One of the greatest things to come out of the rise of social media is that organizations have been given a direct line to their customers, as well as detailed insights into how their marketing and the organization in general are being received. With this direct line, organizations can learn what current and potential customers are saying and thinking about them in real-time. This feedback can oftentimes be overwhelmingly positive, but sometimes critical and unfiltered, giving them an opportunity to do a deep dive and see what can be done to turn the situation around.
What Is Social Listening?
Social listening means actively monitoring your organization’s social media platforms for feedback and opportunities to engage with current and potential customers about your organization and what it offers. It gives organizations the opportunity to begin and continue the conversation to check the temperature of how the organization is seen within the community.
Implementing Social Listening Techniques
Monitor your organization’s social media channels by reading every comment on every post, taking note of the amount of engagement (likes and comments) each post has, as well as searching for mentions of your organization, searching for keywords or relevant hashtags related to your organization and industry and keeping an eye on your competitors and how their social media channels are performing. Look at what their engagement is like, what they are posting and how people are responding.
According to Hootsuite, a platform that can assist with social listening, the keywords and topics below are a good starting point when you begin your organization’s social listening journey:
- Your brand name and handles
- Your product name(s), including common misspellings
- Your competitors’ brand names, product names and handles
- Industry buzzwords
- Your slogan and those of your competitors
- Names of key people in your company and your competitors’ companies (your CEO, spokesperson, etc.)
- Campaign names or keywords
- Your branded hashtags and those of your competitors
- Unbranded hashtags related to your industry
Hootsuite also suggests that you monitor common misspellings and abbreviations related to your organization and industry.
Once you’ve gathered all pertinent information, it’s time to analyze your findings. What topics/posts on your organization’s social profiles are you seeing the most engagement? What are your customers and potential customers saying? If they are loving what your organization has to offer to the community, keep it going! However, if there is negative feedback, take it as an opportunity to readjust your offerings and messaging to better meet your community’s needs. By monitoring the overall mood toward your organization, you are gaining key insights into what the social media sentiment is toward your brand, and you can act accordingly (adjusting offerings, products, etc.) to better benefit everyone.
Social Listening Tips & Tricks
When it comes to your current and potential customers, one of the best things you can do is actively and effectively engage with them on your organization’s social channels. Share posts about upcoming virtual and in-person events, what your organization is doing to help better the community and what classes and programs you are offering. Ask questions about what the community would like to see your organization do. Respond to comments, and if they are negative, use that as an opportunity to see what the pain points are and try to fix them. Make sure you are prompt, positive and helpful with your responses. Be curious, be courteous and most of all, be kind.
Stay Ahead of the Game
Keep tabs on the latest trends when it comes to social media, but don’t feel obligated to do a trendy post/video just because it’s popular. You need to make sure it fits with your brand and is timely. If it doesn’t mesh, don’t do it. A good rule of thumb is to keep an eye on your competitors, see what they’re doing and go from there. It is always better to size up the competition and see how you can do things better. Remember, be proactive instead of reactive.
Follow Your Followers
A good way to keep your finger on the pulse of what your community wants is to follow them on the social channels where they follow you. Sure, not everything they post will be something relating to your organization, but you could get some great ideas, as well as content that is relevant to your organization that you can in turn share as well. Highlight a family or a community member on your social channels regularly (with their permission), or share content they’ve shared about your organization, classes and programs. User generated content is always a good way to boost engagement and awareness.
ACTIVENet and ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager are there for you when it comes to your organization’s needs. Whether that means engaging your community, streamlining operations or managing participation, our software is here to help your organization perform at its best.