3 Minute Read

[October 07, 2022]

Negative comments about your business are going to happen eventually. While it may be soothing to believe it won't happen, the reality is that our ultra-connected world makes it easy for us to share our opinion on anything. Rather than dread it, this inter-connected, social media-driven world can be an opportunity to better manage and counter negative feedback.

It all starts with Social Listening.

What is Social Listening?

Social Listening is the monitoring of your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand, along with discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries. This is often followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities.

It's important to distinguish social listening from social monitoring. While they're similar, social monitoring is only keeping track of your social media mentions and discussions without the following analysis that you can use to drive better engagement. A useful shorthand is that social monitoring is REACTIVE, while social listening is PROACTIVE.

How can I perform Social Listening?

First, get online. Consistently.

When you're in the trenches running your business, it can be hard to find the time to actually get on social media. Too often, businesses let this "optional" part of their identity slide as more day-to-day, pays-the-bills tasks keep cropping up.

Yet, being fully engaged on social media is the businesses version of showing up to a client presentation in a tailored suit. A haphazard presentation of your social media can leave a damaging impression with your clients.

What can I learn from Social Listening?

As you get into the habit of engaging on social media and seeking out your customers, you will start to form some patterns on what’s resonating (and not!) with them. Think of it as getting to know a new acquaintance. It takes time and effort to really form a full picture of someone. With Social Listening, you will learn:

  • Customer insights on your competitors
  • Customer thoughts on your brand
  • Their likes, dislikes and frustrations
  • What products and services people with you or your competitors offered

This audience research you’re doing is what social listening is all about. As you begin to learn more about your customers, creating new social content that resonates becomes even easier!

How will Social Listening help me better serve my customers?

We previously broke down why audience research is valuable. Social Listening puts you in the driver’s seat to proactively respond to your customers’ questions and problems with solutions, products and services tailored to their needs.

Proactive response is the key to Social Listening. Competitor insights, customer frustrations and unmet needs are all opportunities to dive into their world and become a content authority. Instead of riding trends when they’re at the end of their lifecycle, companies that are adept at Social Listening begin to shape the trends themselves. That’s the power of Social Listening.

Here's one example of Social Listening

Pancheros Mexican Grill continually impresses with their savvy social listening. Their delicious burritos have earned them a rabid following, and their quirky social media posts keep fans engaged with their brand. While they maintain a carefree, irreverent tone, they are also usually quick to jump in and answer questions and take care of complaints and negative feedback. It’s no surprise they have such an engaged fanbase on social media.

Brands like Pancheros, who are unafraid to tackle negative feedback head-on, reap the benefits of turning negative experiences into positive ones. These posts exist on social media as digital billboards to show the public how invested they are in customer service. When you have a comparable product to your competitors, providing an excellent customer service experience online can make a huge difference in setting your business apart.

Learn how we can assist your brand by contacting us today.