Ever been around one of those people who talks and talks and talks but never takes time to listen? It’s certainly not a way to maintain friendships…or manage your PR and social media, either.
To be fair, many small business marketers are so focused on getting the word out because they’ve been conditioned to initiate online discussions, either through press releases, blogs, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. Nearly every PR and marketing website encourages marketers to talk away but many lose sight of the other part of PR and social media – listening.
Check out 3 reasons why you should shore up your listening skills:
1. Your Customers Are Talking
Take a look at a new infographic titled, Why People Use Social Media and you’ll find numbers that can’t be ignored, namely 66% of those surveyed read customer feedback. So, while more than half of audiences are listening to what your customers are saying, you should be, too.
The stats also tell a story of positive vs. negative feedback. The numbers here were nearly split down the middle – 54% give positive feedback and 51% share negative comments.
2. Tools Make It Easy To Listen
There are dozens of PR and social media tools to help you monitor conversations on nearly every social channel out there. Free choices such as Google Alerts track keyword use; Technorati taps into the blogosphere and Trendrr follows how your brand is trending in comparison to your competitors.
A series of paid listening tools can also keep your finger on the pulse of online discussions revolving around your brand. Vocus maps out consumer sentiment ratings and Techrigy draws from all social channels to provide analysis and comparisons.
3. You Can Influence The Conversation
Think of the 66% of people on social media listening to customer feedback. Now imagine the 54% gushing about your brand and the 51% prepared to bash your brand. It’s obvious you can’t afford to sit on the sidelines when your future customers are being influenced by online chatter.
The more you listen, the better you can respond – to positive feedback with thanks and to negative messages with solutions. Consumer trust is built upon the fact that people believe you are concerned about what is important to them, first and foremost.
The magic behind PR and social media marketing is engagement – it’s a two-way street of discourse that calls for insightful discussions and there’s no better place to gather that insight than from the people who buy from your brand.
For more information on the value of listening to consumer feedback, check out our learning center article, Are You Leveraging Referrals For Your Online Marketing Strategy?