More brands are being told to watch what other people are saying about them on the Internet and on social media.  But doing this properly is becoming more challenging and precise, not just setting up Google Alerts or counting Facebook likes.

Part of this effort is a newer approach called social listening, a more active way to monitor online activity and a variety of analytic tools. Successful usage allows you to learn what people are saying about your product, service or overall brand, whether positive, negative or neutral.

The benefits of social listening can include:

  • Better link building. Look for opportunities to add your link to any postings or related comments online that others have been publishing about your brand. This helps future visitors see, learn and want to know more.
  • Better security. Worried about other people stealing your online content and publishing it as their own? Social listening can see where your content appears and whether it’s a publisher you’ve authorized or if they’re publishing the info on their own. Knowing this exact location makes it easy to contact any offenders.
  • Better lead potential. Rather than using social media for information and entertainment only, social listening can focus on certain conversations by certain people. This can even identify possible influencers who may be excited about supporting you and agreeing to spread the word to their followers. You can also go beyond this by looking for others who need to know more about whatever product or service you offer. If you appear to solve a problem for them or aid whatever is frustrating them, it could go a long way of quickly building loyalty.
  • Product development. Looking for ideas for your next product or service? Throw the idea to social media followers and gather their input and suggestions.
  • Guest blogging. Being able to share your thoughts and information about your business on someone else’s blog is a great way to reach newer audiences. Social listening can help you connect with other blogs that might welcome your ideas.

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