Creating innovative content, using the best social analytics tools, and paying for sponsored posts are usually the primary strategies that most brands use to increase their followers on their social pages. These are necessary steps to increase a social media presence, but there are even more essential strategies needed to win social media. And that begins with listening… social listening to be exact.

Brands need to monitor social conversations to understand how people perceive the brand. Not everyone participating in these conversations is a mass influencer, but each person is influencing each other to buy products and in some cases not to purchase a product. And they are doing this through organic everyday conversations with their friends, both online and offline.

Now that we have established the importance of social listening, the next part is to employ tools to influence the audience behavior. Listening only solves half of the problem; the following action items complete the puzzle.

Influence Conversations

Let’s say that you are a start up headphone brand and you have to compete with powerful brands such as Beats By Dre and Skull candy. Headphones are an emerging product that has become a lifestyle necessity in today’s culture. And many people are torn on which one to buy based off several factors. Now it’s just of matter of finding those potential customers who need help with their decision.

Hoot Suite is social media management tool that provides a feature that will let your search for specific keywords. By searching key terms “Buy,” “Headphones,”  and “Which one”, you will find an extensive list of conversations relating to people asking which type of headphones they should purchase. Alas, this is the golden opportunity for your headphone brand to influence a conversation with potential customers. Jumping in the conversation by just saying, “Check us out and use this coupon off your purchase” can create a purchase. You can also show off your brand’s personality with a witty response like “Our headphones will make you fall in love with music again.”

Create Relationships with Brand Advocates

The most important conversations are those who are the most passionate and speak highly of your company. They are your key influencers called brand advocates, and it’s important that you create a real relationship with them.

SocialBro is another social media marketing tool that allows you stay connected with brand advocates. The application includes a feature that allows you to identify and track advocates behavior. This can help find new ways to nurture those relationships and strengthen relationships.

Prevent Brand Crisis

News, gossip, and media content that has an element of shock value can spread like wildfire in the social media jungle. In some cases that viral piece of content could be related and harmful to your brand.  In the awakening of brand crisis, the company has an opportunity to respond and gain control of the situation before it unleashes real damage to the enterprise. This is where social listening becomes a savior in the recovery of the crisis and can prevent a slump in the brands financial performance.

A great start to creating a social listening program for your brand is to hire a social media, strategist. Their responsibilities would include establishing, fostering, and guiding the conversations with social customers.

Bottom line, investing in a social listening program can correlate to the financial performance of a brand.

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