You've probably heard of the old adage "It takes two to tango." Well, the same goes for social media.
To get better social media results, you have to listen to your customer. You know that social media is not all about you blaring out your message but engaging your audience and turning them into fans instead of walking billboard receptors. But how do you listen to your customers to get those better results? What tools will give you access to help you understand what your customers say about you and your industry.
Today you'll get a list of tools that are appropriate for small business that are either free or have a low cost to use.
Now, to set these tools up you should have a couple of keywords in mind that surround your industry and business that are important to you. For example, if you are baker local to Atlanta some keywords you can monitor are: cake, birthday, "Your business name", baking, etc. Also, if your business name has a unique spelling you should monitor possible misspellings of your name.
What this will create are the opportunities to participate in conversation with people who are naturally talking about you or your industry. You'll also know what people say about you when they are not talking to you.
If you don't have any idea of what your keywords would be take a look at the Facebook conversations you and your clients participate in. What words do the frequently use in reference to you and your industry? What sentiment keeps popping up?
Tools for Better Social Media Results
Listening tools you can try out:
Hootsuite is more than just a social media posting tool. You can follow Hootsuite's instructions like this to set up this tool to do double duty for your business. The advantage of using Hootsuite is that you can immediately engage in conversation when you see an opportunity.
Social Mention is a great tool that allows you to search for keywords across social media platforms and Flikr. You'll gain an understanding of the sentiment, how often the keyword is used, who used it, and more. This is a great place to get the lay of the land. You can also export the data in csv or get an rss feed of your keyword search terms allowing you to stay up to date.
A well designed survey will give you insight into how your customers think, use your product, and how they think of you. You can ask questions such as:
1. How was your overall experience?
2. What was the purpose of your visit?
3. Were you able to complete your visit as you intended?
4. If yes, what was the most positive element of your visit? If no, why?
You can send the questionnaire after a purchase or added to your newsletter.
These sites are heat maps. Heat maps tell you how visitors interact with your website and where they spend the most time. Using heat maps will inform you about the flow of your website and if people do not understand where to go next.
Now you don't have to use all of these. In fact, you shouldn't use all of these. If you haven't "listened" to your customer before pick two methods and decide what you want to learn from your customer. Is it: "How often do you buy my product?" It could be: "How often do you need my product?" An interesting one would be: "How do you use my product?" You might be surprised.
At the end of the day this information is meant to inform your marketing and products going forward. This is why you listen to your customer. Understanding your customer allows you to serve them better and makes it easier for them to be loyal customers and fans.