Social listening is the practice of listening in on social media conversations, and even general website content – like forums, comments, blog posts, and more. But what’s the use of listening in without developing insights. Here’s 5 actionable insights from social listening to apply as a small business owner.
If you’re unsure on what social listening is and looking for an overview to help understand how to gather the following insights check out Session 18: Social Media Listening – Getting Started.
Generate leads by solving problems
Listen to conversations related to pain points that your product or service solves.
Once you identify that you can help solve someone’s problem, chime in and let them know you can help and how. It’s a good idea to provide a link to your business so they can do some quick research. You can also ask them to direct message you to chat and even exchange contact details to continue the conversation offline.
You can identify people’s pain points by listening to terms that relate to a pain point and your business. For example, if your business is a local restaurant, listen for people talking about “what to eat”.
If you were in Chicago, you could reply to Pats tweet with your restaurant and maybe even an offer to get him in the door!
Identify influencers to work with
Through listening to industry related terms, or even to your competitors you can start to identify influencers that are present within various conversations. Obviously to more an influencer relates to your product or service, the more chance there is that they would like to work with you and your business.
When using paid, higher level, listening tools the ability to identify influencers becomes much easier as they make use of meta data to identify influencers through various related data (such as followers, re-shares, Klout scores, and more).
Industry product/service gaps
By listening to a broad industry set of keywords and terms, over time you will be able to identify opportunities related to product or service offering holes in your industry. Whether you develop a new product, make changes to your own, or innovate on already existing product, you can capitalize on the opportunity.
I talk about setting up industry monitors in Session 18 of the podcast. You can check it out here.
Be where your competition is not
One of the approaches to social listening is spying on your competition. There are many actionable insights from social listening you can gather from understanding what your competitors are doing in social media, and how people are talking about them, one of which is being where they are not.
Meaning, that you can identify social channels that they do not participate in and be active in those channels. But also from a service point of view. If your brand is not serving its customers well you can position yourself in those conversations or social channels, or even social groups, to provide a superior service. In the interest of longevity there are ways to do this without stepping all over your competitor. Or maybe you’re not concerned with defeating your competition in the public realm, then it becomes a social media cage match.
Improved customer service
Never miss the opportunity to help your customers. This is my favorite of the actionable insights from social listening as it has a direct effect on your customers and potential customers.
In this day and age customer service should be a multiple channel service. You should work to provide customer service where your customers are – and in most cases (depending on your product/service) that’s Social media.
However, without performing social listening you will likely miss opportunities to provide support to your customers unless they mention your social account directly. If they simply mention your business brand name, you won’t be notified if a customer references your business.
To prevent this from happening, make use of social listening and setup a brand monitor to catch any mentions of your brand. When a mention relates to an issue with your product/service reply and help your customer out. This will go along way to building customer retention and loyalty.
Put these 5 actionable insights from social listening to use
There are many more actionable insights from social listening that can help your business build customers and service your current customers better. These 5 actionable insights from social listening will get you going and position your business ahead of your competition.
Deciding on which tool to use for social listening depends on your investment in the technology and commitment to the process. Check out the show notes for Session 18 where I mention a tool for each level of social listening that you can perform.
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