How To Build A Social Listening Strategy For Small Business

social listening strategy for small business

If you’re a small business owner, you know how difficult it can be competing against the big box stores of the world.

Your small business needs a successful marketing strategy that focuses on reaching the right people at the right time. With so much of our day to day lives spent online, digital marketing isn’t much of a choice anymore. To reach your target audience you need to have an online presence, but are you watching what people are saying about your business online? This is where a social listening strategy comes into play. Small businesses who take advantage of social listening will be more successful at capturing the attention they want with the customers they need!

So What Exactly is Social Listening?

We’ll admit, social listening sounds kind of spooky. No, you’re not hacking into conversations, and no, you’re not going behind your customer’s backs. Really, it’s just a strategy for paying attention to ways you can improve your business to better meet your customer’s needs.

You may have heard of social monitoring. This is where you monitor your customers comments on your page, or when you’re mentioned, to understand what consumers are saying about your brand online. Social listening goes beyond monitoring by fishing out actionable insights from those social conversations and applying them to your overall marketing strategy!

Social Listening is more than simply watching your mentions and comments pour in. It’s tracking conversations around specific industry-related topics, phrases, keywords, and brands. You use this information to discover new opportunities for your brand and to create relevant content for those audiences. Which is why this is particularly helpful for small businesses.

How Social Listening Can Help Your Small Business

According to Small Business Trends, 1 in 3 Internet users turn to social networks when looking for more information about a brand or product. Whether you like it or not, your customers have the ability to broadcast their opinions on your products and services on multiple social media channels. Have no fear, social listening is here! Social listening can bring the following benefits to your small business.

Monitoring your business’ online reputation

Social listening helps to provide data on how consumers feel about your brand. It allows you to account for product releases, website redesign, seasonality, crises in your industry, and other trends.

Improving the customer experience

Engage in conversations about your brand whether it’s someone saying how much they love your product or a question about services. You have the ability to provide customer service by responding to consumers questions, complaints, and comments online.

Learn what people think about you vs your competition

Gain insights about where you fit in the marketplace. Social listening allows you to monitor what your competitors are doing and what is being said about them online. This allows you to discover potential threats and opportunities as they happen and plan accordingly! This is particularly helpful for small businesses. You’re able to see what larger, more established businesses in your industry is doing. Then you can see how that affects your business, or how you can do something similar in an authentic way.

Identify key influencers

Get a sense of who the important influencers in your industry are. These people can have a major impact on how their followers and fans feel about both you and your competitors. Once identified, connect with these key influencers and convert them into brand advocates!

Understanding your customers better

Find out their pain points and listen to their feedback. Use this information to create more appealing content and offerings that your audience craves. Knowing these insights about your audience will help to keep them engaged with your brand and convert them into leads.

Keywords to Monitor

  • Your brand name and social media handles – watch what people are saying about you in particular.
  • Your product names – if you have unique product names, keep an eye out to see peoples feedback. If you see that many people have the same question you can address it on your website.
  • Common misspellings and abbreviations of product names
  • Your location
  • Industry buzz words – This is a great way to keep an eye on your competition.
  • Your slogan – so long as it’s not a regularly used phrase outside of your business.
  • Names of key people in your industry
  • Branded hashtags
  • Unbranded hashtags – think about what your business generally covers or hashtags that a lot of people in your industry use.
  • Your major competitor’s name, handles, product names

Social Listening Tools for Small Businesses

Sprout Social’s Listening Platform uncovers trends while monitoring profiles, keywords, and locations. Their social listening services focus on analyzing your brand, identifying competitive insights, and leveraging industry intelligence with listening queries and trend reports. Sprout Social offers a free trial.

Hootsuite is a well-known social media management platform that allows you to schedule social posts and track your campaigns. It also includes a social media monitoring feature where you can find & filter social conversations by keywords, hashtags, and locations to hear what people are saying about your brand, competitors, and industry! Hootsuite offers a free 30-Day Trial.

Brand 24 is a social media monitoring tool that gives you instant access to mentions about your brand across the web. With slack integration and a mobile application, Brand 24 allows you to discover what people are saying about your brand in real time and anywhere. They offer a free 14-day trial.

Talkwalker is a social media analytics tool that monitors what is happening on all social channels and online media in real time! With Talkwalker, you can benchmark your brand and campaigns along with connecting social efforts to real business results. You can request a free demo of Talkwalker.

Spooked about building your own social listening strategy? Let’s chat through your needs in a free strategy session!