The emergence of social media has created a dramatic shift in marketing dynamics. Gone are the days of standing atop a soapbox and selling our wares with a repetitive one way message. In fact, today, our customers own the soapbox, and use it to not only share their thoughts with friends but also to anyone who will listen!
The one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many nature of social media has contributed to a significant rise in the number of complaints being made. The channel provides customers with a soapbox that has the ability to achieve incredible reach when making their case heard. In 2014, the Ombudsman Service reported that over 5.2 million complaints were made via social media alone. With internet service providers, retailers and public transport routes baring the brunt of topics most talked about that year.
This means that it has never been more important to listen to our customers and others to find out what they are saying about us.
Traditionally, we have worked under the mantra of ‘the customer is always right’ as we strived to achieve the accolade of good customer service. This meant listening to the customer complaint and responding. However, social media now provides us with the ability to head a complaint off well before it even reaches the forefront of general public awareness, by giving us the power to proactively listen and gather insight from our customers, shaping the way we communicate with them in the future.
Here are six quick tips to help you listen to those around you, in order to help you achieve social media success.
- Lists – Twitter’s ability to build lists of key accounts is a quick and easy way to filter relevant topics of content. For example, create a Twitter list of leading industry ‘magazines’ or ‘news sites’ to provide you with shareable content tailored to your audience. Sometimes it’s important to listen to what’s going on around you to shape what you are going to say!
- Identify influencers – Partnerships are not a new concept in traditional marketing. However, the same principle can be applied to social media. Identify key influencers who match your target audience’s ideals and see if you can ‘cross-promote’ your campaigns. An excellent example of this is where @LandRoverRugby have been tagging key influencers within the Rugby industry to their pictures to help share their message (a neat trick to avoid losing those all important character spaces!)
- Share your success – From acknowledging a new follower, to retweeting/sharing positive feedback, it is important to share your successes with your audience. Not only it is good manners to reply to positive feedback with a thank you, but it will go a long way to reinforcing future positive engagements. Smoothie brand, Innocent, are a great example of a brand that shares it’s success and are rewarded with significant brand engagement.
- Tailored trends – This may seem like an obvious choice but often gets forgotten. Make the most of current trending topics to ensure that you are a) showing you are listening to your audience, and b) that you are up to date and relevant. One of our favourites is Dominos ‘We’ve been ex-spectre-ing you’ following the launch of the latest James Bond film, Spectre.
- Engage – Aside from monitoring your inbound conversations (customers who have directly @mentioned you) get one step ahead of the curve and take a ‘search’ approach to reaching out to your audience. Set up searches within your social media management software to identify keywords and phrases that would be used by your target audience. Set up immediate notifications direct to your inbox so you can respond quickly, as time is of the essence! The ability to set these searches to a specific geographical location can further help with targeting your customer more accurately. One leading leisure operator created a buzz search with the phrase ‘looking for a gym buddy’ and identified a customer who was in close proximity to one of their gym sites. The quick thinking Centre Manager quickly responded with a personalised response saying that ‘Instructors Jason and Mark were on hand to give some friendly motivation to a spin class that was starting in ten if they fancied it!’ This quick and personalised response resulted in the customer attending the spin class and providing positive feedback.
- Nurture – Using a social media management software you can identify your top engaged users. These would be prime candidates as ‘real-life’ brand ambassadors, giving your brand credibility but also rewarding your customers for their loyalty and engagement.
So there you have it, six tips on how you can listen to your audience and those around you to enhance your social media delivery.
One final tip… the key to success with social media is the ability to adapt and innovate… here’s a sneak peak into a brand new feature hot off the press from Twitter ‘Twitter Polls’ that will really help you to listen to your audience and ensure your social media stands out from the crowd. Take a look at how Innocent has reacted quickly and utilised this brand new feature in a quirky and engaging approach to stimulate brand engagement!
CrowdControlHQ is the UK’s leading social media risk management & compliance platform, enabling effective management & oversight of all your social media accounts, with comprehensive analytics and reporting to help optimize your delivery.