American entrepreneur Seth Godin said of social media “The conversation is happening about your brand whether you’re a part of it or not.” Social media has made customer feedback more simple, and public, than ever before. Rather than ignoring the discussion and hoping for positive feedback, companies have the opportunity to join the conversation, gather that information and use it to improve their online interactions. Showing the customer that you’re listening, and then actively using their feedback, is a great way to build trust and show clients that their opinions are valued.
The following is an excerpt from the white paper “8 Tips for Social Business,” which provides an eight-step roadmap to social success. In this portion we offer insight on why and how to listen to customers on social media and subsequently use these online discussions for your business. To view the white paper in its entirety, you can download it below.
Tip 3: Listen & Learn
There’s no question. People are talking about your organization. And if by chance they’re not, then they’re talking about your competitors and starting a conversation you’ll have trouble being a part of. Don’t let your organization get left behind. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos once described your brand as, “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Today, not only do you have an opportunity to be in the room but to take an active role in the conversation itself.
Good search practices start with monitoring for mentions – the good, the bad and the ugly – of your organization, but can also focus on topics related to your business where you may wish to become an influencer. At HootSuite we monitor for off- as well on-brand messages in order to assist users who may not spell HootSuite correctly 100 percent of the time. Undoubtedly Hilton adjusts its search parameters to exclude mentions of either Paris or Perez. With social, it is also possible to monitor certain users or organizations closely without them knowing you’re listening.
Gather your feedback. There are some interesting disconnects between consumers’ and businesses’ perceptions on why people engage with organizations via social media. 73 percent of businesses feel consumers want to learn about new products while only 51 percent of consumers give that as a reason. 61 percent of businesses think consumers want to be part of a community. Only 22 percent of consumers support that thought while 61 and 55 percent of consumers want discounts and to purchase something respectively. Better monitoring, listening and analysis of conversation and feedback could lead to programs across departments from advertising to customer service, HR or sales to close these gaps and build more empathetic, customer-centric relationships.
Want to read the rest of the white paper? Download “8 Tips for Social Business.”