Ask any small business owner about their social media marketing strategy, and they’ll likely respond with how often they post, how they engage with their audience, etc. But most of them ignore a crucial part of social media: knowing what others say about your brand.
Much has been written about the democratization of the internet – how customers are gaining control, and businesses are losing power, because everyone can post whatever they want, wherever they want. But not enough has been made of the practical business implications this development brings with it. In short, some of the most important and undervalued social media marketing tools in today’s digital age are those that enable social listening.
Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes: who would you trust more when looking for honest opinions about a product or service? The business that’s trying to sell you that product, or another customer who has purchased and used it in the past? The answer is easy. That’s why consumers are willing to trust even complete strangers on Amazon, Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews. And it’s also why you should absolutely monitor what’s being said about your brand and how to react to it.
Because here’s a simple truth: unanswered negative reviews can ruin your business. Negative reviews that have been answered, on the other hand, can save it.
By encouraging positive comments on social media and properly handling negative ones, you both increase the positive word of mouth about your brand and can actually improve your product. If negative comments about the timeliness of your customer service repeatedly pop up, there’s probably something to the complaint, leading to a necessary improvement in your company. If you led those negative commenters know that you’re improving, they won’t only stop being negative – they may actually turn into your biggest brand advocates.
In short, listening to what’s being said about your brand digitally should be a crucial aspect of any social media marketing strategy. Of course, you need the right tools to do that – but that’s a topic for another blog post. For now, contact us to learn more about how social listening can improve your brand and help your business!