“The customer is always right” has been the rule of thumb for as long as businesses have existed. Return business depends on the customer feeling valued. Being valued begins with listening. Listening to the customer means not only hearing them but understanding what they want.
This concept is put into practice by a business by listening to the customer and what they want. This practice is no different on social media when it comes to your company’s brand and what you are putting out into the world for the customer to see. A practice and example of this that I was taught early on in my career, paraphrasing, “My favorite color is blue but that doesn’t mean I can put blue everywhere and use it in every campaign. I am catering to the customer and their desire. Just because my favorite color is blue does not mean that it is everyone else’s favorite color.”
As humans, we are visual beings when it comes to consumerism. We make a judgment based on the first thing we see. If what we are seeing is not desirable, we move onto something else that does catch our eye. Listen to your new followers and most importantly, returning customers on social media to what they want to see. They are your audience, connect with them.
By ignoring what our audience wants we are disconnected from them. When we are disconnected from our audience, we cannot service or leave an impact on them. Companies often guess at what an audience wants to see versus listening to what they want. If any of this applies to your company, make a plan of action and ask yourself questions: “Who is the audience? What do they want to see? What could be a more effective way of connecting with them? What performs the best and gets the most engagement?”
Companies monitor their social media, which is a necessary part of a social media campaign, but it is taking bits and pieces of information versus looking at the whole picture. Engaging with your customers and assuring them that their comment has been seen is great, but did you listen to that person when they made a comment? Proper social listening means looking at the industry your company belongs to as a whole versus your one small piece of it. What is working for other companies that might be more successful than yours? How could you use it as inspiration and do something similar, but more importantly, better?
Let’s look at social listening and social monitoring from a business performance perspective. Imagine you are a business owner with more than one location. If one of your locations was performing better than another with the same location to customer ratios you would listen to the customers leaving poor reviews and initiate some type of change as a result. This change would be put into motion with an investigation as to why one store is getting better reviews than the other. For example, if a review was left saying “Business- Location A is much more attentive when I come in to shop than Business-Location B, it takes ten minutes for someone to ask if I need help at Location B and at Location A someone is ready to help me as soon as I walk through the door.” As a business owner, you want both locations to be equally successful, so you would address the customer and acknowledge their complaint. Next, you might put a standard in place to greet customers and ask if they need help when they come into the store versus waiting until they look like they might need help after a period of time. By addressing the customer, you are monitoring the issue and bringing awareness to it but taking it that one step further to make a change in your store locations you are listening.
With that example in mind, look at your social media campaign the same way. If a specific type of post is performing better than another, listen to what your audience is saying and make a change. Research other companies in your industry and see if their top-performing posts are similar or different from your top-performing posts. If they are different see how you can change a type of post that is not performing as well as you want to align closer to what your audience is responding positively to. Making a change to a low engagement post has no negative outcome. If the post responds equally or worse than the original, you can always go back to the original style of the post but if it performs better than you’ve created more brand awareness and listened to what your audience wants.
Social listening can improve the health of your brand, give an insight into what works versus what doesn’t, and analyzes the competition versus your company’s campaign. Take advantage of your social media analytics to get further insight and start listening to your audience engagement. It is important to let your audience know they are seen, but it is even more important to let your audience know they are heard. An audience member on social media who feels heard but is not an existing customer could potentially be your next biggest and most loyal customer to date.
At The AD Leaf ® we understand that not every business has the extra time to invest their full efforts into social media. We are here to listen to your needs so that your customers can feel heard on social media, contact us via our phone number, 321.255.0900, or set up a consultation at TheAdLeaf.com, or you can email us to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon!