“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears, by listening to them.” – Dean Rusk
So what’s the first step in social media marketing then? Listening.
Listen and then talk
Listening is not the same as hearing. We all like the sound of our own voice and it often stands in the way of understanding the person we’re talking to (your customers). If we really want to understand people we have to pay attention to what they say and do and once we do that we’ll stand a better chance of influencing their behavior. Nothing new with this statement, repeated often but rarely practiced. I repeat again, we like the sound of our own voice.
You need to give a damn about what people have to say to do social media properly and only deep empathy translates into insight.
You need social monitoring tools
If you aren’t familiar with social monitoring tools, here are 26 social listening tools to add to your arsenal, here’s a full presentation. But the quickest way to start listening immediately is to user Social Mention:
Suppose you want to know where you brand is being mentioned online across different channels (who doesn’t?), you go to Social Mention and type in your brand name and hit search. For example I did a search for hot-shot location based service Foursquare, in the results page you get mentions for ‘foursquare’ across different categories such as blogs, microblogs, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, video, audio, Q&A and networks.
You can also search for keywords related to your business such as ‘________’ and it will give results where that appears across social channels; you can then go that individual channel and engage in that conversation.
There are both free and paid tools but most of what you need to get started is already on your website in the form of comments, analytic stats, RT’s, Twitter trackbacks, newsletter stats. These will provide you with some good data and information before you move on to the external tools.
Below is an interview with Amber Naslund, co-author of the new book The Now Revolution and VP of social strategy at Radian6. Amber shares why social media monitoring is so important and what you need to monitor to get the most value out of your social media activities.
If you can’t see the video, click here.
I like to say that every business should strive to know their customers better than they know themselves, this takes a lot more effort and goes way beyond the ‘I want them to buy my product and shut up’ mindset most traditional businesses have. Luckily social media tools let us have a 1 to 1 conversation with customers, and enables us to get under their skin to uncover those hidden insights that might just give us a new idea for a new service or product.