When it comes to social media everyone knows that it is imperative to use social networks to listen to and engage with your customers. Social media has become the go to source for customer service grievances, praise, and commentary. If you have an effective social media strategy, chances are someone in your organization is communicating frequently with customers and potential customers on social. However, social listening should and can be used beyond the realm of customer service. In fact, if you know what to listen for, social media can be leveraged to drive success across multiple company initiatives.
The question is, do you know what to listen for? It is one thing to respond to comments on the social web but another to listen at the level and scope needed to meet your company’s over-arching objectives. While customer service via social is vital, there are many business initiatives that can be furthered by closely monitoring, participating, and listening to feedback on social networks. So what should you be listening for on social?
1. Industry Topics: To start, your company should be listening to social media conversations occurring within your industry. This approach offers insight into your community while keeping you abreast of the latest news, events, and trends. Moreover, sharing and commenting on these topics keeps your company present and visible in these discussions which can strengthen strategic industry partnerships and other alliances all while advancing your trust and authority within the market.
2. Competitors: Monitoring the social conversation as it pertains to your competition is an excellent way to capitalize on their shortcomings, products, services or communication gaps. If your competitor has nothing but glowing reviews and admiration on social media, this can also be a great tool for emulating what they are doing or creating better products or services as well as communication which raises the bar.
3. Influencers: Social media is chalk full of valuable influencers such as bloggers and industry experts. What they say matters so following their communication, and ideally aligning your company with influential individuals and brands, will pay dividends.
4. Brands: If your company has multiple product lines or brands, it is equally important that your company follow and engage the social chatter associated with each of your brands as well. Not all brands are treated equally, but listening to the conversation across multiple product lines offers a holistic view which can be utilized to strengthen each.
5. People: The people within your organization are the face of your brand. As such, following social discussions pertaining to your CEO, CMO and other key individuals within your organization provides insight that you might not otherwise garner. Think of it as a gift, it is a gift to achieve this degree of insight regarding your team but understand that perception is often different than reality.
Thinking of social listening from a customer service perspective exclusively is a missed opportunity. Strategic social listening on the most relevant conversations drives an awareness that spans throughout the organization. Expanding what your company monitors and engages with on social affords ammunition for growth across your company. This is social listening at its best.