Social Media Listening: What Is It and How It Can Boost Customer Loyalty

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

Think about the last time you tweeted at a company or commented on a brand’s Facebook post. Chances are you waited for a response, one that you may or may not have received.

Was that experience enjoyable? Did the brand provide any additional value?

These are the types of conversations where social media listening comes into play.

In essence, social media listening is the process of tracking these conversations and leveraging them to create new engagement opportunities and/or content for your audience. Listening also incorporates the reflection and analysis of patterns and sentiments, while allowing you to aggregate data about your brand’s online community.

There are three areas of social media listening opportunities to engage with your consumer and boost customer loyalty:

Be Responsive.

With ever-decreasing attention spans and available time, you must be quick! According to the 2015 Sprout Social Index, 7 in 8 messages to brands go unanswered within 72 hours. That’s a rather high percentage given how much social media is now influencing a buyer’s purchase.

Solve this issue by habitually checking socials for mentions, messages, discussions, tags, etc. It is crucial to tailor your response as more people begin demanding this type of one-to-one communication on social media, especially with the brands they do business with.

Solve their Problems by Adding Value.

A survey by Oracle found 43 percent of users interact with brands on social media and expect a direct response to their question. Today, consumers demand greater utility from brands. Accordingly, brands that make engaging and doing business with them easier — on all channels—will win greater loyalty.

While responding to questions and comments, add value by sharing a helpful tutorial regarding their inquiry. Avoid a simple, “Thank you for your response” or “Please contact our customer help-line.” Although, if you must refer them to customer service, follow-up on social media to ensure their concern was addressed.

Your brand’s positive affinity will skyrocket.

Understand Your Audience.

People are no longer shy about speaking their minds on social media, making it an incredible opportunity to understanding their wants, needs and emotions towards your brand.

This will enable you to become proficient in identifying patterns in questions and concerns in your niche. Enabling you to alert your product development and/or customer service teams.

Here are some tools you can use:

TweetDeck: “The most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing and engagement. Reach your audiences and discover the best of Twitter.”

Sprout Social: “With Sprout, I’m able to easily engage with our fans across all of our social channels from one platform.”

Meltwater: “Thousands of companies choose Meltwater to inform strategy, connect with their audience and measure success.”

Lydia Castillo is a digital media associate at Tech Image, a digital public relations agency in Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @_lydiacastillo or connect with her on LinkedIn.  

Tech Image is a national, award-winning digital public relations agency that uses the latest strategies, technologies and best practices to accelerate our clients’ success. Services include public relations and marketing consultancy, media and analyst relations, social media programs and content creation.

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