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Listen And Learn: Six Tips To Master Social Media Listening

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There’s a paradox about social media marketing. It’s that the essential objective ought to make viral substance that gets shared everywhere throughout the world. Without a doubt, that would be decent. We as a whole need huge amounts of eyeballs on our image. However, nobody reliably conveys viral substance, and I don’t believe that ought to be your best need. It drives me crazy when advertisers state they need to make the following [insert the most recent short lived YouTube craze].

Your primary target should be listening to your consumers – becoming acquainted with them better. It doesn’t cost you anything to tune in, and the experiences you assemble can be priceless.

Stress over “winning” the internet later. Utilize these six proposals to begin on opening the genuine estimation of online networking.

1. Follow Your Consumers

Back in the 1950s, American bank robber Willie Sutton was askedwhy he did what he did. He reportedly responded by saying, “Because that’s where the money is.”

If you want to learn about the lives of your consumers, go where your consumers are. Are they using Snapchat? Then get on Snapchat. But don’t just go where they are — pay attention to how they use each channel before you even think about creating your own content there.

Obvious, right? Never overlook the obvious. If you don’t use social media platforms to follow your consumers, I believe it’s equivalent to hiding from them. And unless you’re in Sutton’s line of work, I wouldn’t advise hiding.

2. Set Aside Time Every Day For Reading

It doesn’t have to be a big part of your day, just 15 minutes: five in the morning, five at lunch, five at night. See what people are saying.

There are many complex, sophisticated “social listening” software options on the market, and each has unique benefits. I won’t downplay their effectiveness in identifying significant patterns and trends, especially if your brand is large enough to be the subject of chatter all across the web. Those tools can also be especially useful during public relations crises.

But with all the shiny tools and data at our fingertips, marketers too often overlook the value of simply taking time to read. Scroll through your Instagram feed. Click through the trending topics on Twitter. Follow some of your brand’s biggest fans. Follow your competitors. Follow other brands that resonate with your target audience, regardless of their industry.

Read what they have to say. I actually find it great fun.

3. Rethink Your Tracking

Even marketers who do the aforementioned reading, however, don’t always incorporate their findings into their company’s social media tracking practices.

Don’t just track conversations that involve your company. Read your curated platform feeds carefully, and treat them as a valuable industry news source. If you experiment with tools that help you gather information based on keywords — and, once you’ve nailed the basics, you should — make sure those keywords go far beyond various permutations of your company’s name.

Once you listen and evolve your tracking, you’ll find the process is more engaging and qualitative than simply paying attention to mentions and comments. It will help you assess your competitive landscape and position your company as a thought leader.

4. Recognize Surprise-And-Delight Opportunities

Are you wondering if social listening can really have a significant impact on your business? Yes. There are countless examples of it. A favorite of mine involves JetBlue.

A few years back, a big fan of the New York Jets and customer of JetBlue tweeted to the company’s executives, asking if he could fly on the JetBlue plane that sported the Jets’ colors and logo on his upcoming trip. JetBlue rerouted the plane to make this fan’s wish possible — and JetBlue received a raft of goodwill and publicity.

Does this mean that a company should accommodate every consumer who tweets a request to them? Of course not. But you’d be amazed by how easy it is to make someone’s dream come true, and to get some positive attention in the process.

I’ve worked on programs, including the Small Business Revolution, that have also taken this surprise-and-delight approach — listening to consumers on social media and publicly rewarding them. It’s a win for everyone involved.

5. Don’t Fall Down The Rabbit Hole

Social media helps you look at the whole field, but it’s easy to glue your eyes to the screen and never look away. Honestly, it can be addictive. Especially if you’re a senior marketing professional and “social media” isn’t in your title, set boundaries for yourself.

Think of it this way: You’re a chef doing a kitchen check a few times a day. You’re doing quality control. You’re sampling this, testing that. You’re floating in and out. Every now and then, you roll up your sleeves and season the sauce. But mostly, you’re observing and weighing in when you can make the biggest impact.

6. Follow The Checklist

I like to utilize the following straightforward agenda when observing social media, regardless of whether it’s my brand’s records or my personal ones. It can likewise be useful when attempting to choose whether (or how) to respond.

• If you hear an objection, research.

• If you hear a compliment, say bless your heart.

• If you hear something keen, say that it’s savvy.

• If somebody approaches you for something, ask yourself, “Is this a JetBlue opportunity?”

Social listening resembles a buyer review that never closes. The bits of knowledge are out there hanging tight for you. Go get them. What’s more, glad tuning in!

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