Social listening involves far more than just keeping an eye out for what your target audience says about your competitors.
It’s a powerful, but often underestimated, way for businesses of all kinds to not only connect with their target audience, but find out what they need right now.
Social media moves quickly. People often use it to share the things they feel most passionately about – whether that’s in a positive or a negative way.
It’s therefore the perfect place for businesses to spot their target audience’s problems and get their solutions in front of them exactly when they need it.
Social listening can even help businesses to identify gaps in existing content and strategies which could be costing them sales.
Demand Gen’s 2019 B2B report suggests that 70% of buyers class “relevant content that speaks directly to our company” as “very important”.
Which means, if you want to attract your perfect customer, you need to demonstrate your understanding of the problem they’re trying to solve exactly when they’re experiencing it.
The fast pace of social media allows you to see what people are talking about in that moment. If you can publish content about this quickly, it shows a deep understanding of the industry.
Attracting New Business With Social Listening
Recently, a European manufacturing company used social listening for their ABM efforts.
The manufacturing company found an article online which was causing a PR stir for their dream client. And not in a good way.
Their current supplier wasn’t living up to expectations. It was causing faulty equipment which was reflecting badly on the brand.
So, the manufacturing company used that story to inspire their content, then used it to start a conversation with their dream client. It helped them uber-personalise their ABM approach.
Understanding Customer Needs
The company’s first step was to find out more about the problem their prospect was going through. To do this, they used social listening.
It’s often assumed that business-related discussions always happen on LinkedIn. But this isn’t always the case.
Twitter, online forms, and even Reddit can be content goldmines, too.
Not only can these sites provide inspiration, but they can also be a great way for experts to engage in conversations and build up their own authority.
The manufacturing company in question often used Reddit to connect with their prospect. While it’s often referred to as “the front page of the internet”, many businesses don’t consider how effective it can be for market research and building connections.
The discussions about, and with, their dream client allowed them to identify the problems faced by the company, and their prospects. This allowed them to see what relevant content they already had and could market to the company, and what content they could create to bridge those gaps and build their authority.
Using The Right Hashtags
Many people share their feelings on social media without taking the time to filter themselves, meaning social listening is a great way to find out what someone really thinks or feels about something.
The right hashtag can provide lots of details about your target audience and how people feel about them. Are they happy? Angry? Sad? Indifferent?
Hashtags can also offer great content inspiration, directing you towards trending events and topics that are on your audience’s minds. Social listening allows you to spot these trending hashtags and you can then create relevant content around these.
It gives you an edge on your competitors, allowing you to be one of the first to talk about industry trends and build your thought leadership.
Engaging With Influencers
Every company has influential employees. Sometimes this influence is internal, sometimes it’s external, and sometimes it’s a combination of the two. They also have influencers within the industry whom they look up to.
Social listening has helped manufacturing companies engage with these influencers, and sending them product samples, helps them to understand the difference between your product and a competitor’s.
If they like it, they may then discuss the product with their network, and maybe even get the rest of their team onboard.
Being A Leader
The best content out there is published by innovative brands who are at the forefront of their industry. Social listening allows companies to keep track of what’s happening and when, so that you can be one of the first to post relevant, timely content.
When businesses do this, they match the conversations happening in buyers’ heads. This match creates a connection, where the buyer feels like the business gets them. Making them far more likely to come to the business to find solutions to their problems.
B2B customers now expect the same experience as they do when they’re a B2C customer. The more you can do to provide that experience, the closer you are towards your business goals.
The manufacturing company’s social listening strategy worked. They attracted their dream client by showing an understanding of their audience’s problem at the moment they needed it the most. Which goes to show the power it can have when done correctly.
Social listening can form long-lasting relationships that turn prospects into customers. It’s all about knowing what your audience needs, then getting the relevant content in front of them when they need it.
If you’d like more help with your social listening strategy, find out more about our social listening program.