Social listening pretty much does what it says on the tin – it’s the science of listening in to those conversations happening in social space about you and your brand, earwigging in on what’s being said, whose saying it, where they’re saying it and whatever else they might be chatting about (i.e. your competitors). We’re told by marketing experts that we absolutely, categorically must be integrating it into our SMM strategies but a full-scale operation can be something of intensive, in both time and budget. So for those SMEs and smaller businesses lacking in both, here are our tips for incorporating a little ‘social listening’ into your day-to-day social marketing routine – consider it a social ‘ear-to-the-ground.’
First things first: give yourself a Google
Go on, indulge, Google yourself and have a feel for the conversations already being had around your brand and the reputation you’ve built up online. Then set up a Google alert for your brand – and your competitors. ‘Listen’ in to what they’re up to, how you’re sizing up and can be tweaking your own campaigns responsively to ensure you’re always one step ahead.
An email filter is your new favourite shortcut
All those irritatingly incessant email notifications from your various social profiles? Yep, turn ‘em back on. Ensure you’re getting emails for every single follow, like, mention, share and retweet on all social networks and set up an email filter so they all land up in the same folder. Work the time into your daily routine to review this activity and pick up on patterns: whose following you, and where? Is this chatter happening on one channel more than another? Is it positive or negative chatter? Think of this as instantaneous customer feedback. Keep notes, start to trace these patterns and turn them into actionable insights: these answers are where to be focussing your efforts.
Back this up with stats
Any social media management platform worth its salt nowadays comes loaded with analytics and monitoring tools for you to track your social traffic and engagement even more intensively – your content’s impressions, reach, click-throughs and those ultimate conversions. Here you’ll find answers to those even bigger questions: which hashtags are working? What kind of content is getting those shares and retweets – photos, links to your blog? When are these being shared – morning, afternoon, in the run-up to a big event or in reaction to an offer? Utilise these data insights to tailor your campaign even more responsively to your target audience and their habits.