How to listen on social media

4 years ago

Dan Spicer (HootSuite)As a small business owner, you are probably reading more and more about how social media can become your best friend.

Engaging with your audience, tuning in to what people are saying about your brand and even getting powerful 3rd party endorsements can all be done through the likes of Google+, Twitter, Facebook and even image-led platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest.

Below are some tips from Dan Spicer (EMEA Community Lead at Hootsuite). Dan shares with you the best ways to use social media to ‘listen’ so to find out how to monitor trends, customers and even your competitors… read on!

A core part of any social media strategy is monitoring and listening. Before social media became a platform for selling products, the selling relationship for businesses looked like this: listen, help solve problems, then make a sale. With the advent of social media as a selling tool, the only difference is that you have more real-time access to your potential customers during their buyers’ research. Technologies and tools have been developed to help you sell at a larger, more effective scale. The secret to being successful with social media isn’t in it being a broadcast medium, it is as a listening platform.

Listen to the conversation

You need to be proactive, listen, and engage with your audience. 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are more likely to recommend that brand to others. Rather than waiting for prospects to reach out to you, proactively engage with those actively mentioning your brand on social.

By actively listening through your social media channels, you’ll be able to:

* Track brand mentions, competitors, key industry terms and relative keywords
* Identify opportunities as they happen so you can respond in real time
* Turn customers into advocates by engaging with them and resolving their issues or questions
* Gain actionable insights into what people are saying about your business on social media
* Monitor the social media presence of your competitors to stay up to speed

Social media can be noisy and overwhelming because of the sheer volume of activity and buzz online. To start monitoring and listening to the conversations above, you can set up specific keyword and hashtag search streams in Hootsuite, creating and populating streams with exactly what you are looking to monitor.

Help solve your customers’ problems

If you are listening closely you will soon notice that your followers will express some sort of need or problem. This is your chance to demonstrate your expertise. Engage with those followers with timely answers to their questions, pointing them to places on your website where they can find help, or even enticing them with products or services you sell.

Through monitoring and listening you can take advantage of the different social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to find potential customers. In social media, quality is more valuable than quantity, so choose to invest your time in building and maintaining relationships with customers, prospects and fans. The most valuable lesson is to pay attention to what your customers are saying on social. Use the comments and feedback to make data-informed decisions and improve your product offering and associated content marketing strategies.

Bonus: Dan is kindly offering all Sage One readers the chance to discover Hootsuite for one month, for free! To try it out, use the code HOOTSAGE for 1 month free access to Hootsuite Pro and 1 month free access to the open learning platform Hootsuite University. Enjoy!