Most of you understand the importance of marketing your business on social media sites, but have you stopped to consider if you’re a good social listener? Are you watching what people say on your Facebook page? Do you ever read conversations on other Facebook pages … specifically the pages of businesses in your industry? Have you ever taken time to conduct a Twitter search on a topic relevant to your business? Do you ever look to see what topics are trending on Google+ and other social sites? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re on your way to becoming a good social listener.
You might think it’s more important to market your business than to listen to social conversations, so let me give you a couple examples how social listening can benefit you.
Awhile ago I was curious how many people were talking about rainwater harvesting on Twitter. Specifically, I wanted to learn if rain barrels were a relevant and trending topic in regards to water conservation. In Twitter’s search box I typed the words “rain barrel” and found quite a few individuals were talking about it. One particular person stood out from the crowd … an editor for Hort magazine tweeted a request for a rain barrel product to include in the magazine. I immediately emailed a couple photos and a product description of Aquascape’s RainXchange® rain barrel to the editor and she included it in their publication.
Another example of effective social listening pertains to Hometalk, the up-and-coming home-related site for contractors and the DIY crowd. I looked through the site and then hopped over to their Facebook page. That’s where I noticed a pond photo they had shared was getting a lot of positive feedback. The photo was from a project that a homeowner posted on their website and people were lovin’ it … giving it a lot of Likes and Comments on Facebook. I also noticed that the pond was a preformed pond with plastic waterfalls. Not very natural looking. I realized that if people loved that water feature, they would love Aquascape’s water features even more (not meaning to be egotistical, but Aquascape does pride itself on creating very natural-looking water features).
After listening to all the conversation surrounding that preformed pond, I posted several pond photos on Hometalk’s site and was rewarded with immense social activity. Hometalk shared several of our pond photos on their Facebook page, which greatly increased our exposure on both Facebook and Hometalk. I’m happy to say that our website received more referrals from Hometalk than it did from either Twitter or Facebook for the next 2 months! I’m confident this trend will continue.
Social listening is critical to your success on social sites. You don’t want to be viewed as merely a broadcaster. Listen to what your customers are saying and answer their questions. Also take note of what potential customers are saying on other sites and then optimize your presence on those sites to gain additional exposure. You’ll find it’s time well spent!