Social media marketing: how social listening can help you build a strategy

Social media marketing: how social listening can help you build a strategy

5 minutes
Group of people sat around a table on mobile phones looking at social media

It doesn’t matter if you have the most interesting piece of content ever; if you don’t know who your audience is or where to find them then it’s unlikely you’ll achieve great engagement across your social channels.

To really create a social media strategy that gets results, then you need to define the channels your audience is using, and the kind of content they want to engage with. So, how do you do that?

Listen & learn

What do people think about your brand? What do they like? And what don’t they like? There are lots of ways you can build up this information and put it into action. Survey your current customers and ask them for feedback, use your current data to build buyer personas (so you can segment campaigns and make your content relevant to the audience), and ask your existing social media followers for their opinion. Listening to conversations happening across social media is also a really effective way to understand consumer wants and needs. And it can really help you to define and develop your digital marketing strategy.

There are lots of tools out there that can help you monitor conversations. We work with clients across a variety of sectors to help them understand what’s being said about their company, and we use this insight to create a social strategy that gets results. Here are just a few of the things you can do with social media listening.

Understand audience sentiment

Understanding what people think about your brand and whether they’re having a positive or negative experience is really powerful. It gives you the chance to turn the positive experiences into marketing collateral - you could get in touch with people and ask them to provide a case study, or simply share their comments so others can see them. We know social proof is incredibly powerful when it comes to decision making and buying from a brand, and social listening can help you to uncover positive stories that you’ll want to share amongst your community. And while you might think negative comments are, well, negative… they can actually be turned into a positive. Social listening can help you to identify unhappy customers and you can resolve this in a number of ways, like sending the person a DM, offering help, and solving their problem. This shows that your brand has a personality and that you care about your customers, so it can be really effective as part of your customer service strategy and can even lead to brand advocacy.

Stand out from the crowd

It can help you get an edge over your competitors. You can use social listening tools to monitor your competition, searching for what they’re posting and also what their customers are engaging with.

Generate conversation

Social listening encourages you to be more social. Finding conversations you can participate in will automatically make your social channels more ‘social’. People don’t want to be inundated with sales messages when they visit your social feeds. They want to see genuine interactions and a brand that has a bit of personality to it. By finding existing conversations and joining in you’ll make your social feed more personable, and you’ll also reach new customers that might have never heard of you before.

Increase reach

You can use social media listening tools to find online influencers, which could boost your digital marketing efforts and help you make genuine connections with new customers. 

Want to chat about social listening in more detail? Contact our team and follow us on Twitter for the latest insights.

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Hayley Clark
Hayley Clark
Hayley has over a decade of experience, starting out as a journalist before moving into digital content and strategy. She has worked with clients across a variety of sectors (from property and finance to FMCG), specialising in content marketing and helping brands find their tone of voice.
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