Most businesses have a pretty good understanding of how to strategically use traditional marketing. However, there’s a new sheriff in town: social media. There is no doubt that social media has become a vital component of integrated marketing. In fact, social media has become so popular over the years that businesses are now establishing marketing campaigns that social media based. However, some businesses struggle to successfully reach their goals because they are not quite aware of how the research aspect of social media. It’s very simple actually; you just need to LISTEN. Here are five ways to listen to social media to increase social media marketing success:
- “Listen to conversations about your brand or company” – The great thing about social media is that people are willing to express how they feel about your brand in just 140 characters. It is important to know how people currently feel about your brand. Do you have a strong social media presence? Are people fully aware about your brand? Are the conversations about your brand positive or negative? Is there opportunity in the remarks? Listening to what people have to say gives you a better understanding of where your social media presence is currently and where you can take it.
- “Listen to what people say about the competitors” – While paying attention to your own brand or company is important for effective social media marketing plans, it is just as important to listen to what people are saying about your competitors. Do your competitors have a strong social media presence? Are their mostly positive or negative conversations about your competitors? Has your competitor’s social media presence brought them more consumers? How are your competitors using social media to bring profit? Is there opportunity to steal your competitors customers? Evaluating your competitors social media marketing strategies helps to give your brand or company insight on how to conduct your social media marketing plan. You can stay one step ahead of your competitors by paying attention to them.
- “Listening to what people say about the industry or category” – It is important to stay up to date about what the public is saying about your industry. Does your industry spark positive or negative conversation? Are there any opportunities from the conversations about your industry? Is there anything being done in your industry that has not been done before that is creating massive buzz? Understanding how people feel about your industry also helps your brand or company know the level of importance your industry is to people.
- “Listening for the tone of the community” – When referring to traditional marketing, businesses typically have a distinct form of one-way communication. However, social media creates a level of two-way communication that has never been done before. When using social media, it is important to understand HOW your target audience communicate on social media? Jargon, acronyms or slang is common on social media sites so it is important to take that into consideration when establishing a social media plan. Social media sites are not as formal. As a business, you want to fit in with your consumers. You want them to feel comfortable communicating with you so that you meet both their needs and yours.
- “Listening to different social media channels” – Understand that not all social media sites are the same. Therefore, social media sites have different audiences. The way your target audience communicate on Twitter and Facebook may be completely different from the way your target audience communicate on LinkedIn or YouTube. Though you want a centralized message, the way your brand or company communicates their message on social media sites will be different. Remember, consumers communicate their feelings about your brand or your industry freely. Take advantage of that free research by just LISTENING!
– Ashli Harris