How to Build A Stronger Business with Social Listening

September 30, 2020 @ 8:47 PM By Rachel Newton / Social Media

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If you’re overseeing your brand’s social media marketing strategy, chances are your to-do list is already looking pretty full. But that doesn’t mean that social listening shouldn’t be a priority for your team.

When your customers and competitors are using social media like never before, it takes powerful insights to level up your social media strategy. So what exactly can social listening do for your business?

Why Your Business Needs Social Listening

Competitive Analysis

Just as you have to compete for sales, you have to keep your business competitive on social media, too.  Tracking your competitors online lets you identify missed opportunities and areas of improvement for your organization on social media.

Customer Service and Sentiment

Your brand is being discussed online — do you know what people are saying? Being able to instantly find both positive and negative feedback from your customers will help you identify both the strengths and weaknesses of your business or product.

Along with valuable insights, this form of social listening provides you the opportunity to show appreciation for positive mentions of your brand and to address any unsatisfied customers and change their potentially negative experience into a positive one.

Lead Generation

It’s obvious that your business needs a plan to attract customers, but how does social media marketing fit into that? With social media listening, you’re able to find and join conversations from these potential customers, to let them know directly about your product or service.

Not only is social listening helpful for contacting prospects, but it provides you with valuable information about their priorities and what they’re looking for from a business like yours.

How to Build a Social Listening Plan

Knowing about social listening is all well and good, but like most strategies, it’s only an idea until you figure out how to make it happen. Here are a few tips to create your social listening plan.

Priority Platforms

To make the most effective social listening strategy, focus your efforts on where the most important conversations to your brand are happening. To do this, consider what social media platforms your target audience is most likely to use, based on their demographics and interests. You wouldn’t go to LinkedIn for foodie content, just as you wouldn’t go to Instagram to find a job.

Find a Tool

Before getting started, you’ll need to figure out how exactly you’re going to capture data for your social listening. We’d recommend using a tool that allows you to search a variety of relevant keywords and hashtags, monitor your competition’s social media, and keep tabs on important conversations from your target audience. A few of our favorites include Sprout Social and Hootsuite.

Keywords and Hashtags

There are endless conversations happening on social media, so it’s important to know how to sift through them to get the data you want. To start piecing the puzzle together, start monitoring these essential phrases:

  • Your brand name and handles
  • Your brand’s top products
  • Your brand’s slogans
  • Common misspellings of your brand name or products
  • Key people/public personalities  in your company (CEO, etc.)
  • Your branded hashtags
  • Campaign names
  • Industry terms and hashtags
  • Your competitors’ brand names, account handles, and top product names
  • Your competitors’ branded hashtags and slogans
  • Key people/public personalities  in your competitors’ company (CEO, etc.)

Top Competitors

To remain competitive online, your listening strategy needs to track your competitors and what they’re doing on social media. To get the most out of competitive insights, try to answer the following questions:

  • What messages are your competitors communicating to your audience?
  • What trends or current events are they taking advantage of?
  • What social media platforms are they the most active on?
  • How often do they post?
  • What is their strategy for community management and engagement?
  • What are customers in the industry saying about your competitors, and how can you use this to your advantage?

Turn Up the Volume on Your Social Strategy

Data-driven social listening can take out some of the guesswork of your social media strategy if you have the time to implement it. If setting up a social listening tool, tracking keywords and hashtags, and analyzing audience sentiment doesn’t sound like fun to you, contact the social media experts at Volume Nine. We live for this, and we can help you make sense of all the noise.


About the author:

Rachel, as a Digital Marketing Strategist at V9, works to bring brand awareness and results to our clients through integrated marketing campaigns, with a focus on social media and content marketing. When she joined the Volume Nine team she became an integral part of creating social media strategies that give our clients an edge in a competitive landscape. Her favorite part about working at Volume Nine is the people, and she says she’s truly happy to come to the office (no, we didn’t pay her to say that).  

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