, they did have ebooks and other resources, but they were never promoting them online. We showed them how their competitors were successfully promoting content and driving leads to landing pages.
- Retention – We showed the company that other companies were helping their clients online in public view, providing great support via any channel… just how the customer wanted it. Not only a great means of retaining your customers, but allowing other prospective customers to see the great service. Only 39% of businesses report using customer data and behavior patterns to shape marketing strategy
- Insights – we asked how they were getting feedback on their products and services and they said they did periodic surveys and phone calls with clients. We showed them how they could run a variety of surveys in social media to get ongoing feedback with active clients without spending a fortune. 76% of marketers say they need to be more data-focused to succeed
- Influence – the company had resellers and partners in the industry that were very prominent, but they didn't realize the following and influence some of those people and companies had online. We showed them how they could find and enlist the assistance of influencers to reach new, relevant audiences without spending a fortune on advertising.
- Reputation – we showed them how they could monitor and respond to negative criticism made online in the public view. Not only could they respond, they could provide a response that allows other prospective customers insight into how well they take care of these situations.
- Reviews – we provided them with a number of niche review sites in their industry, some that they didn't even know existed. We found them by doing some research about where their competitors were being mentioned. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations over 14% who trust advertisements
- Content – when we showed their competitors' interactions, we were able to identify some detailed conversations that got a lot of attention – a perfect opportunity to write an ebook or release an infographic.
- Organic Search – we showed them how sharing infographics led to mentions, which led to other sites sharing them, producing highly relevant and highly-authoritive links that drive organic search rankings.
- Recruitment – we showed them how they could begin targeting and attracting talent to their company via social media.
- Trends – we showed them how topics in their industry were either growing or shrinking over time, enabling them to make better market and marketing decisions regarding their products and services.
- Networking – we showed how it wasn't often how many people were following a brand, page, or person on social media – it was how they enabled connections to new networks of prospects.
Social listening stats from B2C