In our industry, we see a lot of social media strategies driven by self-interest – and it shows.

Social content can sometimes be uninteresting. There’s so much of it buzzing around that it becomes next to impossible for it to get traction. It therefore becomes imperative that not only is the content interesting, but distinct too.

Why aren’t people engaging?

Content is usually more about the person posting it rather than the person it’s intended to reach. This is usually because we have a lack of understanding about what our audiences are interested in. How can we tailor the perfect tweet or craft the perfect post if we don’t really know who’s reading it? Or what they’re interested in?

When we aren’t informed about our audiences, we end up writing about what we think matters, rather than what actually matters to our readers. We make it about ourselves. ‘We did this’, ‘We did that’, ‘We’re about to launch…’, ’The results are in! …’’

What would you post if you knew exactly what your audiences wanted?

 

The rising expectation of the customer

The reality is that customers are getting smarter and savvier by the day. They want to be communicated to via an experience that feels it has been directly made for them – one that’s personalised. Understanding your audience earns respect and loyalty, not to mention their attention. So what better way to start by listening to what they have to say?

 

Let’s start by listening.

Social listening is the process of monitoring conversation. It goes beyond monitoring posts and interactions, it’s about extracting key insights from data, derived from social conversations at scale.

Social listening helps us sharpen creative and planning strategies. We use social listening to find the right topics and communities to tailor content with precision, uncover trends, understand unmet needs, explore what audiences think of particular brands, products and competitors. It also allows us to uncover patterns pointing to the future for specific demographics, topics or industries.

The scale of the data allows us to see patterns forming. We can learn what defines an audience group – things like median age, sex, where they live and when they’re most often on social platforms. Also, what platforms are most used for what conversations, how big the conversation is, what the most engaging content is and what the emotion behind the conversation is (are they angry? Sad? Hopeful?). Understanding the sentiment of the conversation often results in content written with the right tone.

An active social listening strategy can give us answers to the things we don’t know – or we assume we know about the audiences we want to engage with.

 

Why does this matter? 

The more you understand what your audiences want, the more you can tailor your social content with precision. Insight into relevant keywords, key phrases and sentiments can’t be undervalued. All of this can be picked up from listening and can inform entire creative processes. 

After all, as billions of people freely share their opinions and recommendations on social platforms on a daily basis, listening to these dialogues can provide richer and more impactful content for brands and entire communication strategies. In other words, it’ll give you direction for your social posts and help you target your followers more effectively.

No more posting content hoping it’ll get traction. Post content you already know your audiences are interested in, because you listened to them.

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