Here are 9 brilliant reasons why social media listening is vital for every brand:

  1. Gain real market research on your brand: People post honestly on social media (good and bad), so if someone doesn’t like your brand…they’ll certainly tell you so. Social media allows you to gain real insights, opinions and experiences from real customers in real time, and this in itself is priceless
  1. Identify your weaknesses: If customers are having negative experiences with your brand or product then you can quickly identify the problems using social media. No longer do you need to second guess your customers, they are turning to social media to tell you what’s wrong…keep an eye on these posts to identify these and then work to rectify the issues (ideally, to start with, through the social channel it appeared on for others to see how you’re endeavoring to rectify the issue) and turn those weaknesses into strengths.
  1. Identify your strengths: Unsure if a new product or service is popular or if your latest marketing campaign is working? Well, monitoring responses online during a product launch or throughout the running of a campaign will enable you to gauge a positive or negative response. 
  1. To bring cost efficiencies: Understanding with aspects of your business are the most popular with your customers will allow you to focus your spend where it’s most effective. There’s no point ploughing £’s into a campaign or product that is a total flop with your target audience, and equally, identify where social can be a more cost effective channel of communication. 
  1. Allow you to fish in the right pond:  Social media listening will allow you to establish where your target market is spending the most time online. There are a vast number of social networking sites and so focusing your efforts on all of them will need a certain time and financial commitment. Identifying if your customers are tweeting, Pinning, Facebook posting or using one of the other many social media sites available will allow you to focus your efforts here. There is no point spending time and money on creating a Facebook strategy if all of your customers are on Twitter. 
  1. To understand your customers needs: There is no one who knows what they want more from your products or services than the people who actually use them. Social media allows you to listen to your customers and gain ideas for future developments that you may not have even thought of. 
  1. Protect your brand: Are there people sharing misinformation about you online or misrepresenting your brand? Well, if you’re not listening online then how will you possibly know? Ensuring you are monitoring your brand mentions will allow you to easily identify any fake accounts or incorrect information…and once you have your strategy outlined you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently correct these. 
  1. To understand what content engages your audience: There are countless ways to engage with your audience on social media, such as images, competitions, questions, and product case studies…but which of these are the most effective? Instead of spending money on ad-hock advertising and content pushing, why not use social media to find out which of these gains the most engagement from you customers and then focus your efforts here. 
  1. Reach potential customers: Every social media user should be seem as a target customer. So, by using social media to monitor what they’re saying, commenting on and searching for will allow you to respond accordingly to one’s that are relevant to your business objectives. For example, if you’re a sports retailer and you see someone’s seeking running gear…comment on their post with a link to your running sections and ‘hey presto’, another potential customer! Also, search for keywords and hashtags to see what people are talking about, such as #RunningShoes or #RunningGear, and this will allow you to quickly identify any hot topics.

Convinced yet? Well, why not give it a try and see!