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Social Listening Tools: Why and How to Use Them

Digital Marketing
May 31, 2019
8 min

Social Media Marketing, SMM for short, is a digital marketing tool ecommerce owners have known and used for a while now.  Unfortunately, there’s often a lot of confusion about the key tasks SMM can be used for. For an online store, the main goal of social media marketing is much bigger to remain visible to its current audience and drive followers to the website’s landing pages. The possibilities of social networks go far beyond being a cheap traffic channel.

What is social listening?

Visibility alone is not enough for your business or brand to grow. You need your followers to find it necessary to share information about your brand with their friends. How can you do this? First of all, you should create and promote content that is truly good and useful to its target readers.

For this purpose, there’s a number of basic tactics:

  1. Choose the right channel. If you want to appeal to the older male audience, Pinterest won’t do. You won’t see the expected results. Simply because this social network is primarily used by the female audience. In other words, before you start spending time on social media marketing, make sure that you choose a channel that is popular with your target audience.
  2. Social Listening (social media monitoring). You might not be thinking of social media is a good channel for customer support and service, but it’s actually one of the best options.

Managing your business reputation through active communication with your audience in social networks can save your business from negative feedback or, on the contrary, help you get the most out of any event that is favourable for your business (catch the hype train, that is).

Why should you monitor your online store’s reputation?

Every digital marketer is looking for more ways to expand their brand’s reach and attract the target audience. Although you might know already that listening skills are key for effective oral communication, you may not know that the same rules apply to the content and social media marketing as well. Some of your best content is most likely to be inspired by the interests and concerns of your customers. That said, how do you know whether your brand reputation management tactics help or hinder your content marketing strategy?

How to evaluate your online store’s reputation across the web?

To help you start engaging your audience on their terms, below we take a look at a few basic ways to implement reputation management into your online store’s marketing strategy.

1. Monitoring audience engagement across social media

It’s important to make sure that people talk about your brand in social media networks. This ensures that you don’t miss a single question that a customer may have or a problem that needs solving.

Keep an eye on mentions of your official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Don’t forget to track other hashtags related to your brand, and use different variations of your company’s name when tracking.

Keep in mind though that not all users can spell your brand’s name without errors. Anyone can make mistakes and get confused in names, so it’s worth including common typos in your hashtag search. For instance, we at Promodo are constantly confused with other brands:

instagram hashtags

Monitoring brand mentions will not only help you provide better service to your customers but also create content that’s in demand among social media users. When you create a text that is targeted to specific users, see which of the followers of your posts prefer to share, and adjust your content strategy according to their interests.

If your audience has many questions regarding any aspect of your brand, this can be a signal for you to share some practical guides or give a detailed explanation of why your team has decided to act in a certain way.

2. User feedback management

Followers particularly appreciate the personal attention you give them. Personal responses have a positive effect on brand recognition, facilitate mutual communication and help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.

If you don’t respond to reviews (including negative ones), the best you’ll be able to do is to monitor social networks, rather than receive clear feedback from your audience. Reputation management involves more than merely tracking metrics. It is about getting a real picture of what your potential customers want from you and how you can better meet their needs.

facebook reviews

Be sure to handle negative reviews and analyze general patterns as new reviews appear, not just individual comments. These insights may have the strongest impact on your online store’s future development strategy.

3. Monitoring your competitors

Another important aspect of managing the reputation of any brand is knowing what is happening in your industry. This means keeping an eye on your competitors, as well as the latest news related to your business.

Watching your competitors means more than simply knowing what they’re doing in social media. Instead, analyze what you can do to improve your business. In your content campaigns, you can solve the problems faced by your competitor’s customers, by anticipating similar problems for your brand or explaining why your brand is the best choice.

By staying aware of the latest trends, you’ll also be able to create content that matches your subscribers’ needs. For example, if you come across an ecommerce market research that may be relevant to your audience, create content that interprets the results of this research and/or applies these results to your own product. This will demonstrate your ability to understand the issues that are important for attracting your key audience.

Free applications for tracking brand mentions

Here is the most tricky approach to social media monitoring, which requires multiple steps.

First, you need to find the biggest fans of your brand. You can do this with free online tools such as Social Mention, AnaTweet, or Google Alerts, which give you lists of posts mentioning your brand in social media and across the internet.

The latter tool has broad functionality and allows you to select the type of site, language, geolocation, period, and other criteria. As with Google search, you can use quotes and plus (+) for more accurate matching, or eliminate irrelevant results by using the minus (-). Use the and operator to see pages with both words, and OR (specifically in capital letters) with either one of them.

Google alerts

To find out how your readers rate your materials, set up alerts and turn on filters to include only the best results. This way, you’ll be able to control the quality of the content, as well as keep track of what your subscribers are interested in, how they react to each new post and who your main competitors are.

In order to identify opinion leaders among your audience, you can check out, for example, the Klout Score of the most active followers who most often share your content or comment on it. The Klout Score metric allows you to evaluate the content created by a specific follower and see how other users interact with it, depending on the size of your audience in social media. This is an absolute indicator, measured 0 to 100, and the average value fluctuates around 20. If a follower with a Klout Score of over 50 indicator talks about your brand, this is already a success.

klou score

Once you have identified the most influential and loyal members of your audience in social media, you’ll need to find out what they’re interested in. It’s very likely these people are already fans of your brand, otherwise, they wouldn’t share your content.

You can use this advantage to promote your product through the sought-after content. To find out what your subscribers are interested in, you can use the Nexalogy brand mention analysis tool that visualizes users’ topics of interest based on conversations in their news feeds.

But finding the right toolkit doesn’t mean your job is done here. Let’s say you have identified the top five users (and possibly competitors) who regularly share your content or mention you in their posts. Next, you analyze their accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and find that all of them have posted something related to, say, the Kyiv Agrohub Nitro Marathon.

With that, you can create content connecting your brand with the event in some ingenious way. As you publish and promote content in social media networks, your top followers will see both of their favorite topics in their feeds, after which you’ll be able to track reposts and mentions of your page.

Final word

Whatever platforms you choose for your content marketing strategy, don’t forget to follow the rule of thumb: treat the way you talk to people over social media as if you talked to them over the phone rather than yelling at them with a megaphone. Make social media communication with your audience a two-way street, take an individual approach to your customers, and you’ll for sure be rewarded with better interactions.

Written by
Anton Kolinko

Copywriter at Promodo

May 31, 2019
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