Tools like google alerts have an amazing capacity to keep you informed on many parameters and criteria. Sometimes I’m shocked the service is free. But I’m also shocked so few businesses utilize it to its full potential.
Twitter is widely known as a social broadcast platform, Micro blogging snippets of reality and telling a story piece by piece. But Twitter has a hidden talent that businesses don’t utilize; and that’s the ability to listen.
Of course there are many other tools for listening but they usually cost money. We discuss HOW to accomplish listening in another blog but today let’s talk about the 5 reasons social listening is mandatory for your business.
1. Conversations are Happening
Whether you know about it or not, your audience is engaging in issues that matter to you. Some of these conversations are taking place on social media but also many are taking place on the cloud.
Social listening goes beyond social media. This process utilizes tools that watch blogs, forums, news and social platforms.
Your target market is always creating opportunities for you to assist and lead with value. Opportunities for you to engage. It’s your companies time in the spotlight and without social listening you’ll never hear the curtain call.
2. Timing is Everything
It’s one thing to stumble across an opportunity to reach out but it’s an entirely different thing to be days or even weeks too late. We need to realize and remember we live in an era of content on demand. That moment when a potential customer voices their concern or broadcasts their needs, is the exact moment you have to jump in before your competitor does.
3. Your Competitors are on the Move
If blockbuster would have paid closer attention to the changing sands of the entertainment market it might still be around today. Their competition was on the move, regulations and technology were changing and it was all happening right under their feet. By the time they realized what was happening, it was already too late.
Your business is effected by the competition. What they do and how they market will have a ripple effect on the climate in your industry. You can’t afford to wait. Social listening captures the moves your competition is making. With this information in hand you can counter those moves. Also you can shine where they fail. Their loss is your gain.
Competition can come in the form of changes in technology trends or changes in regulations. Social listening allows you to make intelligent investments in areas of your industry that will grow and cautions withdrawals from areas where markets are changing.
4. Catching the Social Surf
We’ve all seen it. Something happens and the whole world is talking about it. Sometimes the hype is centered around tragedy and sometimes it’s centered around joy.
We never capitalize on tragedy. Some of the biggest social media blunders of all time have made this mistake. But it doesn’t mean we can’t play our role and offer moral support and positivity where it’s appropriate.
But when the excitement is happy, light, celebratory and fun; it’s time to get your piece of the pie.
Get creative. Add something of value. Find your angle. Whatever it takes to get in the spotlight. This is your opportunity to take the stage. A lot of eyes are on the topic and if you can add value, you can garner some of that attention for yourself.
And if you’re so lucky that the hype is within the authority of your industry you can influence the tide and ride the wave.
5. Course Corrections
Any marketer will tell you that strategy is only as good and your ability to monitor and assess. Strategies are based on objectives; they are courses plotted on a map but the only sure thing is that objective on the horizon.
Social media marketing can be a volatile process. Monitoring the overall environment both within your social properties and out in the cloud will help you analyze the efficacy of your campaigns and offer up the kind of situational awareness marketers in decades passed would have given a leg to have. What’s more is that we have that awareness in almost real time. Course corrections are always a part of of the marketing strategy but the sooner we can recognize the need to make them, the better off we are.
Your business can’t afford NOT to listen. Social listening is one of the most paramount tactics you can implement to manage your reputation, capture new audiences, assess your current tactics and establish a real time SWOTT analysis.