Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Social listening is crucial to your marketing strategy

Social listening is emerging as one of the most decision relevant tools of modern marketing. Listening is as important as managing and monitoring a brand. It allows you to listen to what your customers are saying and then jumping in at the right time to add insight, advice, answer questions and provide better customer support.

As brands go social, they develop a real personality. Your customers create that personality by sharing what they thing about you. Listening gives you a chance to hear what they are saying - what do they like and dislike, value or miss, what would they like changed about you and your competition. It helps you see what makes you stand out from competition. Its more insightful than what you will ever hope to hear in a FGD. Ever.

It also gives you a chance to understand the type of people discussing you. They might not be the people who you target. Listening to their point of view will give you a fresh perspective.

Customers who talk about you are not always the girls who are in love with you but is most likely to be your wife - someone who knows you intimately, morning bad breath and all. She is likely to voice your flaws, just as your wife would to her circle of friends, if you consistently forgot to put the bathroom seat down or forgot to get her a present on her birthday. But that's a bloody good thing!

From an unattended customer complaint to a faulty motor part, there can be a hundred reasons for our consumers to go online and let others know their grievances. Social media listening offers you the chance for timely intervention. You can immediately respond by saying sorry and offering a solution. Customers are forgiving. By this act, not only will you manage to nip all further negative conversations but will also hopefully convert a disgruntled customer to a happy one. A damage control response will show your brand as a transparent personality - a trait you cannot afford to miss in this socially connected world.

To quote Jasmine Jaume, social media is like a giant focus group. Except that participants are not being prompted with questions - they are expressing their own opinions, in their own environment and often. By not including social media listening as a part of your marketing toolkit, you are perhaps giving up a great chance to collect information crucial to your business decisions.


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