Social media listening could help businesses build relationships with their customers by making them feel heard. Source: Pexels

How your business can turn social listening into sales

SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING – or “social listening” – is an effective method of communication in the digital age. Include it as part of your business strategy and you may well find it to be one of your most influential sales tools.

So how does it work? First, you need to place yourself in your customer’s shoes. Imagine they’ve ordered a product from your company and it wasn’t how they expected it to be. Rather than writing a letter, or waiting on the phone for customer service to respond, they turn to social media.

With the freedom to publish opinions via online social platforms, the customer has the chance to instantly circulate a product review. In seconds, other social media users will listen to his or her critique and automatically form their own judgments.

This might not affect your brand if only a handful of followers read the review. But are you willing to take that risk?

According to We Are Social, the global social media population is massive, numbering to over 2.8 billion users this year alone. This means that one innocent online complaint by one dissatisfied customer has the potential of being read by millions of others.

How do I use social listening to boost my business?

With so much of the world now online, it is easy to see why many businesses have begun paying special attention to developing a social listening strategy. In fact, some early adopters have even created businesses out of managing the social media activities of their clients.

Services such as Hootsuite and Klout are saving businesses heaps of time and energy by helping them organize their social profiles. Equipped with specialized analytics tools, these are just a few of many such companies on the market.

A member of Hootsuite’s following is Roman Sukharenko, CEO of the healthy and sustainable business directory SickBubble.

He says of Hootsuite’s services: “Hootsuite enabled me to connect to my customer’s needs. I tracked and monitored my social network channels and really listened to what people were saying. It was the best way for me to develop my brand’s digital presence”.

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Listening closely to your customers is essential when you’re using social media. Source: Shutterstock

What Sukharenko says highlights the fundamental relationship between the consumer and online media platforms. Social media management systems can help you to control your content and improve sales numbers.

Plus, they could spark a network of satisfied customers and convert them into a satisfying net worth. Now which company wouldn’t want that?

So, how can social data develop my company?

With social listening, you can collect and analyze data from publicly shared information. For instance, Twitter tweets, FourSquare check-ins and posts on Facebook are all key sources of social data. These online platforms also act as cost-effective marketing solutions. By signing up for free access to view and post valuable information, you could easily reduce advertising costs.

According to Customer Think, “social data illustrates what current customers are saying to each other — and to potential customers — about a business or product, and which social media channel(s) they use to communicate their experience”.

The global online community of discerning business leaders acknowledges the importance of social listening. They understand that with vanity metrics in place such as “Followers” and “Likes”, you could easily increase your chances of getting more consumers to become virtual fans of your brand. On top of that, an increase in followers will likely lead to a significant rise in your ROI (return on investment).

There are plenty of social media managers that can help companies organize their campaigns. Source: Shutterstock

Social listening is also a practical way of spying on companies and the latest marketplace trends. You can observe how they are catering to their consumer’s needs and incorporate their marketing techniques. As long as you are keeping track with recent trends, your customers are bound to keep track with yours.

Alternatively, companies often enlist the help of social media influencers to grow their brand presence. Through “influencer marketing”, famous individuals promote services via online profiles. This tactic targets those who have the capacity to shape and steer their user’s attention.

Simply sponsor an influencer who is willing to endorse your product and they can link their followers to your business. It’s certainly a method to test, as Global Yodel mentions, “if done correctly this can single-handedly be the biggest catalyst for business growth.”

As a business owner in the age of disruption, it is crucial that you understand why companies are tuning into the benefits of social listening. It’s a savvy sales technique that offers you invaluable insight into the mind of a customer and that can help you to profitable buying patterns.