Social Listening

December 29, 2014 | Blog
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If I had a nickel for every blog post I've read that started with the words "Content is king," I'd be a very rich woman.

For years, we've been told that content is one of brands' core value propositions, at least when communicating with consumers online.

To truly get a grasp on what content marketing is, consider this definition from the Content Marketing Institute (yes, there's a whole institute dedicated to this marketing practice):

"Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

I'd like to challenge this definition by calling out the words "relevant and valuable content." To develop content that falls within this definition, you need some sort of context, some sort of brand story or audience profile...otherwise your so-called "content marketing strategy" is more like a blind shot into a dark abyss.

At Social Distillery, we have partnered with Spredfast and leveraged their Spark technology to shed light on audience interests & trending content. This enables us to determine what content is providing value (& gaining traction) online in order to guide us, as content creators, when social tides & "what's hot" shifts.

Some key benefits of social listening are:

  • Influencer Identification: By tracking keywords & topics, you can see who is producing content that your community finds valuable, as well as finding strategic opportunities to connect & collaborate with industry insiders.
  • Customer Trends: Listening to what your consumers are saying (whether or not they're speaking directly about you) can give you great insights into who your followers are & what else they're interested in. For CPG brands, this could be especially useful in developing co-branded product opportunities.
  • Employee Feedback: Employees can be some of your greatest champions online. As a brand, listening & engaging with them online can turn employees into brand advocates (as long as it's done in a transparent way—you can't force employees to engage!).
  • Competitive Research: Tuning in to what your competitors are saying & doing online is a great way to keep your competitive edge. The more trends you see, the more you can tailor your online brand presence to meet the needs of your consumers.
  • Content Insights: What's hot & what's not changes daily. If your listening strategy isn't up to par, you could miss key opportunities to engage organically.

What's your social listening strategy? Share your thoughts & feedback with me & the team: @MercerAMoore & @SocialDistiller.


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