If we go and check Google Trends, we can see that the term “social listening” has been on a steady rise since the mid-2000s. But what is social listening, and how do you get started?
Social listening is the process of monitoring, analyzing, and responding to conversations that are occurring online. This includes tracking keywords, hashtags, and topics related to a brand or industry on social media platforms.
The benefits of social listening include better customer service, identifying emerging trends and influencers, understanding consumer sentiment, competitor research, and more. This helps businesses gain valuable insights into their customers and the market as a whole. Eventually, this will enable businesses to improve their services, products, and overall customer experience.
How To Get Started With Social Listening?
The answer to this question depends on how much time and money you are willing to invest. If you have some budget, investing in a social listening solution can be a great way to get started. Social listening platforms can help companies monitor and analyze conversations across social media channels in real time, giving them insight into the topics their customers are talking about, what people think of their products or services, and any potential issues that need to be addressed.
Several social listening service providers, including social listening agencies, can provide you with social listening tools and insights to help you get started. They can also help you refine your social listening strategy, so you get the most out of your social listening efforts.
To simplify the process of getting started with social listening, we have discussed nine easy steps that you can take to ensure success. These can help you set up a social listening strategy, understand the data you are collecting, and use it to inform your decisions. So, here are the nine steps to get started with social listening.
1. Select the best social listening tool
Undoubtedly, the first and most important step is to select a social listening tool that fits your needs and budget. Some social listening solutions are more suitable for large companies, while smaller businesses can use others. Make sure to compare different social listening platforms before you make a decision.
That being said, some of the essential features that social listening software should provide are:
- Ability to track social media conversations in real-time
- Monitor conversations across social networks and websites
- Provide advanced analytics and insights
- Allow you to respond to conversations quickly
So, no matter which social listening agency or social listening tool you choose, ensure that it has all these features.
2. Define social listening objectives
Once you have chosen the social listening software, the next step is to define your social listening objectives. What do you want to achieve with social listening? Do you want to monitor customer sentiment? Or do you want to track conversations related to your brand or industry? You need to be clear about the social listening objectives before you start.
So take the time to develop social listening objectives aligned with your overall business goals. This will ensure that you get the most out of social listening and use it to its fullest potential.
3. Incorporate strategic tactics into your plans to ensure success
The next step is to come up with social listening tactics that will help you achieve your social listening objectives. These can include tracking keywords, hashtags, and topics related to your brand or industry, monitoring real-time customer conversations, and quickly responding to social media inquiries.
For example, if you want to monitor customer sentiment, you can track social media mentions of your brand and products. This will help you gauge how people feel about your brand and allow you to improve the customer experience.
4. Choose your data sources
Once you have outlined your social listening objectives and tactics, the next step is to decide where you will collect data from. The right data sources can help you get the most out of social listening.
The different data sources include social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as websites and blogs. You can also track conversations on online forums and Q&A sites. Having access to a variety of data sources will ensure that you get the most comprehensive insights.
5. Craft the narrative of your content by refining topics and themes
Now that you have chosen the data sources, it is time to create topics and themes. This step involves creating a list of keywords, phrases, and topics you want to track. For example, if you want to track conversations related to customer service, then your list might include keywords like “customer service,” “help desk,” and “satisfaction survey.”
These topics and themes will help you create a narrative for your content. Having a clear idea of the topics and themes you want to track will make it easier for you to create meaningful content.
6. Optimize your topics and themes
To ensure you get the most out of social listening, you need to optimize your topics and themes. This involves refining your list of topics and themes to make sure that you are only tracking conversations that are relevant to your business.
For example, if you are tracking customer service conversations, you should refine your list of topics and themes only to include conversations related to customer feedback and dissatisfaction. This will help you focus on the conversations that are most important to your business.
7. Harness the power of data to optimize your strategies and maximize success
After refining the topics, you can start collecting data to inform your strategies. This includes analyzing each keyword to better understand what the messages mean.
Suppose you are running a restaurant, and there is a lot of mention of the “winter menu” in conversations on your and your competitors’ pages. By analyzing the keyword “winter menu,” you might be able to uncover insights into customer preferences and tailor your menu accordingly.
You can also use the insights gained from the data to optimize your strategies and maximize success. For instance, you can create social media posts, ads, or blogs discussing winter food trends and offering special menu items.
8. Measure results relative to goals
This involves tracking key metrics like sentiment score, reach, engagement rate, and so on. This will help you understand how well your social media campaigns and strategies have performed in relation to your goals.
For this, you will need social listening software with strong data analytics capabilities to measure the results. The tool will help you track key metrics over time to monitor progress and uncover insights into customer sentiment.
9. Cut, continue, and expand
By following the steps mentioned above, you will clearly understand what’s working and what’s not. This will help you decide whether to cut, continue, or expand your efforts on different social media channels.
If a certain strategy isn’t working, you can cut down on the resources allocated to it and shift them towards another strategy. On the other hand, if a certain tactic is driving good results, you can continue to invest in it and expand your efforts.
Social listening is an important tool for businesses looking to gain insights into customer conversations and trends. By following the steps outlined in this white paper, you can create effective strategies and maximize success. With the right approach, you can make the most of social listening and drive results for your business.
If you would like to learn more about how Konnect Insights can help you get started with social listening, contact us today. We have developed robust social listening tools in India and for businesses spread across the world. Our team of experts will be happy to discuss your needs and offer tailored solutions to help take your business to the next level.
Good luck on your social listening journey! Together, we can make a difference.
Urmi Doshi is an expert in crafting content marketing strategies for SAAS tools and also an experienced digital marketer. She has been passionately working in this field for more than five years and has scaled various tools using her analytic skills. Currently, she is working as an assistant marketing manager with Konnect Insights, which is an omnichannel customer experience management and social listening tool.