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  • Simran Billing

Five important things you can learn from social listening

Why social listening is vital for your brand

Listening to what people are saying about your brand and industry is essential in determining an effective social strategy. Often brands can be too focused on sending out messages that they forget to listen to feedback. As a result, brands are missing out on valuable insights. The best way to understand what your audience wants is by simply listening to them.

Social listening involves monitoring conversation about your brand on social media channels. Through social listening you can identify key themes of conversation, the sentiment towards your brand, the volume of brand mentions and so much more. However, social listening is more than just monitoring; it involves analysing this information and using it to guide your strategy. There are numerous tools available to help you undertake social listening such as Meltwater, BrandWatch and Falcon.

Here, we look at five key questions you should be asking when undertaking social listening - which can all help your brand strategy.

What are the key themes in conversation?

Social listening allows you to see the bigger picture and identify trends and key themes in conversation. For example, a brand like ASOS might find ‘packaging’ a key theme in conversation. After analysing this further they may discover this is due to numerous complaints about excess packaging. Therefore, this highlights an issue for ASOS that needs attention.

What do people like and dislike about your brand?

Through social listening sentiment analysis, you can find out if people are talking about your brand negatively or positively. You could have a high number of mentions but through deeper analysis discover that the majority of mentions towards your brand are negative.

You can identify if this negativity was consistent or if there was a spike in negative conversation during a specific time period. You may find that there was a high spike in negative conversation on a specific day and this may have been in response to a post that was published on that date. Learn from this and alter your strategy. You can also learn from the spikes in positive conversation. What is it the audience loves about you? For example, Boots may find that a large proportion of their positive conversation is in relation to their loyalty program. This identifies an opportunity to build your strategy around.

How many brand mentions do you have?

Generally speaking, the higher the number of brand mentions the higher the brand awareness. When tracking brand mentions it is important to not only look at mentions directly towards your brand but also any mention of your brand in conversation with others. This can be a little difficult if you are a brand like ‘Apple’ as conversation about the fruit will also be included in your mentions, resulting in an inaccurate volume of mentions. However, social listening tools offer a Boolean search, to allow you to receive the most accurate result possible.

Is there a spike in conversation?

It is also important to look at when the audience is mentioning your brand. When is there a spike in mentions? An alcohol brand such as Kopparberg may find a higher volume of brand mentions during the weekend or maybe a significant spike in conversation on a sunny day. Therefore, this highlights an opportunity to get involved in this conversation. The brand may decide to post more content during the weekend to take advantage of this or have content specifically themed around enjoying a Kopparberg on a sunny day.

What are people saying about your competitors?

It is crucial to understand the conversation around your competitors. Compare your share of voice against competitors, this will help you identify where your brand stands in the industry. What are the most frequently discussed topics for your competitors, and can this influence your campaign? How attitudes towards competitors differ? Identify the weaknesses of your competitors and take advantage of this in your strategy.

The insights that can be gained from social listening are endless. It allows you to understand your audience better and identify opportunities. If you'd like to take your social media insights to the next level, get in touch.


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