You know the one. The guy who speaks over you and never stops talking and really has no interest in what you have to say. The guy who simply waits for you to stop your rambling so he can begin his again. We all know that guy.
And we all hate that guy.
“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey
If you ask anyone in a successful relationship or even someone who’s had one crumble into tiny bits (probably that guy), they’ll tell you that good communication is key. And good communication starts not in talking, but with listening.
The same holds true for brands. Though the media landscape has changed swiftly and continues to shift dramatically over the past 75 years, the principles of brand-building still rely heavily on building and maintaining customer relationships. That it as it has always been.
As a brand, you can’t begin to provide value to your customers until you know what they actually value. With the help of social media and our good pal, the Internet, we have the incredible opportunity to listen to our audience in a way we never have.
There are two very easy ways to listen to your audience.
The first is to simply monitor your brand mentions on social media.
According to Social Media Today, more consumers are using social as a customer service tool and are reaching out directly to brands to provide feedback on the product or service. For example, CitiBike (New York City’s bike-share program) recently upgraded their fleet. Based on their brand mentions, they’re able to see, in real time, what users are saying about the new additions. Citibike also gains valuable insights as to what should stay the same and what could be improved.
The second way is to take advantage of the search feature on each of your social platforms.
The search feature on each of your social platforms (or your social management platform) is a great way to find out what people are saying about the kinds of products or services you offer. For example, if you run a bike shop and search “bicycles” on Twitter, you’ll find many people interested in bike riding as a way to get in shape. Boom! Just from doing a little bit of listening, you’ve got a killer topic for your next blog post … for which your potential audience is already primed and hungry!
- Who’s using your product/service
- Why they like or dislike your product/service
- Where and how they use your product/service
- Other ways they wish they could use your product/service
- What they’re saying about your product/service to others
When you use social to listen, it immediately becomes a powerful customer service tool and a way to provide your customers with truly valuable information and content. Pretty cool, huh?
And just like that, we’re one day closer to ridding the online world of “that guy.”