Using Social Media Monitoring to Improve Your Marketing in 2020

Social listening is the practice of monitoring social media channels for any mention of a brand, specific keywords, feedback, complaints, compliments, and much more. As with most things in marketing, the key to success with social listening is to receive the notification and then respond as quickly as possible. 

Social listening is one of the best strategies that companies have for interacting with customers in real time. However, it doesn’t quite go far enough.

The Limits of Social Listening

The biggest problem with social listening is that brands only receive notification of a small percentage of mentions because customers must use the @ symbol to notify brand representatives in the first place. They could also misspell the name of the brand or not realize that it has an account on the social media platform.

Fortunately, a good social listening program can overcome these issues by offering products, campaigns, CEO, keywords, and anything else that marketers decide is important enough to monitor. This is all in addition to monitoring mentions of the brand by name. Brands should also look for social listening apps that can scan additional social media sites besides the one the brand representative is currently using for mentions and other possible openings to interact with customers.

Types of Information Available with Social Media Monitoring

The types of data that marketers can learn from social listening, also known as social media monitoring, is long and extensive. Here are some of the most common types of data that marketers can pull and use for their benefit:

  • Content creation: Monitoring social media sites can help brands to understand the types of content their customers want to interact with, read, and listen to. By understanding customer preferences, brands know how to keep content short, to the point, and something that receives significant follow-up action.
  • Frequently asked questions: Companies don’t just automatically know customer questions, much less the most common ones. Social listening allows them to view common questions and create answers for them on the company website as well as interact with the person who asked the question directly.
  • List of mentions: Collecting a list of mentions about a brand, its products, keywords, or something else makes it possible for companies to understand what their customers want and need. For example, frequent mention of a benefit, product, or service that the company doesn’t offer alerts the marketing team that people want the feature and the business should start offering it to them.
  • Reviews: If not for social listening, companies would not know about a large percentage of reviews at other online locations other than the business website. Finding the most positive reviews and using them in marketing materials just makes sense.
  • Time of mentions: Knowing what time of day or night customers are searching for something gives brands an advantage when it comes to providing it. If most mentions come in at the same time of day, it’s a safe bet to plan future advertising campaigns for the same general timeframe.
  • Trending topics: It isn’t always easy to know which topics to cover when producing online content. Seeing what people prefer to read and listen to allows brands to create targeted and useful content in the future.
  • User-generated content: Most people would love the opportunity to see brands use a picture they took and provided in future marketing efforts. It goes over better than a stock photo with other customers while helping people feel more engaged with the brand at the same time.

Benefits of Using Data from Social Listening

Unfortunately, people are about five times as likely to share a negative experience with a brand than a positive one. Whether it’s a poor review, online comments that express displeasure, or another form of negative opinion, it can spread quickly if a company chooses to ignore it. Social listening enables brands to learn what people are saying faster so they can respond faster before the situation gets out of control. Companies that acknowledge negative feedback and do whatever possible to right the situation get much further than those that choose to ignore it. Other specific benefits of social listening include:

  • Customers spend up to 40 percent more when brands respond to their messages on social media, according to a recent survey conducted by Bain & Co.
  • Another study conducted by Brand Watch indicates that the ability to handle an issue via social media rather than calling a company can reduce the cost per contact by up to 83 percent.
  • Three of four companies don’t take advantage of social listening and only slightly more than one third that have it use it. That means brands that choose to activate social listening every day can realize a significant competitive advantage.
  • More than two-thirds of customer service employees state a preference for helping customers via social listening rather than by phone alone.

Organizations Must Really Know Their Customers

Before brands can experience any success with social listening, they must understand how to know their customers beyond their basic demographics. This ensures that brands can deliver what a customer wants at the exact time he or she is searching for it. While achieving this isn’t always easy, companies can take advantage of several tools that help them understand customer motivations and desires.

Tracking customers across their entire buying journey is essential for long-term success. That means being there when a person first shows interest in purchasing a product or service all the way until the purchase takes place, regardless of how long it takes. By using the right tools for web tracking behavior, companies can offer coupons, discounts, and new offers in real time to increase the likelihood of closing a sale.

New integrations of robust analytics and marketing automation tools provide exceptional insight to brands looking to know their customers better. Integrating this software with in-house software creates an immediate analysis of customer actions as well as complex segmentation. This further enables brands to create meaningful content such as ads and email that remain consistent and speak to the customer on a personal level.

Adam Torkildson