How Social Listening Can Lead to Higher Conversion Rates
Being a good listener is one of the most valuable assets you can create for yourself. How can relationships flourish if you’re the one that’s always talking?
Okay. I guess we won’t dive into a therapy session (bummer), but we will explore social listening and how it can prove surprisingly beneficial, from a business standpoint.
In one of our latest webinars, our attendees had the chance to learn all about social listening with special guest and social media expert Tom Basgil.
Basgil has been working with social media in different capacities for over 13 years now, and absolutely knows his stuff. He has worked in-house, as a consultant, in agencies and more, with a background in both B2B and B2C.
Here are some highlights from what he was able to share with us…
What is social listening? How does it work?
“Social listening is the art and science of examining the online conversation, picking up cues, and seeing what you can do with that conversation,” Basgil said.
For brands, this might primarily look like product mentions, competitor mentions, etc., but it can be as broad and creative as analyzing conversation sentiment around the Super Bowl.
Social listening is simply compiling the data around these brand mentions, industry conversations, engagement rates, influencers, sentiment, you name it, to build a cohesive understanding of what’s going on in the social media environment, Basgil said.
And it is especially exciting in today’s world because it is a function that has become increasingly accessible to smaller companies, and even individuals.
In the past, Basgil said, this was only something he was able to do within an agency’s budget. But now, there are a lot more affordable tools available to the masses.
Why is social listening crucial for PR and comms pros?
Basgil found social listening to be extremely helpful in determining if an agency’s social presence is in line with their PR campaigns at large.
It allows you to see share of voice (SOV) and how word-of-mouth travels online about different topics as they relate to an organization.
With approximately 3.6 billion people on some form of social media these days, it is a great place to track audience feedback on different company initiatives, news articles and more.
How do I convince my colleagues and/or boss of the importance of social listening?
“There is an emotional conversation and an analytical conversation you can have,” Basgil said.
To start with a more emotions-based approach, he shared about a company’s social media presence that he personally admires: Wendy’s.
“They’re not just answering brand mentions,” he said.
They go far beyond that and know what their audience wants to see on social media, and it is clear that they spend quite some time engaging in social listening.
Even the language and tone of Wendy’s social posts make it clear that they have done their homework and know how to best connect with their people:
"Social listening gives you another touchpoint in the buyer’s journey to ultimately make a sale down the road," Basgil said, as it generally takes multiple touchpoints to make a conversion.
Hey, numbers people! Let’s talk data, too.
From an analytical perspective, social listening shows you exactly what’s moving the conversation online. Many tools have the ability to show you the sentiment and the volume of conversation about different topics.
From here, you can catalogue this information so that the next time you interact with your followers or “friends” on social, you know what language to use, what pain points people have, and so on.
Ultimately, “it’s gathering more data and more intelligence for your company so that you can make better decisions,” Basgil said.
Propel CEO and co-founder Zach Cutler saw an impressive jump in lead generation and brand awareness once he made social listening more of a priority for his company, he said.
How do I become an expert in social listening?
The first way: practice.
There are plenty of ways you can practice without having a tool, Basgil said.
You can use advanced searches, for example, to filter through content and draw conclusions about different patterns you observe.
You can also follow companies that are known for being adept at social listening and see how they’re using it. That can help spark ideas of your own for how to use the data you accumulate, Basgil said.
The other way: get on a platform and play around with the social listening tools they offer! Hmmm, I can think of one that comes to mind…
Parting Tips from Tom: Impactful Social Listening
- “Data is the first step in making a good decision for your brand.”
- Twitter is one of the best places to utilize social listening because it is integrated with Google, and most folks are public on their profiles.
- You can be as creative as you want with social listening! You can use data to make interesting, smart decisions for your brand that support larger organizational goals.
And.. If you’re interested in finding out how Propel can help you with social listening, feel free to book a demo below! ;)