4 Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond (2023)

HomeBlog4 Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond

Sometimes it feels like social listening is a sacred knowledge available only to a few chosen brands – that’s how little we hear of companies using it. Of course, in reality, social listening is quite the opposite of a secret: it’s used by many, but, here’s the deal: it’s not used to its full potential.

Let’s start from the beginning in case you know absolutely nothing of this social listening business. Despite being a product of all the fancy techy concepts out there (big data, machine learning, etc.), it does not require a ridiculous budget or programming skills. Really, just an understanding, a tool, and some creativity.

What is social listening?

Understanding how social listening works is crucial – and quite easy. Social listening is the process of monitoring social media and the rest of the web for your brand mentions so you can understand how people are talking about your brand and your offerings.

A social listening/monitoring tool takes keywords of your choice (these are usually the name of your brand, your industry, your CEO, or something similar) and searches social media and the Web for these keywords. Social media includes social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, etc.) as well as blogs and forums. The Web includes everything else on the Internet. Not every tool covers everything there is, but the best, not necessarily the most expensive ones, do.

4 Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond (1)

(Video) How to Go Beyond Brand Awareness and Actually Drive Revenues Using LinkedIn

Via Sprout Social

Now on to creativity. While many companies use social listening these days, their primary goal is often customer service. Let me be clear: social listening is a life-saver for customer service. In no way am I suggesting that it’s not one of the best uses of a social listening tool. Social listening finds people that have not used a Twitter handle or any other method that lets the brand know something is wrong; it lets social media managers prevent social media crises by showing the growth of negative mentions; it makes it easier to reply to people from different platforms from a single dashboard.

However, this is not the full use of a social listening tool. And, let’s be fair, it’s not a very creative one. It’s straightforward, it’s what companies buy social listening tools for, and it doesn’t give you much of a competitive advantage among your rivals. Customer service is rapidly becoming a norm rather than a way to stand out.

Now, lead generation is something different. And so is, weirdly enough, brand awareness. And the mysterious “beyond” part of the title. The thing is, companies go on social media for goals other than customer service. They hope to find new clients, to market products in new ways, to make the famous social word-of-mouth work for them. Social media listening is the single best tool for that. Let’s turn the creative mode on and find out how exactly it can work for us.

1. Find prospects and surprise them with an offer

4 Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond (2)

The whole idea of this strategy is to find your potential customers online and offer them an incentive to use your product or service. This approach has a personal feel to it and is public at the same time. On the one hand, you’re talking to one person in particular. Surely, you are repeating the tactic with a number of people, but it’s still not a broadcasting ad that feels impersonal no matter how much effort you put in it.

(Video) How to Go Beyond Brand Awareness and Actually Drive Revenues Using LinkedIn

On the other hand, you’re talking to your prospect in public. That means all his or her followers could see what’s happening. They might get interested and check out your product straight away, or they might simply notice the brand name and its connection to their friend. In both cases, brand awareness is being built.

How does this process work? You come up with your industry keywords or keywords that indicate the event you’re interested in. Let me give you an example. The Keg Steakhouse monitors keywords such as “winning” and “won”, “steak dinner”, “birthday”, “anniversary” in their location so that they can offer the relevant people a discount for their services. People often don’t expect anything like that from a brand: they are surprised and delighted and decide to check the place out. Also, as mentioned before, all their followers (or some of them anyway) get a good reason to look at the brand.

The same steakhouse employs the following idea: they carry out a social media contest, like so many of companies do, but, when it’s already done and the winners are announced, they continue to monitor people’s conversations about the contest. They then give out a couple of other prizes for people that have been discussing the brand online. They say it’s a small effort that produces the best brand advocates. People feel surprised and grateful, and they continue to promote the brand years later.

2. Find competitors’ at-risk customers and steal them

That might be the best lead generation tactic that has ever existed in the digital world. Let’s face it: not every one of your competitor’s customers are satisfied with their product. The bigger your competitor is, the bigger number of vocally unhappy customers exist on the Internet. Now it’s just the matter of finding these poor people and saving them from their bad experience. Or just letting them know about your brand and pointing out why they’d have a much better experience using it.

If they’ve mentioned a specific problem, make sure to explain why your product can serve them better. If not, go through ways your product might be better/cheaper/more suitable for them.

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The process works through social media listening, obviously. Monitor the brand of your competitor(s) and keywords with negative connotations that might be associated with their product or service, e.g. “terrible”, “bad”, “awful”, “broken”, “struggling with”, “problem”. You don’t have to find all possible word combinations: if your competitor is a big one, enough leads will come from the most obvious keywords. If your competitor is rather small, you’ll be able to look through mentions marked as “negative” ones within the social media listening app and react to those.

3. Find prospects that are looking for you

4 Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond (4)

According to Brand24, each month, there are 14,000 online searches that start with “can anyone recommend?” and 30,000 searches for “where can I buy?”

How brands don’t jump at these opportunities is a mystery to me. Searching for these and other queries in your location, if your business is tied to a location, and replying to them from either your business account as a sales rep or from your personal one as a regular user, will bring you the warmest leads possible.

Replies can include a simple mention of your brand or an explanation or even a personal story of why it’s a good fit. You can also avoid the urge to promote your product straight away and instead ask more about what the author’s needs are and requirements, and hit them with an option that fits best. Personal approach is as powerful as it has always been.

Another good way of finding interested and brand-indecisive prospects is to look for strings such as “alternative to X” with X being your competitor or a specific product that is or even was similar to yours. For example, when Apple stopped selling iPods for 80gb, I was looking for exactly that – an alternative to Apple iPod Classic. It was not technically a competitor to music players anymore, however, a rather predictable void in the hearts of consumers aching to be filled. Your reply when finding consumers that search essentially for your product would be to show them that this product exists and maybe offer an incentive to get one.

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4. Find micro-influencers – the magicians of social media

4 Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond (5)

By now, every marketer knows the absolute power of online influencers. It’s a truly exciting phenomenon to begin with: anyone with access to the Internet can become influential with no money or power required. Just YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit… This person gains trust and authority in a particular field and then moves on to advertising brands that they truly like. They are seen as the experts in their field, so they strive to know about new brands, niche brands, all relevant brands to be able to provide their followers with the most up-to-date information.

Influencers are usually open to collaboration with marketers, trying out and reviewing their products, and advertising the product if it’s good enough. And we all know the power of native advertising.

While some influencers went so far as to make thousands (the chosen ones even millions) on their social media activity, the majority, as you might expect, did not. Many became micro-influencers in that they influence opinions of their followers in their specific fields. They might have a few thousand followers as opposed to millions of them, but they are loyal and curious followers.

Now the quest, of course, is to find the online micro-influencers in your own industry. This is where social listening comes in. If you’re monitoring industry keywords, most tools will show you a list of influencers for your industry. If you’re monitoring your brand, you’ll get a list of influencers who have already mentioned your brand – these are people to contact straight away and discuss the future you might have together.

Listen up

If you approach social listening creatively you can build brand awareness, generate interested leads, increase word-of-mouth, and ultimately gain loads of new customers from social media directly and indirectly. And the easiest way to start with implicit marketing is go to social media where every idea has a potential to go viral or at least gain visibility, the line between friends, marketers, and followers is vague, and people talk about absolutely everything. All you really have to do is find relevant conversations and join them.

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About the author

Alina Gorbatch is an experienced web marketing specialist and content writer at Awario. Follow @BlondeAlina on Twitter.

FAQs

How do brands use social listening? ›

Social listening helps companies understand the conversation surrounding their brand and the products and services they offer. It provides valuable consumer data that companies can use to gauge brand awareness and improve their products and services.

Can social listening help you find leads? ›

Social listening can also help you find leads. By tracking relevant keywords and phrases, you can see who is talking about your product or service and reach out to them with a sales pitch. As social media users continue to increase, so does the data.

What are social listening tools? ›

A social media listening tool is a software that monitors and analyzes online conversations about your brand, a specific topic, your competitors or anything else that's relevant to your company. It pulls in mentions of specified keywords and helps marketers analyze these mentions.

How can a brand use social listening to improve their marketing? ›

Social media listening helps you better understand what your audience wants from your brand. For example, an existing customer might tweet about how much they love your product. Or you might spot a conversation where people are looking for solutions your product or service could provide.

How is social media used for brand awareness? ›

Small businesses can use social media channels for brand awareness campaigns by sharing easy-to-create content including infographics, short videos, ads, and links to more detailed, high-quality content that answers customers questions or addresses trending topics.

How can social listening support brand promotion and sales? ›

Good social listening helps you uncover what your audience cares about, what they don't, how they describe products, and their cultural differences. This data is gold when refining a marketing strategy.

What are some of the most important benefits of social listening? ›

What Are The Major Benefits of Social Listening?
  • Discover key consumer insights & market trends. ...
  • Design targeted campaigns. ...
  • Track brand awareness and reputation. ...
  • Develop an authentic, personalized brand experience. ...
  • Conceive new product/service ideas. ...
  • Leverage social influencer marketing.
20 Aug 2021

What is the most important aspect of social listening? ›

It's a balance between listening and talking, while understanding the needs of the other person – because you are in tune with how they are feeling. Whereby listening in relationships is one of the most important aspects to a healthy dynamic, social listening is the equivalent in social media marketing.

What are the four main types of social media tools? ›

Here's a look at four types of social media tools along with recommended apps that are user-friendly and can streamline your workflow.
  • Content curation tools. ...
  • Social media scheduling apps. ...
  • Content creation tools. ...
  • Social media analytics tools.
26 Jul 2016

Which is the best social listening tool? ›

A close look at some of the best social listening tools available
  • Brandwatch. Credit: Brandwatch. ...
  • NetBase Quid. Consumer and Market intelligence platform NetBase Quid offers a variety of products, including a Social Listening tool. ...
  • Sprinklr. Credit: Sprinklr. ...
  • Talkwalker. ...
  • Digimind. ...
  • Synthesio. ...
  • Linkfluence. ...
  • Meltwater.

What are social listening skills? ›

Social listening refers to analyzing the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but around your industry as a whole, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions.

What are 4 techniques that good listeners use? ›

10 tips for active listening
  • Face the speaker and have eye contact. ...
  • “Listen” to non-verbal cues too. ...
  • Don't interrupt. ...
  • Listen without judging, or jumping to conclusions. ...
  • Don't start planning what to say next. ...
  • Don't impose your opinions or solutions. ...
  • Stay focused. ...
  • Ask questions.

What are the four 4 active listening strategies? ›

4 Strategies for Effective Listening
  • First of all, listening is an activity; it is not something we do passively. The skill of active listening needs to be applied, be there and stay focused on the person talking, without any distractions. ...
  • Listen with empathy. ...
  • Be open as you listen. ...
  • Listen with awareness.
28 Aug 2022

What methods do you use to raise brand awareness? ›

9 ways to improve brand awareness
  1. Build a recognizable brand.
  2. Tell a brand story.
  3. Create value beyond your product.
  4. Create shareable content.
  5. Contribute to your community.
  6. Offer a freebie.
  7. Run social media contests.
  8. Work with the social algorithms.
11 Aug 2022

What is the importance of social media awareness? ›

Social Media Awareness training is a valuable tool to reduce the possibilities of these dramatic problems and offer leverage for a company should a social media mistake be made. The use of social media shows no sign of falling away, so it is important that you act now to protect yourself and your business.

How can you engage your consumers through social listening? ›

To stay on top of trending topics, marketers can use social listening to: Discover industry-specific issues customers are discussing. Identify long-tail keywords related to their brand and their competitors. Analyze the volume of messages containing specific hashtags.

What are 3 advantages of listening to others? ›

The benefits of listening are wide-ranging and immensely powerful. Only with effective listening can you understand others; enhance relationships; persuade or sell effectively; lead and inspire a team; or learn from others.

Why is social listening important how is it measured? ›

Social listening provides qualitative metrics (such as sentiment of a conversation) and quantitative metrics (such as volume of conversation) to help create the best strategy for your company's social marketing campaign. monitor what consumers are saying about your company and try to respond to them quickly.

What are the benefits of listening to customers? ›

When you listen to your customer feedback, you're fundamentally providing a window to manage customer experience, customer satisfaction, fuel customer loyalty, improve your products and services, reduce churn rates, and many more.

What are the 7 types of social media? ›

7 Types of Social Media Channels & How You Can Use Them
  • 1) Social Networks.
  • 2) Blogs And Micro-blogs.
  • 3) Media Sharing Sites or Content Communities.
  • 4) Wikis or User-Generated Content.
  • 5) News Sites And Social Bookmarking Sites.
  • 6) Discussion Forums.
  • 7) Social Events.
1 Feb 2019

What are four 4 key characteristics of social media? ›

Applicable to any brand or industry, these are the characteristics of effective social media content.
  • Entertaining. First things first, content needs to catch a user's attention. ...
  • Aspirational. It's important to differentiate between Inspirational and Aspirational. ...
  • Actionable. ...
  • Joinable.
27 Sept 2019

What are the 5 C's of social media? ›

The 5 Cs of Social Media -- Coordinates, Channels, Content, Connections, and Corrections -- are interconnected elements used to craft an effective strategy.

What are the steps in the social listening process? ›

The Social Listening Process
  1. Step1: Identify Your Platforms. ...
  2. Step 2: Data Extraction With Live API Integration. ...
  3. Step 3: Data Processing for Sentiment. ...
  4. Data Visualization.
31 Aug 2021

What are keywords in social listening? ›

Keywords are the words that describe best what you want to find on social media platforms and the web. A keyword can be one word (e.g. “Philips”), two words (e.g. “Aleh Barysevich”), four words (e.g. “search engine optimization tool”), etc. Each one of these examples presents one keyword.

Why is listening important for social media success? ›

Focused listening will tell you which social networks your audience is most actively using and help you to analyze sentiment about your brands, products, competitors, or industry. By using social listening to determine your social media strategy, your company will save both time and money.

What is social listening in advertising? ›

Social listening refers to analyzing the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but around your industry as a whole, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions.

Why do marketers engage in social listening? ›

Marketers use social listening primarily for community management, including detecting customer pain points and directly responding to their issues, questions, and complaints. It also assists in surfacing feedback that may be useful in making their brand stand out amongst other businesses.

How can you engage your consumers through social listening? ›

To stay on top of trending topics, marketers can use social listening to: Discover industry-specific issues customers are discussing. Identify long-tail keywords related to their brand and their competitors. Analyze the volume of messages containing specific hashtags.

What are the 4 main categories of social media influencers? ›

What are the Different Types of Social Media Influencer?
  • Nano influencers (1K – 10K followers) ...
  • Micro-influencers (10K-100K followers) ...
  • Macro influencers (100K – 1M followers) ...
  • Mega influencer (1M+ followers) ...
  • Choosing the best social media influencer for your brand with FYI.
23 Dec 2021

What is the most important aspect of social listening? ›

It's a balance between listening and talking, while understanding the needs of the other person – because you are in tune with how they are feeling. Whereby listening in relationships is one of the most important aspects to a healthy dynamic, social listening is the equivalent in social media marketing.

How do social media influencers spread awareness? ›

Influencers grow brand awareness among their followers and beyond through brand endorsement, product placement, and mentions on their social networks. Therefore, influencer marketing is an online marketing strategy whereby brands leverage the reach of an online influencer to sell their product or service.

What are the 4 types of listening? ›

4 Types of Listening
  • Deep Listening. Deep listening occurs when you're committed to understanding the speaker's perspective. ...
  • Full Listening. Full listening involves paying close and careful attention to what the speaker is conveying. ...
  • Critical Listening. ...
  • Therapeutic Listening.

What are the steps in the social listening process? ›

The Social Listening Process
  1. Step1: Identify Your Platforms. ...
  2. Step 2: Data Extraction With Live API Integration. ...
  3. Step 3: Data Processing for Sentiment. ...
  4. Data Visualization.
31 Aug 2021

What are some of the most important benefits of social listening? ›

What Are The Major Benefits of Social Listening?
  • Discover key consumer insights & market trends. ...
  • Design targeted campaigns. ...
  • Track brand awareness and reputation. ...
  • Develop an authentic, personalized brand experience. ...
  • Conceive new product/service ideas. ...
  • Leverage social influencer marketing.
20 Aug 2021

How do you develop social listening tools? ›

Today, we can actively monitor what the public is saying about our brand or industry. Even better, we can see what's really being said about our brand or industry in real-time.
...
Once logged into Zapier, select Make a Zap.
  1. Step 2: Twitter Scrape. ...
  2. Step 3: Google Sheets Input. ...
  3. Step 4: Finishing Up.
16 Jul 2020

What are the three 3 ways to engage with customers online? ›

7 Online customer engagement strategies
  • Build a community or group. There are several great ways to build an online community to more effectively interact and engage with your customers. ...
  • Host a webinar. ...
  • Co-create. ...
  • Celebrate together. ...
  • Offer exclusive content. ...
  • Respond to feedback. ...
  • Engage across multiple channels.

What are different methods of listening to customers? ›

In order to understand how customer-focused companies design processes for listening to customers, we need to start by thinking about the three types of listening: Unaided or volunteer listening. Aided listening. Experiential listening.

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