Do you know what’s being said about your business online?


If you’re not monitoring the digital conversations happening about your brand or industry, you could be missing out on vital opportunities to drive awareness, convert potential customers and develop your customer service.


How can you find out what people are saying?


Social listening – or social media monitoring – is all about how you observe, identify and track what is being said about your business or products/services online. Social listening can ensure you stay up to date with your industry, key influencers in the field, opportunities to promote your business and what your customers think.


As social media continues to grow and consumers are increasingly heading online to leave their opinions and reviews in public forums, it’s important that you stay on top of how your brand is being discussed. As well as providing you with key insights into how customers perceive your brand and how your industry is developing, social listening could be an effective form of damage limitation when it comes to negative feedback. Failing to respond to such comments could leave you vulnerable to further criticism and a ruined reputation.


How can your business use social listening?


Monitor keywords relating your business and industry


One important way to start tracking digital conversations is to monitor a set of particular key words that relate to your business, your products or services and the industry you operate within. This can help you to find and become part of important conversations with potential or existing customers. Take note of what people are saying to find out what’s important to your audience and what’s new or up and coming in your industry. This will help your business to stay relevant but can also help you to develop lasting, positive relationships with your online community.


Monitor competitor keywords to address opportunities


Another way to grow your business and engage potential customers is to monitor keywords that relate to specific problems or frustrations that they may have. These frustrations could even be with a competitors’ service or product. By tracking things such as “[competitor] doesn’t do…” or “I can’t do…” you can respond to potential customers and communicate the value and benefits your business offer. You can also use these insights to ensure your business is meeting the needs and expectations of your target audience moving forward.


Improve your customer service


Alongside tracking competitors and instances where they have failed to meet a customer’s expectations, it’s important that you’re not just following positive mentions of your own brand. It’s crucial that you monitor when and where customers are posting negative feedback about your business online. This will give you the opportunity to respond appropriately, handle the issue promptly and turn a potentially damaging experience into a positive example of high quality customer service. 


Understand and locate your community


Social listening can give you key insights into the primary platforms that key figures in your industry are using and where your target audience are communicating online. This will allow you to focus more time and attention on these platforms, rather than spreading yourself thinly across those that your customers aren’t using. Review what your audience are talking about to understand what’s really important to them and the things your brand should be sharing online.


Identify influencers and advocates


Keep on top of what’s being discussed online to identify the influencers in your industry and the advocates of your brand. Both are important as developing relationships with influencers could significantly increase the reach and awareness of your business, especially if they mention your brand online or engage in a conversation with you. Get involved in opportunities to communicate with these influencers to highlight your industry knowledge and credibility. Recognising and valuing your brand advocates is crucial as these customers can provide great testimonials of your business and can act as a form of ‘social proof’ or authenticity for potential customers that are yet to convert.


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