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Five Reasons Small Organisations Should Invest in Social Listening Social listening gives you valuable insights about what your customers have to say about you, your competitors and the general trends in your industry, which you can leverage to your advantage

By Dr Ranjit Nair

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Social media can be a great tool for businesses if used in the right way. Entrepreneurs and marketers have limited social media to promote their service and products. They often miss the most powerful advantage of social media i.e. the social listening.Social listening is not just for large enterprise, It can help startups and small-medium enterprises in growing their business too.

Benefits of Social Listening for Small Businesses:-

1. Helps You Maintain and Position Yourself as a Customer-Centric Company

Research by Gartner reveals that evading a customer complaint on social media can result in a 15per cent increase in churn rate. While research by Harvard Business Review shows that customers who receive positive and helpful customer service on social media are three times more likely to recommend that brand, that's the power of social media. If you want to stay ahead of your competitor, you have to be approachable to your customers first, and that's possible when you listen to your customers on social media and address their queries or woes as quick as possible. Most small organisations refrain from investing in social listening tools at an early stage, as they do not expect too many mentions or queries in the beginning. We recommend investing time and resources on social listening right from day 1 to get into the practice of responding to customer queries and avoiding a crisis. The earlier you set the process; the better will be your reputation online.

2. Helps You Understand What's Trending and Aligning Your Strategy to it

Social Listening helps in building Minimum Viable Products (MVP) for startups.It uses social media to find out the people participating in an event or a conversation and reached out to them. Social listening helps you to understand what's trending in your industry and find ways to use those trends to your advantage.

3. Helps You Understand the Needs or Pain Points of the Consumers

If your next goal is to introduce a new product or acquire a new market, begin your consumer research by first monitoring the conversations on social media. It would cost lesser than hiring a marketing research agency to do it. For example, if you are starting a car-pooling service and want to know the challenges that consumer face with the current car-pooling services, you can use social media to find out the pain points. The conversations on social media will help you find the common problems of your target audience, and that can act as the base for you to improve the positioning of your service.

4. Helps Improve Marketing Strategy

A common issue that most marketers face is showing the value of your products and services to your target audience. The ideal way would be to address the challenges of your audience through relevant content. Social listening can help you in this endeavour. You can use social listening to know what people would be interested in knowing. For example, if you own a digital marketing agency, you would mostly find conversations and questions related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Development, etc. You can use these insights to create valuable content assets such as blogs, e-books, and videos that are relevant to your users, and which attract traffic and leads to your website.

5. Useful in Competitive Analysis

Social listening not only helps in improving your services but also to stay updated on what's happening with your competitor. It helps you to know how your target audience is engaging with your competitor on social media – is it positive or negative. If there is something negative about your competitor that you do better, then you can use that data to position yourself. It also gives you an idea of their new developments and monitors people's reaction to it. You can use those observations to plan your next goals.

The decision to invest in social listening tools depends upon your goals of growing your business. If you envision your company to rise to new heights and stay ahead of the competition, then a social listening tool can give you a 360-degree view and data on what people think about you, your competitors, and the industry on the whole. It also helps you to make changes to your current business practices to improve relations with your customers. For example, Amazon had received a lot of feedback on social media about eco-friendly packaging. They heard and changed their packaging material to recyclable and eco-friendly ones.

Customers also feel valued when businesses consider their opinion and incorporate it into their strategies.

Dr Ranjit Nair

CEO and Founder of Germin8 Solutions

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