You may have heard of social monitoring. Although it is sometimes used interchangeably with listening, it’s not the same thing.

Monitoring is a lot like investigation where your main goal is to collect information. Listening requires further thought to identify opportunities you may not see upon first glance. It goes beyond watching and responding to your mentions. Instead of simply waiting for people to reference your brand, a good social listener is always actively looking at keywords, interesting topics and competitors – all in the name of building a better relationship with your customer. It only takes is a bit of extra time and an ounce of creativity!

According to Sprout Social, 30% of the tweets that mention your brand don’t actually include your Twitter handle. Sometimes your customer is too lazy or busy to track down your handle and not every customer is aware you’re on social media. No matter the reason, please know that your audience still wants and needs to be heard. Here’s what you can do about it:

  • Track all variations of your brand name, both with and without the @ symbol.
  • Track the usernames of your competitors who are slow to respond or completely unresponsive to customers. This is an opportunity to show how closely your brand watches its audience!
  • When responding to a tweet, go beyond the standard “Thank You.” Read through the current conversation and find a way to add value to it.

As with any marketing strategy, you must have goals before getting started. Here are 3 goals to consider when listening socially:

  • Are you looking for opportunities to provide great customer service?
  • Do you want to develop relationships with the top influencers in your industry?
  • Are you watching to see how well a particular hashtag performs?

Customer Service

The internet is a place where people can air out their grievances just as easily as they do their enjoyment.Tracking phrases such as “Product ABC stopped working” allows you to address concerns before they turn into major issues. Likewise, any positive feedback can be further enhanced with a timely response from your brand. Remember, every customer wants to be heard, even the ones who don’t seek you out by tagging your brand in their posts and tweets.

Key Influencers

The trust we place in online influencers only continues to grow. Thus, having an influencer or two on your side could have a tremendous impact on your business.Look for other brands that offer services or products which are complementary to your own. Having a hard time identifying good influencers? Check out: “How To Use Social Media Influencers To Generate More Business“. After you find your influencers, make sure to reward them with special offers or giveaways. And, never let an influencer’s post or tweet go unnoticed!

Hashtags

Everyone loves a good hashtag! When running a campaign online, it’s always a good idea to find and use relevant hashtags. If you can’t find any that make sense, create a new one!Before using a hashtag, run it through a tool like Hashtagify to identify who is using it, and how.

Using social listening gives you a chance to improve many aspects of your business. Though it requires extra work, the results can be amazing! There are many free social listening tools to get you started, including: Google Alerts, TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Social Mention.

Are you a Tampa business that needs help with your social media strategy? Send us a message or call (813) 693-2167.