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What is ‘Social Listening’ And How Can Small Businesses Use It
Social listening is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, product or brand on the internet. It’s a valuable tool that can be used to find out what people think about your company and its products, whether that be positive or negative, or a mixture of both.
It’s important to remember that people are increasingly using social media to share their experiences of brands and companies. Whereas traditionally people would voice their feedback through post, on the phone or via email many people are now turning to social media to share their experiences. When people are sharing on social media they are sharing with friends and family, so negative feedback can have disastrous consequences for a business. Negative reviews can be seen by hundreds of people in a relatively short space of time.
It’s more than just checking your mentions on Twitter or comments on Facebook posts, because if you’re only paying attention to notifications you might be missing a huge group of people that are talking about you, your brand or your product.
Why is social listening and monitoring important?
Social listening allows you to make or break a customer experience. 30% of tweets containing company names don’t include their twitter handle, meaning you probably aren’t seeing everything’s that said about your brand if you're just looking at your mentions. The reason why customers aren't using your username to tag you in posts might be because they didn't know you had a social media account.
Even when customers do include usernames in their posts, in some cases businesses still miss the mark by either ignoring posts or by not replying to them in a timely manner.
How can I use social listening?
By using tools such as Hootsuite, you can track what is being said about your business on Facebook and Twitter. For example, if you are using twitter you could create a ‘stream’ using a search for your company name, which would show all the tweets that contain your company name.
For example, let’s say your company name is ‘The Chester Bakery’ and you see that someone has tweeted the following:
“Brilliant cakes and pies at The Chester Bakery, always great food there. A must visit if you’re in Chester” - Customer
You could then reply with:
“Hey, Thanks for the great feedback! We also deliver straight to your door, give us a ring if you want anything!” - The Business
This helps to build positive customer relationships and shows your customers that you’re listening to them, which can help boost your sales and visibility on social media.
For more information on social listening, take a look at this article.