To better understand what’s happening in social media, you need to pay attention to the conversations your customers are having. In this video tutorial, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman teaches you how to set up a social media monitoring dashboard and get started with social listening.
- [Voiceover] It's easy to talk, harder to listen and hardest of all to be a careful listener. To better understand the landscape current in perspective customers and where the challenges and opportunities lie, you need to pay attention to the conversations your audience is having. You need to listen. Listening is a key part of research and it wasn't long ago when that type of research was too expensive for most businesses. If I can go back to my father and his store, he did his market research on foot, literally.
When he was searching for a location he stood on various street corners and counted how many people were carrying store bags. That's how he found the high traffic areas where his business could thrive. My dad didn't know it but he was practicing an early form of social media: watching and listening. Social media has made market intelligence DIY. That doesn't mean it's free, you still need to spend the time researching, analyzing, and discovering insights.
But it is more accessible than ever before. The first step in doing this is listening to the conversations your customers and prospects are having, understanding what they're looking for, the problems they need to solve, and where your business can help. But with so much unfiltered noise on the internet and all the social media platforms, where do you start? I like using a content management system or CMS like Hootsuite.
With Hootsuite, you can organize your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles so they're all accessible from one place. From there you can schedule updates, post to one or multiple social networks, respond to customers, conduct social listening, and see what's going on with your feeds, all from a single dashboard. A good CMS simplifies the way you can manage your social media marketing programs. Now let me show you how to perform a couple of actions on Hootsuite.
First of all, if you want to add in a stream, what you do is you click on the button that says Add Stream. And from there you can choose whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, your WordPress blog, Instagram, or YouTube. You can also schedule posts on Hootsuite. You do that by composing a message. Here's one that we did for Topsy Turvy Cakes and then you go to the calendar icon at the bottom, click on it, and from there you choose the date, the 29th, the time and press Schedule and away you go, you've got a Tweet that's ready to go and ready to be published when you want it.
You can also create and curate Twitter lists in Hootsuite that include your best customers, your competitors, influencers, and trade media and follow their conversations to get a handle on what they're talking about in real time. So let's say we wanna create a list and add Dahlia Landon, who's one of our customers, to it. What you do is you click on her profile, you scroll down. You click on Add to List, Add a Twitter List, and then you can set it up from there.
Once you get a handle on the topics your customers are interested in, you can set up and save searches using various key words and hashtags like we did with the #cakedesigns. From your CMS dashboard you can then monitor conversations in real time, you can also spot emerging issues, deal with customer service problems, or just jump into the conversation. But before you do that, be sure you're adding value, helping, not just shilling your products and services.
You can also do research on Google by adding those same key words and setting up Google alerts to tell you when there's new content. That way you can see who's writing thought leadership pieces about your industry and also what the influencers are saying. This can help shape your content marketing and the products you offer and you can add new influencers that you find to your existing Twitter list. So let's look at how easy it is to create a Google alert. Let's type in the name of our company, Topsy Turvy, create alert.
And we've just created an alert for Topsy Turvy. You can manage your alerts by clicking on the pencil and say how often you want to receive it. And that way whenever Topsy Turvy is written about online, an alert will come to us so we know and can figure out whether or not we want to interact with people. Social media gives us an open window on what our customers are saying and a chance to connect with and help them in new ways.
But it takes patience, understanding, and above all, the ability to carefully listen.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success