Listening and Empathy are Essential to Your Marketing Strategy
Have you ever attended a social event and found yourself talking to someone who only seems interested in what they’re about to say, rather than what you’re saying to them? In the marketing word, it’s not uncommon for brands to do the same thing to their customers. So much information is being yelled at consumers, but a truly successful brand needs to learn the importance of listening to their fans.
Take for example TV ads. While they can be an effective way to reach a large audience base, many find themselves leaving the room or fast forwarding through them to get back to their TV show. Why? It’s simple. People don’t like feeling like they’re being talked at and TV ads have a funny way of making customers feel like that is happening. As marketing has evolved and become more sophisticated, marketers have found new ways to get their information out that takes a more subtle approach.
Social Media for Social Listening
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Social media gives brands a voice and customers too, making it one of the best ways to get the conversation started with your audience. These advertising channels create a sense of community, and make it possible for people with similar interests and views to congregate and discuss. Users like pages from brands they care about, and brands can use this to their advantage.
The one disadvantage of this however, is that social media can be like preaching to the choir. This is especially true when it comes to organic social media, since these users have basically “opted in” already to receive your updates. So sending out news updates has to be done tactfully, so they don’t lose interest and feel like your brand is infiltrating their newsfeed too much. Instead, use conversations to your advantage by:
- Take Feedback from Customer Reviews – We all want to see the positive reviews roll in, but sometimes the negative ones can provide us with the most insight. Whether it’s a product or service problem, or a customer service issue, keep your cool with a negative comment and find ways to fix your customer’s experience. Negative product or service reviews can help you fix shortfalls in your products to enhance the customer experience.
- Listen to Competitors – Another advantage of taking the time to listen is that you can see what competitors are doing well, and what pain points their customers are speaking out against on social media.
- Find Relevant Audiences – Looking to your current customers can be a great way to acquire new ones. Taking a step beyond organic, using your audience members and their interests can be a great basis to bring your paid social media strategy off of. Facebook allows you to target users based on their interests. By understanding your audience, you can find new potential customers with similar attributes.
- Keep the Conversation Going – Social media inspires conversations among groups of people, and your brand should be joining in as well. Engaging with customers on social media is a great way to build trust, answer questions, and education customers when applicable.
The invention of social media and popularity of blogs, whitepapers, and infographics that can be shared on social channels has created a new culture surrounded around starting conversations. Brands who can hone in on these conversations to understand their customers thoughts and feelings about their products, or even their company as a whole have a unique opportunity. By cooperation listening into your social strategy, you can truly see the pain points of your customers and find new ways to address them, leading to happier, more engaged customers.