Social Listening isn’t optional anymore. Whether you’re the mom and pop shop on Main Street or a power lunching executive, listening to social media chatter is a keystone of a successful business. Listening to relevant conversations on Facebook, Twitter and beyond is also more than finding that omnipresent ROI. You can’t place a dollar value on building your brand’s reputation, gaining insight about your industry or maintaining relevancy. This post will have your ear to the social media ground faster than you can trend a hashtag.

 

1. How will Social Listening Improve my Brand’s Reputation?

Imagine you are editor-in-chief of a major metropolitan newspaper. Every other newspaper with a readership runs the same breaking news story, but you. Not because you didn’t find it newsworthy, but because you weren’t listening to the world that day. If I could pick a newspaper, I might think twice about trusting that one for a while. Now imagine you’re pushing to be an industry leader and you are out of the loop on an issue you should be fluent in. You just demoted yourself on the reputation totem pole, and you can’t buy your way back up. Social news feeds are where the headlines live. Contribute in a meaningful way every day.

 

2. How will Social Listening Keep my Company Relevant?

Going viral is an accomplishment that many businesses dream of. PR agencies and content marketing experts toil to find that one interview or thought piece that will catapult the CEO to stardom. For now, let’s focus on the baby steps that will get our heads in the right place. If a topic is relevant, chances are that there will be Facebook shares and retweets galore. Let’s not forget that Google loves a social share. Here’s how to share like you mean it.

How will a consumer or business connection feel about you if your Twitter presence is stale but your competition is buzzing with valuable news?

 

3. How will Social Listening Bring my Brand Recognition?

Don’t be a narcissist. Think of your favorite people. I’ll bet they don’t boast about themselves and praise their strengths all day long. I’ll bet your favorite person asks you thoughtful questions about your day and gives helpful feedback. Let’s try to do the same while listening to our peers on LinkedIn Groups and Tweet-ups. When you listen to the right people you position yourself to answer questions and add insight to the conversation. When you treat the social media universe with the same respect and attention you do your inner friend circle, your name will become meaningful. Heart warming, isn’t it?

For those set on seeing the ROI, let’s hear it from an industry that actually does place a monetary value on a company. In a post aptly titled “How Social Media Can Increase the Value of your Company,” Allegiance Capital Corporation spoke to the value a strong social media presence can afford a company. “If your business lacks a professional, well-executed social media presence (that you control), you could risk jeopardizing your company’s valuation.” Not listening to the social sites is like being deaf to your industry’s heartbeat.

4. How will Social Listening Grow my Brand?

Remember when we told you all about developing your social media metrics for success? We understand if you lost the link with your morning shuffle. Here’s a second chance to brush up.
When you listen to trends on social, you’re listening to the needs and concerns of your target audience and peers. Have them listen to you as you Tweet your relevant advice and comment on Facebook with your industry knowledge. Embrace this methodology and a Tweet will no longer just be an odd digital text message. It will become a lead generation tool, a business connection and a future business connection. All of a sudden your brand will be growing. Tweet by tweet, post by post, your social listening skills will be the roots of a strong and relevant brand.

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