10 Social Media Listening Best Practices

Salesforce has shared 50 Best Practices for Social Media. Best Practices for Social Media is a guideline for Brands to steer their content successfully and at the same time optimally deliver on their campaigns. The Best Practices are compiled to provide an overview of your brand’s social media strategy. Listen to the brand’s conversation on Social media channels to glean insights on your brand. Here are the ten social media listening best practices.

  1. Research where people are talking about you. The first step in the social listening game plan is tuning your antenna to the right channels. You probably already know that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are smart places to start listening. But depending on your
    industry and customers, you may find that forums, Snapchat, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or other sites are just as important.
  2. Identify the industry influencers. When you first start listening, you may feel that no one’s talking about your brand and there’s not much to listen for. This can ring especially true
    for B2B brands. That means it’s time to identify the primary influencers in your space. You can bet that trusted influencers are out there creating great content for just about every topic under the
    sun. So find the influencers first and see what they’re talking about.
  3. Listen for social selling opportunities. Social selling doesn’t always mean conversion directly as a result of social. Usually, it’s about social media managers getting the assist from their
    sales teams. For example, someone might tweet that she’s thinking about buying a new BMW,and the local BMW dealership chimes in with a useful video. Look for these kinds of opportunities
    — and also times when someone may not be so happy with your #1 competitor. Social selling opportunities are everywhere once you start looking.
  4. Keep an eye out for nondirect brand mentions. People don’t always mention you by your correct brand name when talking about you. They may spell your name wrong, use an abbreviation, or simply talk about your industry without specifically calling you out. Put together a list of words people may use to describe you, your industry, and your competitors, and track conversation around those keywords across the social web.
  5. Connect social to the broader business. In Salesforce’s fourth annual “State of Marketing” research report, Salesforce found that the highest-performing marketers integrate social media activity into other business functions. For example, 88% of high-performing marketers collaborate with their service department to respond to social inquiries and concerns — versus just 37% of underperformers. Social also helps your sales teams discover new leads and your community managers identify brand advocates.
  6. Create categories to organize mentions. Hopefully as your social listening plan matures, you’ll start tracking many topics and keywords. You’ll likely find this information flows
    into your stream in one large, unstructured mass. By assigning categories and moving content (either manually or automatically) into categories, you’ll have a far easier time understanding
    and taking action on what people say about you. Keep your categories flexible to account for any changes that arise in your audience’s opinions.
  7. Draft analytics reports to help shape future marketing endeavors.
    Social media listening puts you in an enviable position: You’ll start sitting on a mountain of data. But more data doesn’t always create more action — you have to be intentional. So create
    consistent reports that cover:
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Total mentions
    • Most active networks
    • Pain points
    To put it all into context for your fellow marketers, answer questions like “Are mentions going up or down over time?” and “Is positive sentiment increasing?” Doing this on a weekly,
    biweekly, or monthly basis will help shape current and future campaigns and the way you talk to your customers
  8. Help your customers become experts. You’ve accumulated a ton of knowledge about your industry, products, and services. Share what you’ve learned with your customers and community and help them become experts in their own right. Here are a few approaches:
    • Pay attention to the questions your customers ask most and put them on the FAQ section of your website. A robust FAQ library is a great way to assist your service team and show customers that you know their biggest concerns.
    • Answer every question and provide resources for further reading.
    • Lead by example. Conduct research, post case studies, and share learning moments on your blog.
    You don’t always have to have all the answers. Just be helpful.
  9. Engage intelligently with positive feedback. When you get positive feedback on social, tie a bow on that interaction so the customer is likely to say nice things about you again.
    Humans are highly influenced by others’ opinions, so when customers openly express their love of your brand, it’s valuable indeed. Always thank them first. Then you can look for ways to
    integrate them further into your community. You may take note of their latest blog post and share it with your network, add them as a guest contributor, or invite them to a customer forum.
  10. Deal with negative feedback swiftly and skillfully. When someone has negative things to say about your company, respond quickly and don’t delete the post from your page if it’s on a network like Instagram or Facebook where comments can be deleted. Your customers may view deletion as a sign your brand is dishonest and trying to hide the truth. And don’t feed the trolls — stay focused on constructive criticism. If someone is clearly out to tarnish your name, it’s best not to play into their game on social media. Instead, send them your customer service email address or phone number and ask them to contact you directly.
Source: Salesforce.com