The number of services offering similar high-quality products has increased rapidly in recent years. Although competition between businesses has always been fierce, it has become brutal in the modern Western world. The reason is quite simple – many of businesses offer the same quality products and services at almost the same price.
The increase in the number of suppliers has given customers many options they can choose from. This means that to be successful in business, you have to really stand out from the crowd.
On the bright side, there are plenty of methods businesses can implement into their day-to-day operations to gain the trust of their potential clients and turn them into loyal customers. One of these methods – one of the most important, in fact – is social media listening.
This article will provide ways businesses can use social media listening to gain additional brand recognition and increase customer advocacy.
Firstly, though, it is important to understand what social media listening and customer advocacy are before getting into how they can help businesses stand out from their competitors.
What is Social Media Listening?
Social media listening is collecting and analyzing everything that’s being said about your brand on social media.
Many customers express their opinion on an online service by writing reviews and leaving comments. These reviews aren’t always positive: not everyone will like what you’re offering. Some of your clients will maybe have an unpleasant experience with your staff. Somebody’s expectations may not be fulfilled. And there may be people mentioning your brand in conversations just because they’re in search of somebody else’s opinion.
When conducting social media listening to manage customer relationships better, businesses should keep in mind that negative comments are beneficial. They are a way to understand people’s needs and provide useful solutions to them.
Since there can be thousands of reviews online, many businesses have started to incorporate social listening tools. These help you collect and filter mentions and find the most useful comments and opinions.
What is Customer Advocacy?
Customer advocacy is understanding what customers want and need from a business.
But along with understanding what those wants are, customer advocacy is responding to people’s wants. This helps businesses bild stronger customer relationships. Listening to customers and providing solutions to their problems is essential to running an effective, profitable business.
Why is it important to increase customer advocacy?
By increasing customer advocacy, businesses will be able to satisfy their customers’ needs easily. This will lead to gaining loyal customers who will talk about this business to their friends. The result? Increased brand awareness and marketing through word-of-mouth.
How are Social Media Listening and Customer Advocacy Connected?
Now that both definitions of social media listening and customer advocacy are understood, it is easy to see a connection.
Social media listening allows businesses to understand what they are doing right and what they need to improve in their operations.
In reality, social media listening is the first step towards high-quality customer service. By providing good and effective customer service, businesses can increase their customer experience and gain loyal customers in the long run.
However, since social media listening consists of positive and negative feedback, people responsible for researching customer feedback need to be able to pull out the best from criticism. Only then you’ll be able to work on finding a solution to decrease the number of negative reviews.
Ways to Increase Customer Advocacy Through Social Media Listening
#1 Respond on social media frequently
To increase customer advocacy, it is crucial to be active on social media.
Nowadays, many people head to social media to express their concerns regarding a product. In addition, they ask for tutorials on how to use something, or maybe to understand how a certain product can benefit them in their daily lives.
Getting a fast response to an issue or a concern makes people happy. And when it’s a response from the business they’ve bought a service/product from, it tells a lot about the business. And so does not responding.
This may make your customers check out your competitors’ products. Not to mention the fact that it causes immense frustration and leaves space to additional bad comments.
#2 Use social media listening tools to stay on top of mentions on social media
If a business wants to increase customer advocacy, it can also start implementing the usage of social monitoring tools.
Social media listening tools allow businesses to track specific keywords (their brand name, competitors, key people, trends, etc.). In this way they allow you to conduct more in-depth research on all social media conversations.
Their greatest benefit? Your business profile doesn’t have to be tagged in a conversation, you will still get the mention in your feed.
Other benefits of social listening tools
Additionally, by using social listening tools, businesses can:
- Analyze ongoing campagns – by setting up the corresponding keywords, you can see what your customers think about your marketing/product campaigns
- Gain knowledge about a specific topic quickly and concisely – you can filter your results by channel, language, sentiment, influence score, etc and get a more detailed overview
- Learn what their competitors are doing online
Social listening tools provide an incredible amount of useful data. What is more, you can segment the data based on numerous factors and pull out what you need at a given time. Maybe you’re interested how your customers feel about you on a specific social media platform. Or what they think about your newest campaign that you spent a lot of money on.
This data is something you should take into concern when creating your next marketing strategy.
#3 Constant innovation based on social media listening
The aim of social media listening is to have an insight into what people think of a certain business.
By listening to people’s feedback on social media, businesses are able to distinguish between what they should continue doing and what they should change from their day-to-day operations to provide an excellent customer experience for their target audience.
For that reason, businesses need to keep an open mind when conducting social media listening campaigns.
By being open to new ideas, businesses can understand what their target audience needs and be able to come up with creative innovations that will make the lives of their customers easier in some way.
When businesses introduce innovative ideas to their target audience, people will feel appreciated because they will see that the business operates based on their customers’ needs and is not merely producing products that can increase their profits and revenues.
Thus, when trying to build stronger customer relationships, businesses should research and see what people need and, based on their findings, innovate accordingly.
#4 Accepting the feedback of customers
It’s easy to get mixed feelings when listening to customers’ feedback online. You will receive both positive and negative feedback from customers on your social media platforms – this is simply how it is.
When a business depends on social listening to increase customer advocacy and brand awareness, they should keep in mind that negative feedback is beneficial for them according to CEO Petri Maatta at DreamMaker, since it will enhance their knowledge and positively affect their social media presence. Be thick-skinned, and don’t take it personally!
#5 Reach out to the most influential customers
Another tip to increase customer advocacy through social listening is to reach out to the most influential customers. These customers are those who constantly purchase products from a business alongside leaving positive reviews and expressing gratitude towards the business.
Reaching out to these customers and expressing a genuine interest in their feedback shows that you have the customers’ needs at the front of your mind. These influential customers will view the business even more positively than they did before, and when it comes to them looking for their next product or solution, they will be more likely to turn to you rather than a competitor.
On top of this, having a good relationship with these customers is great for brand awareness. Often, these customers will become unofficial ‘brand ambassadors’ on social media, spreading the word about what your business offers and widening your online presence.
It’s essential to look to reviews and feedback from past customers to make the process of decision-making easier and to make sure you’re looking after your customers properly.
When businesses implement good social listening campaigns, make the best use of the social listening tools, and frequently respond to their customers’ needs and wants, they will improve their social media presence and increase their brand awareness, as well as improve customer retention rates.
In the long run, businesses will be able to attract new customers because of the increase in the number of customer advocates due to social media listening.