Why Social Listening Is Important
Updated: Mar 2, 2020
By Adeline Archibald, Account Executive
Social media is an integral part of people’s daily lives. According to Hootsuite, 88 percent of Americans aged 18-29 use social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube weekly. As you read this blog, millions of people are using social media. The population has turned to the Internet to market and discuss products. This is where social listening comes in.
Social listening is the monitoring of your brand's social media channels for any customer feedback, direct mentions of your brand, discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities.
In today's social age, it is the customers who are determining the conversation about a brand, product, or industry. Many brands are learning the best practices for how to manage customer service issues through social media discussions. By actively using social listening, brand executives can identify potentially harmful conversations and alleviate the situation before it has an impact on the reputation of your brand.
One of the greatest benefits of social listening is receiving customer feedback about your products, brand or industry. By analyzing what your consumers are saying to discover valuable insights, social media essentially serves as a focus group. Social media is often home to polarizing opinions. Direct criticism can be valuable, because you have the ability to improve your product, customer service or more general business strategies. Engaging with these users can lead to meaningful feedback. This allows a direct line of communication between brands and consumers, and fostering these relationships can lead to life-long customers and key stakeholders.
Finally, social listening should monitor conversations outside of just your business. It is important to allocate time and resources to understanding the industry as a whole (Hootsuite). Social listening is a great tool for benchmarking your brand to relevant competitors. By measuring the volume of conversation regarding your brand and its competitors, you are able to compare your social media performance. Part of the consumer decision process is seeing what others have said about your product or service. If there are no reviews or relevant mentions about your product or service, then a potential customer may search for a company that has generated more social media conversation. Remember that you have the ability to influence both the volume of conversation and the sentiment by actively engaging in the discussion.