Often, when we are trying to decide which product or service to buy from the choice available, we seek recommendations – and where better to find them than the large, buoyant communities of social media? As a business, you should watch out for those requests, too.
According to a recent study cited by Forbes, brands actively engaging with “can anyone recommend” Tweets were met positively over 60% of the time. Why else should you hone your social listening?
Social listening: a surprisingly underused marketing tactic
Despite the demonstrable success of social listening, surprisingly few brands practice it. Only about 40% of brands appear to do so on Twitter, even when Tweets directly mention them. However, it has been found to spur better responses than email marketing and cold calling.
Crucial to the effectiveness of social listening is that, rather than intrusively pushing products onto potential customers, it entails you providing them with genuinely useful answers to their dilemmas.
Customers heavily use social media for research
When considering buying a new laptop, a customer might research various options as well as ask other people for their opinions and insights. All of this is especially easy on social media – so, if you engage customers here, you can catch them at an early stage of the purchasing process.
Indeed, 75% of customers use social media for that process even before a particular brand directly engages them. Still, how exactly do you find contacts especially worth engaging with?
Many different tools can be used for social listening
As Social Media Today notes, social media now has roughly 2.62 billion daily users, while every minute sees nearly 4 million posts – including the likes of images, selfies and more – added to the leading social networking portals. At least some of these posts could be mentioning your firm.
However, in mentioning it, they might not tag your corporate account or even correctly spell your brand’s name, potentially leaving you in the dark in many instances. Hence, through using social listening tools, you can remove much headache from tracking mentions of your company.
Those tools include Awario, which Business 2 Community recommends for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Meanwhile, agencies might want to try Brandwatch, which offers powerful statistics for its admittedly hefty price. Google Alerts, meanwhile, can help you to initially sample social listening.
You can build healthy long-term relationships
As your social listening uncovers opportunities for social selling, you should keep in mind the off-putting effect of, well, coming across as an advertiser. Whereas 90% of consumers trust recommendations from peers, only 33% are similarly receptive to ads.
Therefore, you need to develop trust with a contact before you can expect them to make a purchase, which might not always be from you. You can help yourself to foster that trust by producing content which is truly informative and builds your reputation as an authority.
At Tunafish Media, we are experienced in producing such content for social media marketing, as we can clarify further over the phone on 0161 237 9680.