Building a reputation on social media is very important to brands in this modern age. Becoming a household name, particularly on social media, is seen as an accomplishment because that means the brand has a high level of brand awareness. However, a brand can have high brand awareness but for all the wrong reasons and so it is crucial to ensure that the image of the brand is being portrayed in the best possible light through social media. With the dawn of social media, everything has become much more fast-paced, making it harder for brands to control and monitor the information circulated about them. A brand’s reputation can suffer for reasons such as scandals or bad reviews and can be damaging for their profit margin ultimately.
Social listening is the monitoring of the brand’s social media channels to pinpoint any discussions or mention of the brand and discussions regarding the industry, keywords, topics, or competitors relevant to the brand. Social listening allows the brand to develop and mold to fit the customer’s ideal. Based on data gathered through the process of social listening, the brand can create content their followers want, gather ideas based on societal and industry trends, and interact with customers to ensure the brand is continuously molding their strategy to suit their consumer’s needs. For example, the skincare brand Bliss utilizes data gathered through social listening to ascertain the best terminology to use when communicating with their audience, the types of posts that are more interactive rather than static, and even the colors to prioritize when planning their feed. Not only does social listening affect their social media but also their product ideas. Bliss regularly puts out Q&As asking customers what they would like to see next; through this, they discover many trends and many unfulfilled needs customers have. These are taken into consideration when developing new products.
Social listening is beneficial to a brand because customers value a brand that values them and listens. Rather than relying on assumptions about customer needs, social listening allows the brand to see the customer’s opinion of them. According to Sprout Social, 83% of respondents like when brands respond to questions, and 68% like when brands join conversations. The brand’s responsiveness to social media has the potential to increase its profits drastically; after all, 48% of customers purchase with a brand that is responsive to its customers and prospects on social media. Through social listening, a brand can also innovate, change, and discover opportunities. Listening to the customers can allow a brand to find new opportunities they may not have considered otherwise, such as expansion. Lastly, social media can allow the brand to broaden its reach. Utilizing social listening, the brand can determine the type of content that their followers and potential followers enjoy and content to attract them to the brand.