– Aika Peto, Director
– Agile Rose Marketing
I usually find that membership organisations are successfully focused on their outbound social media activity – content calendars, blogging, tweeting and so on.
Yet there is the other side of the equation – listening to what members think, say and do with the communications and content they receive also known as social listening.
We invite you to read our blog article or watch our short video on this emerging topic:
1). What is social listening?
It’s about monitoring social media platforms for conversations and insights about your organisation, your members and their issues, and wider sector trends.
It acts as a check and balance on your outbound content marketing strategy.
2). Why should an organisation listen on social channels?
It’s good practice and enables you and your organisation to;-
- Hear what your members are saying – flag up opportunities but also issues
- Identify key trending topics
- Spot potential influencers
- From these, refine your content marketing strategy and make it work harder for your members
3). How does one listen socially?
Keep it simple
There are many tools for social listening including free ones, so we recommend trying a few out and then settling on a core 1-3 tools.
There are free tools such as BuzzSumo.com which enables you to;-
- Keyword, video or publication search
- Filter by date e.g. last 24 hours up to a year
- How many times an item has been shared on social media, which is a great measure of its quality
Also socialmention.com is worth a look at – it does social media search and analysis of what people are saying about your organization.
If you have the budget and the need, you might also want to look at zoomsphere.com which has a range of tools to enable monitoring, analysis, report building etc.
And what about internally – is there a role for colleagues to play their part?
It’s also important that you and key colleagues are on the same social media platforms that your members are on, so you can be an active contributor too.
Make sure you have a system in place to;-
- Ensure you’re not all on the same platform such as Twitter but missing out on the LinkedIn conversations and;
- Share what each team member is seeing and hearing on their platforms, so you can red flag any emerging issues, and on a positive note, trends to bring in to your own Content Marketing Strategy.
Have a plan and agreed hierarchy of responders on stand-by to address key issues raised or answer specific questions e.g. subject experts – don’t simply use the Marketing team to filter responses.
4). What should an organisation do with the insights?
The most obvious action is to recognise what content is popular and what is not, enabling you to fine-tune your marketing activity and constantly adjust.
And for any new product or service you are developing, you can share your thinking as it progresses, and ask for feedback – though beware the Henry Ford example – he said if he asked his customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.
But asking may create some interesting feedback and it has the bonus of demonstrating that you are listening.
But, also share with:
With the whole organisation
The days of marketing sitting in splendid isolation and running member contact are over – we are all marketers now – or at least should all play an active role in listening to the insights that social media generates. For example, adding sound bites to a company newsletter, or sharing the highlights in team meetings.
Hopefully social listening will flag up new opportunities for product/service refinements, and, also provide a useful dashboard of threats, issues etc that members are facing.
With members themselves
If you pick up on a trend or an issue, reflect it back and ask your followers e.g. on Twitter ask them if this is an issue for them too?
5). So, in conclusion?
Keep it simple.
Keep it measurable.
Act upon it – use it – and share it.
Good luck and for more information and guidance on social listening, feel free to contact me on email@example.com. Find out more about Agile Rose…