Nowadays, social media listening is a must. Monitoring mentions can help you stay on top of customer feedback, hop on emerging trends, and start leveraging brand advocacy.
In this blog post, we'll describe the concepts of social media listening and brand advocacy, explore some social media listening best practices, and discuss how social media listening can increase customer advocacy.
What Is Social Media Listening?
Social media listening, also known as social listening or social media monitoring, is the process of monitoring and analyzing interactions that occur on social media platforms. Brands can conduct social media listening by tracking brand mentions, comments, hashtags, and discussions related to the brand itself, its competitors, or the industry as a whole.
Social media listening tools help businesses to keep a close eye on what is being said about them on popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others. By using these tools, companies can gain valuable insights into customer sentiment, identify market trends, manage brand reputation, and perform competitor analysis.
Social media listening step-by-step
1. Data collection
Social media listening tools gather and aggregate data from various social media platforms. This includes public posts, comments, messages, and conversations that mention the targeted keywords or brand names.
2. Sentiment analysis
Once the data is collected, sentiment analysis is applied to understand the tone and context of the conversations. Through sentiment analysis, businesses can identify whether the mentions are positive, negative, or neutral. Positives can then be used for differentiation, while negatives can be used for inspiration for product enhancements.
3. Tracking mentions
Companies can track mentions of their brand, products, or services to see what customers are saying about them. Aside from collecting valuable data, mention tracking allows businesses to promptly respond to queries and engage with their audiences more effectively.
4. Competitor analysis
Social media listening also enables businesses to monitor the social media activities of their competitors. This is a great way to gain insights into the competitor's strengths, weaknesses, and customer perception.
5. Identifying trends
By monitoring conversations and trends on social media, companies can identify emerging topics, popular discussions, and areas of interest for their target audience. On social media, trends emerge and gain traction very quickly, so businesses that leverage social media listening will always be one step ahead of their competitors.
6. Crisis management
Just like trends, scandals gain traction very quickly, so social media listening plays a crucial role in crisis management. Businesses that closely monitor social media can detect potential issues early on and respond promptly to mitigate negative impact on the brand.
7. Customer insights
Social media gives companies the gift of honest unsolicited customer feedback. With the right tools and data analysis techniques, this feedback can be turned into actionable insights for the business.
How Can Organizations Best Approach Social Media Listening?
To maximize its effectiveness, companies should approach social media listening in a systematic and strategic manner. Here are some tips for successful social media listening:
Choose the right tools
There are various social media listening and monitoring tools available in the market, so choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. Look for platforms that can track mentions across multiple social media channels, provide sentiment analysis, and offer real-time monitoring capabilities.
Identify relevant keywords and topics
Determine the keywords, hashtags, and topics related to your brand, products, industry, and competitors. These will serve as the foundation for your social media listening efforts and make your analysis more efficient.
Monitor multiple channels
Of course, monitoring one platform is not enough, so make sure you are monitoring all relevant social media channels where your target audience is active, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, and others.
Apply sentiment analysis
Use sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional tone of social media mentions. This will help you understand whether mentions are positive, negative, or neutral. Sentiment analysis can be automated with the help of social listening tools like Essense, which can analyze your Reddit and Twitter mentions in just one click.
Segment and prioritize feedback
Analyze the data collected through social media listening to identify recurring themes, trends, and priority areas. If you want to dig deeper, segment feedback based on product, customer segment, or other relevant criteria.
What Is Customer Advocacy?
Customer advocacy refers to the active support and promotion of a brand or product by satisfied customers. These customers, known as advocates or promoters, voluntarily share positive experiences, recommendations, and endorsements with others, such as friends, family, colleagues, or followers.
The importance of advocates cannot be overstated. Customer advocacy is a powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing, as it relies on genuine recommendations from happy customers. When customers become advocates, they essentially become brand ambassadors who help drive positive brand awareness and influence potential customers' purchase decisions much more than other types of marketing.
Benefits of Customer Advocacy
Here’s why customer advocacy can make a massive difference:
Advocates are often more credible and trustworthy to potential customers than traditional advertising or marketing efforts. People are more likely to trust recommendations from friends or peers rather than advertisements from the brand itself.
Customer advocacy helps businesses create a strong referral marketing system. When advocates recommend the brand to people around them, you can get new customers and increase sales.
When potential customers see positive reviews, testimonials, or social media posts from advocates, it serves as social proof of the brand's value, which encourages people to try the product.
How Can Social Media Listening Increase Customer Advocacy?
Here's how social media listening can boost customer advocacy:
Identifying and engaging advocates
Without social media listening, you might not even be aware of your advocates. By monitoring mentions and posts, you can spot customers who consistently share positive experiences and recommendations and start building your customer advocacy program. Once you identify your advocates, engage with them to strengthen the emotional connection and encourage them to keep supporting the brand.
Everyone loves UGC. With social media listening, you can find the content created by your advocates and motivate them to create more of it by running contests and showing your appreciation. Ask your advocates if you can share the content on the brand’s profile and send a promo code or a freebie to express your gratitude.
Providing outstanding customer support
Social media listening is an essential part of customer support that empowers brands to promptly address negative feedback or complaints that advocates might have. By offering excellent customer support, you show your advocates that you value their opinions and are committed to their satisfaction.
Leveraging testimonials and reviews
Advocates often share their positive experiences in the form of testimonials, reviews, or social media posts. You can collect these endorsements and feature them on your website, social media, and marketing materials as a sign of social proof.