In 2016 the power of social media is the strongest it has ever been. In the past year alone, 176 million social media accounts have been created across the globe. Social media, if used properly, can be a secret weapon for successful business strategy. Aside from using it to connect with friends, people look to social media to gain insight into a brand, vocalize complaints about customer service, and express loyalty to a product, etc.

To stay relevant to your consumers, your business should turn to social media to discover the discussion happening around your brand—or not happening, in which case you need to know that, too! Social listening tools enable you to scour the entire digital ecosystem and offer you a unique opportunity to monitor your brand’s reputation, user sentiment, and so much more.

Before we dive into the full benefits of social listening, let’s take a step back and figure out what social listening actually is. 

What is Social Listening?

Social listening, or “social monitoring,” is the process of evaluating what is being said about a company or brand across various web channels.

One of the most accessible tools for communication is social media. Because people feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with friends and followers through social media, the reviews, commentary, and opinions posted are often the purest forms of communication a company may come across.

These posts are published every second of every day, resulting in tons of honest, uncensored data. If organized effectively, these posts could give insight into how customers feel about your specific company. Social listening tools enable marketers to organize this data and to stay tuned into the unfiltered voices of customers.

How Can Social Listening Help Brand Reputation?

Through hashtags, pain points, and keywords, businesses have the opportunity to consolidate this social chatter to gain insight into what people actually think about their business.

Being active on social listening can significantly improve your business’s brand reputation because it gives you the chance to connect with customers directly, whether these customers are upset about a bad experience or are preaching their brand loyalty to the masses.

A Twitter Use Case

77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their tweet has been replied to. By acknowledging the nameless consumer, your company becomes approachable and humanized. Customers are far more likely to engage with a business that puts the customer first and listens to their individual needs.

Taco Bell - Social Listening

Even if it’s on a small scale, social media posts spread almost instantaneously. That one friendly response to a customer complaint or joke will immediately be circulated through customer’s extended network, giving your company new recognition or even new customers.

The Four Benefits of Social Listening

Trends in social media are constantly growing and changing; however, we’ve put together four consistently reliable strategies for business improvement and targeting audiences:

1. Strengthening Your Market Knowledge

Using social listening allows you to stay on top of friends. By listening to the general conversations circulating within your industry, you are given insight into where your company can take initiative.  

2. Befriending the Little Guy

Making an effort to connect with the average consumer makes your business more approachable and personal. Social listening will keep track of even the customers with the smallest social media following, meaning you can reach out to anyone who loves your brand. Responding to occasional tweets and posts shows your followers that you are attentive to their needs and issues.

3. Embracing Customer Service

Any bad customer service situation is an opportunity to make a relationship stronger. By being thoughtful to negative social media regarding your company and personally reaching out to a customer with a complaint your business looks genuinely invested in customer satisfaction.

4. Keeping Your Friends Close and Enemies Closer

Observing the way customers communicate to your competition will give you insight into how you are faring against others in your industry. Social listening tools can pull actionable data that indicate where you fall short and where you excel. 

Are You Using Social Listening to Its Full Potential?

Social Listening

Across the globe 2.3 billion active social media users post their concerns, complaints, and opinions, just waiting to be discovered. Finding success in social listening varies from business to business, so don’t be afraid to experiment with various strategies and levels of communication. The most important takeaway is that you are actively listening to as many of posts that pertain to your industry or business as you can. Social listening is a rapidly growing presence and should be factored into every business strategy to gain insight that you cannot find anywhere else. 

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