Welcome to 2019! The year that promises to bring inordinate change and innovation in many areas. In the world of social media, it’s going to be all about how we use social listening to engage on the platforms we use. This year, more than ever, social media will become a facilitator of conversations through which audiences can engage, identify and resonate with a brand or a business’ values – not only as a one-way broadcast medium!It stands to reason that the focus of all social media efforts in 2019 should, then, be two-fold – communicating effectively with audiences at the right time, and implementing effective social listening. Social listening is a practice that is centred around extracting key insights from social conversations that can be used to determine and direct a business’ overall social media strategy. It allows brands and businesses to sift through the endless amount of data that is available on social networks and distil it into information that can be used to create content, inform business decisions and establish social media and marketing goals.
Use ‘in-flight’ social listening for strategy insights
A business’ online strategy should ideally be open to constant adjustment and growth based on an audience’s reactions and sentiment, and it is social listening that makes it possible to evolve and grow a strategy “in-flight” using insights from real audience engagement.Social listening is a key factor in ascertaining how relevant your voice is in the marketplace compared to your competitors, or how often your brand is being mentioned compared to others. This data is vital in being able to move closer to alignment with your business’ social media purpose, as well as in allowing you to measure the effectiveness of online campaigns more accurately.
Social listening: where to start
An important part of being able to implement social listening successfully is ensuring that you are consistently taking part in industry-related conversations.Get into the habit of weighing in on topics that are relevant to your business, start to establish a presence in your online community and become a credible source of information and opinion people are interested in talking about.You can also use social listening to gauge sentiment about your brand which helps to ensure that your service delivery remains consistently high, that your customers are always satisfied and that you stay ahead of a PR crisis.If you’re wondering if social listening is relevant to small businesses, who have less of the reach and online engagement than some of the more commonly known and well-established brands, the answer is: very much so!
Find out about social listening tools
Social listening practices remain worthwhile and valid for any type of business that has an online presence and will build good habits and allow businesses to allocate their resources in the most effective way.There are many online tools and platforms available that can help your business to harness the power of social listening effectively and begin to move towards a social media strategy that is cost-effective, relevant and quick to improve and adapt in real time. Or you could just pop in for a cup of coffee with your favourite Lambs . . . ?