Social listening is another heavy buzzword right now–and it is important–but do you really understand what that means for you and your company? Pretty much everyone grasps the need for timely responses to questions, mentions, etc. these days, but a smaller number really harness the power of social media to reach out to potential customers by striking up or joining conversations. The great thing about platforms like Twitter and Instagram is all posts are public, so you have a somewhat infinite audience to engage with.
How do you find conversations?
There are free platforms such as Hoostsuite that make it easy to track several keywords allowing you to monitor and strike up a conversation when you see something you can relate to/assist with. As an example, we recently pulled the last 100 tweets containing the following 10 keywords:
After combing through the selection and eliminating ones not pertaining to the industry, we were left with 500 tweets. You can see the breakdown in the charts below (click for a larger view).
Breaking down the amount of times keywords are used allows you to get an idea of what people are talking about most as it relates to your industry. Of course the 10 keywords we picked are somewhat similar and do not have huge fluctuations, but it starts to give an idea of how to determine which hashtags (#) or keywords to focus on in this particular situation.
For example using this scenario, if you own a whitewater rafting company, and only search #whitewater for conversations, you’re limiting yourself as a larger audience is actually focused more on #adventure, #rafting or #kayaking. This also begins to help you decide which hashtags to use in your own tweets.
Once you have created a keyword list, it is time to start crafting a plan how to respond to tweets containing those keywords. There are several platforms, both free and paid for, for monitoring all of this information. However if you are just starting out with social listening, or don’t have the manpower yet to devote someone fully to social monitoring, an easy way to get started is to make different themes under which to categorize the tweets.
When deciding on themes, really think about what conversations will benefit your company, and how to respond consistently conveying your brand personality. Categorizing messages into themes allows whomever is responding to do so quickly and on brand, getting your name in front of much larger audiences.
For example, a theme may be I want to go…
How would your team respond to these tweets? Maybe you’re no where near Yosemite, that doesn’t mean you can’t strike up a conversation about your thoughts on Yosemite…ideally then turning the conversation to how great your area is.
Another theme might be Humorous. Show you’re brand is human and relatable by responding to tweets like this:
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for tweets Seeking Suggestions.
You never know if they’re in your neck of the woods; and if they’re not, you’ll still come across as the authority on all things outdoors.
You should constantly be looking for what potential customers are talking about (especially in the off season) to jump in and align your company as both the authority and companion when it comes to the outdoors. Your own keyword list and themes will depend on your business and social strategy, but it is important to have a plan in place when responding to ensure you maintain your brand personality across all platforms.
As always, if you would like more information about how to create your own keyword list or themes, GIVE US A SHOUT!