HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR CUSTOMER NEEDS 2: SOCIAL LISTENING
Customer needs are identified through a variety of ways. In our previous post, we learnt how to identify your customer needs through focus groups. Focus groups allow participants to engage and influence one another in a facilitated discussion to gather consumer perceptions on a specific topic or area of interest.
In today’s post, you will learn how to identify your customer needs through Social Listening. Social listening is a research strategy that entails listening to what people have to say about a specific brand or sector, keeping track of their ideas and most importantly, reacting to them on social channels.
According to Jay Baer, “Listening to customers is more important than it’s ever been because their feedback is manifestly public where it’s historically been private.”
Small, medium and large businesses all benefit from social listening as a marketing tool. It is a response to the needs of a modern society, eager to convey its thoughts, needs, and desires to be heard. The first step in developing a customer experience plan that will win brand loyalty and drive conversions is to understand your customers, who they are, where they are, and how they feel about your brand. This will guide you in understanding the buyer’s journey. Any company that does not listen to online dialogue regarding their products/services, competitors, or marketplace is simply deaf to their customers’ demands and requirements. No wonder Frank Eliason said “Truly, listening is hearing the needs of the customer, understanding those needs and making sure the companies recognize the opportunities they represent.”
Social listening can help improve your sales by boosting the awareness, interest, engagement and action stages. It aids in the discovery of your target group’s insights, pains, personalities, and behaviours. It makes it easy to match and respond to the needs of your potential or current clients. The most effective use of social listening is in customer service management. There are a lot of public comments, posts, and thoughts regarding your brand. The best thing to do is to respond to each one individually, expressing gratitude for the positive ones while concentrating on the negative ones, which will have the most impact on your brand’s reputation. When it comes to earning consumer trust and loyalty, communication is crucial. Social listening allows you to maintain contact with your audience and build long-lasting relationships with them.
By using social listening platforms, brands can also target industry influencers. Influencer relationships can assist in driving purchase decisions. Tools like google trends, google alerts, Talkwalker alerts, quora, reddit and exploding topics can help simplify the process and show you what people are talking about. A suite of analytic reports is frequently included with social listening tools: sentiment, the share of voice, demographic data, and so on. This gives you a better idea of who’s talking about you, where they’re talking about you, and how they feel about your brand.
APPLICATION OF SOCIAL LISTENING
- Identify and follow up on sales leads: Social media listening tools will help you identify and follow up on sales leads by monitoring multiple keywords across multiple social media platforms and integrate reports into one intuitive, customizable dashboard. Social listening enables the customer management team to respond with information when potential customers inquire about a product or remark they are considering purchasing a new product.
- Respond to customer complaints: Social media has become a powerful customer service tool. Companies that respond promptly with professionalism and empathy keep customers and gain new ones.
- Find user-generated content: Consumers often share product photographs, videos, and praise on social media. PR and marketing can identify such contents with the use of social listening.
- Measure PR results: According to Peter Suciu, more Americans are getting their news on social media. Since social media posts now affect brand perception and purchases as much as mainstream news, PR professionals have realized that monitoring the most prominent social media platforms, as well as blogs and message boards, is just as vital as watching traditional news sites.
- Competitive Intelligence: Checking a competitor’s website isn’t enough to learn about their public relations, marketing strategy and approaches. Social media monitoring and measurement can provide a variety of competitive intelligence; including information on competitors’ product development, marketing tactics, product positioning, key customers, and public relations operations.
- Improve products: Companies can learn about their product strengths and weaknesses by listening to social media conversations related to their products. These insights can be used to influence future product enhancements and new product development. Companies can also use social media to recruit customers to engage in product trials, and then use social media to track the success of the product and consumer reactions.
- Research your market: Market difficulties, complaints, and preferred product features can all be easily identified using social listening tools.
In comparison to traditional research methods like focus groups, surveys and interviews, social listening tools can generate data in hours or days, rather than weeks or months. At this point, if you haven’t used social listening to know your potential customers, track and follow up leads, this is an opportunity to leverage social listening tools to identify your customer needs.