Social listening has rapidly grown in popularity over the past few years, as people gain a better understanding of how it can influence digital marketing campaigns. But do you need to be a dedicated specialist to get value from it?
As more companies realize the importance of having T-shaped employees, social listening is a skill that can be effectively learned by other marketing professionals. This allows your team to offer a more diverse skillset to clients and gives employees more options when it comes to professional development.
So how do you do social listening successfully?
Tap into platforms
Relying solely on one person manually looking through online conversations to spot trends or interesting areas of debate can be incredibly laborious and time consuming. Luckily there are a wide range of platforms out there that create dashboards, so you can clearly see the information you need.
From Buffer Reply to Mention and, of course, Hootsuite there are a number of tools out there, you just need to find the one that suits you best.
Create a social listening strategy
Just like any other area of digital marketing, you'll need to create a strategy if you want to get any real value from social listening. This can be as detailed as you like but should at the very least contain a number of keywords and topics that will be monitored. It's likely that these will evolve over time as you get more information about what consumers are talking about and the type of language they use when doing so.
However, there are a few terms that you can start tracking right from the start:
- Your brand name
- Your product names
- Campaign names and keywords
- Branded and unbranded hashtags
- Industry buzzwords
Determine goals and KPIs
There needs to be a clear direction for your strategy and this only comes from having set goals and KPIs from the very start of a project. It will help to focus your ambitions on why exactly you're doing social listening and what you hope to achieve from it.
For example, are you tracking the impact of a specific product launch or are you wanting to gain better insight about your consumer habits?
You can then identify the KPIs that will be used to gauge your success and define a suitable period of time in which to conduct your social listening.
Consider language filters
When you're setting keywords it can be valuable to consider whether you want to only get responses in English or want to include other languages. It all depends on who your audience is and what your goals are for social listening. Not setting up language filters can leave you with a lot of useless data that can take away from the valuable information you need. It's also wise to consider that a specific keyword may not have the same meaning around the world.