The Ears Have It: The Top Trend for Social Media in 2014

Social Media Marketing World

Social media didn’t always have the ear of top marketers, but things have changed. Customers now expect to connect and converse with their favorite brands whenever they want. That means brands need to not only listen, but also respond in real time when customers share on social channels. Three trends are helping marketers optimize their social media channels for listening:

1) Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Social listening helps you connect with your customers by monitoring, analyzing and responding to what they share. Social media offers marketers a unique opportunity to engage with customers one-on-one, but how closely are brands actually listening? According to Social Media Examiner, only 31 percent of marketers think they’re doing it right. Are you?

2) Engage and Respond in Real Time

“Real time” isn’t just a buzzword; top brands are tapping the power of real-time analytics to listen to their customers and engage with them. A recent survey showed that 49 percent of Twitter users were likely to recommend a brand via social media if that brand engaged with them quickly. Marketing automation tools can help identify the keywords and hashtags your customers are using on social media channels so that you can find out who is talking to and about you. Then, you can respond to them in a timely manner.

3) Automate Listening to Identify Influencers

Marketing automation helps streamline social media management so that you can be a more effective listener. Use an automation tool to identify your brand’s major influencers – from journalists and Twitter superstars to celebrities – and then engage those influencers. Taco Bell found a powerful influencer in Tyler Oakley, and has built a mutually beneficial relationship that’s strengthening the brand.

The top trend in social media this year revolves around being a better listener. As we move into an age of personalization and real-time marketing, social media and marketing automation tools offer an opportunity to connect with your customers in a truly personal way.

What trend are you most excited about for 2014? Tweet us – we’d love to know!

Attending Social Media Marketing World this week? Join Vocus at Seaport D/E in the Networking Plaza.