When Consumers Get Social: Are You Listening?

“If we post it, they will come.” Seems like a pretty easy social media strategy, right?

If you’re conditioned to the “tried-and-true” ways of marketing (hello, billboards and TV commercials), you’re used to building an ad, displaying it to the public, and anticipating a flood of customers. It’s no wonder many businesses believe this is the same approach they can give their social media efforts.

If you’re stuck in this line of thinking, it could mean your detriment on this crucial medium of marketing. You could be missing out on valuable conversation, word-of-mouth, and the ever important component of storytelling. Choose to not catch up with the times, and you and your business could be stuck in the past.

The Social Empowerment of Consumers

There is a profound difference between our older mediums of marketing and social media marketing, and it’s in the name. Social media is social. Brands and consumers are interacting in ways that they never have before in the history of marketing and advertising. Consumers have a stronger, more influential voice than ever before. They’re empowered through the power of social.

Recently, a teenager won free chicken nuggets just for tweeting a bet at the ever-humorous Wendy’s Twitter account. Starbucks was able to spark conversation, raise their stock price, and welcome brand new customers into their stores simply by answering to the social media unicorn craze by unveiling the Unicorn Frappuccino. Even the backlash that erupted after the United Airlines nightmare and Pepsi ad flop was ignited through social media.

Study any current event, and social media will likely play a huge part. Especially if we’re talking brands. Instead of hiding in the comfort of marketing mediums of the past, choose to identify influencers, respond to customer concerns, and monitor conversations and sentiment. Consumers are easier to reach than ever. Don’t be afraid to come out of the shadows, cut through the noise, and show that you’re listening to these empowered consumers.

Data as a Listening Tool

Listening is the most important component of communication, both in the office and at home. A Harvard Business Review article from 1957 (still extremely relevant), says that “spoken word hinges not so much on how people talk as on how they listen.” Fast forward 60 years to a more empowered consumer base, and you’ll see that there is a lot of talk happening. On social media platforms.

But the question is… are you listening?

The key to truly growing your business is to become a better listener. What are people saying about you? What are their concerns? Did you do something wrong? Did you do something right? How are they using your product? What are they telling their friends? Who has the loudest, strongest voice about your product or service? How many people are listening and talking?

Nuvi Social Listening Tool

If you’d like to know the answers to the questions above, then LISTEN UP and GET SOCIAL. Track the conversation and sentiment. Look at data and analytics. At HDM, we utilize the social listening tool Nuvi to track conversation, discover influencers, listen to what people are saying (from the smallest to the loudest voice in the room), crunch the data to tailor our strategy, and get social with consumers.

This form of listening through quantitative and qualitative data can help your business in multiple ways. Tailor your ads and content to answer the questions consumers have about your product or service. Use their stories to inspire others to use your product or service. Address concerns before they spread like wildfire. See how many people are talking. Discover how influential these talkers are within their personal network.

If you feel more comfortable sticking with the old ways of marketing and not listening to your audience, it’s your call. Want to become a better listener and get social with these empowered consumers? Give us a call to learn more.

 

Eleni Hampton | Twitter: @eleni_gabriella | Instagram: @elenihampton | LinkedIn: Eleni Hampton

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