Why businesses should listen to social media customers

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Most businesses already monitor social media to see what is being said about their company or brand online, but many are now realising the commercial benefits of social media listening. Small businesses as well as larger organisations can use social listening to grow their business.

Why businesses should listen to social media customers

By analysing conversations and trends, social listening provides actionable intelligence and insight to help you:

  • Understand your social media customers better
  • Identify what matters most to customers
  • Assess your brand’s health – is it in good shape?
  • Anticipate and respond to trends, perceptions, issues or complaints
  • Generate new ideas
  • Identify key influencers for future partnerships
  • Evaluate the success of campaigns
  • Leverage insight about your competitors to influence your future strategy.

Social media listening is a strategic tool. It provides you with the bigger picture and allows your business or your brand to remain ‘in touch’ with customers’ perceptions as well as changing behaviours and sentiments.

When you listen to what customers say and feel about your brand on social channels, you will be in a better position to:

  • Connect and engage with your customers more effectively and in a more  targeted way
  • Pick up early on emerging industry trends and plan ahead for your brand and  messaging
  • Use the insight to help you create impactful and relevant content and campaigns  that will resonate with customers
  • Track issues and anticipate and plan for future challenges
  • React quickly and proactively when consumer trends and opinions change
  • Stay ahead of your competitors.

The coronavirus pandemic has perfectly demonstrated the importance of social listening. Brands have had to pitch their messaging sensitively to ensure they strike the right tone and remain relevant. The fast-moving news agenda directly impacted on the messaging coming out of businesses with active social media profiles. Although the pandemic presented a unique set of circumstances, we can still learn important lessons from the way brands listened to consumers and adapted accordingly, and apply these principles to future situations.

Pink Lady® apples actively reached out through its social media channels to ask people what content they would value during the UK’s national lockdown. This revealed a clear desire for well-timed positive information. As a result, Pink Lady® commissioned a series of new influencer-led content pieces designed to help fans to find moments of relaxation and enjoyment at home during lockdown.

In just two weeks, Pink Lady® crafted and delivered a specific ‘Indoor Pursuits’ campaign in collaboration with social influencers. This involved the creation of eight engaging videos with ideas and suggestions of what to do or try at home during lockdown, including Pilates, nail art, caring for houseplants and reading. Pink Lady® also used the influencers’ own channels to share their in-depth video guides. A social media competition preceded the launch of the campaign content. This saw Pink Lady® give away 50 ‘at-home’ hampers packed with goodies to create a calm, relaxing space in the home. More than 3,000 people entered the competition. The videos were later edited to create long-lasting content available on YouTube.

The result? The content shared by influencers reached more than 40,000 people. The promoted content across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube achieved a combined reach of more than 2.2 million. Pink Lady® listened carefully to their consumers and adapted a digital and social strategy to reflect their changing views and sensitivities. As a result, their communications remained valuable and appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The positive response had commercial impact too, with higher levels of brand engagement and awareness and a sales uplift for the brand.

Social listening – whether it’s during a national emergency or not – helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your brand, your competitors and your industry. It gives you the insight you need to create social content that resonates with your target audience. By connecting and engaging with your target market in this highly targeted way, you will grow your business rather than just your number of social media Followers and Likes. If you want to find out more about social listening and how it can help your business, contact us.

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Kyla Flynn

Head of Marketing Implementation and Operations