Enhance Your Brand With These Social Listening Best Practices
Social listening best practices open up a whole new level of brand awareness and marketing opportunities for companies. And yet, most companies struggle to find the balance between following social listening tips and daily operations to actively optimize social marketing to their advantage. The first rule of social media engagement is to make sure that you are always attentive to your audience. That you put customer service as a priority - which means that you are on an “always on” mode when it comes to spikes in your social media mentions, regardless of their positive or negative connotation.
To achieve this, you need to choose a social listening tool that is ahead of the curve by allowing you to monitor not only text-based channels like Twitter but also video-based ones like YouTube, TikTok, or even Facebook with its overhaul from a casual social channel to a business platform. The fact that Facebook generated US$69.7 Billion from advertising in 2019 alone says everything about how important the channel is to brands and the kind of market share it provides them with.
That’s why, in this article, we walk you through vital social listening best practices or social listening tips, whatever you may choose to view them as. These pointers will help you gauge whether you are on the right track with your social listening program and if you need to make adjustments to ensure that you are at the top of your game.
Social Media Listening And Your Brand
The thing with social media is that everyone’s on it. So where is your uniqueness? This is what you have to bear in mind when you are developing your social media branding strategy. Branding is an art, where through a series of permutations and combinations you break through pop culture and make a niche for yourself by becoming culturally relevant - and that makes you stand out from the crowd. Social listening best practices can help ensure that you make brand awareness the centre of your social listening and digital marketing strategy.
Cultural relevance and innovation binds people together even if they come from different geographies and demographics. This paradigm shift in marketing principles, when it comes to branding on social media, is very important. This is how brands like Proctor & Gamble and UnderArmour enamoured millions of women, parents, the working class as well as the well-off, with a universal theme. Dove’s digital strategy too is a case study in itself. Here is one of their social media campaigns that drives home the point of cultural relevance for brand amplification.
What Are The Best Practices For Social Listening?
Social listening best practices include researching your brand to see how people on social media perceive you and how they refer to you. You need to know your competitors well and dig deep for in depth analysis of factors such as gender analysis and mention sources. You also need to pay close attention to what your customers are saying so that you can respond to them in a meaningful way.
Below we bring you social listening tips that will give you a stronghold over the ever-changing landscape of social media.
- Research your brand:
Socrates’ aphorism “Know thyself’’ is relevant to brands on social media just as it is to people in real life. The first step, and perhaps the most important one, while deciding to set up a social media listening program is to thoroughly understand your own brand. Inspect how people perceive your brand - do they have their own lingo when they talk about you, how often do people talk about you, or do they correlate your brand with something else? These are important aspects you must pay attention to.
Further, when you are training a machine learning model for sentiment analysis or using a Text Analytics API, you need to make sure you have searched for all the variations and pseudonyms on your name, including misspellings. This ensures that the engine doesn’t miss out any data that has misspelled relevant words and names.
- Study your social analytics:
Social listening tools can give you a lot of data. A common function of social listening best practices is to allow you to get a holistic idea of the overall social information pertaining to you by taking it all in through a bird’s eye view approach. This will allow you to have a broad idea of your audience, their behavioral patterns, and their preferences. This kind of approach will help you to, in return, analyze your products and services, and see if they match the expectations of your target market. As you get more familiar with the patterns emerging from your social listening data, you can narrow down on aspects and develop more targeted and strategic moves based on your needs.
- Be action-oriented:
Be observant of your social mentions, and work on building a more engaging relationship with your audience by responding to mentions of your brand. As with other social listening tips, do your best to be aware of your surroundings and what your audience wants. Answer a query in a timely manner, and respond to your mentions, even if it means telling your audience that you will contact them as soon as you can if you don’t have a prompt answer to their query. Keep track of your sentiment analysis scores so that you can preemptively handle a crisis and manage the situation better before it escalates.
- Study your competitors:
Just as you study your own brand, you must invest in studying your competitors and their social media behavior. An important one amongst social listening tips - you must prepare a comparison chart with all your competing brands and research them closely for histograms to know the frequency distribution for time to respond to mentions, sources of mentions, demographic analytics by gender, age, geography, etc. This will allow you to create a benchmark so you get a broad structure of how your competitors are reacting to, and engaging with customers, as well as the different aspects that audiences are reacting to in relation to your competitors.
- Be alert and attentive:
The one thing about social media is that it is time-critical. That’s why when you choose a social media listening solution, you need to find one that alerts you as soon as you get a negative mention or there is a sudden increase in your mention. The solution should also have a video content analysis capability, which means you are aware of any critical mention even if it is on a video-based social channel like IGTV, TikTok, YouTube, or a video on Facebook. This is one of the most neglected, and yet critical aspects of social listening best practices. Apart from this, you also need to know what the timelines are for rush hours in your industry segment so that you are alert and able to respond every time there is a need.
- Engage authentically:
Pay very close attention to your audience and what they are saying. When you listen to your customers and understand their issues, it helps you address their doubts or queries in an appropriate fashion. This not only helps in building your brand as an authentic one but also in increasing your goodwill. Good social media listening also gives you the opportunity to develop relevant advertising and marketing material that can resonate with your audience. It gives you a sense of the market and the prevailing and upcoming trends, which means that your return on investment of time, effort, and money is optimal.
Don’t forget, there have been cases where an established brand has been known to have a negative score because their social media accounts were not handled in a timely manner, or sometimes not attended to at all. So, when you have a social media account, you must realize that one of the social listening best practices is to be fully committed to the cause and ensure that you always appear genuinely interested in your customers. Learn about the other benfits of social listening in detail.
- Find your social persona:
Researching your brand, competitors, and your audience is essential for one more vital factor - finding your social persona. One of the best social listening tips is to build a unique social persona for yourself. You need to adapt to the changing norms and ultimately find your own unique voice. Do you want to come across as hip, witty, straightforward, classy, or casual. You will have to make that decision based on your study of your audience, as well as how it relates to your brand and history.
- Highlight your positives:
Don’t be afraid to highlight the positive reviews of aspects of your business/product as selling points even if they are different from what you had wanted them to be. Social proof can be a supplement to your own brand positioning of your products or service, so it is of immense value. Research the statistics to see what aspects of your service people like the most and mention them online, and then promote that data as proof of how sound your service is - your proof being the positive social nods.
- Leverage direct communication:
Engage with your customers directly. Don’t be shy in communicating with the public to discover new clients. Customers appreciate the one-on-one communication they receive for a query or even a marketing material because they feel that the brand knows their likes and dislikes. As social listening best practices dictate, when you find a potential customer on social media, allow them to get to know you directly through your social media account. This again brings us to the point that you must be committed to the social media space, once you decide to begin your journey on the medium and be available to your audience.
- Be smart when looking for an influencer:
As you communicate with a potential client, you may also start discovering social media influencers. You must study who engages with your content the most, shares it, and if they are mostly positive or negative about it. You must keep a close tab on what kind of followers they have, and if they are the type of audience you would like to associate your brand with.
Pretty obvious to social listening tips is the fact that social media behaviour is of utmost importance to a brand’s online reputation. Therefore you must take the time to do your research. Make sure that the influencer is relevant to you, and that the followers are real and not fake. You can also similarly discover a brand ambassador who matches your brand wavelength and can be an asset to your marketing efforts.
The Process of Social Listening And You
When combined with a great social listening tool, social media sentiment analysis can be a very profitable venture for brand amplification and reputation management. You have to be front and centre of your social listening project, even with a great tool. This is how you can do it.
- Identify your objective to design your social media campaign.Hash out ideas and decide the approach you are going to take.
- Research, discover, and gather your data from across social media platforms in both real time and latent.
- Create engaging content and ensure that it is in line with your brand and overall strategy.
- Schedule your social media updates on your calendar so that your social presence is steady and uniformly paced.
- Engage with your customers and mentions - a key part of social listening best practices.
- Collate your social listening data and process it using a social listening sentiment analysis tool to see the overall sentiments regarding your brand.
- Analyse the social performance data presented in the visualization dashboard to see what type of content is getting the most attention, how your audience is responding to what type of content, etc, and revise your strategy accordingly.
Learn more about social listening process.
Choose Your Social Listening Solution Wisely
It’s important to choose a social listening solution that empowers you to throw a wide net across the social media environment. A tool that encompasses video content analysis along with text analysis is your best bet. Not to forget one of the often neglected social listening tips - keeping your international audiences in mind. Social media is used widely in English, but in large parts of the world, customers use social platforms and share content in their native language. This means that the solution for social listening and social media sentiment analysis must also have capabilities to understand multiple languages at a native level.
Build your brand amplification strategy with Repustate’s social listening and sentiment analysis solution, which offers all the above capabilities and more. Whether its TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitch, or language/region specific platforms like Xing, DouYu or Youku, the Repustate engine provides time-tested, accurate results. Its powerful NER compares better to other players in the market including Google and Microsoft Azure in speed, language, and most importantly, precision.