Are you listening?
It’s said that 85% of what we know we get from listening.
So why don’t we listen more carefully and purposefully? Maybe because we’re distracted, or worse, so focused on what we want to say we’re too busy to listen. According to Listening.org we’re preoccupied about 75% of the time so even when we do listen we only recall about 50% of what was said; and, long-term, only remember 20% of what we heard.
Listening is a skill that takes practice, and it’s absolutely crucial to your business success. If you’re pushing out content unrelated to what your consumers truly care about you haven’t been listening. And that goes for social listening. Social listening isn’t just analyzing conversations and trends around your brand and your industry, it’s using these insights to make better marketing decisions. It helps you understand why, where and how these conversations are happening, and what people think—not just when they’re tagging or mentioning your brand. You can use this unbiased feedback to adjust your product or service accordingly.
A good example is Tylenol. A couple years ago, through social listening research, Tylenol learned of a surprisingly high number of people complaining about various hobbies, requiring heavy eye focus, especially on “knitting” websites, where many of the posts mentioned the strain knitting puts on the eyes causing migraines and headaches.
From this, they dynamically shifted their marketing and SEO strategies to a new market for their product, with outstanding results.
Consumers want to feel heard and responded to. According to research done by Sprout Social, 83% of respondents like when brands respond to questions, and 68% like when brands join conversations. Being responsive clearly makes a difference; after all, 48% of customers make a purchase with a brand responsive to its customers and prospects on social media.
Here are some basic tips when listening via social and/or direct contact:
- Keep an open mind. Shifting your motivation to curiosity can change the entire tone of a conversation.
- Pay attention to what isn’t said. Words convey only a fraction of the message.
- Respond quickly (within hours, if possible) to complaints and negative comments. This shows you care about the opinions and challenges facing your audience.
If you’d like more tips on and best practices for social media listening don’t hesitate to reach out. For more stories like this, please visit our blog. Or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Art: Olivia Fitzmorris, Account Coordinator