How to nurture your customer relationships using social listeningApr 20, 2022
The real power of social media is the way that it can help you to grow a community of followers and fans, who engage and communicate with you, and who (crucially) share what you post with their own network of followers.
Your social 'communities' should also provide the opportunity to acquire pertinent information and insights from your followers, which ultimately could help inform and shape your next product or service.
BUT, we MUST also remember that social media is a 2-way tool, and if you only use it to talk AT people, you’re not doing it right.
Implement 'social listening'
Whilst in principle, 'social listening’ is all about tracking, analysing and responding to customers comments and behaviour (often using third party software), this won’t necessary be the case for smaller businesses that won’t be experiencing the same kind of exposure, engagement and conversation, as a large brand.
Social media shouldn’t be a one-way communication street; you need to listen to the conversation.
This will help you learn what types of content your followers want to consume, what matter to them, and how you can support them when needed.
And, if you really care about your customers, you care about the insights they provide when social listening.
To achieve this, we first need to encourage conversations and then we’ll be encouraging engagement. Which in turn, will provide valuable insight and free intelligence for future marketing campaigns.
Social listening can help prevent a PR disaster
Furthermore, social listening can also be an early warning system for any negative communication about you or your brand – which can hopefully address any PR disasters long before they occur!
We can monitor whether there’s a sudden change in people’s emotions or behaviour towards your business, by monitoring actions on your social media posts, such as a downturn in engagement or negative comments.
An opportunity to build your list
Social listening can also be effective when growing your email list. If you are actively engaging with your followers on a regular basis, they may feel more inclined to sign up to receive your email newsletter or request further information about you from your website.
How to nurture your customer relationships using social listening
Here’s my top tips of how we can ‘listen’ to our target audience using social media:
- Ask questions – what do your audience think about X? Are they interested in Y? If you did Z would they be interested?
- Hashtags connect you with people talking about the same things. Try searching for relevant terms: #yourbrandname #latestnews #wowthatsgreatadvice
- Dig deeper in your research – use polls, surveys and questionnaires to find out the what, when and why.
- Quora.com is a goldmine of funny, offbeat and RELEVANT information that your target audience are thinking but do not say out loud.
- Google Trends is your best friend. It will tell you, plain and simple, what your target audience is talking about. And from that we can join the conversation.
- Posting questions – inspire some thought and discussion. Again, remember you’re not selling – don’t ask people if they prefer your product A over your product B. Ask what they see the future of the industry looking like, what are their thoughts on the latest news, and so on.
- Following business pages on LinkedIn. Be among the first to know about developments – as well as what your competitors are doing.
- Join other communities or groups – whether open or private and converse with other members. Observe how each community functions – structure, content, engagement and conversation - and keep listening to what members are talking about and sharing.
- Implement social listening apps or software into your marketing activity - these tools can make it easier for you to implement an effective social listening strategy.
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