What is social listening?
Which company doesn’t know how important it is to listen to its own industry, to understand its clients or to detect the beginning of a crisis that could affect its own reputation?
In the age of social medias, of users generated content and digital footsteps, social listening became crucial. Many companies positioned themselves on the listening, analyzing and recommendation markets.
Social listening is a practice that allows you to collect and analyze all digital footsteps of a structure, taking into consideration millions of conversation and daily publication on the web. These tools can collect among a wide number of sources: blogs, webzines, e-press, social medias, etc. You won’t have to scan thousands of blogs anymore, looking for your brand… And it’s not only about collecting data, but also analyzing them in order to be able to use them wisely. Practically, using a social listening tool means to know in real time that a potential crisis about your last product is about to start on Twitter or, in the opposite, that you are becoming popular on a forum related to your industry. You will not only be notified very quickly, but will as well be able to react as quickly as possible, in one way or another.
The major benefit of this type of solution is that you will be able to listen to your clients and their comments: to identify problems, needs and frustration in a much more detailed way than knowing what a small niche shares about your brand on social media. It’s easy to understand what impact on means in terms of customer relationship… Social listening can as well be a precious tool to identify the new consuming trends of specific audiences, those that would have been difficult to detect with traditional marketing surveys. It could also simply means more data about your target audience itself. Information you could use to launch new products, or to reorient your offer.
Many marketers are assuming incorrectly that social listening is only about digits, while they are only half of the solution. The answer brought to the detection of a problem or a very specific situation is the second half of it. Good communication is therefore an integral part of social listening.
The importance of social listening
Social listening doesn’t only revolutionize data collection, but it also impacts a large number of practices of companies:
—Marketing: do you plan to start a new service for people being aged between 24 and 34 years old? With social listening, you can identify the gender, the city and the work of the people that are interested by your product or your business. Data that can help you to elaborate and promote your product the best way.
—Social media management: thanks to social listening, it is now possible to adapt your posts precisely to your audience since you know exactly what she is and what she is passionate about. A real goldmine!
—Social selling: this practice can also benefit from social listening, It consists in selecting, listening and interacting with prospects through social media. With it you will be able to sharpen the way you will address them since you will have collected enough info in order to provide your sales pitch…
—Digital reputation: with social listening you can anticipate, wherever it starts, a bad buzz that threatens to propagate and affect your digital reputation. Once you have identify the problem, you can act before the situation mushrooms.
—Customer relationship: the capacity to identify problems, needs and frustrations is one of the keys of the customer relationship. What social listening allows is to gather data in a much better way than just the comments received by the customer service, either on the phone or online. With social listening, you’re able to know that a client has complained 10 minutes ago about your last product on a forum! Or that he complained about the product/service of your competitor… Always interesting to know!
But what could social listening look like in practice? Let’s have a look at three companies that used it for different purposes.
—The Guardian: to target a specific audience
The 130 million monthly web visitors British newspaper has used it to target a 18–24 years old audience during the general election of 2015. With the help of social listening, The Guardian has been able to target online political conversation of a small group of people: students. It could this way gather precious information like their gender, their interest, their work or their place of residence.
Thanks to extracted data, the news paper could adapt to the change of practices of this audience, but also improve the targeting of his campaign and media planning. And results showed up for the Guardian: +18% of readers on mobile among the 18.24 years old, +645% of online references on its publications and more than 30,000 shares towards theguardian.com.
—Nextérité: to launch a new product
Upon the request of a customer responsible for organizing public transports in Paris, Nextérité had to use social media as a source of information, and especially Twitter. To be able to detect in real time service disruptions. The marketing solutions specialized agency therefore used it to identify and assess the relevancy of real-time comments on Twitter. The idea was to eliminate as much as possible the “background noise,” without losing useful information.
As a result, 10 million of public transport-related tweets have been analyzed in 7 months, 20,000 accidents have been confirmed and identified, and 2000 to 15,000 tweets have been analyzed per day. With the help of all this data, Nextérité could build the prototype of a unique tool to detect disruption in public transports in real time.
—Kellogg’s: to pilot a new campaign
The British team of the famous brand has used social listening to manage and measure the campaign for its new Kellogg’s Krave cereals. Known for its advertising campaigns through the world, the brand wanted to experience here the power of social media, especially from Twitter. With the help of social listening, the brand could launch and manage a powerful three months campaign in collaboration with the Alton Towers Resort Park, based on daily challenges and a contest.
As a result, 35,942 tweets have been shared with the dedicated hashtag #KraveTheSmiler. With the help of social listening, Kellogg’s could improve its marketing strategy and support the sales of its products. The tool has also been an unexpected asset for the brand. It could gather additional and crucial data: personal tastes of its consumers. Crucial information that would enable to build future marketing campaigns!
Social Listening: How a Marketing Automation Tool Could Help You
The social medias tools of Act-On could help you to follow, interact and consolidate your audience all from within the Act-On platform. Find out what customer and prospect are saying about you, or a target word, or your competitors. Social media marketing with Act-On allows you to collaborate with your audience through the funnel, from building your brand (lead generation), to driving demand (sales), to engaging for customer success (retention, cross sell & up-sell).
—Social Publish: a simple way to automatically share content through your social channels. It integrates Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn into a single publishing interface. Use Social Publish to easily schedule and share your Act-On assets (including landing pages, forms, and specific media) or any URL, all at the same time, from one easy to use tools.
—Social Listening: allow you to manage multiple social streams from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn at ease. You can pin social posts and updates for the follow-up and future reference. You can also schedule email alerts to make sure you’re always informed on the latest conversations with your audiences. With social listening, you can track keywords, brand mentions (both your own and your competition’s), as well as thought leaders or key issues.
—Social Engage: plays a key role in helping you develop loyal fans and drive more quality traffic to your website and landing pages. From within the Act-On platform, you can like, share, and comment on the posts in your social streams. You can connect your audience’s social engagement to existing lead generation campaigns inside the Act-On platform.
—Integrated Social Sharing: social media is most productive when used in conjunction with your other marketing tools and tactics, such as events, landing pages, and email campaigns. Integrated social sharing widgets in Act-On’s email and landing page composers make it easy to drag and drop sharing buttons that will encourage social amplification.
—Competitor Insights let you benchmark your web traffic, blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn traffic, tweets, and YouTube views against your competition. Set up tracking for new competitors in just few minutes and see the results instantly – with an intuitive, easy-to use dashboard view.
– Advance Social Media Module is a fantastic add-on to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts, including conversion rates, sales velocity, revenue attribution, and impact on retention.