What’s All the Fuss About Social Listening?
By Afia Ahmad
Social listening is the method of tracking and following conversations directed to or around a specific brand and then using them to create additional business opportunities by producing content based on this gathered information for the target audience in mind.
The practice involves an in depth analysis of social data, which is much more thorough than regular social media monitoring. Not only are @mentions looked at, but related conversations and mentions, which wouldn’t necessarily show up in the notifications section, are also analyzed thoroughly as a part of it.
Understanding the concept of Social Listening
People often have discussions online about products and businesses without using the right Twitter handle or none at all - this is where social listening comes into play. If you concentrate only on the notifications you receive, a large group of people that are talking about your brand will be left out.
Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights, articulates it accurately:
“Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.”
While social monitoring involves collecting social actions and mentions, listening is a process that involves analysis, interpretation and reflection.
With listening, patterns are rigorously tracked and conclusions are drawn on the basis of the inception of each of these conversations related to your specific business. While social media monitoring simply entails a compilation of instances, listening involves analysis based on meticulous research. The areas of concern with a lack of social listening would be:
- Management of reputation
- Campaign monitoring
- Management of customer relations
- Analysis of competitors
- Market and trend research
- Detection and management of events, issues and crisis
- Product management
- Detecting influencers
- Innovation management
Twitter, an incomparable powerhouse of social media relations, sends out on average, a whopping 6000 tweets per second. This sort of bustling online traffic could essentially catapult your brand image/online business presence or completely tarnish it. Out of this, around 30% of the tweets that mention a certain company don’t utilize their Twitter handle and only 9% of them are actually directed at the company. There are more conversations that happen around/about the company or brand rather than with them.
Using social media to your benefit
This isn’t attributable to the fact that consumers intend to leave you out of a specific conversation, it is most probably because a large section of users does not spend the time to track down the right username. A lot of the times, regardless of whether a consumer uses the brand name, the company often misses the post entirely. Nonetheless, users most often expect a response and feel the need for their voice to be heard as a consumer.
The 2015 sprout social index says that 7 in 8 messages to brands go unanswered in the first 2 hours. This could be detrimental to a business as 70% of consumer experiences are based on how customers perceive the way they are treated. Any digital marketing course or business analytics course would exemplify the significance that social listening holds to brand image and business development.
It is not only wise, but imperative to a company’s growth and successful online presence to implement social listening to their digital marketing strategy.
By utilizing the method of social listening, it is possible to avoid missing out on valuable feedback and prevent having dissatisfied customers. To accomplish this, it is necessary to track all variations of the specific brand name and also gather information about competitors and fill in the spaces where they lack in social listening.