Social Media Listening…. it’s a thing.

Social Media Listening…. it’s a thing. How and where to monitor people talking about your business online.

That burning sensation you can feel on your earlobes? That’s because people are talking about you and they might be doing it behind your back!

Welcome to the art of Social Media Listening.

Not to be confused with Social Media Monitoring.

Monitoring is a practice which I hope you are already doing. Checking which Facebook posts get the most likes, the country from which your followers are from, their gender, what time of day your Tweets are most likely to be Retweeted and so on.

That’s you tracking what you’ve said, your contribution….Social Media Listening is tracking what others say….joining those conversations and applying what you’ve learnt to your business’s products and services.

Social Media Listening has been likened to eavesdropping – you didn’t start the conversation, you probably weren’t tagged in it but as opposed to eavesdropping there’s no shame in it. (unless you’ve purposely avoided being identified by creating a false account to access this information) The forums you’ll use as a Social Listener are public – they are posted on the World Wide Web and can be accessed by anyone so hop to it before your competitors do!

Some of the most successful ideas I have had and implemented are results of listening to our local community, checking local Facebook pages for people talking about what is lacking in our outback city, asking questions and testing the ideas with the target audience (that bit is tricky to do when your competitors are listening to these conversations too but I have my methods)

Are you all ears?
Are you all Ears?

Where can you as a business owner direct your listening so you do pick up on what people are saying about you and your industry in a timely manner? No point in implementing those popular summer cocktails recipes from 2013 now. You need real-time analytics!

The Social Media Examiner has created a list of tools you can use with their expert experiences to boot. My favourite is Hootsuite – which I use for autoscheduling and sharing across multiple platforms already.

To start the ball rolling, enter your business name into search engines to find out if people are talking about you. If you want to know what is being said about the products you sell, enter those into the browser. Enter your competitors name into the browser, see what people say about them….if they’re not responsive to people’s ideas or critiques then use it to your advantage. Search for the conversations happening about the brands you sell, just because you aren’t the brand doesn’t mean you don’t want some of that spotlight.

Hop on a forum relevant to your industry. Offer helpful knowledge, don’t go nuts promoting your business, just offer helpful information to consumers queries. Product after care, reviews, referrals and expertise!

To summarise:

Social Media Monitoring is something we do without trying too hard, most applications and services like Google Analytics serve it up to without you even asking.

Social Media Listening is actively seeking mentions, reviews and conversations about your business or the products and services you sell. Tracking the data and adapting your business’s offerings to consumers concerns and ideas.

Applying Social Media Listening can be time consuming, to be sure you’ve got the right listening tools in place contact Sarah today.

All Ears photo credit – Flickr Creative Commons

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