What is the one thing that every business has in common? The answer is data. They are all tracking, recording and analyzing data in one way or another.
Now, what is the one thing that every successful business has in common? They have learned how to take the same old data and make it stronger.
Their not-so secret weapon is social listening. This term is not new, but it has become increasingly more advanced with improvements in technology.
In this day and age, consumers want brand authenticity and transparency, which requires businesses to do more than just analyze data; they must listen closely, respond quickly, and adjust their strategy based on these conversations. Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the social media metrics that define your success.
What is social listening and how is it different from monitoring social media metrics?
Simply put, social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves tracking online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action.
With access to billions of online conversations, social listening has made it easier to gain accurate insights based on our data and improve business strategies. The benefits include social media crises prevention, reputation management, enhanced communication, client relationship building, in-depth social media metrics analysis, honest feedback, and real-time monitoring capabilities.
How to implement social listening into social media monitoring?
First, you have to know who you are doing it for.
Social listening tools such as mentions and keyword tracking will help you in every layer of your marketing campaign. Begin by using these tools to conduct audience research. With the most basic research, you can find out simple demographic data such as age, location, gender, occupation, and languages. Social listening tools allow you to dive even deeper and discover the consumers’ likes and dislikes, motivations, how and where they interact with content, and which influencers they trust, a term referred to as influencer analysis.
To fully understand your target audience’s interests, you must research the opinion leaders they find popular. Search for highly followed accounts within your audience. Use your social listening tools to spot them with keywords, track conversations, and put together a list of top social media influencers. Finally, take the opportunity to reach out and collaborate with these influencers to gain brand awareness.
Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation.
Set up listeners on your:
- Brand name
- Industry terms
- Branded hashtags
This is where social media metrics meet social listening.
Your Every Day Social Media Metrics Explained Through the Lens of Social Listening
Engagement is exactly what it sounds like; the measurement of how engaged your audience is with your content. This umbrella term encompasses interactions such as likes, shares, comments, follows, and direct messages.
In an effort to gain insights, many brands conduct surveys, polls, and Q&A’s. Although these types of tactics are valuable, keep in mind that they could result in response bias; due to the format of the questions, people may not always respond in a natural way.
For a more trustworthy way of understanding your engagement numbers, use a social listening tool that monitors mentions and what people are saying about your brand in real-time. If you see a spike in engagement during a campaign, you can dig deeper to understand why.
2) Response Rate & Time:
Remember, engagement goes both ways. While you’re monitoring this metric, make sure you’re interacting with your audience, a term known as consumer engagement.
You can gain trust, build relationships, and manage your reputation by simply monitoring the conversation around your brand. For example, if someone writes a negative review, you need tools that catch this so you can put out the fire before it starts. Most consumers go to a brand’s social media page for support, so you need to be prepared to respond quickly.
How do you know your social media managers are doing their jobs?
You can use tools in your tracking software to monitor how quickly your employees are responding to customers. One example is the Team Report function in Sprout Social.
According to Sprout Social, “ 45% of consumers will post about a positive interaction if a brand responds well to their complaints on social media. And 37% will share their story with their friends online.”
3) Brand Awareness & Reach:
Discovering the degree to which consumers are able to recognize a brand has always been one of the hardest things to measure, but social listening makes it easier with these tools:
- Search volume data tells you the number of times a specific search query has been entered into a search engine. You can use Google Adwords, Keyword Planner and Google Trends to track the volume of searches for your brand’s name over time.
- Monitor your brand mentions with tools such as Brandwatch, BrandMentions or Sprout Social. These tools give you the ability to listen and track organic conversations about your brand across both social and the web.
- Share of Voice tells you how much of the online domain your brand is taking part in compared to competitors and helps determine customer satisfaction. Tracking SOV will likely be an ongoing task since you’ll always want to gauge how consumers perceive your brand. Within this category are two social listening performance metrics that further assess awareness.
- Volume– The number of mentions about your brand. A high volume of mentions can indicate brand popularity.
- Sentiment– Along with tracking volume of mentions, you must also determine whether the tone of voice was positive or negative. Sentiment tells you how people feel about your brand by analyzing the emotion behind the text.
Social listening tools use natural language processing (NLP) to identify whether a social post is negative, positive, or neutral. Discover how people are talking about your brand compared to your competitors.
4) ROI- Conversions and Referrals:
These metrics may be more relevant to business owners with websites or eCommerce platforms.
Conversions refer to when a purchase is made and referrals refer to how a user landed on your site.
- Lead tracking is a social listening tool that looks for potential leads based on specific keywords or conversations. Finding them early gives you the opportunity to engage and possibly turn that lead into a conversion.
Social media monitoring relies on your ability to listen; Without social listening tools, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Your data will be as flat as the numbers on your screen. One general goal of every brand should be to create an environment that embodies transparency and fosters consumer trust. The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.
You can create a brand your consumers will loyally support by combining your social media metrics with your social listening tools. Use this information to better understand your audience, engage with them directly, keep up-to-date with the latest trends in order to improve, monitor your competition, and respond quickly and efficiently to any negative feedback.
“Real insights come from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. You will only ever get that by truly engaging with customers and listening to their stories,” Graham Kenny of the Harvard Business Review.
- Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the metrics that define your success.
- Social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves monitoring online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action.
- Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation.
- Understand social media metrics through the lens of social listening to capitalize on data you are already collecting.
- The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.
Want to ensure you are taking competitive advantage of your social media metrics? Contact the DCG team for a free consultation and social media assessment.