What do customers really want? Not all companies are in the habit of listening when customers talk. But the reality is that consumers are interested in knowing what are existing consumers saying about the brand and the products before making buying decisions. According with a GENPAC article, 75% of U.S. households use social media channels ranging from YouTube and Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest and other social platforms that allow them to share, in real time, exactly what they think of your organization and your products. The social listening article, featured below, shows a good reflection on how important is for businesses to watch for trends and listen, because how the online audience reacts will shape how and what they will buy from the business and the competition.
Social listening, because of its immediacy and the fact that it taps a global audience, is a powerful research tool capable of generating actionable insights in time to seize opportunities. The spontaneous flood of opinions on social sites, when coupled with more structured traditional approaches, provides decision-makers with valuable insights into the current trends, wants and desires of the online group.
Companies that “listen” to the constant chatter on social media sites attain priceless insight into what consumers really like or dislike about a particular product—theirs and their competitors’. This early insight gives them time to adjust development and marketing strategies before feeling the impact in declining sales
Companies today have a superb opportunity to listen to and interact with these consumers, using mobile devices, email and social media. In addition to the near-universal use of email, 92% of U.S. households have a mobile device and 75% of internet-connected households use social media. This enormous audience is not just receptive to communication, but actively seeking it. To encourage and deepen such goodwill, some major companies are actively using and refining social listening to open a window into three critical areas:
Consumer insight helps companies assess purchase intent, profile customer segments based on behavior, interests and attitude and determine where to focus their efforts and spend by identifying which communities their customers associate with.
Brand insight uses KPI tracking to understand how awareness, perception, sentiments and consideration of the brand are evolving. Event analysis helps the company understand the impact of a particular event on various stakeholders, while negativity tracking helps to spot and manage emerging crises with regard to a particular product or brand. Social media also allows for rapid hypothesis testing.
Category insight helps the company determine how to best capitalize on opportunity landscapes as well as identify areas for innovation.
Social listening can be initiated by giving your customers the tools to interact with you: blogs, websites, Facebook pages and the like, that easily allow them to express themselves to you and to each other. Monitoring this free-flowing conversation avoids the bias of structured questions and allows you to go where the discussion actually is and hear what people really think, when they’re thinking it. It can lead to solutions to multiple stakeholder issues, faster, at much lower cost and provides a flexible means to alter the scope and focus of the research.
By listening in on the online communities where their customers participate, companies are able to develop powerful e-commerce portals and highly targeted strategies for influencer marketing, advertising, promotion and branding.
After conducting social listening and using the right tools to understand trends and interpret what customers are saying about the brand, the company needs to starts talking back and interacting with customers. Truly listening to your customers and show that you want to start a dialogue, which made your customers feel important.