Social media listening was all the rage three or four years ago. Companies were setting up command centers and monitoring the online buzz with tools like Radian6 and Sysomos. Listening was going to help brands become more open and connected. So, why don’t we hear about listening as much today?
I think there are two reasons:
- Many brands have integrated listening into their ongoing marketing and customer service. It’s now part of the regular day-to-day business operation.
- Few brands have moved beyond social listening as a brand reputation and customer service tool. The full potential of real-time consumer insights is largely untapped.
In short, online monitoring tools have either become routine or unrealized.
What if you are in the “unrealized” group? How can you get more value for your business from listening to customers in social? We believe there are three key areas of value that listening will deliver:
Strategic Guidance – Brands cannot develop marketing plans in a vacuum. Listening can help:
- Define your target audience
- Assess your current brand position (share of voice)
- Determine channel mix
Ongoing Consumer Insights – Listening is a bigger suggestion box. It gives business real-time access to consumer feedback and will help deliver actionable insights. For example:
- Unmet needs
- Product issues and innovation opportunities
- Customer behavior and trends
- Content resonance
Content Optimization – Content helps create connections with customers. Listening helps inform and optimize the message, creative and distribution.
Smart organizations have been listening to customers forever. They’ve used the suggestion box, mail, phone, Web and now social to build and maintain the most important part of their business: the customer. As you think about your plan for 2013, make sure you AND your customers are getting more value from listening.