Today, social media users do not post brand feedback online simple to be heard; they expect to be listened to. Whether it is a complaint about delayed service with a national transportation provider, or a critique on the latest fashion product, more and more customers are choosing to express their feedback- the good, the bad, the ugly- online.
Simply put, social media is the newest medium of customer service, and every brand needs to tap into online chatter about their offerings to improve customer engagement and build their business. Social listening isn’t only about knowing what is being said about your brand, it’s about gaining insight and taking action based on it.
Here are three ways in which social listening can significantly up your customer marketing game:
- Being responsive to critique
Has an aggrieved patron tweeted about the poor quality of food at your food chain’s local branch? Or has a consumer praised the range of products you offer on discount? Regardless of the nature of the comment, it is important to acknowledge your customer and their opinions. Almost one-third of aggrieved customers express their dissatisfaction online, either by posting on the brand’s social media platform or tagging them in their personal posts. These complaints are there for all to see, hence, it becomes imperative that you render a simple yet genuine apology to not only retain that one customer but also prove your openness to feedback and integrity, and show what your brand stands for.
When you receive positive comments from customers, a simple ‘thank you’ and a request to tag their friends who may like the brand’s different offerings may get you more loyal customers.
- Publish user-generated content
If your social media handles only post ‘your’ content, the narrative is only between the brand and the customer. However, when you share posts from customers (with their permission), be it their testimonials or a picture of them using your product, the narrative begins to involve you, the customer, and their peers. Your brand seems more relatable and purposed for your customers. It is no longer just your brand promoting itself, it’s the customers.
Another aspect of user-generated content comes from social media influencers. When they use and recommend your product, it becomes an organic way of gaining more customers. Information and reviews shared by a peer are considered more authentic than those by brands themselves.
- Acknowledging customer inputs
Did you add another size to your apparel category based on resounding online customer feedback? Or did you develop a new flavour of ice-cream based on a customer poll? When you make changes to your brand’s offering based on online feedback, it shows that you are truly listening. The last step in closing this communication loop is acknowledging the consumer’s inputs in your brand’s decision to launch a new product, modify an existing product, change its conduct, etc. Treat them as a stakeholder in your venture, and give them the opportunity as well as appreciation for their inputs to inculcate brand loyalty.
As you embark on the journey of social listening, ensure you have the basics right- find the right platform for interaction, have a well-informed marketing team, right tools for tracking conversations, and a healthy repository of resource materials to share with customers. Speak less, listen more, and see the marketing magic happen!