Social Listening: What It Is and Why It Matters
Social Listening: What It Is and Why It Matters

Social Listening: What It Is and Why It Matters


Sheri Cosgrove

Mar 22 2024

If there’s one thing you need to do to improve your brand’s content strategy, it’s getting to know your customers. Fortunately, social listening can help you do just that.

Close to 61% of businesses rely on social listening to help them stay ahead of the competition, which means your business could miss out on essential customer conversations and industry trends if you don’t. From responding to negative feedback with helpful resolutions to improving your products based on customer feedback, social listening can help you make the most of conversations involving your brand.

How Social Listening Can Improve Content Strategy

Social listening in marketing is defined as monitoring a brand’s social media channels for feedback from customers. This monitoring effort should also take into consideration discussions involving your brand and specific keywords, competitors, direct mentions, and more.

Customer conversations are easy to stumble upon on social media; they might even be on your main profile pages. When you see that you’ve been tagged in a post or notice a trending hashtag related to your business or products, it’s time to take a closer look and listen to what consumers are saying. Customer conversations can help brands better understand:

-Which of your marketing messages has stood out most to consumers
-Pain points that customers are dealing with that your product does or does not address
-Trends or topics of interest to your customers
-Key ways you can improve to stand out from the competition

With these insights, you get the opportunity to create a more effective social media marketing strategy and hone in on what matters most to your target audience.

Social Listening Can Improve Your Brand Strategy

When consumers feel connected to your brand, they’re more likely to spend money with you. In fact, they’re more likely to spend more money with you, to the tune of a 57% increase

Brand strategy is the framework that guides the way your business works, and includes everything from your logo to your brand’s personality and values. Social listening tells you whether or not that strategy positively resonates with your target audience.

Imagine this: A group of people are discussing your business and a competing brand. They’re not as familiar with your brand because it doesn’t seem to stand out. That insight could help you adjust product messaging in future campaigns so that it sticks with your intended audience.

Harnessing Social Listening for Market Research

Social listening isn’t just checking what your audience has to say. It’s also effective as a form of market research. By regularly analyzing data about what your audience is saying, you gain better insights that can inform data-driven decisions. Social listening can help businesses drill down to why customers behave the way they do by revealing what drives their purchase decisions.

Specifically, social listening as a form of market research helps you answer several questions, including:

1. Is there a need or desire for your product or service?
2. Is there a large enough audience (market) for your service or product? 
3. What is the income range of those who may want your services or products?
4. Where are your products or services most needed, and where do audience members interested in them live?
5. How much would someone pay for what you have to offer?

By answering these questions, you’ll have the data you need to start making decisions regarding your brand’s products, services, and goals. 

Social Listening: Creating Opportunities for Growth

One final benefit of social listening is the potential to gain more opportunities while connecting with your customers. The core goal of most brands is to build a strong audience that engages with your content and brand. You want returning customers who are happy to recommend your products to others. 

Brand loyalty helps create growth opportunities. Once you have a strong base of customers, it’s simpler to pitch new ideas, such as partnerships with influencers or other brands, thanks to your presence online. 

And don’t forget, social listening also helps you stem any discontent. If customers are unhappy or leave negative feedback, you have an opportunity to take care of their concerns and adjust your brand’s messaging, sales strategy, or other business elements to improve your standing with your target audience.

To elevate your content strategy, it’s crucial to understand your customers, and social listening is the key. Over half the businesses out there leverage this to outpace competitors, gathering critical insights about customer needs and market trends. Neglecting it could mean missing out on valuable feedback. By adopting a robust social listening strategy, you gain direct access to customer preferences, enabling you to refine your branding and make informed decisions based on solid data.

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