A vital part of any social media strategy is being aware of your position within your community and knowing what people are saying about you. That’s why all businesses should make it a point to master their social listening practices. Social listening involves paying close attention to metrics such as response and follow-back rates, as well as monitoring conversations involving your company or brand. These concepts are easy enough to understand, but in practice leveraging them to make the most of your social media presence can be difficult. Luckily there are a few tricks you can use to help you master the art of social listening.
1. Monitor Your Mentions
The cornerstone of solid social listening is knowing what’s being said about you at all times. Do this by keeping a close eye on your Twitter handle and the discussions surrounding it. Searching your own handle on Twitter will allow you to see each and every Tweet it has been mentioned in. Hashtags can do the same, even for posts you’re not specifically tagged in. This can give you a well-rounded view of sentiments toward your business.
Every social marketer out there should already be doing this on a regular basis, no excuses. In terms of new leads, those who are actively mentioning your business on social media are some of the lowest hanging fruit. If people are openly engaging with your brand in such a way, they are exactly where social marketers should start.
2. Deal with Negative Feedback Swiftly & Sincerely
Negative social buzz is often the main cause of many people’s apprehension towards establishing a social media presence. Because these platforms are channels that facilitate two-way communication, there will always be a chance of negative feedback sent your way. The important thing is not to dwell on the bad! You must respondquickly to ensure that it doesn’t escalate unnecessarily. And be sure to respond with authenticity and understanding, after all criticism is an opportunity for improvement. If handled sincerely, those negative comments can often turn into positive endorsements.
3. Keep Your Interactions Personal
Half of social listening is knowing what people are saying about you, but the other half is how you respond. Those who engage with your business on social media want to know that they are being heard and understood. Interacting with them using generic and unrelated responses will only push them farther away. Instead, take care to respond to comments and feedback in a personal and unique way.
I understand that at a certain volume of interactions this can be hard. Try to set yourself a time budget to devote to these responses. If you’re having difficulty staying within your budget, you might consider using templates you can personalize on the fly. Having authentic and personal interactions with leads is important, but you have to be reasonable about your time.
Social media is a two way street; what you’re getting back online is perhaps even more important that what you’re putting out there. I know social listening can be tricky, but when done diligently it can ensure your business has a solid foothold in the social media community.