Oct 15, 2015 / by Katie Gaab

Ninety percent of brands have a presence on social media, but only 37 percent are listening closely to what their audiences are saying. Is your brand part of the majority of marketers risking failure?

You can easily steer your brand towards success by implementing social media listening. At first glance, this marketing strategy seems straightforward – log onto your accounts and simply pay attention to what people are talking about. But with so many channels and audiences out there, how do you know who to listen to and why does it matter?

Reserve an hour of your time, because we’ve got five marketing masterminds ready to teach you.

Neal Schaffer, Jay Baer, Jeff Bullas, Mark Schaefer and Scott Stratten explore the power of social media listening in the “Practice Listening: From Competitors to Customers” webinar. Each influencer discusses how to tune into key audiences to strengthen your brand’s reputation, cultivate stronger relationships on social and prosper from past challenges.

Here’s a sneak peek at what they cover in the webinar:

Neal Schaffer

1. The key to listening to social conversations, then, is to understand the unique set of keywords that are potential triggers for lead generation.

Social media has sped up the way we communicate, including how we write. Social media users may misspell your company name, abbreviate a product name or reference a description instead of a product name. Draft up a list of these alternative keywords to track what prospects are discussing.

2. Remember during your interactions that social media was made for people, not businesses.

Don’t reach out to users simply after seeing they talked about a hot topic your brand is knowledgeable about. Avoid the social version of cold calling and instead send Social Signals. By doing so, you’ll increase the chances of building a relationship and scoring a deal down the line.

Jay Baer


3. Listening to customers is more important than it’s ever been because their feedback is manifestly public where it’s historically been private.

Customers are no longer whispering their complaints to their neighbors at dinner tables. They’re making the world aware of their experiences. Social media can help make one disappointed customer’s complaint go viral in hours and your brand needs to be paying attention because everyone else already is.

4. Today, complainers – haters are the canaries in the coal mine. They are the early warning detection system for your business.

Only a tiny percentage of unhappy customers take their thoughts to social media, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. While haters may be pointing out a bad experience to all who listen, this shows they care enough to want to help your brand improve before a situation blows into a full blown crisis.

Jeff Bullas

5. Your competitor is no longer the shop down the street or even a contender in your home state or country. They are stealing your lunch from the other side of the world.

As more and more companies turn to the Internet to sell their goods or promote their services, competition has grown fiercer. Stay on top of what others are doing. Spy on competitors’ weaknesses to better broadcast your strengths.

6. Your competitors do not have a monopoly on good ideas.

Pinpoint which successful companies your brand looks up to and research what they’re doing to reach their audiences with ease. Take their model and apply bits and pieces to what your brand is doing to discover how you can shake up your strategy.

Want more clues on how to kickstart social media listening? Check out the “LiSTEN” e-book today!

Mark Schaefer


7. Your content has no value unless it moves, unless people see it, engage with it and actively share it.

Writers have always had to think about their audience while churning out content. Today, they need to think of what will get their audience to share their content as well as what their audience’s audience looks like and how they share content too.

8. This is a marvelous, inspiring period of history when anyone can shed the traditional burdens of authority and build true influence on the web through their own merits.

Influencers are key to spreading your content, but not all influencers are the same. In today’s social-focused world, anyone can create noise about your brand; you simply need to nurture their conversations to turn them into organic advocates.

Scott Stratten

9. Your employees are your brand, and they can influence brand perception more than any press release, ad campaign or logo.

Your brand’s success depends on your employees’ hard work. Similarly, your brand’s reputation depends on how your employees speak about where they go from 9-5 each day. Encourage employees to talk about what they do to highlight your brand’s quality customer service, culture or additional benefits.

10. With social media, the talk is both public and permanent, but that doesn’t mean a brand should lock down their employees and monitor them for infractions.

Requiring employees to include a statement about how their opinions differ from their employer’s does little for either party. An employee won’t feel at ease to discuss their feelings and opinions with others, while employers lose out on an audience that could easily boost its reputation outside of the office.


Images: Britt ReintsMichael SonnabendTim Pierce (Creative Commons)

Tags : social media

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.