Optimise Your Social Media With Social Listening

6 min read

Avatar Ellie Harris

22nd April, 2021

Social Media

Social listening gives you the ability to take conversations regarding your industry, brand, product, service or customers into consideration to gain meaningful insights from these mentions.

The number of social media conversations happening at any given time is massive, so depending on your industry, monitoring these conversations can be extremely complex and time-consuming, which can be a large task in itself unless you use the right social listening tools.

As a social media advertising agency, we use Falcon.io to leverage our social media marketing offering with an all-in-one social media management platform that allows you to benchmark against competitors and use social listening to manage brand perception.

Using Falcon.io for social listening has been a complete game-changer for the world of social media marketing! It has allowed us to discover consumer pain points, discover user-generated content, research your consumer market, measure PR results and identify influential advocates as well as obtain competitive intelligence.

What is Social Listening?

If you’re like many of our clients, you probably won’t know too much about the world of social listening and its effects on social media management and content drafting.

Social listening is a way of taking a proactive approach to monitoring the conversations around your brand and is the process of collecting data from social platforms and all websites. This data could relate to your brand, service, offerings, industry, market or relevant trends, which can then be used to tailor your social content better and influence decisions and processes relating to operations, products and services or marketing strategies.

To get a better understanding of your customers, it’s essential to stay on top of the trends that influence them and the industry they work in. Trend research, using social listening, can help to discover hot topics that will most likely resonate with a target audience.

The method of social listening means that brands are now able to gauge the opinions of their market when this was once not an option. As we generally talk about anything and everything online, social listening is by far the most accurate method of gaining these consumer opinions.

Social listening allows for deep audience research with crucial audience insights in real-time. Content marketing and social listening work hand in hand, and when used with social media marketing, social listening can allow for the creation of more agile and relevant content by starting conversations with your brand, based on their interests, thoughts and behaviour.

With Falcon.io, we are able to see the number of mentions during a specific timeframe, the reach and impressions this nature of content has received, as well as the sentiment behind each mention. As you can see, the sentiment behind sustainable marketing is overall extremely positive.

If you’re looking for ways to monitor your industry, brand or offerings, then social listening can provide you with an insight of where negative sentiment typically derives from. As you may expect, in the chart above, you can see that the term ‘Featured Snippets’ generally has a mixed bag of opinions on Twitter.

Social Listening Tips

Know What Topics to Listen To

When setting up topics to add to your social listening platform, it’s crucial to know exactly what to pay attention to, otherwise, you may find yourself gaining very obvious insights which you were able to predict without using social listening.

To keep social listening valuable for your brand, make sure you pay close attention to direct mentions of your brand and product names. These should be the first topics you add. After all, there may be no sense in introducing a brand new offering to impress customers if your existing offering doesn’t provide a positive sentiment.

Depending on the size of your business, you may wish to add names of important roles within your business (e.g. your CEO).

Finally, keep your friends close, but more importantly, keep your competitors closer! Always keep an eye on your competitors. We encourage you to add the above topics but relating to your competitors. This allows you to step ahead of the game and know what your competition is doing. This also means that you have the advantage over your competitors if you spot negative sentiments before anyone else does.

Using Filters

Don’t keep searches vague, try to filter out by adding location and language. As an example, we recently carried out social listening research for a courier service based in Tamworth. To discover how Brexit may affect their European courier service, we added the term ‘Brexit’ into the mix and were instantly inundated with results relating to a negative sentiment surrounding Brexit and the unexpected obstacles of how this may affect European deliveries.

By narrowing down our search through filtering the location, sentiment and language, as well as using a specific search, for example, ‘Brexit European delivery’, we were able to streamline our social calendar to reassure their consumers, as well as introduce suggestions to improving their European delivery service page.

You can also filter content by the sentiment, URL (website), media (whether the content is accompanied by an image or video) as well as the number of Twitter followers the user has.

Use Exact Searches

When adding a topic to a social listening platform, another way to narrow down the search to only show relevant mentions is by using an exact search. For example, if you’re looking to keep on top of mentions relating to porcelain veneers, you may prefer to add the term as porcelain veneers” with the quotation marks at the beginning and end of the term.

This means that you’ll only see mentions with ‘porcelain veneers’ rather than ‘veneers porcelain’ and you’ll be able to retrieve more precise data. We recommend doing this, particularly when adding your brand name as a social listening topic.

Making Influencer Decisions

Looking to take on influencer marketing? Depending on the nature of your business and what you have to offer, influencer marketing can be extremely rewarding.

Social listening helps to take note of appropriate social media influencers who are popular in your industry and who would therefore become a perfect fit for your brand. Gain a better idea of potential brand partners, collaborators and influencers who can greatly increase your reach.

Keep Tabs on the Latest Trends

Staying relevant is key to your brand becoming an influential leader within your industry. As social listening allows you to identify what your audience is interested in, gaps you may be able to fill or what the latest is within your industry, you’ll be able to keep afloat with what’s trending in your market.

Keep tabs on the latest trends and create discussions that your audience will want to join.

Take Action on Your Audience’s Sentiments

Most of all, listen to your audience. Social listening does the hard work for you by separating negative mentions from the positive. If your social listening tool is showing you that your social listening topics have negative sentiment, you really should act on this and try to take away their pain points, if you can.

Dig deeper into social listening analytics and figure out how you can go one step further to turn this sentiment around. If you aren’t able to directly take their pain points away, empathise with your audience and aim to create more valuable engagement.

Be Prompt

One of the greatest advantages of social listening is being able to access real-time mentions of your topics. Be proactive with monitoring these mentions and try to approach them as soon as you can. After all, if a Twitter user has posted a negative mention about your business, responding straight away will reduce the negative sentiment from escalating.

We do recommend monitoring social listening every day and setting up alerts for negative sentiments. At most, try to respond within 24 hours to mentions online or set up an SLA that is realistic for your business and team.

Use Social Listening for Your Social Media

Develop relationships with potential customers and nurture existing relationships with social listening. Our social listening offering takes your social media marketing to the next level.

If you’re interested in how your business could benefit from expert social listening with our expertly crafted social media marketing campaigns, or have any further enquiries about our social media marketing services, please do get in touch.

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