Life was a tad bit easier when Facebook promoted nearly all sorts of online brands, be it the paid ones or the non- paid. However, it’s not always the online branding that is required. There exists a marketing strategy beyond that that helps the brand online.
The brands need not panic so soon as there are other ways of branding. One of such ways being “Social Listening”. It essentially refers to observing and monitoring the digital conversations of the customers as to what they really say about the particular brand.
In other words, it is a kind of analysis done to help the brand market themselves by the views of the customers. However, people tend to confuse Social Listening with Social Monitoring.
They might sound the same but, in reality are two different concepts. Where the former is about monitoring the comments of the customers, the latter, on the other hand is more inclined towards compilation of data, that is to say, to gather information of what has happened in the past.
It is the actionable element that differentiates the two concepts from each other.
These concepts are highly imperative in the world of business, specifically when it comes to online branding. It is said that if an online brand is not engaged in the practice of social listening, then the business is going on with its strategies with blindfolds.
The reason behind this is because the business is losing out on something very major. The customers are the core of a business. If the customers aren’t satisfied with a brand, what’s the point to have it sell in the market at any price then?
Brands who are yet not convinced to use this method are lacking behind of its competitors. A few major reasons why a brand should consider this practice is as follows:
- Uncovering of negatives in the industry to be the first to address:
By observing the conversations of the customers, one can indulge in the process of looking for the product. The brand will be well aware of what the customers really think of the product, and its features that are causing problems to their marketing and selling strategies.
In other words, in this practice shall help the brand improve their product or enhance their strategies according to the needs and trends of the customers. Knowing such issues may make you the first to address in the industry and excel with the product.
- Customer Engagement and Research:
Generally, brands tend to assume that they know everything that is needed to be known about the needs of the customers, trends, etc. However, it is not very true. It was discovered by Pegasystem, a research portal, that nearly 66% of telco/broadband retail banking brands claim they “deeply” know everything about their customers.
In reality, less than a quarter of telco/broadband customers and 41% of such brands actually had an intense knowledge of their customers and agreed to this fact. Along with this, it was discovered that failing to listen to the needs of the customers was one of the top three complains of the customers against the brands.
Conclusively, having to use the method of social listening, it will help you give an actual and primary sourced insights of the customers’ needs and wants.
- Identify Strategic Wins or Missteps:
Where one brand tends to monitor the conversations of its customers, it also should monitor its marketing tactics. In other words, when a post is up on a social media site, the brand should first check whether its gaining popularity or has it vanished somewhere in other posts.
With this, the brand should note down and keep in in mind the strategies that have been taken that increases or decreases the popularity of the posts.
This helps the brand identify its strategies and missteps, as the case may be and modify them accordingly for a big reach out to the customers.
- Discovering how a brand is ranked in comparison to other brands:
The process of social listening not only helps monitor what the customers think about your product and the brand, as a whole but also listen to where the brand stands in comparison to other brands and what they say about other brands in the market.
This will help the brand with some important insights from the customers and make the brand aware of what the other brands are upto. With this practice, the brand can enhance its strategies accordingly.
The reasons mentioned above prove how important the process of Social Listening is in one’s branding. The art of social listening is a process that takes some time to learn. It is not as simple as it looks like.
It includes some technicalities that is to be known to use this method. There exist some keywords and the type of language one needs to get used to, which is learn gradually.
A few of examples of keywords and topics to be kept in mind brand name, product name, campaign names, branded hashtags of the brands and the competitors, industry buzzwords, etc.
These keywords and topics helps extract the relevant information from the conversation of the customers and focus on the main topics which shall help enhance the brands strategies and goals.
We’ve finally come to this conclusion that social listening is an important practice to be engaged in, if the brand aims to be on the top in this dynamic business environment.
For this, there are some strategies and best practices that can be used to with regard to social listening. The following is a list of the best practices of social listening:
- Examination of the collected data and taking action:
Social Listening is not about only collecting data and tracking metrics. It is beyond just having to make an analysis of the data collected.
When one collects data and analyses it, it is the practice of social monitoring. When one takes action after such analysis is made, it is known as social listening. It is more about how a brand can better address the needs of its customers.
Rather than just individual comments, let the data be analysed in efficiently as it will help enhance the future strategies of the brand.
- Collaboration with Content Developers, Customer Survives, etc.
What really matters on the social media is how the brand presents itself to the world. From graphics to the content put in, it is all that matters.
This is what makes the posts of the brands presentable. Brands need to outsource content developers, product developers, customer service agencies to set up themselves in front of the world that shall help increase the popularity of the products and the brand as a whole.
- Learning from the Competition:
It is a discovered fact by many psychologists that learning by observation is the best and the most powerful learning method. In this case, learning by watching and observing one’s competitors can be of great help.
Not that one has to use the same strategies as that of the competitors but it helps to understand the market strategies and the various other methods used to beat others in the game.
With keeping a close eye on their success, it is imperative to keep even a closer eye on the missteps that have been taken by them so that the brand, itself is cautious and doesn’t commit any such mistake and risk the product, altogether.
Conclusively, the golden rule remains to always examine the posts getting the most popularity and working on the same basis. A brand doesn’t need only Facebook to help gain its popularity.
Keeping these few methods in mind, a brand is good to go and brand online beyond the world of Facebook and use other tools such as Talkwalker, Synthesio, Hootsuite, ReviewTrackers, etc.
May the best brand reach the top!