By Mary Liebowitz

June 16th, 2014

In the early stages of social media marketing, Listening was the first push in a social media strategy. Companies used Listening to see who was talking about their brands and what they were saying.

Lately, social media trends and how-tos have focused on community management and ad spend – but we shouldn’t forget this very relevant staple in our social media toolbox.

What is listening used for?

Listening allows you to:

  • tap into conversations and hear what’s being said
  • conduct market research
  • discover influencers and unknown sites for relevant conversations
  • respond, engage, and share posts
  • answer questions or provide relevant info
  • build relationships
  • provide customer service
  • identify leads
  • reputation and brand management
  • crisis management

The key to great listening is to think outside the box when setting up listening projects. Understanding your audience will help you set up listening parameters that dive into revealing conversations.

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Listening across an organization

Another great approach to listening is to share the information gathered throughout an organization. A first task would be to share customer support opportunities with your CS team, as this line of contact is a necessary, healthy channel to have established. But by communicating your listening findings throughout your organization, you can help build out a true image of your audience and gauge where other departments can join relevant conversations. When an entire organization understands how well they’re defending their market position, they can better build the internal strategies that work together to drive business.

Listen from your audience’s perspective

When defining the parameters of your listening projects, the keywords you use should be specific to the customers’ perspective, and specific to each department and metric. Step into your customers’ shoes and understand the needs and challenges that would lead them towards a product like yours, instead of just looking at what you offer. Use language or location in your parameters to hone further in on users.

Many agencies also use Listening to keep track of influencer and celebrity mentions for their clients by filtering for high follower numbers. If your client’s are interested in keeping an eye on new connections and potential influencer relationships, it’s an excellent tool to use.

Even if your team is growing and your role is expanding, be sure to utilize listening and spend time on the results each week. Even though you may think you have a handle on what’s being said, the data can still surprise you.

How to Sell on Social Media.

Why use social selling, how to get started, and best practices.

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