social listening

Almost everyone who uses the internet has an opinion on various topics. Many people are even comfortable announcing their opinions through social media. For instance, around 500 tweets are sent each day on the Twitter platform. Another social media app, Instagram, has over one billion users as of 2021. While some of the discussions and comments on social media may be irrelevant for businesses, many conversations are such that marketers like to tap into.

The truth is that good marketers are those who can get into the mindset and penetrate the perceptions of consumers. They rely on their target audience's insights and voices. If you don't listen to your customers, you'll never know if your new product line or campaign will be successful. You must know who your target customers are, where they come from, and how they feel about your product.

The simplest way for a marketer to obtain all of this information is to use social media. Businesses that do not operate in the social media space frequently struggle to obtain these insights. More and more businesses are realizing the importance of social listening skills in understanding their customers' perceptions and behavior.Those who do not understand how social monitoring applies to their discipline are frequently perplexed when attempting to obtain this information. It is high time that they also start using social listening to catch up with the ever changing consumer tastes.

Social media listening benefits everyone, regardless of age, location, or other demographics. It is applicable to all business disciplines. You can reap the benefits of social listening for business whether you are a content creator or a member of a team in charge of developing a brand strategy.

In this post, we will look at the benefits of social listening and how you can use them to improve your company's results. But in case you are not clear on what the term means, let’s define social listening first.

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the practice of monitoring various social media platforms for mentions, comments, reactions, and conversations about your brand. Collecting this type of data enables organizations to gain insights into consumer perceptions and identify opportunities for business growth.

Social listening is a two-fold process. The first step is monitoring social media content to trace any mentions of your brand, your products, your competitors, and the keywords relevant to your business. The second step is analyzing all the gathered information and presenting it in a way that helps you develop the most profitable action plan. Through social monitoring, businesses develop a strategy that causes a complete shift from their original brand positioning. Sometimes it's as simple as responding to an unhappy customer in a calm and resolving manner.

Difference Between Social Listening and Social Monitoring

Since these two terms are frequently used interchangeably, it is easy to become confused between them. They appear to mean the same thing at first glance, but they are actually different in two ways.

Social monitoring is all about compiling data from various social media sites. The process allows you to look back at how your previous strategies have impacted consumer perception about your brand on social media. This is measured by tracing metrics like brand mentions, competitor mentions, usage of your related hashtags, and discussions on your industry trends.

Social monitoring is useful for tracking your ROI and analyzing the performance of your A/B testing campaigns. It is also useful for demonstrating the value of social media marketing and allocating budget for social media campaigns for the following year.

Social listening, on the other hand, goes beyond statistics to analyze the consumer mood hidden behind the data. Numbers can never tell the entire story. You must combine them with the emotion associated with the behavior. A social media post, for example, may receive a lot of engagement, but this does not always imply that it is coming from a place of customer satisfaction. It could also come from a place of frustration, especially if much of the engagement involves angry face reactions.

This type of mood assessment is also known as "social media sentiment analysis." It is an important aspect of social media listening because it allows you to understand how your audience perceives your brand and products in comparison to your competitors' products. Instead of simply counting the number of times your company is mentioned on social media, you should examine the perception behind each mention in order to develop effective future strategies.

Benefits of Social Listening for Content Managers

Content managers typically organize and curate content published about a specific brand across multiple platforms, including social media. As a social media manager, you will be the most in touch with your brand's target audience. You are the most in tune with the intended audience. This is due to the fact that you will be in constant contact with your audience. You can monitor their social media activity and respond quickly.

Content managers' goals range from setting campaign goals to coming up with new content creation ideas. They are also in charge of reporting the return on the marketing budget and validating the content marketing team's efforts.

Strikingly user's blog showing content updated on a regular basis

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Among the challenges that social media managers face is the need to engage with the audience's sentiments on a larger scale. This is critical for them to assess the effectiveness of their social media campaigns.

To be most effective in their jobs, they must practice social listening as much as possible. Using social listening allows them to obtain all relevant context surrounding their data. It assists them in simplifying their campaign reporting work and providing inspiration to the team for new content ideas.

Benefits of Social Listening for Marketing Analysts

Marketing analysts are the next group of people who can benefit greatly from social listening. Marketing analysts are responsible for keeping a close eye on competitor brands and their strategies. The goal is to propose new market opportunities based on the responses of the target audience to the organization's existing strategies. To do their jobs effectively, they must ascertain brand perceptions as precisely as possible to identify potential market risks when entering new markets.

Using social listening is the most time-saving and cost-effective way for them to do their job. If they conduct extensive market research, which is usually required on a large scale, they will end up spending a lot of money and time. Furthermore, traditional market research methods only collect data that is relevant at a specific point in time..

market research presented in the form of graphs and charts

If these marketing analysts want more comprehensive insights, they must engage in social listening. It is critical for them to have instant access to data about consumer opinions, which they can only obtain through social media listening.

Social listening gives analysts access to real-time and unbiased customer feedback and an opportunity to discover in-depth marketing insights. For instance, analysts can use social media listening to track the changes in consumer behavior as a result of running a particular campaign. They can also spot the spikes in a specific keyword's activity due to economic, environmental, or industrial shifts. These insights can then be expanded for cross-departmental benefits.

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Contribution of Social Listening to Your Brand Strategy

Social media listening plays a critical role in developing brand management strategy. If you do not create a brand for your target audience using social listening, your consumers will build a brand perception on their own. You need to build a brand image that connects with your audience at an emotional level. You need to uncover your consumers’ feelings towards your brand and come up with a strategy that amplifies those feelings.

Landing page of Connected Women describing its strategy that's built on the emotions of its target audience

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Social listening provides you with accurate and qualitative data to validate your brand strategy. This level of unfiltered data is impossible to obtain through traditional research methods. Social monitoring is a means of gathering large volumes of real, uninfluenced qualitative data that can contribute to your brand strategy development at the highest level.

The Best Way to Implement Social Listening

Integrating your brand website with your social media pages is the best way to incorporate social listening into your marketing efforts. Businesses frequently include social media icons in their website's footer to connect their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts with their website. However, the most technologically advanced website building tools now include a feature that allows you to integrate these platforms with your site in a more user-friendly manner.

If you use Strikingly to build your website, you can use our social feed section to insert a portion of your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed directly into one of your web pages. This means that your site visitors will not have to leave your site to see your most recent social media posts.

brand's Instagram feed embedded on its web page

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Strikingly also provides a plethora of other web development features, with a focus on ease of use for our customers. We want you to be able to build your own website without having to spend time and money hiring a web developer. Surprisingly, you can create a professional website in just an hour or two without writing any code.

Our tools are intended for people who are not programmers or web developers. The majority of our customers are individuals or businesses who want to establish a solid and professional online presence for their brand. They want to create an appealing website in order to attract more customers and sales, while also keeping the web maintenance process as lean as possible.

Strikingly handles the technical aspects of your website development and maintenance, allowing you to focus entirely on developing effective marketing strategies through social listening.