When a doctor sees a patient, what is the FIRST thing they ask? They want to know, “How you are feeling?” Your answer is their first step on the path to diagnosis. Doctors have to be well-versed in listening to make accurate findings. Business owners and marketers also need to practice that skill.
Marketers and business owners need to be listening to what customers are saying on social media to gain insight.
To get your marketing messages to resonate with your audience, you need to be able to speak the targets’ language. In order to do that, you need to be actively listening to what is being said about your target markets pain points and how they view solutions. You have to know the subtleties of “language” expressed in each marketing channel and what it means. Here’s how you find out what is important:
1. Know the culture: Listen to what is important and reiterate those values/solutions.
2. Acknowledge the positive: Usually there are some things that you do well, your customers will be talking about that; accent only the positive. Negative campaigns get old, really fast.
3. Tell the truth: Honesty is a key component of social media, don’t set up false accounts to “spy” on your customers or their insights.
4. Get results: Sometimes you don’t want to hear what those customers and prospects have to say, it could be negative. By listening to these critiques, you get insight into your customers’ mind, improve products, ramp up customer service or focus your marketing on certain initiatives.
Social Media Listening Tips:
- Ask a question (who, what, why), listen and respond appropriately.
- Follow industry leaders, that may include competitors.
- Check out online chats and discussions.
- Watch the social stream. Notice when people are absent.
- If someone shares or re-tweets your ideas; thank them.
Listening to your customers’ culture is not always easy and it can be time-consuming. Last week Vivid Image helped to host the first Social Media Breakfast in central Minnesota. Were you there? If you were, then you heard Steve Gasser talk about the importance of creating alerts from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Alerts like Hootsuite and Nutshell Mail allow local organizations like: BLEND, MN CORE Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Minnesota REM to listen when they are mentioned on social media and respond quickly. They are out there listening to the successes and issues of their customers in rural MN.
How are you listening to customers on social media? Are you using alerts? We would love to hear your insight. Alerts are a way to take that critical first step of any marketing program: listening. Next month’s Social Media Breakfast topic will be on Social Media Policy Legal Guidelines, Copyrights and Laws, we hope to see you there!