Over the past decade social media has increasingly consumed our lives as we have hit a point where we cannot eat our favorite foods, spend a night at a hotel or even consume a television show without being bombarded by social media queues.
Like us, follow us, join the conversation and so many other flares are sent screaming across our viewing plane that we have literally embedded the social media lexicon into our everyday vernacular.
I mean, we have songs and memes making an absolute mockery out of the hashtag, and let’s face it, our children under the age of about 15 don’t even know what a kobo sign is. It’s just “The Hashtag.” At first this was for the users. The socialites and early adopters, but later it became more; it became a tool for the next frontier of social media connoisseurs known as “Brand Marketers.”
While the Hashtag may serve as the favorite phrase and now most recognizable queue for social media search and listening, the viability of social listening has continued to gain momentum, as marketers are more and more eager to find out what their prospects, customers and competitors are saying.
Essentially, these four ways of social listening has become an integral part of the entire customer lifecycle.
With social listening it is easier than ever for a brand to gather insights that can help them understand a market for a new product or service. For instance, an app builder may be considering a new productivity tool. They can listen to user-generated content across dozens of networks to seek out what buyers of similar products are seeking in a new application.
Never before has competitive intelligence been so widely available for businesses. Much like the market overview, social listening can provide clear insights into who your competitors are and what they are doing. Imagine knowing before you launch a new service exactly what the market is willing to pay for your service or what else they are looking for that your competitors aren’t offering. With social listening it is like 24x7x365 competitive intelligence gathering all by the marketplace of customers you wish to serve.
Have you ever wished you could quickly gather insights as to whether or not your customers are happy? Social listening provides a forum for customers to share their experiences and sentiment for a product or service. Many brands create communities online so their customer can talk and share their ideas, but the real magic for a brand is filtering that content to better understand how happy their customers are.
When a potential client is considering a complex purchase a few of the things they immediately turn to are content and social media. This is where influence can play a big role, but social listening also has a big impact here. Consider how a potential B2B buyer goes into a group on LinkedIn to discuss the pros and cons of a new software package. If you are engaged in social listening you may have the chance to pull that interested buyers conversation and turn it into a dialogue with a sales engineer. You now have a buyer moving through the cycle that you have now connected to your brand.
Source: Daniel Newman, www.forbes.com
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