What is Social Listening?

For anyone who has ever wondered, ‘how can I hear the consumer’s side of the conversation, in real time?’, Social Listening is the answer. Explore what Social Listening means and how to leverage it to your advantage.

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Have you ever been part of a conversation where the other person wasn’t listening? It isn’t enjoyable. Most companies have a process for posting to social media and responding to mentions or questions. They have experts watching the feeds and pumping out planned messaging. But these brands are not listening in the way consumers expect to be heard. Consumer expectations have evolved beyond liking or sharing a snarky comeback. Consumers want companies to listen to them.

What would it look like if a company listened, not only to customer comments, brand mentions in the press and likes on social media channels, but to their remarks about brand experiences that do not even mention the brand specifically? What if a company could listen to new ideas, needs, and experiences from consumers without the hassle of surveys or focus groups, gathering insights about its products without even having to ask? What if a company listened to influencers’ discussions about competitors and heard ways to make their products more robust and meet emerging marketplace and new product development demands from their target audience?

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Understanding Social Listening

Social Listening is today’s answer to the time-old question, ‘how can I hear the customer’s side of the conversation?’ It is a process to aid companies in going beyond essential brand monitoring, reputation managements and consumer engagement. Social Listening tools analyze deep pools of data sources that provide context to customer communications, insights into brand influencers, campaign performance, and ways to tackle potential crises – before they happen. Wouldn’t this type of real-time data be welcome to companies when making strategic brand decisions for their overall online and social media presence, when planning marketing campaigns or creating a social media strategy?

Social Listening Tools

A familiar social listening tool like Social Monitoring provides valuable information to companies about products, social media mentions, popularity count, how many comments a post generates, and even fun viral exchanges across social media platforms. But where does the robust Social Listening dataset originate?

Social Listening harvests deep consumer data and metrics from online resources such as blogs, social networks, review sites, hashtags, newsletters, and similar publicly available data. Social Listening draws information from where customers and influencers spend time, bringing back potentially hundreds of thousands, if not millions of data points. Then it harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to analyze this massive amount of real-time data.

The AI analysis workflow results in strengthened brand opportunities, unearthing changes in brand sentiment analysis, focus on pain points or victories, and competitor awareness. It helps users keep from being distracted by overwhelming online “noise” and petty social media battles that bog down Social Monitoring efforts. It also provides insights into market needs while creating ideas for ongoing content and campaigns. Hearing this part of the social conversation can help brands identify industry trends, understand demographics and proactively build responsive strategies while also informing approaches to competitors, and help future potential.

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Use Social Listening for Brand Health

Brand marketers around the globe are already using this business intelligence. Advances in AI, improvements in network performance, and vast amounts of consumer data make it possible today to identify potential partners in brand ambassadors and influencers – and become better listeners with these monitoring tools. Through Social Listening tools, companies can enhance engagement and customer care by doing more than chasing the arc of the next big trend. They can dig into the context of online conversations, stay abreast of dips and rises in brand name sentiment, be active in their business and marketing decisions, tapping into unseen markets and opportunities to improve various parts of their marketing strategy, such as brand awareness. They can benchmark, understand and anticipate the needs of their potential customers, working to deliver exceptional customer experiences that make the difference in developing brand loyalty.

Find out how Takumi can work with your company or with you as an influencer to find the right social media marketing options for you. Contact us today for more info.

If you would like to guest contribute to our blog, simply drop the team an email and we’ll get back to you hello@takumi.com.