Listen in and Learn About Social Listening
Your opinions matter – especially on social media. And, whether you are aware of this or not, your opinions are being noted and saved. Welcome to the world of social listening (or social monitoring). No, this is not an Orwellian nightmare, and there is no cause for paranoia. It is all about capturing in the moment, honest reactions from consumers.
Gathering opinions – it’s nothing new
From “the old days” up until to today, people gave opinions on anything from a political party to a branded item In a Gallup Poll. Similarly, the Nielsen ratings, gathered information on people’s television viewing habits and preferences. And, in those (at times intrusive) email surveys, people are asked for feedback on customer service at restaurant, health facility, or some other place they recently visited.
What you don’t know…
The opinions you post to social media are not just being viewed by your contacts or your contacts’ contacts. There is an unseen, unheard presence that is also reading (“listening”) to these opinions. This is the differentiator between social listening and the Gallup Poll and Nielsen ratings examples.
Social listening – why?
The end goal behind social listening is so a brand can, if necessary, adjust its strategy – message, campaign, or the product or service itself – to improve on momentum or reverse any potential negativity. In a nutshell, brands simply want the public’s raw and honest opinions, so they can zero in and address any issues relating to their products or services.
Believe it or not – social listening is a career
Businesses and organizations pay money to have social media conversations followed and dissected. Yes, this is an enterprise where professionals are paid for “listening in” and categorizing social media conversations, which are picked apart and examined for opinions on a product, service, brand, or virtually anything else. Oh, and there is even software that was created for this very purpose of social listening, and Entrepreneur recently listed the most effective of them, some of which you already know about: Google Alerts, BuzzSumo, Mention, HootSuite, Keyhole, and Nuvi.
What needs to be understood
Social listening is alive, it is happening, and has proven beneficial to marketing strategies. It is not some alien force that intends to reward or punish because of whether a consumer likes a product or not. The challenge, however, is in convincing detractors that social listening is not “out to get them.”
Here is a final takeaway for consideration from EGC Social Media Manager Stephanie Hayman:
“People flock to social media when they are very happy or angry in regard to a brand, product or service. As marketers, it is important for us to zero in on this favorable/unfavorable commentary and gauge consumer response to marketing and advertising ploys, product development, etc. There is nothing stronger and more effective than getting the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth and making necessary adjustments accordingly.”
If you want to know the honest and genuine opinions of what people think of your products or services, EGC can help with this and other social media services.