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How Brands Can Use Social Listening to Optimize Content

Social listening is the monitoring of what social media users are saying about your brand, competitors, and the market. Businesses need to know what their audience is doing online–what they like, who they are talking to, and what they are talking about. Paying attention to your audience and their online activity can make content creation easier and more effective.

Learn What is Relevant

Picture social media as a data collection tool. By paying attention to the opinions and reactions of your audience, you will get a better idea about what they like, dislike, and how they act. You are like an anthropologist studying a society from afar as you observe their social interactions, collect data, and draw conclusions. The big data market size is projected to exceed $90 million by 2026. By knowing the problems they are trying to solve, and the tools, programs, and apps they are using, you can provide the right content at the right time and become a more useful resource.

It’s important to remember that millennials and Generation Z view brand interaction as a two-way street. You can’t just throw up messaging and expect people to like you and your brand; it’s much more involved than that. Your audience likely sees somewhere between 3,000-20,000 marketing messages a day, making it impossible for them to remember everything they see. By listening to them and reacting appropriately, you can start real, lasting, and memorable conversations with your audience.

No one likes it when a brand butts into their conversations on social media with links to a website that won’t benefit them in any way. It can feel forced, inauthentic, and incredibly annoying. Instead, follow the conversation, and if you have something to add–whether a joke, advice, or a reaction–social media users will enjoy seeing a brand that can talk on their level. In fact, many teenagers will only interact with brands if they can speak their language.

Understand the Value of Your Followers

Never underestimate the power of your audience’s own voice because 70% of consumers place peer recommendations and reviews above professional content. That means your audience will listen to each other more than they will listen to you, so it’s vital that you understand that and accommodate them with blog posts and photos you can share, tweets you can retweet, reviews, and Twitter chats you can get involved in to compliment your own content.

By combining user-generated content with your own, brand engagement can rise 28%. Paying attention to the members of your audience is a great way to identify the most vocal and influential members of your community, which you can use to create a better environment for future customers because 86% of millennials say that user-generated content is a good indicator of the quality of the brand.

By simply monitoring your community, your brand can improve content production and ensure that your audience interacts with it more frequently. It’s an easy way to get your foot in the door when you want to start a conversation.