Know What Your Customers Are Thinking
Quick. Name the most powerful marketing tool you have.
The answer comes in various forms - consumer insights, customer data, market research - but all these terminologies amount to one critical word.
That translates into reliable information about your customers’ perceptions, attitudes, motivations, and buying behavior that you can use to guide your marketing decisions. Marketers have traditionally acquired this information through focus groups, surveys, or feedback.
In the digital age when reliable data equals real-time data, the best source for consumer insights is now social listening - monitoring social media channels to see how customers and prospects perceive your brand, product, competitors, and more.
No need for guesswork
Social media insights enable businesses to understand where customers are in their buyer’s journey.
- Use customer interests, hobbies, activities, and other personal details to tap into very specific market segments when implementing campaigns
- Learn how your product is performing vis-a-vis competition
- Provide better and more personalized customer service based on knowledge of customer values and preferences.
Social media-derived information provides
- Reliability - You can easily tweak your social media strategy so you’re communicating to customers at the right time and the right place
- Dynamism – Always be clued into the newest market trends, latest technologies, what influencers are saying, what competitors are doing
- Broader understanding of events - So you can spot signals - before your competitors do - of imminent industry disruptions or market changes, emerging technologies, customer dissatisfaction, etc.
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Leverage social media customer insights
Social listening is a quick way to access your customers, spread the good word about your products or services, facilitate conversations with your customers to discover what they like/dislike about your offerings and your competitors’.
Be where your customers are - Determine your target demographics and personas and find out which social platform they hang out in the most. You’ll find your B2B audience mostly on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
LinkedIn lets you find your ideal customer profile by simply searching typical job titles of your buyer persona. Use the Q&A section of industry keywords to acquire business intelligence. Check out company pages to see the latest news and company employees who are in your network.
Twitter collects and analyzes the information within billions of Tweets sent out every day - enabling you to learn consumer preferences and what Twitter users think about your offerings so you can predict product success - or failure.
YouTube offers tools so you can monitor the most popular search categories and channels and customize your videos to fit the current conversations. YouTube Analytics gives you more info about the people who watch your videos so you can design your strategies accordingly.
Use social media analytics - Who are your customers and how do they find you and your competitors? How do they want to be reached and what motivates them? Social media data is so vast that you need a good analytics tool to deliver all the information to you in real time, in one location. The tool must cover all social platforms, must provide filters so you can tighten your search terms, and must be easy to use. Needless to say, it must be able to aggregate hundreds or thousands of comments and capture them in a way that they provide actual insights.
Know when or why your brand name is mentioned - You’ll want to discover more than compliments or complaints about your product. You’ll also want to learn the topics associated with - or the context of the social conversations around - your brand company. For example, do people talk only about cybersecurity when they mention your encryption solution, or do they also talk geopolitics or finance? Such insights will help you reach new consumers or present your product in refreshing ways.
Find and use trends to boost content marketing - Are you clued into the latest trends related to your product? When you create blogs, articles, social media posts, do you talk about what the top influencers in your industry are talking about?
Social media conversations are a treasure trove for ideas to nourish your content marketing. Check what's new in your social communities in terms of lifestyles or buying behaviors. Create new, compelling content by analyzing consumer trends and connecting them to your brand. Listen to what relevant thought leaders are saying and develop a blog around their insights and research.
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Monitor your competitors
Social listening requires not just hearing what customers say about you, but also tuning in to what they say about your competitors. Which competing brands get the most mentions, enjoy positive reviews, or suffer from negative comments? If they garner better feedback than your brand, what do they do differently?
Social media may well be one your best sources for business intelligence. Set up alerts on competitor activities, monitor their social media content and trending topics, and track influencer conversations about competitor content. This will give you an idea about the competing brand’s strategy and target audience and better prepare you to respond.
Managing and monitoring all social media platforms, collecting customer information, and distilling that data into helpful knowledge is a big job. Make sure to partner with a social media professional who can show you how to utilize the various platforms, build and optimize connections, select the right tools, and create strong content. After all, it’s your brand that’s at stake.