May 7, 2019

by Tim Dewald

When you hear the concept of social media listening, which of these things come to mind?
A) Extracting data and information from various networks to optimize a social media presence
B) Vladimir Putin reading your direct messages
C) Something else entirely

You’re probably thinking “A.” Well, you might be thinking “B” and ― let’s face it ― you might be right. But for our purposes today, let’s say you answered “A.”

Social media listening tools undoubtedly work well when applied to improving a company’s presence on social media, but they can do so much more. So if you’ve wondered “what is a social media listening strategy” or thought social media listening probably wouldn’t help your business, let me provide three real-world examples I’ve been a part of that just may change your mind.

Connect with your customer

In 2018, Pew Research pegged the number of Americans using at least one form of social media at 7 in 10. For those between the ages of 18 to 29, the number goes above 80%. So whether you’re selling goods and services to the CIO of a Fortune 500 company, or her daughter via an Instagram ad, chances are they have an active presence online. None of this “my audience isn’t on social media” talk, you guys.

Social media listening tools then are your key to unlocking this source of information and opening the door to understanding your audience better. Where do they get their news? What things are they most passionate about? Who do they want to win the Iron Throne (spoiler alert)? By carefully constructing the profile of the people you’re seeking to engage with, it’s possible to get their real-time pulse every day.

Speak the right language

The next time you’re in New York and thirsty, kindly order a ‘pop’ from the server and you’ll begin to get a sense how much language matters. To bring it back to business, are you a health care company or a biotechnology firm? Is your business focused on transportation or logistics? Listening can assist with social media messaging development by exposing customers’ common language.

Competitive analysis

How is your competitor framing their business? In what ways are they speaking to customers and at what times and through what platforms? Perhaps your competitor has found that product updates shared in an online community such as Reddit are driving a ton of engagement. Not only can social media listening get you intimately close to your consumers but it also provides a more holistic view of the market. And it’s not just about finding shiny new things.

Discovering that your audience is hanging out exclusively in one corner of the internet can free up resources elsewhere to create more impact. There are only so many hours in a day, don’t spend them designing the perfect Snapchat campaign or producing a killer podcast if your audience will never see or hear it. Social media listening can uncover insights your competitors may have already found or help you avoid a time-sucking trap they’ve fallen into.

If you want to talk more about our work or Putin, drop me a line!