• Nadia Omair

What is Social Listening, Why it Matters, and How to Get started?

Social listening really matters, but what is it really?

Well, social listening is the process that allows you to monitor your own social media channels and broadly scan social media, news sites, other forums, and trends to look for discussions that are relevant to your business. It provides you with an opportunity to track, analyse, and respond to those discussions.

Are you engaging with your customers on social media sufficiently?

Are you tracking your competitors? What are they talking about? What hashtags are they using? what pain points are they addressing?

Are you struggling to generate content ideas for your social channels?

Are you struggling to generate sales lead?

Are you looking to identify relevant influencers and advocates?

If you are looking for the answers to the above questions, you can continue reading this blog as social listening is the answer.

Imagine you own a hair salon. One day while walking out for lunch, you overhear two people discussing a new hairstyle trend pointing out to a celebrity poster.

“Oh my god, I just love this look,” one says. “I wish I could find a stylist who can do my hair like this.”

“Yeah, I love it too, but not every stylist can do this celebrity look,” the other one replies.

You begin to wonder if more people are talking about this new look. So, you start to ask around. You hear more people talking about it. Based on this finding, you posted some before and after pictures, showcasing how you have successfully given this trendy look to one of your clients.

And it worked. You started to get more clients calling for appointments. That’s because you listened to your customers, engaged with them, and gave them what they wanted, i.e., social listening.

Why it matters?

The answer is simple. If you are not listening to your target audience, you are missing big opportunities. You are missing on what your audience is talking about, what they think about your brand and your products/services, what the competitors are doing, what are the new developments in your industry, etc.

Social listening provides you with a unique opportunity to engage with your target market about your brand. If your customers are talking about your brand, you would want to respond frequently. If they are reporting an issue, you would like to address it right away.

You can also understand specific trends as a result of social listening. For example, what posts are doing well, which ones aren’t, and why. What your audience like and share on social media? What topics do they respond to?

By monitoring their conversations, you can also find out about their pain points. What are they struggling with? What problems are they facing, and how you can help them solve those problems? You can use this information to establish a stronger relationship with your target audience and generate sales leads.

Not only can you gain an understanding of your target audience through social listening, but you can also find out what your competitors are up to. What are they talking about? What new products are they launching? How are they engaging with the audience? What marketing campaigns are they using, and how are they implementing them?

You can also identify key influencers in the industry. You can connect with them and look for collaboration opportunities to strengthen your brand and increase your social media reach.

Now that you know why social listening matters. Here is a free tool for you to get started!

Preparing to Listen: Social Listening Free Tool for Small Business Owners

HootSuite is one of the must-have tools in 2021 for small business owners. This tool allows you to broadly scan social media, track your own social channels, discover opportunities to act, and generate leads. Using this tool for social listening is a straightforward 3-step process:

Step 1: Monitor your own social media channels:

Hootsuite allows you to set up custom streams on your social profiles for you to monitor your channels, posts engagement, and performance at a glance. Link your social channels to Hootsuite, set up streams, and look at the conversations, mentions, follows, and likes on your own channels to develop an understanding of what your audience likes and what bothers them.

You can link your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube accounts to Hootsuite, and you can create streams to monitor:

  • your tweets

  • likes

  • retweets

  • mentions

  • specific keywords

  • hashtags

  • timeline

  • scheduled posts

  • messages

  • your posts

  • your activity

  • your videos

  • comments on videos

(P.S. If you are using their free plan, you can only link up to 3 social media accounts to Hootsuite)

The best thing about Hootsuite is that it not only allows you to monitor your channels, but you can also instantly respond in-stream when an opportunity arises without the need to visit your social media channels individually, which really saves an ample amount of your time. For example, if your page was mentioned on social media by a customer, you can instantly respond and comment in-stream without the need to go on that particular social media platform.

Step 2: Investigate the external landscape

The next step is to track other forums, hashtags, groups, news sites, and competitors’ channels and look for mentions of your brand, products, competitors, industry buzzwords, and relevant keywords. This step is very crucial for you to develop an understanding of your industry, the competitive landscape, and explore existing conversations.

Use Hootsuite to follow keywords and conversations.

Find out what the competitors are talking about and where you can find new leads. You can also engage with influencers to increase your reach on social media or generate unlimited content ideas for your social channels with that amount of information.

Step 3: Learn and Act

Use Hootsuite to review the results. The tool gives you a 360-degree view of your results so that you can monitor and measure performance effortlessly. You can save all your time by monitoring the performance of all your social channels in one place.

Use the findings to put your learning into action.

Did you identify specific topics that your target audience is discussing?

Did you identify any relevant hashtags your competitors are using?

Did you identify any customer pain points or a market gap?

For example, if you noticed people discussing talking about one of their pain points on a social forum, you can use that information to provide a solution.

You can use Hootsuite to

  • engage with your customers,

  • track competitors,

  • identify pain points,

  • discover engaging content ideas,

  • generate sales lead, and

  • find influencers

If you aren’t listening to your target audience, you are missing a lot of opportunities and you don’t want to do that in 2021 as this is your year to shine.

Need help in setting up Hootsuite for your business?

Are you looking for someone to monitor your keywords and conversations on social media so that you can stay laser-focused on taking action based on the insights?

Need someone to construct content themes and generate content ideas for your social channels based on social listening findings?

Not a problem. We have got you covered.

Book a FREE 20-minutes discovery call with Nadia Omair to discuss your needs and get a quote!

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