Social listening is the process of gathering all online mentions of a given keyword – such as a brand name. These mentions – all this data – is then mined for valuable marketing insights. These mentions come from a variety of sources: blog posts, press articles, as well as social media comments and posts.
While traditional media monitoring consists of keeping track of the press, TV, and radio, social listening goes a step further. In addition to those, it tracks conversations actual people are having on social media platforms.
From a marketing agency’s perspective, social listening is invaluable. It allows you to gather actual, unfiltered and candid opinions about your clients and campaigns. If your marketing activities go beyond your owned channels, social media listening is an indispensable tool. Here’s 10 reasons why you should be using social media listening as a marketing agency.
1: Keep track of multiple clients at once
Being able to keep track of all of your clients’ social media profiles and marketing campaigns is essential to your success.
Social media listening helps you to keep track of every client’s specific needs. Simply create a separate project for each case you’re handling, add new queries as needed and enjoy!
Customisable reports will ensure that your clients are always up to date on the relevant data – whether they need concrete data about their campaign or a comparison with their most fierce competitor. Sentiment analysis tools will tell you exactly what social media users think of your client and their products. Automated, real-time alerts will ensure you never miss a sudden spike in mentions. Best of all, all your clients are only a click away from each other – swapping between projects is a seamless, painless process.
2. Analyse effectiveness of marketing campaigns
Social listening tells you the exact effectiveness of your client’s campaign. Whether you’re interested in measuring their brand awareness, their reach, or the general sentiment towards the brand – social listening tools have you covered.
Modern social listening tracks dozens of metrics in real time – you simply have to specify what you’re looking for. Advanced analytics functionalities can help you discover new insights – such as related keywords and the tone people use when engaging with your brand.
3: Perform constant market research
Conducting market research through social listening is a more affordable way of getting to know your clients’ target audiences.
Think about it. Traditional research consists of methods such as surveys and focus groups. While they have been useful in the past, they aren’t exactly well-suited to today’s world, where opinions and trends change on a daily basis.
Social listening provides you with a source of candid, unfiltered consumer opinions. By pulling data from public conversations on social media, blog posts, news articles (and much, much more!) you’ll always be able to keep up with the zeitgeist.
This, of course, can also be used for competition research. Who better to tell you about a competitor’s weak sides than the consumers themselves?
4: Prepare for a pitch and land new clients
Add value to your pitch by leading with actual, up-to-date information and data, rather than estimates and guesswork. Analyse your prospective partner’s audience and their behaviours and preferences. What’s the sentiment like? How do they compare to their competition?
All of this data is readily available through social listening – and in a few clicks, you will be ready to impress your potential client.
5: Understand your clients’ clients
Social listening will help you understand consumer needs and behaviours – which are important when creating a long-term communication strategy. Ensure the foundations are based on solid information, rather than guesswork. This will help you build a lasting relationship with your audience.
Understanding your client’s customers will help you find and engage with even more people. Through social media listening you can find people engaging in conversations relevant to your client’s brand – and interact with them, hopefully helping them convert to a sale.
Knowing the way your clientele operates will also help you create content tailored to their preferences, bringing in even more people to your audience.
While this may seem like a lot of work, the end result is an active, engaged community of clients – which directly translates to sales.
6. Manage international campaigns with geomapping
Social media isn’t a monolith – different communities, usually united by a common language or geographical location have different preferences and trends. Geomapping will help you make sense of these differences.
This is especially important for multinational clients – and, by extension, you. Thanks to data provided by geomapping, you can tailor your marketing efforts towards different target markets.
You can also use this data to stack up different markets against each other. This will tell you which areas of your client’s presence need more care and attention.
7. Analyse trends and find insight for the next campaign
Social media listening tools allow users to assess macro trends and identify their origins – in some cases, down to an individual post. The tools teach and encourage you to think and act like an “archaeologist of the future,” sifting for clues.
By examining the speed, geographic trajectory, and demographics by which a trend spreads, you can get an early read on whether the trend has the makings of a global phenomenon.
Social listening tools allow you to filter and analyze conversations to learn what a particular audience really cares about and what inspires them to recommend a product to their families and friends. Identifying influencers early helps you plug into the zeitgeist and capitalize on where a trend is headed.
When part of a greater platform, social listening tools allow you to monitor everything relevant to your brand in a single place and add forecasting to the mix.
8. Identify influencers and brand ambassadors
Social listening identifies the most active and influential users talking about your products. Not only can they be your brand ambassadors, promoting your company by word of mouth – they can sometimes be interested in cooperating with you.
Influencer marketing is nothing new – but in an age of ad blockers, it is perhaps the most effective method of reaching vast swathes of customers. By identifying influencers, you can gain access to their followers. A cooperation like that is one of the best ways of spreading brand awareness.
9. Social media crisis detection
Social media crises happen every day. A thoughtless reply, a handling mistake, or a widespread product defect – all of these can cause a widespread PR crisis. These have been known to bring entire companies to their knees.
Thankfully, social listening can help here, too. The conversations which instigate crises often happen on channels outside of your control – which social listening can pinpoint. Most social media crises only escalate because of a lack of initial reaction. By keeping track of conversations about your client you can react in time – every time.
Automated alerts can also provide a degree of early warning – if a social listening system detects a sudden large spike of negative comments, you’ll get an alert. This, again, will allow you to react before any harm to your client’s brand image can happen.
10. Gain competitive intelligence
Tracking the buzz generated by your competitors around the launch of a new product allows you to see and use the potential of new trends. How do you start competitor monitoring? Identify the topics that apply to your entire industry. This will effectively identify your competition and their online activities.
Knowing your competitor’s current situation gives perspective on field-related tendencies. Internet monitoring allows you to set up benchmarks against which you can compare both your clients’ and their competitors’ campaign performance.
Social listening is an extremely versatile and powerful technique. Paired with an equally powerful tool, it can elevate any marketing agency to the next level.
With that in mind, we’d like to introduce SentiOne – our flagship omnichannel social listening platform. Amongst its many features are state-of-the-art sentiment detection and automation features. If you’re interested in giving it a try, contact us to schedule your free trial today.