6 Ways to Use Social Listening in Your Public Relations

6 Ways to Use Social Listening in Your Public Relations

With the advent of social media, public relations has changed dramatically from how it was in the past. In order to keep current and create meaningful and impactful interactions with your target market, you need to be aware of what’s being said about your brand at all times. That’s where social listening comes in handy, allowing you to track conversations about your brand and respond as quickly as possible if you detect any negative sentiment or criticism. Here are six ways you can use social listening in your public relations strategy.

1) Build your knowledge

In a world where, literally, billions of people can talk about your brand, product or service on social media at any given moment—there’s no better time than now for public relations (PR) and marketing professionals to become experts in social listening. The best PR pros use tools like Radian6 and Sysomos, which give them access to all of their company’s mentions across social media platforms.

2) Keep an eye on your competitors

In some cases, it makes sense for brands not to publicly acknowledge their competitors. That said, just because you might not be throwing shade or making snarky comments on Twitter doesn’t mean your competition is taking a similar stance. You can use social listening tools to see what people are saying about your competitors—and react accordingly.

3) See what your customers are saying about you

You can’t improve upon something if you don’t know what’s wrong with it. A consumer-facing business should be paying attention to what its customers are saying about it online, whether that comes in through complaints, customer feedback or other social media interactions. For example, if you have a Facebook Page for your business, use Crowdbooster as a way to track mentions of your brand on Facebook and respond accordingly.

4) Check out what others are talking about

Of course, you’ll want to see what people are saying about your brand. You can find out by using social listening tools like Mention and Talkwalker (you can set up free alerts for specific keywords, phrases or hashtags). Then, see if anything has caught your eye and read through it so you can comment thoughtfully on these issues when appropriate.

5) Develop a strategic framework

When crafting a strategic framework, ask yourself questions like: Who is my audience? What are their needs and wants? How can I fulfill those wants better than anyone else? What channels should I engage on so that I can gain access to and build relationships with these individuals? How can I best deliver my message while maintaining consistent branding and tone? If you don’t take time to think about answers like these, your social listening will be less than strategic.

6) Focus on influencers

The best part about social listening is that there are few limits as to how you can put it into practice. It’s not just for PR—it’s a solid marketing strategy too. While your goal may be customer acquisition, you don’t have to wait until they want something from you to capture their attention. You can monitor what’s being said about your brand, engage influencers and interact with customers who are talking about your brand positively or negatively.

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