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1. Competitions and prizes

When organized well, contests and prizes will provide your marketing team with strong leads. 

Make sure your prizes offer value to potential customers, as this is what grabs their attention. Consider including a value-specific award so that everyone can feel like a big winner.

2. Base your approach on target audience research

Targeting is becoming more critical in modern marketing, and it should be a part of your strategy. 

By sending a message to a defined audience directly, you add more value to your efforts and your audience can relate directly to your data. When targeting a specific audience, you attract high-quality leads.

3. Gated content

You need gated content in your lead generation strategy. Creating informative content offers helps attract and convert the highest quality leads. 

You need to follow your potential prospects through each phase of their customer journey. Use videos, guides, white papers, case studies, demos, or podcasts to achieve your goal.

4. Geo-targeting for better quality leads

F2

Geo-targeting is an effective technique for increasing conversions. It allows you to provide your online visitors with the most relevant content, specific to their location. 

Match your offer to the specific location of your potential prospects and run different marketing campaigns in several locations for the best results.

5. Q&A sessions on appropriate social networks

Hosting Q&A sessions through live videos on social networks is one of the best ways to communicate a brand's value and engage with the target audience. Your prospects can relate to your brand and take part in communication by asking questions about your products and services.

6. Webinars, seminars, and other professional events promote you

Professional events such as these help you:

  • Establish brand credibility and trust
  • Generate high-quality leads through subscriptions
  • Widen your target audience
  • Create great partnership opportunities
  • Provide only the most relevant content to your target audience to get them engaged
  • Build a relationship with your audience
  • Raise brand awareness and exposure
  • Rank better in SEO

7. Use the advantages of dynamic ads

F3

There are two main advantages of dynamic ads that can help your brand to increase lead generation significantly:

  • A high level of customization
  • The ability to tailor your brand message to provide each prospect with a personalized treatment

Dynamic ads allow you to create messages in a customizable and personalized way to encourage prospects to engage with the brand.

8. Instagram is the place for your image content

Instagram is a highly effective social network for lead generation and boosting your ROI. With one billion active monthly users, this is one of the biggest online markets. The potential is enormous. Visual storytelling is the hottest business trend, so take your image content to a new level and generate more leads.

9. Facebook live

Facebook live takes customer personalization to a whole new level. Allow customers to ask questions and leave comments on your videos. You can then give replies, and engage in a real-time conversation more authentically and spontaneously. Encourage opt-ins to your email list and start collecting leads.

10. Instagram stories

Instagram stories are an incredibly powerful tool to drive sales and build brand awareness. They can encourage higher customer engagement if you know how to handle them properly.

More importantly, capitalizing on customer relationship building requires a strategy, and if used wisely, it can help foster good relationships and loyalty.

11. Lead generation forms on LinkedIn

Ads on LinkedIn are an excellent opportunity to generate more quality leads. You can use Lead Gen Forms to seamlessly collect contacts and track your campaigns to access and manage freshly generated leads. Add the call-to-action button to make the most of your effort.

12. Share quality blog posts

Sharing quality blog posts is still the best way to improve your brand's online visibility, generate leads, and engage your target audience. 

Blogs are a huge part of every inbound marketing strategy, as they help customer retention, SEO, brand building, and lead generation.

13. Use video content 

Video content is the king of all online content. You can use video marketing to generate more leads by:

  • Adding gated content to drive traffic
  • Adding video content to your landing page to convert online visitors
  • Adding a clear call to action to lead prospects down the funnel

14. Open house social media updates

Posting an open house update is probably one of the best ways to generate more leads as a realtor. Open houses allow you to collect both seller and buyer leads. 

More importantly, social media updates are the most effective way to engage with community members and get a listing to increase exposure.

15. Engage people by asking questions

There are many online communities like Quora, where you engage online users by asking questions about your brand, niche, and industry. 

These online communities, as well as social media, are great destinations for your target market. Ask questions related to the real estate industry and grow a following.

16. Use retargeting

F4

Retargeting is one of the most potent lead sources for realtors. It helps drive more relevant traffic and turn that traffic into quality leads. 

Focus your retargeting efforts on your industry and drive qualified traffic that you can turn into loyal customers. Adjust the budget and don't be afraid to experiment to increase channel volume.

17. Connect and publicly cooperate with real estate investors

All you need as a realtor to skyrocket your business are relevant real estate buyer leads. These prospects are ready to buy, and they need someone to help them. 

Connecting and publicly cooperating with other realtors means expanding into new markets for you. New markets equal more leads.

18. Share updates about the neighborhoods you cover

Updates can be a great way to get ahead as a realtor. Create your neighborhood content, but be consistent about it. It will help you show off the most critical points to potential buyers. 

Consider mentioning local events, community developments, using photos of sold homes, and video walkthroughs to grab more attention.

19. Freebies

Offering freebies to get contact information in return is an excellent way not only to generate leads but to get in touch with your potential prospects as well. 

Create a free offer like a video or an infographic and make it available to online visitors by entering their email address and name. 

20. Referrals

Real estate referrals are your most powerful tool for generating more leads. Use them to:

  • Invite your prospects to relevant events
  • Share your favorite local spots with your audience
  • Share only the most relevant market information
  • Create a personalized, in-person interaction
  • Switch between the referral and prospecting game

21. Facebook groups

When it comes to generating leads as a realtor, Facebook is your number one friend. Facebook groups and paid advertising help you beat the competition, reach a wider audience, enhance engagement, and build brand awareness. Use these groups to post engaging content and target people with sponsored posts. 

22. Bots and AI are a big help

F5

Chatbots and AI have revolutionized real estate marketing. These technologies can help you create a customer-centric marketing strategy. Implementing an AI-powered chatbot on your email list, Instagram, Facebook, and website and just let it work for you. Connect it to your existing marketing campaigns and generate consistent leads.

23. Include your satisfied customers in your content

Including your happy customers in your content gives you credibility, as potential prospects can see real social proof of your services as a realtor. It's one of the easiest ways to use word of mouth to drive more traffic to your website and increase lead generation.

24. Exclusivity sells

To get ahead of the competition in your local market, you need to include exclusivity by allowing one broker per ZIP code for seller or buyer leads. 

Exclusivity will help you improve local conversion and make your ads unique. It's also a great way to nurture leads.

25. Drive other marketing efforts to social media

Driving other marketing efforts to social media helps you:

  • Get new prospects
  • Build a brand personality
  • Engage with existing prospects
  • Maintain a meaningful relationship with your clients
  • Get your existing clients to spread the word about your brand
  • Keep in touch with your current clients to expand to new markets

26. Give free advice in public conversations and groups

Public conversations and groups are most convenient for building a loyal and dependable clientele, which almost always guarantees high-quality leads. 

Offer to give free advice about the real estate industry to help solve problems of home buyers and sellers.

27. Focus on soft selling for better results

Soft-sell marketing is quite persuasive despite being so subtle. That's why many realtors find this approach to work like a charm when they need better results. 

You have to believe in it to make it work. Keep it relaxed and emotional and share valuable data for free.

28. PPC

PPC is the most effective way for realtors to generate leads quickly and easily in a cost-efficient manner. 

It's a budget-friendly way to increase traffic and convert it to a loyal client base. Crush your competition and increase ROI with PPC advertising.

29. Keep the conversation going

Nurturing your leads as a realtor is even more important than generating them. Be consistent, understand your clients, and come up with an effective strategy to strengthen your relationship with them. Keep the conversation alive to stay on their mind.

30. Consistency is the key

The best way to keep your clients engaged with your brand is by continually providing the most relevant type of content for both homebuyers, renters, homeowners, and sellers. Being consistent is the key to expanding to new markets and reaching wider audiences.

 

FHub

If you’re interested in expanding your business, social networks, and especially Facebook, are the place to start. On average, there are about 1.59 billion daily active users on Facebook. It can be the platform of choice for photos from your last vacation or your family reunion. However, it can go much beyond that. In fact, it's becoming an excellent place for businesses to sell their products or services. Real estate included. 

However, getting in on social selling can be easier said than done. There are many factors to consider, and real estate agents need to be very careful every step of the way. 

So, to make things easier for all the real estate agents out there, let’s see how you can use real estate social selling on Facebook. 

The Creepiness Factor 

Facebook is the ideal place for lead generation and conversion. Their ads can be as targeted as you need them to be. You can use social listening techniques to find qualified leads. 

You can engage with your prospective clients through comments, groups, even via private messages. It all looks good on paper. 

In reality, if you don’t do it right, you might come off a little creepy. The chances are that you have plenty of information about your prospective clients. Engaging that way doesn't mean you should immediately send them a message. Don't just tell people you know a lot about them and can help them find the perfect real estate. 

To avoid coming off as creepy, start small. Find a shared connection, like a few of their posts, respond to their comments. You cannot go all in at once. Nurture the relationship and give it time to grow before you offer them your services. 

Brand Facebook Page 

1Hub

To be successful in real estate social selling, you need to start with making a brand Facebook page. 

Just like a personal profile, your brand page will keep your followers informed about you and your business. You'll want them to see only accurate and current information, so be sure to update it as needed. 

While you can copy your website's "About Us" section, it's much better to write something unique for your Facebook audience. 

Think of your brand Facebook page as a type of resume. You'll want to keep it short and exciting. Explain what it is that you do, state why you offer more than your competition and include some fun facts. 

Keep your Facebook page professional, but friendly and approachable at the same time. Even if you’re a luxury real estate agent, being a bit more casual will work better on this platform. 

Brand Facebook Group 

Now that you’ve set your brand page up, it’s time to create a brand Facebook group. While Facebook groups have been around for some time, you can now create a brand-based group and connect it to your page. 

Facebook groups are very similar to forums. The members can ask questions, have discussions, and you can keep them informed. The best part is that they drive higher levels of engagement so that you can spread awareness about you and your brand. 

There is a downside, however. Groups take a lot of time and attention. With Facebook pages, you can log in once a day (or even less frequently), and this will be fine. When it comes to groups, you need to be more active. If possible, it’s always best to hire someone to manage your group for you. 

Relevant Facebook Groups 

Whether your own brand Facebook group is going well or not, you’ll also want to join other related groups on the platform. 

Doing this will allow you to spread the word about your real estate business. If you do it right, you’ll establish yourself as a reliable industry leader. 

For examples, many local neighborhoods have their groups on Facebook (and also on Nextdoor - but that's another story). You can join them and start building your reputation in the area by engaging with your potential customers in the comments. 

You can also join groups created for property listings and do the same. 

Promoting your real estate business this way is excellent, as long as you aren’t overly self-promotional. You can post a few links here and there that lead to your website, but don’t overdo it. Engage with your potential clients by offering them free advice. 

Just provide valuable information or help people solve their problems. 

Content Style 

2Hub

When it comes to social media, we've all heard the phrase "content is king." There’s truth to this. Posting regular content is crucial if you want your followers to notice you and engage with you. 

If you have a Facebook page that hasn’t been active in months, you’ll only seem unprofessional and disinterested. Why do you even have the page if you’re not using it? 

Now, while you want to be active, you’ll also have to pay attention to the kind of content your posting. Currently, there are a few types of content that drive the most traffic, let’s see. 

Blog Posts 

77% of Internet users read blog posts regularly. They can help you increase your engagement levels and allow you to spread your real estate business. 

Most real estate agents are already posting blogs about the property they’re selling. They describe what it looks like, which features it has, etc. 

To be successful in social selling, you should do much more. Offer your readers value. They have hundreds of real estate agents at their fingertips, and if you want to stand out, you have to give them value. 

Give them advice. Tell people what they should look for when buying or selling a property. Explain how they can get the best deal on the house. Information like this allows you to become a trustworthy industry expert. 

Your followers will become more loyal, and they’ll think of you when they need a skilled real estate agent. 

Facebook Live 

Facebook Live videos get ten times more comments than traditional videos. Engagement rates go through the roof when you live stream, and this can work wonders for your real estate business. 

You can use Facebook Live during an open house event to promote a property you’re trying to sell. Other than that, you can use it to promote your business culture. 

Allow your followers to get to know you and your team better. Go live during your lunch break, or start streaming during a fun team-building activity. 

When your followers get to know you, it will be easier for you to build a stronger relationship with them and generate more qualified leads. 

Stories 

Just as with Facebook Live, Facebook Stories can increase your engagement rates. They can be in the form of a video, or you can use pictures. 

Stories a good way to promote a property. You can give your audience sneak previews of a new piece of real estate and generate more interest. 

Share amusing incidents, embarrassing moments, or funny stories to connect with your followers and grab their attention. 

Video Content 

Over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook per day! Even though live videos have more commenters than regular videos, this doesn't mean you should avoid creating traditional video content. 

To make your videos more engaging, you can take your audience on a virtual tour of a piece of property. Introduce your team members, and start building an active community. Funny videos tend to be more engaging, so don't be afraid to share some humorous stories. 

Not all your videos have to be directly related to your real estate business. If you find that your audience reacts well to office pet, or your teammate’s shenanigans, share those types of videos as well. 

Facebook Ads 

Nothing can improve the success rate of your social selling quite as well as Facebook ads. As we mentioned, Facebook can help you target exactly the type of audience you need. 

You can start with the location, and target your audience based on their state, city, or even zip code. Target based on your followers’ interests, age, even their relationship status if that’s important. 

You can customize your ads and present different ads to different demographics. Targeting works especially well if you’re selling in both lower and higher-income neighborhoods. 

Facebook Bots 

3Hub

Facebook is an excellent place for your potential clients to contact you and ask questions. If you want your business to be successful, you’ll need to provide quick and accurate answers. 

Over 85% of Facebook users expect a response from a company within 6 hours. It doesn't matter if they've sent a message in the middle of the night. To meet this expectation, you need to get a Facebook bot. 

Chatbots can be highly effective, as they can answer most questions quickly and accurately. They’re easy to set up, and they allow you to be available 24/7. 

Facebook Marketplace 

Facebook Marketplace has recently added the “Housing” section. This section is a perfect place for promoting your property. 

Since it's location-specific, you'll only be attracting qualified leads who are genuinely interested in doing business with you. 

If you want to get the most out of social selling on Facebook, getting listed on the Marketplace is a must. 

Conclusion 

Facebook is a fantastic place for real estate agents. It offers you plenty of options to connect with your followers and generate more qualified leads. 

It does take a lot of time and dedication if you want to do it right, but it pays off. You’ll quickly see your real estate business taking off. 

 

There has always been a gap between sales and marketing, but more and more companies realize that closing this gap is mandatory for business success.

 

Marketing and sales are truly one word and aligning them strategically can completely transform a business, as both teams can seamlessly work together toward a common goal. They can focus on what matters, and together generate qualified leads and conversions that will help their company grow.

 

To get the most out of your sales and marketing, you need to become familiar with the sales and marketing funnel, because that’s the path that your customers travel through when they become aware of your brand.

 

Once you get the hang of it, you can dive into the synchronization of digital marketing and social selling as the most important activities for leveraging the sales and marketing funnel.

Understanding the Sales & Marketing FunnelNo alt text provided for this image

The sales and marketing funnel represents stages through which your prospects and leads go through to become your customers. It is made up of the following six stages:

 

  • Awareness â€“ Potential customers become aware of your brand after you promote it and show that your products or services could provide value.
  • Interest â€“ This is where your prospects are leads that are interested in your products or services and want to learn more about you, which is why you need to start building meaningful relationships with them.
  • Consideration â€“ This is where you deliver targeted, useful, and relevant content to your qualified leads to nurture them, and effectively guide them to the next state in your funnel.
  • Intent â€“ Once you know your prospects are interested in what you offer, you start directing them toward making a purchase by showcasing the real value of your offerings.
  • Evaluation â€“ Your leads are determining whether or not your products or services will satisfy their needs, which is why this is the stage where you need to truly compel them to make a purchase by convincing them that your products or services are exactly what they need.
  • Purchase â€“ This is the stage where your leads convert into customers. If you provide them with an excellent experience, they’ll fuel your sales and marketing funnel with referrals, so the process can effectively start once again.

Digital Marketing and Its Main GoalsNo alt text provided for this image

Digital marketing is the process of promoting products or services using various digital media, both online and offline.

 

Therefore, digital marketing includes Internet marketing (SEM, SEO, PPC, and website, email marketing, online banner ads, social media, and mobile markets), and offline digital channels (radio, TV, digital billboards, and SMS).

 

Digital marketers have the goal of reaching their target audience via various digital channels and promoting their products and services to convert their leads into customers effectively.

 

They showcase the real value of everything they offer through the content they create and deliver, showing at the same time all the benefits that people will experience if they engage in their brand.

 

With proper strategies in place, and the right digital channels (those that their target customers are using), digital marketers guide their leads through the sales and marketing funnel, ultimately converting them, and increasing sales and ROI.

 

Those two increases are their ultimate goals, as they help them grow and attract an even larger number of customers.

Social Selling and Its Main GoalsNo alt text provided for this image

Social selling is the process of using social media to interact with your prospects, leads, and customers directly. You communicate with them regularly to build trust and form strong relationships that will result in more conversions, customer loyalty, and growth.

 

If you haven’t yet, you should set up a social selling strategy right now, because it can help you reach a wider audience on a global scale. It will help you generate many more qualified leads and conversions, and forge strong connections with your prospects and customers, ultimately increasing your sales and ROI.

 

Social sellers ultimately want the same as digital marketers, but they’re focused only on social media. They are, after all, one of the types of digital marketers.

 

They want to connect with as many qualified leads as possible on social media and build meaningful relationships with them. They actively communicate with social followers daily, building trust with them, and guiding them toward the end of the sales and marketing funnel.

 

Social sellers do so by reaching their followers on an emotional level, responding to their comments and messages, always communicating honestly, and showing that they genuinely care about their followers.

 

Showing that they care about meeting consumer needs more than about making sales is what makes people trust them, and significantly increases engagement.

The Differences Between the Digital Marketing and Social Selling Approach

Digital marketing and social selling are quite similar, as both are focused on promoting a business and attracting qualified leads.

 

The main difference between them is that social selling is aimed at social media promotion only, while digital marketing extends to all the other activities for promoting a business both on online and offline channels, including social selling.

 

Therefore, social selling is a part of digital marketing.

Where Social Selling and Digital Marketing ConvergeNo alt text provided for this image

Social sellers and digital marketers meet at the process of content creation and the way they promote their content. Content is what compels people to engage in a brand and make a purchase. It’s the key to achieving the goals of all digital marketing and social selling activities.

 

Raising brand awareness, as well as generating and converting leads, is all about building trust. Sharing high-quality, unique, useful, compelling content that is relevant to your target audience’s pain points is precisely what helps you build that trust.

 

It helps you humanize your brand, and give it a personality that your target audience will want to get to know better. It’s what helps you stand out in the vast sea of competition, and inspire brand loyalty and advocacy.

To achieve all this, you need to synchronize your social selling and digital marketing teams. When they join forces, they can identify and address customer pain points, generate qualified leads, convert them, and nurture and retain customers.

 

The most crucial assets to leverage to achieve the goals of both teams include:

  • Blog â€“ Your blog should be your target audience’s go-to source for relevant and useful content that will address their pain points, and provide them with ideal solutions to their problems.
  • Images â€“ Images tap into people’s emotions and convey strategies and concepts much quicker than long articles. You should enrich your blog posts with high-quality, eye-catching, relevant images that will perfectly match every piece of content.
  • Videos â€“ Videos have the power to influence people’s purchase decisions, especially when it comes to testimonials. Apart from customer testimonials, you should also create promotional videos, explainer videos, brand videos, product review videos, event videos, webinars, and any other type that works for your brand.
  • Infographics â€“ Using infographics in your content strategy will help you increase engagement, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. They’re eye-catchy, easily digestible, shareable, and linkable, so they’re great for driving more traffic to your website and increasing sales.
  • eBooks & Case Studies â€“ Offering eBooks and sharing case studies will also help you paint the picture of a credible professional who knows exactly what they’re talking about. These assets make people trust you more, and even help you become a thought leader. What’s more, case studies provide proof of the quality of your offerings, as they show facts and visuals on how your services or products have improved someone’s life.
  • Social Media Posts â€“ Social media posts increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your site, increase your online visibility and SEO ranking, improve your lead generation and conversion rates, build brand authority and thought leadership, personalize and humanize your brand, and inspire brand loyalty and advocacy.

 

How Digital Marketing and Social Selling Teams Utilize ContentNo alt text provided for this image

Every successful digital marketing and social selling team should consider the three primary stages of the buyer’s journey to create quality content. Here’s what each stage requires and how both teams utilize content.

 

1. Awareness Stage

At this stage, your potential customers are becoming aware of a particular problem or need. They start searching for solutions to their pain points, which is where you come in.

 

Your digital marketing team can attract those potential customers with interesting and useful blog posts, educational content, infographics, eBooks, research studies, and anything else that will provide them with relevant answers.

 

Your social selling team can further guide them through the sales and marketing funnel with social media posts, social discussions, and CTAs.

 

2. Consideration Stage

At this stage, your potential customers know exactly what they need, but they want to weigh all their available options before committing to a particular brand. They start comparing brands and prices so that they can make the right choice.

 

This is where your case studies, comparison blog posts, explainer videos, and expert guides come into play, which is what your digital marketers are responsible for. It’s your social selling team’s job to regularly share them on social media, along with webinars, interesting facts, and useful FAQ pages.

 

3. Decision Stage

Here, your prospects make their final purchase decision, so providing them with brand-specific content that highlights your value proposition is critical. You can leverage product demos, product comparisons, product review videos, testimonials, case studies, etc.

 

Your digital marketers should create those assets with the target audience’s needs in mind, while your social sellers should share them on social media, along with compelling CTAs to effectively convert your leads.

 

Sales Enablement Tools & Software

 

Sales enablement tools help nurture leads, increase their engagement, and boost sales and revenue. They’re also perfect for aligning your marketing and sales teams.

The best sales enablement tools you should utilize are:

 

Conclusion

As you can see, synchronizing the digital marketers and social sellers on your team leads to better results. It raises brand awareness, increases traffic, attracts the right kind of audience, increases interest and engagement, converts qualified leads into customers, and boosts sales and ROI.

 

Once your digital marketing and social selling teams join forces, you’re on the right path to growing your business.

 

 

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You probably spend a lot of time on these platforms uploading vacation photos, catching up with old friends or looking into the lives of your favorite celebrities.

 

Given that most people are connected to social media sites in some way, businesses have learned how to use this web traffic to their advantage. Social selling has allowed businesses to stray away from cold calling and spamming potential customers. Instead, sellers are able to form connections with contacts that could lead to making their lives easier. About 78% of salespeople engaging in social selling are outselling their peers. Here’s where we come in.

 

Based out of San Jose, Calif., the team at SocialSellinator is dedicated to managing social media accounts in order to maximize social selling potential. We’ve been able to do some pretty great work. In fact, our success has caught the attention the of D.C.-based ratings and review platform, Clutch. We have been awarded a spot in its 2019 report among the top social media marketing companies.

 

Since 2013, Clutch has used its unique methodology to rank and rate top companies across a wide variety of industries. After conducting in-depth client interviews and analyzing industry data, the Clutch team is able to award every firm with a rating. We are excited to announce we have been given a 5.0!

 

One of our happy customers is Rainemakers, a communications consultancy firm. We were proud to be able to provide them with social media sales enablement services. As a result of our work, they saw a major increase in sales!

We love to see our clients increase their client network and selling capacity!

 

“It’s very rare that you have a company, in this social space, that truly understands social engagement, business components, and can deliver results. You very rarely get all three and these guys have all three,” said the CEO of Rainemaker.

 

Another project we loved working on was maintaining the social media presence for Virtual Support Systems, a marketing and advertising firm.

 

We were able to help this firm evaluate, strategize and execute a social media plan for one of its largest clients.

 

“Communication and commitment by SocialSellinator is exactly what I demand as a general manager and service provider. I foresee a long term relationship precisely because of this achievement” said the COO of Virtual Support Systems.

 

We are very thankful to have clients who are willing to take their valuable time to participate in our review process. Client feedback is very valuable to our company as we try to improve and expand our client network.

 

In addition to our feature on the main Clutch platform, we have earned a spot on The Manifest and Visual Objects, sister sites of Clutch. Each site is capable of offering buyers a unique market research experience.

 

The Manifest, a business news outlet, has named us a leader among San Jose social media marketing agencies. Likewise, Visual Objects is designed to feature the creative work of firmsby listing a portfolio of past work along with a rating. Here, buyers can find us among top social media firms.

 

If you’re aiming to increase your selling power, consider starting a social selling campaign. Contact us today, and let’s discuss what SocialSellinator can offer your company. 

 

 

Social Listening: The First Step to Social Selling

Social buying is not only a hot topic. It’s also the future of commerce.

More than 74% of shoppers rely on social media when making purchasing decisions.

This is in big part due to the democratic nature of social networks and unbiased reviews from users and social influencers. Equally important is the all-in-one concept behind popular sites like Facebook and Instagram, which eliminates all customer effort from an average buyer’s journey.

There’s one keyword that perfectly describes a modern-day consumer:

Convenience.

Being enabled to buy whatever they want and whenever they want it with only a few clicks, without having to switch tabs and leave their favorite social network, is convenient. Receiving pre-purchase and post-purchase guidance from social media reps and chatbots - also convenient.

Having a platform for sharing their opinions on brands? You guessed it. Convenient.
So much so, in fact, that 96% of social media users won’t trouble themselves with hitting the “follow” button before discussing a brand online. Twitter users like to act all nonchalant too, with roughly 30% of all tweets that mention a brand being shared without the brand’s handle (@).

But how can you know what’s being said about you then?

The answer is social listening.

Here’s how it differs from social monitoring, why it should be an integral part of your social media analysis, which tools you need to use, what constitutes a social listening strategy, as well as how to make it work in terms of marketing, social selling, and general business growth.

Listen carefully.

What Is Social Listening?

What Is Social Listening?

Social listening is not social monitoring.

The two overlapping concepts are easier explained in comparison to one another, concerning the fact that social listening includes social monitoring. However, they are not the same.

Social monitoring is about collecting data on social media.

Social listening is about using that data in a strategic way.

While monitoring allows you to keep an eye on the online mood, or social media sentiment, listening allows you to take part in the dialogue and control the narrative. Or to use the information you have in any other way that helps you improve your brand image and drive more sales.

While monitoring provides you with raw insight, listening takes a step forward into actionable data analysis. By helping you understand how people feel about your brand, niche, and industry (or how people feel in general), listening allows you to keep your selling efforts on track.

There’s plenty you can do with social listening.

Using this insight, finding patterns and trends in consumer behavior is easier than ever before. The same goes for revealing new sales opportunities, whether it comes to improving brand visibility, super-laser targeting, smart lead acquisition, building trust, or quick conversions.  

Social Listening Vs Analytics

Without combining social monitoring and social listening and fitting them together into a broader picture, you won’t be able to execute a successful social media campaign. You’ll miss more targets than you’ll hit. And at that rate, you’ll have no way of competing with other brands.

Social selling is extremely effective, but also very hard.

That said, having a data-driven strategy is vital.

There is a number of social analytics you should start measuring:

  1. Volume, which is the size of conversation about your brand, product, or campaign.
  2. Reach, which measures the spread of conversation and potential audience size.
  3. Engagement, or the number of people reacting with reshares, comments, or likes.
  4. Influence, as a way to determine how influential your supporters/critics are.
  5. Share of voice, or competitive analysis that measures you against your rivals.


A good social listening strategy can help you cover all five.

The end goal?

To gain a better view of the current market conditions, define and understand your target audience, segments, and ideal buyer personas (their needs, pain points, preferred solutions, buying patterns, and social media behavior), and collect feedback that can be used for improvement.

What Kind of Businesses Used It in the Past?

Social listening was originally popularized by communications’ departments as a crisis management technique. Marketing departments quickly noticed the immense potential of social media mentions and started sharing their insight with customer service/support representatives.

Today, the practice is used by businesses big and small.

And not only them.

1. B2B
Skype recently reintroduced its “Away” status feature and made the news public on Twitter. Using social listening, the company was able to test how their audience is feeling about the new roll-out before spending a dime on it. A similar example comes from the cloud giant, Slack.

2. B2C
A beloved ice cream company Halo Top is using social listening to engage with customers on Twitter as well. But the creamery is not doing it for testing. It simply chitchats with its fans like in this witty exchange, thus boosting its brand visibility and encouraging shares and sales.

3. Charities, Fundraisers, and Similar Organizations
Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), a non-profit organization committed to elevating the issue of early childhood education and child survival, famously used social listening to learn what people are thinking about Trump becoming the president and inform their campaigns.  

4. Governments
A recent report by GovLoop and Hootsuite analyzed the way government bodies are using social media, and why. The results showcased that 22% of respondents rely on social listening for informing their strategies, improving citizen engagement, and providing real-time support.

Long-Term Vs Short-Term Strategy Development

Long-Term Vs Short-Term Strategy Development

Every modern-day brand can benefit from social listening.

But whether or not you’ll actually invest in social listening tools depends on the social media strategy you have in mind. What is it that you want to achieve, in relation to your social selling efforts? Do you need to collect recent data, analyze trends, and create short-term opportunities?

Or do you need a long-term solution for long-term returns?

If your strategy relies on cumulative data and continual learning about your target audience, then you’ll need to plan for the long-term. Social listening is here a better option. For one-off strategy boosts and short-term solutions, stick to metrics provided by social monitoring.

3 Essential Tools

Helpful social media tools allow you to encompass your entire social media presence from one place. They track mentions using keywords, phrases, and events and send you alerts and data in real time. Your social listening toolkit should equip you for the following analytics:

  • Influencer tracking and analysis
  • Trend analysis and historical data coverage
  • Competitive benchmarking
  • Predictive analysis
  • Virality maps  


Here’s a list of 3 tools we’ve tried and loved:

1. Mention
The foundation of every social listening suite is a tool that provides social monitoring, analytics, and competitor espionage. Mention does that exceptionally well. In addition, it offers demographics and data on the accounts that mention you. Analysis-wise, that’s pretty deep.

Similar tools: Hootsuite and Sprout Social

2. If This Then That
If This Then That (IFTTT) extends your social listening efforts beyond social media. It allows you to track blogs for unapproved mentions of your brand, thus increasing your opportunities for inbound linking and SEO. With IFTTT, the ultimate goal is increased brand visibility.

Similar tools: Boardreader and HowSociable

3. Keyhole
Keyhole is great for tracking niche-specific keywords and hashtags. Say somebody wants to know this year’s hottest summer destination. As a traveling agency, you’ll use Keyhole to monitor all these keywords and provide links to your offers to potential leads and customers.

Similar tools: Hashtracking and HashTagsForLikes

4 Steps to Success

Are you ready to start listening? 

The following 4-step strategy is only a framework. You’ll need to expand on it based on your specific sales goals, but it’s a start nevertheless. Consider it a cheat sheet for success. 

1. Identify Your Goals
We’ve said that there’s a lot you can do with social listening, but that doesn’t mean that you should do it all. As with every other strategy, you need to set SMART goals, which mostly means specific. Do you need to track your brand, spy on your competitors, or find influencers?

Maybe you need to improve your customer service? 

Figure it out. 

2. Build Your Toolkit
Using our recommendations from before or based on your own research, start building your listening toolkit. Cover as many social sites as possible, including forums and blogs, and add analytical features that retrieve insight on as many different social media metrics as possible. 

3. Determine Keywords
Depending on your end goal, your social listening tool should be scanning social networks for specific keywords and phrases: 

  • Your brand name and handles, as well as common misspellings.
  • Your products and services.
  • Your branded hashtags, slogans, and official campaign names.
  • Niche and service-related words (failure, help, not working).
  • Common criticisms.
  • Your competitors’ brand names, handles, and products.
  • Industry buzzwords and the most popular hashtags.


4. Track, Analyse, Repeat
Social listening is worthless without a powerful analysis.

Use it to feel the online mood. 

We’ve already discussed key metrics that you need to add to your social media strategy. You’ll need to know the audience’s general sentiment no matter the goal, but chances are you’ll also need to measure social influence, volume fluctuations, brand reach, and share of voice.

What Data Do You Need (and How to Use It)

Options are virtually limitless with social listening.

And so are the possibilities for improvement.

The following encompasses all types of data that can drive your social selling forward. A thorough brand would collect them all, though that would take some time and money. If you’re considering social listening as a growth technique, better focus on one or two at the time:

1. Brand Intelligence

  • Sentiment research: How do people feel about your brand in general?
  • Customer experience: Good or bad? What’s more frequent, praise or complaints?
  • Campaign analysis: Which part of your strategy resonates with the audience the most?

 2. Competitive Intelligence
  • Sentiment research: How do people feel about your competitors in general?
  • Competitive analysis: Who are your biggest rivals and what makes them a threat?
  • Competitive differentiation: How can you differentiate yourself from the competition?


 3. Industry Intelligence

  • Audience and trend analysis: What does your audience want and expect from you?
  • Product and content research: What new solutions would they like to see?
  • Influencer research: Who are the people in your niche that can endorse you?

​How to Use Collected Data

​How to Use Collected Data

There’s no point to social listening if you don’t act on what you’ve heard.

Clever use cases for data collected with social listening tools are as numerous as they are innovative - everywhere you look, brands are using this technique to improve social interactions with customers. The ultimate goal is growth through sales. These are the best ways to achieve that:

  • Improving Customer Service

63% of customers expect brands to offer customer service via social media channels.

In addition to staying responsive to messages 24/7, you need to be able to address your customers’ questions, concerns, and frustrations when they are posted live without your brand’s handle. 60% of them expect you to respond to their queries
within an hour, so keep listening.

  • Identifying Influencers

Although 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective, as many as 61% of them agree that it’s challenging to find the best influencers for a campaign. You can solve this problem by tracking niche-relevant keywords as part of your broader social listening strategy.

  • Tracking Hashtags. Keywords, & Phrases

In addition to that, social listening by industry buzzwords and niche-relevant keywords allows you to predict consumer expectations. This is especially useful if your sales strategy depends on a content marketing approach. This way, you can create content that truly resonates.

  • Generating Customer Feedback

We’ve already talked about the online mood or audience sentiment analysis, which is arguably the most straightforward purpose of social listening. Most customers won’t leave feedback on your brand page. But their opinions still count, which is why you need to hear them.

And if positive, customer feedback should be reshared.

74% of consumers have greater trust in a company if they read positive reviews.

  • Creating Business Opportunities
The hottest summer destinations query is a great example of this. Whenever a potential customer goes on social to ask for possible solutions to their problem, you should be the first to provide one. This is how you generate quality leads, make quick sales, and impress the audience.

  • Informing Your Marketing Strategy
Eavesdropping on your audience and spying on competitors is a huge part of every data-based marketing strategy. Remember, social listening tools like Mention can help you gain insight into people who are talking about your brand. This is a powerful audience targeting and segmentation hack.

  • Leading Conversations & Crisis Management
60% of consumers say negative reviews turned them away.

Social listening may be the most effective way of preventing this. The faster you notice a bad review, the faster you can turn it into a positive customer experience. Approach the frustrated customer with a sincere apology, a better solution to their pain point, and a promise that you’ll improve.

  • Analyzing Past Performance
If you use a social listening tool to track your marketing campaign or product launch performance, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what resonates with the audience and what leaves them indifferent. Use past performance analysis to inform your future campaigns, and you’ll be golden.

  • Learning from Competitors
Alternatively, or additionally, you can monitor what the audience is saying about your competitors, their products, and campaigns. Learn from what they are doing right and steer clear from what they are doing wrong. Every oversight they made is a chance for you to differentiate your brand.

  • Testing for Better Product Development
Like Skype and Slack in the aforementioned examples, you can use social listening to test the waters before a new product launch or roll-out. Or, you can track consumer pain points within your niche and start working on a new product that will solve every potential problem.

  • Boosting Customer Engagement
Responding to brand mentions and resharing user-generated content with your brand’s hashtag is crucial for customer engagement on social media. Not only does this boost your brand awareness and improve your image, but it also makes you likable by humanizing your brand.  

  • Improving Online Reputation
41% of companies that experienced a negative reputation event reported loss of both brand value and revenue. A negative comment can go viral in a matter of hours. Just remember Amazon. These are hard times for reputation managers, but social listening can help alleviate the crisis.

  • Building Trust Through Transparency

Building consumer trust will become marketing’s primary objective in the near future, according to 84% of leading marketers. And nothing builds trust better than transparency. Social listening allows you to be transparent about your mistakes, admit your wrongs, and propose solutions.

​What Are the Business Benefits?

There’s so much you can learn from just listening.

Intelligence is, therefore, the first benefit of social listening. In an oversaturated market (and that’s the situation for most marketers in today’s economy), information is the most valuable asset and the most powerful differentiating point. Without data, you don’t stand a chance.

The more you know about modern-day consumer behavior and your niche audience, the better. You’ll find it easier to predict their expectations, meet their needs, and keep them satisfied. And if they, by any chance, get disappointed, you’ll find it easier to address that too.

Earlier, we’ve talked about convenience.

90% of social media users are using social media as a way to communicate with their favorite brands, simply because it is convenient. By engaging in social listening, you’re eliminating every last bit of customer effort. Customers no longer have to address you directly to be heard.
​
All this amounts to improved brand visibility and trust. Relying on these social signals to guide their purchasing decisions, social media users are one click away from turning into leads, and from there, into customers. A timely response or reshare can be a powerful conversion trick.