Quick Tips: Are you harnessing the power of social media listening

We all know that social media is a vital tool when it comes to marketing, but are you making the most of it in order to engage with your customers? Social is more than just a way to get your message out there, it’s also fantastic for listening to your audience, responding to their needs, and also tracking your competition.
When it comes to customer interactivity, social media is great for getting feedback from both your current and potential customers. Feedback can be given on your profile, or it could just be what people are saying about you n the feeds – so listen up – because both positive and negative feedback will help make your business better and you more interactive on social.
Use the positive feedback
Positive feedback is useful for discovering what you’re doing right. Knowing this can help you continue focusing on what’s important to customers. Plus, there’s always the added advantage of being able to post positive feedback onto your website to increase your company’s appeal. Take the time to thank customers for positive reviews they may have left on your Facebook page, or reply to their tweet to show that you’re really listening – it will impress not just those who you reply t but also prospective customers who might be watching form the sidelines.
How to cope with negative feedback
It can be gut wrenching to get negative feedback about your your company (especially if you feel it’s unjust) but whether you agree or not it is your job to turn it around and make it helpful. By taking a look at the negative comments about your company, you can look for ways in which you can improve your service. For instance, if there’s a significant number of negative comments based around the slowness of your website, this gives you the opportunity to improve the service before more potential customers are put off. Again, you should take the time to reply to these comments as far as possible. Never respond defensively, and instead thank customers for their feedback and assure them that you’re working to resolve the issue. This is all about good customer service, and how you respond is as much a reflection of you and your company as what  you say.
Tracking the competition
Another excellent way to use social media is to keep tabs on your competition. In the same way you can see the positive and negative things people are saying about your own business, you can also see what they are saying about your rivals. Find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and try and improve your own offering accordingly. You can also see how well they are engaging with their audience, and find out if there’s anything you could be doing differently to stand out.
All in all, social media is fantastic way to engage with your customers. It’s not simply about setting up profiles and posting. The real power is in what you can listen and learn from those you interact with and how you use this to your advantage.
Attribute for the great Listen image by Ky Olsen
The Quick Tips series is intended as a 2 minute read on digital marketing things – from recent changes in the scene and how to accommodate them, to tips from other marketers we know.