One of the main differences between social listening and mere metric observation and analysis lies in the fact that it’s much more exact and much more insightful. Imagine the difference between giving 10 of your clients a yes/no survey to fill in and having a one-hour-long interview with ever one of them. It’s simply incomparable.
When it comes to the way in which it can improve your content marketing, it’s more than obvious. Unlike various metrics which can merely steer you into one direction or another, through social listening you gain real, actionable tips that you can implement as soon as possible. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several ways in which social listening can improve your content strategy.
Potential for testimonials
Over the course of years, people have grown weary of things they read online. From all the online scams and black-hat tactics, they’ve developed defense mechanisms against online bots and developed their ability to pass a Turing test even under the harshest of circumstances. This is why they look for testimonials and reviews that seem like they were written by real people.
One of the best, and the most creative ways to do so is to use actual tweets and comments as testimonials (in form of cropped screenshots rather than retyped lines). In fact, leaving them in their unaltered state might feel the most genuine. Still, you need to do some cherry-picking in order to portray your business in the best light. Even though this too can be classified as highly-scripted, it’s still seen as more genuine.
The volume of mentions
One of the takeaways from the article 18 Things You’ll Learn About Content Marketing at CMS Asia 2018 published by Medium is the importance of implementing social listening into your content strategy. Media monitoring tools in Singapore were also mentioned as crucial part of a successful content marketing strategy at the annual Content 360 Singapore conference. Understanding your customer needs and demands can help you create appealing content and keep your audience interested.
By measuring the volume of mentions of a certain topic, keyword or brand name, you can get an answer to the three most vital questions:
- First, you can figure out whether the audience is interested in the first place.
- Second, you can check if there’s an already pending discussion (which would somewhat deplete the topic by the time you arrive).
- Finally, is the topic in question able to stand the test of time? If the latter is true, you might just get lucky and make a post that will stay active and even generate backlinks for years to come.
Study your demographic
The next thing you can figure out by resorting to social listening is the demographic structure of your audience. This helps you pick the right channel of outreach, seeing as how each group has their own preferred social network. For instance, social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are popular with people between 18 and 24 years of age, and there are similar age-related social media platform decisions all over the place. Same goes for the device in question, mobile users prefer YouTube and Facebook over some other networks. Lastly, gender also plays a major role seeing as how platforms like Pinterest tend to be predominantly female, while women are the majority on Facebook, as well.
Apart from knowing where and when to post (each platform has its own ideal time for posting), you also get the privilege of knowing what voice to use for your content. For instance, if you realize that the majority of your readers belong to the teen audience, you might want to opt for a bit more informal tone and use certain slang terms. On the other hand, if your audience is highly educated or involved in the niche, you can use a lot more industry-specific terminology, without breaking it down.
As you can see, social listening can help you in virtually any aspect of improving your content strategy, from telling you where and when to post, to helping you decide what and how to write. Even if this isn’t enough, it can provide you with more genuine testimonials, which can add even more efficiency to your content and your brand as a whole.