“Be slow to speak and quick to listen.” I’m sure you’ve heard this familiar proverb. We all need to practice being better listeners, right?
So why aren’t most food and beverage brands applying this same principal in their social media strategy? Today, it seems like brands are more focused on putting out more and more content, instead of listening before engaging.
Frankly, I’m always shocked when I hear about brands who are not utilizing social listening tools. Believe it or not, consumers are talking about your brand—across all social media platforms. And many times, unprompted dialogue, outside of the content that you’re generating.
Social media isn’t simply a broadcast platform or a monologue for your brand. It’s a dialogue—a conversation with consumers. That’s why social listening is so critical for brands. Consumer conversations about your brand can provide tremendous insights, not only in developing better content, but also in answering the fundamentals of the…who, what, when, where, why, surrounding your brand.
Here are some basics for social listening…you monitor the various social media platforms for mentions or conversations on your company, brand, category, competitors, etc. This information equips you to take various courses of action:
- Your social media community management team can immediately; join into conversations, answer questions, respond to comments, and engage with organic influencers.
- Your marketing team can gather data on:
- Popular/trending topics applicable to your brand
- Consumer sentiment about your brand
- Consumer behavior and affinities
- Demographic, psychographic, and geographic
- Competitive brands
- You can also gather current and historical data, to help refine your current messaging and better craft future campaigns.
Why is social listening so important to brands? Without it, you’re basically flying blind when it comes to content creation and community management. These are real people, having real-time conversations about your brand—not some trumped-up research panel. If used correctly, it can be better than any level of consumer research.
If you’re developing content without social media listening insights—you’re wasting significant resources. Think about it for a minute—if you’re not first listening to your consumers—how can you ever hope to connect with them?