It is safe to say that data-driven marketing can yield better results. Social listening is one of the feasible and untapped sources for market and consumer research.

What is Social Listening?


Social listening not to be confused with social monitoring is the tracking of social conversations. Many agencies conduct social monitoring, which is just a small part of social listening where they monitor conversations about their brand and use it to conduct their customer care.

These conversations usually contain a rant or praise after usage of a brand or service.

But social listening entails much more than that, it is a viable tool for gathering business intelligence that can help with increasing revenue opportunities, driving marketing efforts, generating leads, and raising brand awareness. Social listening can go well beyond monitoring owned channels to gather insights, reasonably so, since many mentions of brands are made away from brand pages.

The fundamentals of sales and conversions have not changed much over the years, even with the advent of a digital and technological explosion. The buying/conversion processes and buyer motivators are pretty much the same. Many marketers get caught up with shiny and new stuff and forget the simple principles. The more you know about your audience or customer, their behaviours and affinities, the better you will be able to reach and resonate with them.

It has never been easier to monitor and track your patrons as it is now. Most of the managers do not even realize the gold mine they can explore by tapping into online conversations and strategizing these valuable insights to improve their bottom lines.

Here are some of the intelligence you can delve into through social listening:

  • Brand or product sentiment that can help you determine how your brand or product is perceived by existing or potential patrons, the good, the bad and the in-betweens. 
  • Segments or tribes of persons that share similar attributes, interests, behaviours or demographics.
  • Market share or how much business does your brand makes up within an entire category which includes other brands who offer similar products or services.
  • All of your competitors’ old established ones and new and upcoming ones.

Finding the data is just one step but the real test is knowing how to mine it to find out the relevant and useful insights that can be used strategically to help you achieve your goals and your bottom line.

What can this intelligence be used for?

  • Identifying opportunities or gaps that are not being exploited.
    • Unsatisfied customers of competing brands that can become good prospects for your products or services
    • Persons seeking help to problems that your brand provide solutions for.
  • Building customer personas that can be used as benchmarks for customers that are most likely to convert.
  • Identifying influencers who your brand may be able to leverage to increase conversions.
  • Understanding how customers buy, a logical cycle that they take to convert or buy something (the good ole’ sales funnel). Understanding this cycle helps you to determine who needs inspiring, who needs convincing so you can maximize conversions/sales.

Final Thoughts

The secret to influencing a potential customer/follower is knowing what motivates them and social listening can help us do just that. Just think about how many reviews you’ve read or how many times you’ve turned to your online peers to learn, praise or complain about a product or service. The data is available, we have to use the right tools to access it and put it to good use, to thrive through an era where there is so much clutter.

Thank you for reading.  I’d love to hear your comments below.

For more content from distinctli by: Karlene Antoine follow me on Twitter @distinctli and like my Facebook page Distinctli.

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