Many businesses think that social media is solely an advertising tool. They are focused on how many followers or likes they have and how many leads they can generate for free using social media. This line of thinking, however, is incredibly narrow and causes businesses to miss out on a great opportunity that other channels don't offer: listening to the direct needs of their customers.
Social listening, or social monitoring as some people refer to it, is an invaluable tool for your company for a variety of reasons.
You'll Save Money on Market Research
Since social media provides you with the ability to talk directly to customers, listening closely to what they are saying will provide you with insights that can be more beneficial than paying a third party to perform market research for you. You can also use social listening tools to track what people are saying about your competition and compare how you stack up against them. Listening can provide you with a leg up on the competition, if you take actionable steps based on what you hear/see.
Your Content Will Practically Write Itself
Instead of brainstorming content ideas for your marketing efforts based on what you think your customers are interested in, you can use social media to actually collect data about what they are actually interested in. Is there a frequently asked question about your business that pops up from customers on social media? If so, it's because they have identified a content need for you. Although content serves many different purposes, especially when it comes to your SEO strategy, it first and foremost should prove itself useful and educational for your customers and prospective customers.
You'll Gain Insight Into Your Customer Service Process
In a 2015 survey by Pegasystems, it was discovered that "while nearly 60 percent of businesses believe their customer service representatives quickly respond to their customers every time, the majority of consumers disagree. In fact, only 27 percent of telco/broadband customers feel their provider meets this speed threshold." Listening on social media gives your business a chance to interact in a customer service capacity in realtime. I often recommend to my clients that they assign a customer service representative to the social media effort, so that there is also consistency around how social media complaints are being handled.
Making The Investment in Social
It's not uncommon for me to meet with clients for the first time and have them tell me that if they are even paying attention to social media at all, they have an intern managing the platforms for their business. This is a colossal mistake, because to yield the results that many of them are looking for, there needs to be a comprehensive strategy, which college interns are not typically equipped to handle.
If you think it's time for your business to get serious about social media, contact HYC. We have an extensive amount of experience with a variety of social media platforms and can create an overarching strategy for your company that includes listening as much as it does talking.