Your customers don’t just go to social media platforms to watch BuzzFeed recipe videos and scroll through cute photos of Becky’s trip to Costa Rica, they also go there to voice their opinions, often about experiences they’ve had with businesses. That’s why it’s essential for business owners to listen to what their customers and prospects are saying about their brand on social, capture data, and analyze it to learn where they can improve their services.
Read also: Getting started with social listening
A social listening strategy can benefit your business in several ways:
1. Know your brand from a customer’s point of view
You might believe that your products and services are the best on the market, and even if you’re right, what you think isn’t all that important. It’s your customers opinions that matter most, and when your customers talk to their friends on social, they don’t hold back their true opinions. Reading their conversations about your brand sheds light on the good, the bad and the ugly sides of your business from an unbiased, knowledgeable source. Listening to that expressive feedback gives you the juicy information you need to make improvements that win you more customers.
2. Provide proactive customer support
Customers don’t call or email their concerns anymore. Instead, they turn to social media to ask for support, either through direct requests to a business or indirect complaints to peers. Responding quickly to these concerns lets you nip problems in the bud and eliminate obstacles to future sales. Rather than just seeing a negative comment, prospects will see an informative conversation that might answer their own question, and they’ll know your business cares about customer happiness. With social listening, you know every time a customer mentions your brand and you can take action to turn complaints into leads, leads into customers, and customers into loyal customers.
3. Create better products
Reading what customers are saying about your product is the best way to measure its success. Where you might see a comprehensive set of sophisticated features, customers might see a confusing, overwhelming pile of complicated steps standing between them and their needs. Products should be designed for the user, after all. Listening attentively lets you identify recurring issues, discover popular features, and gather suggestions about your products so you can make them as effective as possible and enjoyable to use.
5. Publish relevant content
Customer conversations are all different, but consistent listening will reveal frequently asked questions, trending topics, areas of interest, and patterns of keywords. You can use these to inspire your content creation, whether that means writing informative blog posts, updating your website, making how-to videos, or something else — social listening can even help you determine the types of content your customers find most useful.
6. Gain an edge over your competition
You can’t turn a blind eye to what your competitors are doing, since their customers are your most likely prospects. Monitoring your competitors on social shows you where you can take a page from their book, or what parts of your business you should promote in order to win over their unsatisfied customers. Your competitors’ customers can teach you more about your own, too. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes and take proactive measures to avoid them and retain more customers.
7. Build strong customer relationships
You can’t foster customer loyalty just by putting out fires. You need to focus on the bigger picture and take little steps to get there. Customers aren’t impressed when a business responds to their support question — they expect it. To surprise and delight them, you need to respond immediately, thoughtfully, and consistently — and not just when you’re reached out to directly. Staying actively engaged in your customers’ social media conversations means not only offering support, but also liking, commenting and sharing User Generated Content (UGC) that mentions your brand. This proves to customers that you’re authentic, you care about them, and you’re there whenever they need you — it also encourages them to keep posting about your brand.
Read also: Tips for social listening success
Social media is more than a broadcasting platform. It’s a channel that connects you with their existing customers and gives you access to new ones. Your online reputation is built one customer interaction at a time, and millions are occurring every second on social media. That might sound overwhelming to manage, but there are tools out there that make it simple and easy. See for yourself! Try out BirdEye for free and start listening to your customers on social media platforms, keep an eye on your competition, and get all the insights that you need to win loyal customers.