Content is a word that’s often thrown around in marketing circles. On social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you’ll find a handful of users calling themselves expert content creators or marketers. They’re so prevalent that you may think that generating content is as easy as baking a pie.
However, like baking a pie, content marketing has certain “ingredients” that help enhance its effectiveness. A so-called content creator or marketer can’t just rely on their impeccable editing, design, or writing skills for effective content.
Instead, marketers need to implement key tactics that allow their content to resonate with target audiences. One way to enhance your brand’s content strategy is by taking advantage of social media listening.
Through social media listening, you can grow attuned to your audience’s needs and pain points. This allows you to speak to your audience and provide solutions to their problems. Read to learn more about social media listening, the best tools available, and how to use it for your content strategy.
What is social media listening?
According to Hootsuite, social media listening is the process of tracking conversations and mentions of your brand, products, services, and other information through social media platforms. It’s as simple as monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand.
Many marketers use social media listening tools throughout their marketing strategy to carefully analyze the effectiveness of marketing efforts. This includes what is being said by customers about your brand’s reputation and how it compares to your current competitors, trends, and more.
What social media tools are available?
Effective social media listening takes time to master but when done correctly, you can generate new leads, obtain strong backlinks, and improve your brand’s overall reputation. It can also help you gain further insights about your customers, including demographic and behavioral information.
Now, to gain insights from social media listening, it’s important to utilize effective social media listening tools that can help gather sufficient data for your own analysis.
Some great social media listening tools include:
Many of these tools have free or premium options with varying features. Make sure to try and choose the best tools that fit your marketing objectives and the social media channels you use.
How do you use social media listening in your content strategy?
Now that you know what a great asset social media listening is for your marketing efforts, it’s time for the next step. You may be wondering: how do I incorporate social media listening into my marketing efforts—specifically my content strategy?
Fortunately, it’s a simple process that requires a bit of your time and effort. Here are 3 effective ways you can use social media listening for your content strategy efforts.
1. Use it to listen to your target audience.
Depending on the social media listening tool(s) you’ve chosen to use, you can analyze several essential things about your target audience. This includes behavioral and geographical insights such as their interests, goals, location, gender, and more.
In your social media listening tool, just enter the right keywords for your data analysis. Once you have the data collected, pay attention to what influencers and key figures in your industry are saying about your brand. What are your target customers saying?
I recommend paying specific attention to influencers and thought leaders—these are people with large followings that can help boost brand awareness. Additionally, listening to your target audience through social listening helps you generate content ideas based on the interests and conversations your audience is having.
This, in turn, engages and entertains them so that they continue to view your brand as a positive go-to source for information in your industry.
2. Use it to track your competitors.
In marketing, monitoring your competitors is key to long-term success. For this exercise, repeat the same steps from point #1, using keywords for your intended search but take a look at your competitive landscape this time.
What are your target audiences saying about your competitors? Can you spot any weaknesses? If so, think of it as a chance to prove your brand to any potential customers.
Make sure to perform content audits for your own brand and your competitors! That way you can have an idea of what content topics and keywords stick with target audiences.
3. Use it to pinpoint trends.
Don’t forget to regularly check trends within your industry! Audiences don’t talk about the same things all the time. Their interests and behavior evolve so you need to be able to meet their expectations as they change.
Social media listening tools allow you to check what content and conversations are popular with your target audiences. If relevant, you can also target smaller communities and track their interests so that you can generate content specifically for them.
Once you’ve gathered all of your data and analyzed it thoroughly, you’re ready to create your content strategy. Take a look at all of the keywords you’ve gathered and try to identify any patterns.
Use these patterns to create themes that you can implement into your content strategy. Make sure each insight you decide to use is actionable, creative, and engaging!
Remember to always consider your target audience at every stage of your content strategy creation process. Every content strategy should facilitate a two-way conversation between a brand and its target audience.
Through social media listening, you are able to gain in-depth information that provides you with opportunities and content creation that resonates with your target audience.
Check out my blog, Reach vs. Impressions: What’s the Difference and Why They Matter for more information on essential social media metrics you should track!