Social media is an excellent way to get your brand’s image and message to your target market. The images, videos, links and status updates you share can resonate with your followers in a way other content can’t. Have you ever considered how social media is the perfect way to listen to your target market? If used correctly, social media should be a means of listening to what your public is saying about your company and its products.
Create Opportunities for Engagement
The key to using social media to listen to your target market is creating opportunities for engagement. If you are constantly pushing out content, without posing questions, or giving your followers a chance to interact, you aren’t giving yourself an opportunity to listen to them. A few things that could spark interaction include:
- Asking questions
- Posting interesting pictures
- Spacing out your social media posts
- Hosting contests
- Asking for feedback on something specific
- Sharing newsy information
The more you interact with your audience, the more likely they will be to interact with you. People like two-way conversations that allow them to feel heard and valued.
Respond Well to Compliments and Complaints
Creating an environment where your audience feels they can open up and communicate with your brand will go a long way in helping you hear what they have to say about you. Respond equally well to both compliments and complaints your company receives on social media. In fact, responding well to complaints or questions can have a huge impact on your online reputation.
Many companies respond directly to Twitter questions or complaints by tweeting back, not be sending a direct message. This tactic will obviously impress the person who had a complaint, but your other followers will also see and be impressed by your helpful response. As your followers see that you respond in a friendly and professional way to their comments, you will likely see an increase in engagement.
An example of a positive Twitter response to a customer complaint.
According to Maritz and Evolve24, 70 percent of companies ignore complaints on Twitter. This is a huge mistake. But, by being the company that responds in a professional way, you’ll really stand out.
Keep Records of What You Hear
As you begin to use social media to listen to your market, it is imperative that you keep a record of what people are saying about your brand. Some companies keep copies of what customers say, and others use a basic tracking system to keep track of how much positive and how much negative feedback they receive. Find a system that works for you and that will help you analyze what you learn from your public on social media. Then, stay dedicated to your system and assess the conversations you are having (or that are being had about you) on a regular basis.
Using social media to listen to your current and potential customers is one of the best ways you can use your social media profiles. The communication on your social media pages should go both directions: you should communicate your message and your public should feel like they can provide feedback. As you find ways to listen to your market, you’ll gain valuable insight into what parts of your digital marketing plan are working, and which parts could be improved upon.