As marketers, we do a heck of a lot of talking. We write copy, we create podcasts, and we shout our messages from the social media rooftops. But when do we stop to listen?
Listening is a fundamental quality that often gets lost in the shuffle. We’re so busy trying to promote our businesses that we rarely get the opportunity to sit down and absorb whether our message is heard or whether it is falling on deaf ears.
One reason for this is that listening is a little harder when you’re speaking to the masses. Where do you look to know if something is working or not?
But on social media, a lack of listening is no longer an excuse.
Social media is built around conversation. As you know from your personal life, conversations are a two-way street.
Here are a three ways you can hone your listening skills on social media and generate more leads.
1. Respond to the People Who Talk About Your Brand
This is the easy one. As a company, you should be keeping a pulse on what’s being said about your company anyway. Offering up a simple response seems natural.
Giving a response doesn’t have to be difficult either. Here are a few ways you can do it:
- Answer questions within 24 hours.
- Share outside resources (i.e. don’t make the conversation all about YOU)
- Bring conversations away from social media to your website and even your inbox.
Airlines tend to do this very well. Since many passengers tweet from the gate, they have entire teams set up ready to respond quickly and politely.
Here’s an example from JetBlue.
Regardless of whether the comment is positive or negative, a response is always welcome from a brand. Dive into the conversation and attract new leads by showing people you care.
2. Watch Your Competition
Chances are, if a person likes your competition they’ll be interested in your company too.
Watching what others say about your competitors gives you insight into the needs that aren’t being met. With those in mind, you’ll know how you can swoop in to capture a bigger share of the market.
But be careful. If you start jumping into all conversations that have to do with your competitors this strategy will backfire. You’ll be seen as aggressive and unwelcome.
This is a great way to get a feel for your competitive landscape in more human terms than market share. Just refrain from jumping into the conversation. You’re here to listen and gain valuable insight, not to badmouth the competition. – Shauna Ward, Pardot
To monitor your competitors in the right way, set up specific keywords about specific differentiators. You can use the Advanced Search feature in Twitter to do this.
Here’s an example of how to do it right. If you are an ice cream shop, set up keywords about flavors you offer that the shop across the street does not offer. Then, when someone tweets about it, respond by saying something to the effect of, “Sorry @CompetitorName doesn’t have that flavor but we do! Come on by & satisfy your craving.
The key here is to be helpful and only answer when your competition cannot solve the need.
3. Listen to Frustrations
To make a sale, your company has to show that you solve a specific problem. To attract a flood of new leads, show the world how you help your customers sleep a little bit easier at night.
Set up your monitoring so that you can see when potential leads talk about the specific pain points you solve.
Here’s an example of this approach done well on Twitter.
Consumer Media Network (CMN) helps consumers make purchasing decisions. To attract more awareness to their brand, they came up with relevant keywords for each of their content categories. This included employment, technology, and others.
With those categories and keywords in mind, CMN targeted tweets using hashtags and keywords.
Here are a few of those tweets:
This helped them attract relevant leads and then give them a link to click on to move the conversation to their website.
Follow these social media tips and you’ll be off to a strong start for your lead generation. But it doesn’t stop there. Download our free report with the 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips & Tricks to keep bringing in new business for your company.
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