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Social Media: Are You Listening?

It is said that we have two ears and only one mouth so that during a conversation we can listen twice as much as we talk. Sadly, many people don’t take this advice to heart and clearly love the sound of their own voices a little too much.

It’s exactly the same with social media. Many people like shouting on Facebook or Twitter, “LOOK AT ME!” but rarely stick around to listen to the other half of the conversation.

REMEMBER: Social media is a conversation not a broadcast.

So what should you be listening out for on social media and how should you engage with these conversations?

6 Things to Listen For on Social Media

  1. Praise: Everyone loves to hear a little praise now and again but how should you respond to it. It might be a little too easy just to “favorite”, “like”, “re-tweet” or “share” these posts. But when someone likes you enough to share their approval via social media, you should take the time to thank them properly. These people have the potential to become virtual ambassadors and drive new business your way. Perhaps they can help you out with a testimonial or case study or become a successful affiliate.
  2. Complaints: These need to be publicly acknowledged and then, whenever possible, taken offline with a customer service agent, sales manager or senior representative dealing with the complaint via email or phone. A quickly resolved complaint can often to turn to praise and may even present an upsell opportunity. An unresolved complaint has the potential to spread quickly and encourage further complaints. Never leave an online complaint to fester.
  3. Questions: A question is very often a loosely disguised sales lead. Listen out for questions around your industry, your brand, your products and other related services. Remember, when replying to questions try and be useful and don’t go for the hard sell straight away.
  4. Competitive Analysis: Listen out for conversations about your competitors. Conversations around pricing, promotions, product availability and customer service issues can prove incredibly valuable to a socially savvy organization ready to take advantage of any opportunity.
  5. Thought Leadership: The social web is full of influential thought leaders. A single tweet from one of these people endorsing a product or service can potentially reap massive returns. They will also help you keep abreast of the latest news and trends within your industry, helping you stay one-step-ahead of the competition. You should not only be following these people, whenever possible you should be completely engaged with them and helping them fuel their thought leadership.
  6. Media Mentions: Social media and PR is completely entwined. News breaks on social media before it reaches print or broadcast media. If you’re not listening to the news on social media, you risk arriving late to the party. Listening out for industry news will also help you identify influential journalists who may help you reach a much wider audience (see #5).

To find out how Viralheat can help you maximize your ROI from social media, join us for a free product demonstration every Thursday at 1pm (PST), 10am (EST), 6pm (UK).

Photo credit: Steven Shorrock

Tags : social media

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