Gaining insight from social media

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Whether it’s listening to your customers or listening to your competition, social media can be an effective research and insight tool. Each day there are millions of conversations happening across the social media landscape, and whether you’re running business or personal accounts you can find a way to utilise these insights.

Social media can provide you with an opportunity to listen, learn and then engage in these conversations.

Raise your profile

Whether you’re an individual or a brand, everyone is looking to raise their profile on social media. Social listening allows you to do that in a strategic way. Not only will you listen and learn, but by joining these conversations that are happening, you’re placing yourself out there as an industry expert.

Engaging isn’t all about retweeting and liking content, it’s about adding some context through a quoted-retweet, or replying directly to their post. Once you’ve engaged, it’s likely you might do so again and build an ongoing relationship with them.

Being helpful goes a long way, so if there are people out there who are asking questions or want to know more, make that extra step to support them – they might choose to follow you and amplify your social posts in the future.

A Competitive Edge

You’ve got a social profile and know what kind of person you’re looking to attract to your accounts – but what is it that your audience want?

Whether it’s a personal account or a business social media presence, providing social content that adds value to your community is essential. Without providing the kind of content they want to see and engage with, you’ll have a hard time attracting new followers and growing your accounts.

Through social listening, you can establish what your audience are interested in and want to know. You can then adapt your content strategy to reflect topical areas and subject matter that they’re interested in exploring. Furthermore, you can identify frequently used hashtags and keywords to improve the searchability of your content.

Identify influencers

In the social space, there are certain accounts and users that are considered to be more influential than others. One measure of this is ‘Klout’. Your Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that represents your influence (or your ability to drive action). The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.

Once you’ve identified these influencers in your field, listen to what they’re saying – they’ll be staying ahead of the curve and will be real thought-leaders in their industries. Follow them, and maybe even share some of their content on your social channels to provide your communities with valuable resources.

By tagging them in tweets where you share their content and engaging with their posts regularly, you may even begin to build a relationship with these individuals – and who knows, maybe one day they’ll share that top-notch blog post you’ve written!

Tools for listening

There are many tools available on the market for social listening, many are paid tools, but there are some fantastic free resources available.

These are some of our favourite free options: