Imagine you’re having coffee with a friend, you haven’t spoken to them for 6 months. He’s telling you about being fired due to the pandemic and other struggles he’s experiencing in life.
Do you ignore everything he’s just said and start talking about yourself? Of course not! Yet so many brands do this exact thing on social media. They don’t listen and only shout about themselves. Even worse, they don’t make an attempt to listen.
Listening is key to effective social media marketing – both, for your business and your personal brand. I’ve compiled 10 ways on how you can ‘hear more’ on social media, I hope this saves you a bit of time and increases your engagement – let’s jump into it.
1. Produce content that your audience cares about, not your CEO
Are you posting a 5th written testimonial this week, or another infographic telling the world why your company is amazing? Does your audience really care about this or are you doing it to please the boss? Post content that a) Brings value to your audience and b) ls something you’d want to see yourself on another company’s page.
2. Never ignore interactions
Bad reviews are the perfect opportunity to turn the situation around and showcase your diligence. Comments are great for starting conversations. Questions are an indication that others might have them as well. Make sure you respond to all interactions your brand or you receive on social media.
3. Pre-empt customer’s questions
You know what people struggle with when deciding on or using your product/service because they always ask! So, tell them the answers – be honest, be helpful.
4. Listening to silence is very important
If your posts are not getting any engagement then you need to listen to what the algorithm is telling you, why is it happening, what can you change? Oh, and read point 1 again.
5. Remember that your employees and potential talent are also listening
Social media isn’t just for your customers, it’s also for your current and future employees. This is how you’ll attract new talent and keep the current one – praise people, care about employee wellbeing, monitor employee’s profiles to see if their life is on track.
6. Listen to your industry and take action
Make it a habit to check industry-related online publications and news sources. Has anything happened which might impact your customers? Maybe a new piece of technology has emerged or you’ve become more informed. Can you post about this on social media to help them? Should you message them as a courtesy?
7. Listen out for audience hotspots
When you hear a lot of noise, you should be there too. LinkedIn / Facebook groups – Twitter hashtag trends – Instagram collaborations. What can you do to be amongst your audience’s hotspots?
8. Recording statistics is not necessarily listening to them
It’s easy to have an excel spreadsheet and record how many likes and engagement your accounts get… but are you acting on this data? Notice patterns, ask questions, and listen to the stats. Why did this post perform so well and what can I do to repeat this? Why is my audience only in this demographic on Facebook but my physical store sells to all audiences? Follows the clues in your data.
9. Tell your audience that you’re all ears
Sometimes your customers might be embarrassed to ask questions or they might not know that you can help them – so say it. “Always happy to answer any questions privately.” / “Here’s our customer care email.” / “Use this #hashtag and we will respond to any questions.” etc.
10. It’s a telephone, not a megaphone
Finally, remember that you need to also interact with your customers and not expect them to just interact with you. Social media is a telephone, not a megaphone. Don’t just shout about yourself, make an effort to converse… then listen and improve.
I hope you’ve found this article useful and can start using these tips on your social media profiles – see you in the next one very soon!