So you collected your first social listening data. Mentions about your company, brand, competitors or just discussions relevant to your business. But what’s next? You probably ask yourself – what can I do with all this fancy statistics and data. Well, I’m telling you there are many ways you can leverage the data. Here are the applications for social listening to help you understand how you can use the Internet monitoring data to improve your customer satisfaction and grow your sales.
1. Customer Service
Customer service is a very popular application of social listening and a very effective one as more and more people make complaints on social media, seek for solutions for their problems and commend brands for good service. Customers find it much easier to post a status on Facebook or Twitter rather than try to reach an automated call center or wait ages for a response to a query sent via e-mail.
This trend gives brands a wide space for responding and reacting with customers who encounter problems. Internet monitoring can improve a quality of your customer service through digital channels. People hate waiting and being ignored. They got used to getting everything as fast as possible. They want to be served right here and right now. That’s why the time matters when it comes to customer service.
With social listening you can collect these queries and complaints once they are published and consequently react immediately.
One of the most spectacular customer service stunts was presented by Virgin Trains, the company that knows how to do social media. One of their passengers traveling from Euston to Glasgow had an emergency situation in toilet. He was out of toilet paper while he needed it the most. What would you do in such situation? He played his cards well and tweeted about it, informing the company about the problem.
The social media manager that tweeted back to the passenger behaved professionally and immediately took care of the issue providing the customer with toilet paper.
Here is another example of an unsatisfied with a customer service client who did not abstain from making a complaint on Twitter about bad customer service in the golf club. He tweeted about this without tagging the company in a tweet, however a polite answer appeared on the next morning.
@frankiemuniz Thank you for choosing to play here, we are sorry to hear this happened and our team will be in contact with you to discuss.
— Kierland Golf Club (@Kierlandgc) February 11, 2015
2. Generate sales leads
We covered sales lead generation in a separate article where you can get comprehensive knowledge and find inspiration how to find prospects with social listening.
With properly configured keywords for Internet monitoring you can find potential clients through social media. The majority of users ask for online opinion and search for advice on the web before making purchase decision.
Brand24 collected almost 45 thousand mentions that included question “where can I buy” within one month. This is enormous space for brands to join the conversation and to offer prospects products that they currently look for.
Interruptive marketing that pushes goods to people who do not necessarily need them gives place to permission marketing that caters to clients who find particular offer relevant to them. Consumers no longer want to be pelted with ads that do not match their preferences.
In Brand24, for instance, we seek for people with our own tool who ask online for recommendations for Internet monitoring solutions. Then our community manager does a great job with interacting with these users letting them know about Brand24. It is one of our best sources for new leads and has one of the highest conversion rates.
Why? Because we reach out to those who need a product that we produce.
There are naturally many more examples of brands reaching out to prospects via social media. For instance, Brayola, an online store that helps clients find perfect bras, reaches out to prospect using Brand24. How do they do that? The brand tracks and picks up conversations about uncomfortable bras that Internet users share.
Then Brayola consultants join the discussion offering help in tailoring perfect bras and promoting own brand and products to the audience.
Here is another example of a smart reply by Airbnb, a brand that connects people who want to rent their lodging with people who look for accommodation in certain area. Dan Wetzel, a Yahoo Sports’ journalist, mocked hotel arrangements in Sochi right before the Winter Olympics 2014, as many of them lacked basic facilities. He made a joke, offering 3 light bulbs in exchange for a door handle. Airbnb social media rep took it seriously though and offered him an accommodation in return.
3. Support marketing campaigns
One of the best solutions for online marketing campaigns that increase social media reach and engagement of users nowadays are those that encourage people to share content with your own dedicated hashtag.
Somersby, a leading brand of cider (beer drink on the Polish market) by Danish brewing company Carlsberg Group, gives an excellent example when it comes to such actions. They designed numerous successful campaigns that engaged fans. They also build firm relations with bloggers and influencers which amplifies the effect.
For instance, during a new variant of Somersby introduction on the Polish market the brand involved dozens of bloggers and encouraged people to share content (especially photos) with dedicated hashtag.
Improved sentiment structure and huge social media reach are only examples of impressive results that Somersby obtained. Beyond that, the new drink beer became best-selling beer in its category and executed the annual sales plan in just 4 months.
4. Interact with users
Nowadays, more and more brands engage in online discussions with their fans and clients. Once a user post something on social media that is related to either a brand itself or an industry it operates in social media managers start interacting with audience.
It is a great way to increase engagement on the Internet, extend your online reach and win your fans’ hearts. If your response is timely, intelligent or somehow funny, but still consistent with your brand image (you should not be making jokes if your company’s profile is very formal), you can easily get users’ attention.
Take a leaf out of Playstation’s book and learn how you can join online discussions to obtain all the desired results. Playstation uses social listening to find conversations that are somehow related to gaming, gamers and the brand itself. Then they invent creative and funny replies that firstly engage users and secondly encourage gamers to play on the PS console. Find out more about Playstation’s Internet monitoring strategy from our previous entry.
5. Customer Insights
Consumers more willingly share opinions and reviews about products or services they use. Naturally, they do it on their social media profiles exposing it to a great deal of other consumers. Frequently, they also give suggestions and feedback about these goods and services. Thus, Internet is a powerful source valuable customer insights.
Brands can leverage these insights in their product development process. They can find inspiration and ideas for new variants or improvements to their offer in social media mentions.
Just like GoPro did introducing the new camera – GoPro Hero4. We analyzed social media discussion concerning both releases – Hero3+ and Hero4. The insights gathered during the Hero3+ premiere included lots of suggestions for features that could improve customer experience and that appeared later on in the succeeding model – GoPro Hero4
On top of that, customer insights from social media are more reliable type of feedback than any other kind. Thus, it’s worth listening to your audience. Your fans and clients can give you valuable advice on how to improve your goods and services. They are the ones that use them, so they know best what will make them even more appealing.
6. Reach out to influencers
Cooperation with social media authors who have wide audience might bring you measurable results. Naturally, they cannot be just some random users. They need to be potentially interested in your company or its value proposition.
Social listening enables to discover influencers who talk about your brand / company or a specific topic linked to your business. If you enter the tab Analysis in Brand24’s dashboard you’ll get the information about top authors who posted any content about your brand (or a specific topic) in a specific period. This list includes users with the biggest audience around their profiles. However, the fact that someone has created one post about your brand does not mean he or she will resonate with your brand.
There is also another list that not only includes social media reach of authors, but also the number of mentions they wrote. The combination of these two variables composes an indicator – share of voice – which informs what part of the whole discussion was generated by the specific author. Users included in the list of influencers with the highest share of voice are likely to become your brand ambassadors or to start cooperation with your brand.
You can also use influence score filter in the tab Mentions (or Sources) to see only the authors with the biggest influence.
Very good example of a company that uses Internet monitoring to find influencers is Zortrax, a Polish producer of efficient and professional solutions – the integrated 3D printing environment that includes 3D printer, Z-Suite software and printing materials.
The company cares for the relations with clients and the most active social media authors who publish content about the brand. Zortrax detects influencers and tries to convert them into loyal brand ambassadors thanks to proper interaction. They have already engaged a group of eager “activists” who evangelize and educate others e.g. how to use a 3D printer. This is extremely important, as loyal customers can provide you with a great promotion that no paid advertisement can give you.
7. Protect your image
It is the most common and the most obvious application of Internet monitoring, but extremely important one. Very often fast response to negative opinion or fake pejorative comment can prevent a serious brand image crisis.
Brandjacking, which is an activity when someone steals online identity of a brand to undermine that brand, can do a serious damage to your company if not spotted early enough. Some users might create fake profiles posing as official brands and harm relations with your customers by creating content under your name.
If you discover such profile early enough you can immediately rectify it and nip social outrage in the bud.
It also concerns unsatisfied customers that complain about your service or product. If you find such comment once it’s published you can reply on the spot to him or her, trying to solve a problem, compensating for inconvenience and promising to prevent similar situations in the future.
Internet monitoring enables you to track all the opinions in real time, thus you will never miss a hot spot for a potential crisis.
8. Purchase decision factors
This is one of the most valuable customer insights you can derive from Internet monitoring. Recommendations that are left on social media and other online platforms very often include detailed description of product’/service’s elements, which influence consumer’s decisions.
We did numerous of analyses based on online discussions which helped us understand consumer behavior and users’ attitudes towards specific products, services and its features.
Such analyses help to discover the most common reasons for (not) buying a specific product. Comprehension of what’s the key factor for your clients in choosing your offer can give you advantage over competition.
For instance, we analyzed online discussion about smartwatches on the Polish market and examined evaluation criteria. It turned out that the most important factor for choosing particular model is its appearance and the second one – battery durability.
The chart indicates that support in Polish language has little influence on general opinion about smartwatches. Thus, even though it is negatively evaluated (the chart below show 100% negative opinions) creators do not need to focus on this feature as the primary refinement. It will not have significant impact on purchase decision.
9. Get inspiration for your content marketing
Internet monitoring is widely used by bloggers when they try to find inspiration for future content. All the authors have probably struggled at some point with lacking ideas for what to write about. Social listening might help with this as well. The monitoring tool gives you insights about what is trending on the Internet and what people want to read about.
It is easy as a piece of cake. You just need to set up project for monitoring topic areas related to your site’s content. Naturally, keywords selection depends on the industry your company operates in or the blog category.
Let’s take a blog that helps companies find solutions to develop their business as an example. In this case, we should think about the most catchy keyphrases that relate to this topic areas. What tags and hashtags do they use? What are the most common words in this field?
In the project configuration, you should choose that you want to monitor topic and then enter a keyphrase that perfectly reflects the topic area your company is focused on.
In this case, we went for “growth hacking” “grow your business”, “business growth” (separated with comas), which often appear as buzzwords in relation to tips, strategies and tricks for business development. Don’t forget to include variants without space between words in a keyphrase. Often these buzzwords are used as hashtags.
One of our clients – Veeu Network, a digital video company use social listening in the very same area. Before writing the scripts for new videos for clients, they dig into social media discussions to see what topics are relevant at the moment according to their fans.
Learn more about Veeu Network video strategies.
10. Recruitment process
We covered the whole article about using social listening as recruiting tool as it is another department that can take advantage of Internet monitoring. People post on social media about everything, including information that they are looking for a job. For recruiters it is a perfect opportunity to reach out to potential employees with saving lots of time.
You can easily set up a project for monitoring phrases like “looking for a job”, “I need a job”, etc. You can curb these results to specific geographic region and industry by adding required keywords.
Once Brand24 collects first mentions you can start reaching out to potential employees. You can reply to them under a tweet or post or send a private message asking for more details about personal background. It is totally up to you and depends on the character of a vacancy.
11. Market Research
Do you plan to introduce a new product or to conduct a social media campaign? The very first step you need to undertake is to learn about your target group and people you want to address your message/product. Thus, you need to study the market you want to enter.
There are many ways to do a research and social listening is one of the most reliable ones. You can derive a lot of information about your target group basing on monitoring data, including demographics, channels where and time when your audience is the most active, level of their engagement, context of discussion and many more.
This data can help you design your marketing strategy to be the most effective. You can learn where you should address your campaign and what time you should set up social posts and what language you should choose to convey a message to your prospects and clients the most effectively.
12. Measuring value of organic reach
This is especially useful information for agencies and CMOs that want to present board of directors effects of their activities in numbers. Marketers are all familiar with values of outdoor, TV or press advertisement. We still do not always trust online channels so much though, especially when it comes to ROI.
However, data from digital media is even more accurate and measurable. You cannot precisely estimate how many people made a purchase decision after watching a TV commercial. If you display the same ad in the online channel you can collect precise information about conversion rates at each step of customer acquisition process.
Brand24, as Internet monitoring and analyses tool, can help you estimate value of online discussion about your brand. When you combine variables like: size of a profile, number of interactions with content and social media reach of this content you can find out how many people potentially encountered mentions about specific topic and calculate estimated value of such conversation.
The estimated reach is en equivalent of display ads exposure. Thus, not only can you find out how many people encountered online content about your brand, particular campaign or a product, but also estimate the social media advertising value, which is a real market value of an asset in terms of the average market cost of advertising after discounts.
Try Brand24 for free now and take your business to the next lever thanks to Internet monitoring!