Are you all ME ME ME?
Are you listening to your customers?
You’ll never really get beyond small talk if you don’t take time to get to know the person you’re talking to.
The same applies when it comes to having some kind of meaningful conversation with your audience. Much like real life (which brands often forget!) people will switch off if they find it boring or one-sided and just like at a party, they’ll side-step you all night if you try to sell them something as they pour their first beer.
So before you start posting, joking, boasting, asking questions or offering goodies…you need to listen. You need to know more about THEM. Ideally, you should find out about your target audience before embarking on a social media or content strategy. However, you can still use the same tools to refine your approach if you are already live.
Listening will help you understand really important things like:
- What are your target customers interested in?
- What social networks are they using?
- Do they prefer video to written content?
- Are they more voyeurs than talkers?
- Are they mainly guys or gals?
- Do they share stuff with their friends?
There are countless tools available – some of which are free or very low cost. For larger companies, who may want to integrate this into customer service software, some investment may be involved but nothing too radical. These tools work using keywords associated with your brand or your services. The data gathered provides you with a breakdown of all mentions of your brand/service, the source of these mentions (ie which social site/website) and whether this is positive or negative. The accompanying image to this piece shows the range of service providers in this area - most cater to all organisations, some are more suited to large (eg Lithium & Radian6).
When you listen, you’ll learn really valuable stuff. You will know which are the best social media sites to focus your attention, you’ll also understand which content formats will most resonate with your audience. You may even tap into forums or groups that are right up your street in terms of who you are really trying to reach.
So give it a go -sign up for one of these tools and find out what makes your audience tick! Only then will the conversation develop.
This post was first published here.
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