Listening is incredibly important in social media, no matter the platform. You want to find out what your consumers are talking about, what they want to hear, and who you should direct your marketing to. Listening leads to relationship building and whether you are building your personal brand or company brand, relationships are key.
So, how can I actively listen? You can use tools, such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite to monitor who is talking about what, in terms to your brand. You can track hashtags through TweetDeck or a multitude of social listening tools, and join in the conversation. Ask questions, participate, and bring recognition to the brand! The more that you build that relationship, the more they will remember you.
How do I turn brand haters into evangelists? I recently discussed this topic in a Twitter chat. What do they hate about the brand? What are their complaints? Acknowledge them. Use LAST – Listen, acknowledge, solve, and thank. Do not ignore the comments, instead use psychology to determine what it is that they want out of it and what would get them to turn around their thinking. Sometimes actively responding and solving will allow them to respect the brand and change their mind.
Getting the consumers involved helps with relationship building, as well as building their trust. This, in term, helps with word of mouth. Using contests on social media is a great way to get user-generated content. Whether it’s for a free t-shirt or sticker, or just a pat on the back, people love to be involved. In the restaurant industry, I worked as a marketing manager for a large chain. We encouraged guests to take photos inside the restaurant and post them to the Facebook page. We then randomly selected one to receive a dinner and a movie pass for two, plus a signed hockey jersey. All who participated received a free dessert with purchase of an entree. The outcome? Over the course of the contest, our traffic increased, on social media as well as in store. Social media also increased in likes and followers, as well as engagement.
Overall, listening in social media is very important. Not only does it help build the brand, but it helps build the individual, relationship, and trust. It allows others to know that you are real and not a robot. Lastly, it will allow you to help distinguish yourself and stand out among your competitors.
What social media tools do you use to listen to your audience?
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