Social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about you, your industry and competitors online. The insights you gather from these conversations can be used to enhance your business.
Why is it important?
You don’t have a relationship with an online business without building some sort of rapport. Conversations about your business give people reassurance that your brand, service or product is reliable. If you listen, you can evaluate customer experiences, likes and dislikes and use that feedback to create more appealing offers or enhance your services.
At Concise Digital, we use tools to track conversations across our customers’ social media platforms.
How can you use it for your business?
Monitor opinions and attitudes– Businesses can’t control what people say about them on social media but it is important to listen before engaging with your audience to gain valuable insights.
Customer service– Businesses use social media to respond to questions and complaints about their products or services. Social listening provides an opportunity to convert an unhappy customer into a satisfied one if the response is reasonable.
Increase engagement– Consider which posts attracted the most engagement… why? Take a look at strategies that worked on social media(including your competitor’s posts) and think about how can you replicate or adapt them for your needs.
Check out the competition – Use social listening to see what your competitors are talking about and learn from seeing what type of posts gain the best response.
Find influencers – Use social listening tools to identify key influencers for your industry and try to make alliances with them to reach your desired audience.
5 Tips for success:
Choose a social listening tool that’s right for your business and expertise
Listen regularly and often
Don’t just listen on the channels you are active on as this can limit your view of what is actually being said about your business
Respond quickly to comments and don’t forget to thank people for their feedback
Don’t get put off by the numbers– look at the stories behind the figures
Do let us know how you get on in the comments section.
Consider the roller coaster – There’re ups and adrenalin loaded downs and just when you get used to the ups and downs there’s a sharp curve and you’re wondering when the next surprise will be. You are captivated, you are engaged in the process.
On social media, we are exposed to a constant cycle of messages on a daily basis. How do you keep your customers entertained and break through all the clutter? Why not take your customers on a visual journey with twists and turns ups and downs? Visual imagery triggers an emotional response and boosts engagement. It is not a coincidence that the fastest growing social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and SnapChat focus on visual content.
It’s important to include how you are going to use images as part of your social media strategy. Be aware of the vast array of images and messages on social media, audiences are becoming desensitised therefore it takes extra effort to get engagement. Attention grabbing, eye-catching graphic design provides a visual route to impress your audience. Well-designed images give your business a more professional persona and can strengthen the brand. Branded images displayed across several social media networks fuels brand recognition and awareness.
With the constant stream of messages and images, it is important to post regularly and consistently. At Concise Digital and Concise Training, we have focused on developing a strong consistent, visual brand to reach as wide an audience as possible and retain their interest.
This year we have made an effort to promote a new theme each month with branded headers across all our platforms and related content to retain and grow our fan base with interesting, useful and fresh ideas. Our fans are recognising and engaging with our content that is easily identified by our consistent, high-quality images.
What have we learnt from the exercise?
1. Consistency is the key to creating branded content:
Use a consistent colour palette
Choose images with a consistent theme, this can be a tonal range, background, genre or perhaps choice between using vector or bitmap images.
Stick to a few fonts that reflect your brand personality.
If using text to relay a message, make sure that it is easy to read
2. Take time to ensure the image sizes are correct
Each channel has its own unique image size both for status updates and ads. Make sure the images you create are produced in various sizes.
Sizes for ad images are different again – make sure you know what the image is going to be used for.
Images on mobile devices might appear slightly differently. Don’t put writing too close to the edge to ensure your message doesn’t get cut off.
3. Use your own designed images
Stock images are OK – but is it obvious they are stock images and therefore, may not represent your brand.
If you are going to use stock images, make changes to ensure they are branded with your colours, style and fonts. Please also check whether you need to attribute the image to the source.
Create template ‘cards’ like our Wimbledon version which you can use in a number of ways by adding small text questions, tips or facts.
4. Minimise text
Don’t allow your words to crowd out the image, people won’t take the time to read a lot of text.
Watch the use of fonts – make sure they can be easily read when fans are scrolling through their feed.
Use a range of visual content, people don’t want to see the same thing over and over again. try screenshots, infographics, quotes and try adding your own photos for a personal touch.
If you’re going on holiday you may look forward to disconnecting from your social media profiles however it doesn’t mean to say that your networks need to go silent. Social media is ‘on’ 24/7 whether you are connected to it or not. Here are six options to consider:
Delegate a member of staff to manage your social media profiles
Check-in whilst you are way
Set up alerts
Outsourced content management
Tell people you’re going away
If you choose to ask a member of staff to manage your profiles it is important that they are well briefed. Ensure they have all the necessary login details, an outline of requirements (content / tone / frequency / key people) and guidelines for what to do if something goes wrong.
Check in whilst you are away.
Assuming you have access to wi-fi you may choose to check in to your networks once a day just to make sure that there are no urgent matters to be dealt with. You may consider limiting your time online so that you don’t get distracted by that funny cat video your friend posted. 🙂
Set up alerts
Keep informed of content that is important to your business by setting up Google alerts to email you notifications for certain keywords and phrases.
There are a number of tools available that enable you to schedule content before you leave or you may consider outsourcing to a management service (we’re happy to oblige!). We favour Hootsuite for managing and scheduling updates across many of our networks, particularly Twitter. There is also a handy RSS feed powered by the HootSuite Syndicator app to provide a healthy mix of scheduled and real-time content. You can schedule updates manually in advance or in bulk using the auto schedule function.
Outsourced content management
If you outsource your social media management, make sure your outsourcing company has a plan for when they are on holidays. You might want to consider outsourcing for short periods of time when you are particularly busy or on holiday. Concise Digital’s social media content management serviceoffers a flexible option. We work with you to provide an engaging presence when you need us. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.
Tell people you’re going to be away
Let your clients and key people know that you are going to be away and when you are due back. This manages their expectations and provides peace of mind that there is a contingency plan in place if something needs attention. You could, even … shut down for a few days, after all, everyone deserves a holiday, don’t they?
What are your plans for managing your social media profiles whilst you are away? Do let us know – and have a fantastic holiday!