What is Social Media listening?
Also, known as social media monitoring, this term refers to the practice of identifying all that is being said about a company, brand or its products on various social media platforms on the Internet. It is now being touted as one of the strongest techniques for acquiring customer intelligence. Many e-commerce businesses use a lot of social media to reach out to its customers. People talk on various forums about general or specific perceptions and experiences about the portal’s brand and services. Social media monitoring can help to gather and interpret this information to help the company make informed decisions.
According to a published report from Exact Target’s 2014 State of Marketing Report, 60% enterprises used social media monitoring techniques the previous year.
How is it done?
The same way as search engines do! The social media monitoring tools are intelligent algorithms that send sniffers crawling through the digital world and mark the sites where they find relevant information. These marked sites can then be searched for keywords or phrases. In fact since the data is quite unstructured and noisy over the internet, these searches can fetch out the relevant data, store the results in a database and then use proven data mining techniques to seek out meaningful information!
What makes it tick?
The information from the digital media channels can help an e-commerce company understand what the people in general feel about the brand. This information can help you in many ways:
- If you know what your potential customers are saying, you can generate sales leads from those with a positive perception. By reaching out to these leads, you can achieve higher conversion rates.
- Hearing what your existing customers have to say, can help you deepen your relationship with them, by giving them the services what they expect/desire. In fact, you can engage with them in direct conversation to address their concerns over the social media channels.
- You can work on the negative feedback, take timely remedial actions and do effective damage control.
- You can build your brand and company’s image better.
- You can get insight to business intelligence and opportunities for expanding your business.
- Plan targeted social media marketing campaigns in future as per the expectations of the customers.
- Monitor the already launched campaigns and assess the performance and success of each.
- By getting an insight into the actual effects of marketing amongst the recipients, you can streamline future investments, get rid of the non-effective ones and boost-up the engaging ones.
- Tools and advanced analytics can work on the available information and calculate ROI for you.
- Help you design and create better products in the future.
- It can help you identify key influencers in your market. By effectively engaging with these influencers, you can become an expert advocate on the social media network, which in turn helps to boost your brand’s image.
- The above can help you build a base of brand ambassadors as well.
- It can also help you snoop out any defaulters within your company who may be willingly/unwillingly divulging out sensitive/incorrect information about your brand.
- You can also identify the future content of any blogs or social media posts from you or FAQ’s that can add value to your website.
- It is an excellent way of crowdsourcing for your business if the need may arise.
In fact a smart offset of social media listening is that you can listen to your competitor’s customers too! This will give you deep understanding of their strategies and how they are being received by the public. This understanding of their failures and successes will help you assess your market position and help you launch new services and products.
How to do it?
There are a number of social media tools, both free and paid, that are available to help you. Depending upon your specific needs, these can easily be integrated into your business and start to pour out lots of useful data. A taskforce team shall be needed to be set in place to monitor the implementation, drive the monitoring activity, collate the information received and interpret it either directly or by involving experts, and then passing this information to the relevant stakeholders across the company.
With social media having gone viral, social media listening is a powerful tool to give your real-time data and useful information about your company. The information is direct feedback from the grass-root levels, which if organized and interpreted well, can help your e-commerce business. You can connect with leads and strengthen ties with customers using the same social media channels. Hence you can control what is being said about you on the social platforms by taking quick remedial actions that can help to change the perceptions about you. Moreover, you can build better products based on the market expectations and successfully grow your business.