Because of the amount of discussion taking place on social media, every business must pay attention to its reputation on social platforms. But, since many people won’t tag you in conversations about your brand, it’s hard to know what they think. It all becomes much easier when you learn about the advantages of social media listening.
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You can use social listening to include conversations related to your business and clients and analyze public sentiment. Using this scraping method helps you evaluate your brand’s public impact and uncover valuable feedback on ways to improve your products and brand.
What Is Social Listening?
Social listening is a process companies use to learn about customers and potential customers’ opinions of their brand by tracking social media. The process targets information that helps you improve people’s experience with your brand.
Brands once gauged public opinion by asking people to fill out surveys, but there are many reasons why this didn’t work. Social listening, by tracking brand mentions in tags and hashtags across social channels, is more valuable than surveys in a few ways, including:
- Tracking opinions of people who haven’t interacted with your business
- Learning public response without having to request opinions
These advantages mean you can get a more honest sense of your brand’s impact on everyone interacting with it.
How can social media listening increase customer advocacy?
The wide net that social listening casts is one of the first steps in the customer advocacy process. By tracking all tags and mentions of specific keywords related to your brand, you engage with opinions that wouldn’t have made it to a survey. Then, by making changes according to these opinions, you make more customers feel heard and valued.
The positive sentiments you nurture — both by listening to your customers and making changes that improve their interactions with the brand — build and strengthen brand loyalty. In turn, this goodwill encourages customers to advocate for your brand through word of mouth and social media, building your online reputation and attracting new customers to your company.
Why Is Social Listening Important?
Social listening helps you access a broad public opinion you would never know about. This is valuable for a business in many ways, including:
- Evaluating your social media strategy. Learning what people think about your brand can help guide your social media strategy. For example, if you have a brand image that you didn’t intentionally cultivate, social listening can help you learn about it and where it came from.
- Measuring performance. When you run a sentiment analysis in social listening, you gain access to a qualitative metric that can help you assess the reception of an ongoing campaign.
- Gauging brand reputation. Word of mouth on social media has incredible power over a brand’s success. That’s why businesses are quickly learning the importance of customer service online. Active social listening can help you identify and resolve potentially harmful online conversations before they happen.
- Developing products. Social listening is almost like getting feedback from the biggest possible focus group. You can analyze what your customers say to learn how to improve your product to fit their needs better.
- Benchmarking. A recent study found that 49% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from a family member or friend. This makes it vital to generate enough conversation online for people to review your products. Using social listening to capture conversations that other searches wouldn’t, you can get a better idea of your and your competitors’ volume of online discussion, helping you set appropriate benchmarks.
- Discovering key influencers. Some online personalities can steer discourse in an industry. Active social listeners can help you find these people to get valuable insight into your industry, brand, or products. You can also then build a plan to develop relationships with these influencers.
What’s the Difference Between Social Listening and Social Monitoring?
As two valuable forms of reputation management, it’s easy for someone to get confused about how social media monitoring and listening differ. The main distinction is in their scope — monitoring tracks social media to focus on a specific campaign or keywords to track metrics or respond to customer complaints. Social listening uses social opinions to interpret consumer sentiment to determine future changes.
Social monitoring typically takes place after running a campaign, so you can gauge the campaign’s success and respond to online feedback. You identify specific keywords you want to track and collect data according to your campaign’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Also, since businesses generally use social monitoring for ongoing campaigns, the data collection usually happens in real time.
On the other hand, social listening searches a broader area to determine what customers say about the brand. It may include information like untagged brand mentions. From this data, you try to gauge customer sentiments related to your search objective and identify possible areas for improvement. But, since it encompasses less easily accessible information, data collection is much less frequent than social monitoring.
How to Do Social Listening
The success of your social listening process will depend heavily on your initial planning. As a result, there are many steps you have to take before you even start looking through social media. Here are the basic steps you should follow for social listening:
- Identify the audience you’re trying to track. Is there a segment of people whose opinions you need to collect? Narrowing this down helps you pick the right social media platforms.
- Determine the objective of the search. If you search blindly, you’ll get overloaded. Figure out what you want to find out. For instance, are you trying to gauge interest in a product you’re launching soon? Your focus could also be broader, such as identifying ways to increase your social media traction.
- Make a search list. This should include keywords and hashtags you use for your brand and social media. It should also include keywords and mentions related to your industry, which will help you discover competitors and pressing relevant topics.
- Create guidelines. Not all information you can find will be helpful. For instance, your guidelines should include the recency of the comments and interactions you search through. You should also have guidelines on handling findings, such as ways to respond to negative comments.
- Conduct your search. Look through your identified platforms to find comments and reviews that fit your guidelines. Gathering thorough information manually is a lengthy task, so it would be best to use a tool for this step.
- Compile your findings and draw conclusions. Try to find common points between people’s comments to identify the public sentiment. How does this relate to your objective for this search? Based on what you’ve found, what is the best course of action you can take to influence the public sentiment favorably?
- Monitor relevant KPIs for the actions you take. Monitoring the performance of any action you take can help evaluate your social listening process. For instance, if you start producing content or using certain keywords, you can monitor what content people are responding to or the change in follower count after your initiatives.
What is social listening software?
Though you can manually follow the steps of social listening, it’s a time-consuming task with a lot of room for human error. For those who are unclear about what social listening tools are, there are programs that automate one or many steps of the social listening process, such as scraping the web for mentions of the keywords and topics you chose.
These tools can conduct a deeper search for your topics than a person could manually, and they free up some capital that you can invest into other projects to improve the business.
How Can Organizations Best Approach Social Media Listening?
People who aren’t sure how to use social listening should consider trying it out in situations where they could benefit from getting a public opinion. For example, many organizations have leveraged social listening successfully for:
- Gauging brand health. You can learn about the public perception of your brand or products.
- Event monitoring. You can track how an audience feels about an event or conference you held.
- Finding industry insights. Tracking hashtags within an industry can help you find pressing discussions taking place.
- Analyzing competition. You can learn what has been working for competitors and what people want to see changed.
- Analyzing a campaign. You can gauge the progress of an ongoing campaign.
Final Words: Make Social Listening Easier With Scraping Robot
Social listening is an extremely valuable tool in surveying the public, but sifting through the vast amount of social discourse online can feel overwhelming.
Try out Scraping Robot to simplify this process and access custom scraping solutions that will make your social listening process a breeze with no hidden fees, monthly costs, or complicated pricing tiers. You no longer have to worry about all the headaches that come with scraping, like proxy management and rotation, server management, browser scalability, CAPTCHA solving, and looking out for new anti-scraping updates from target websites. In addition, they have a dedicated support system and 24/7 customer assistance! If you’re unsure sure how many scrapes you’ll need, just let us know the size of your project, and we’ll help you find the best option for your budget and use case.
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