Using social listening for competitive intelligence

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Octopus 20/01/2013

Using social listening for Competitive Intelligence

This article suggests that using social listening for Competitive Intelligence could be a beneficial exercise to understand your market and customers better. Also, be able to react to developing situations quickly. And the bigger the organisation, the more significant the impact a positive Tweet or a negative Linkedin message has one you. They can reach all around the worked.

But what’s social media listening?

It’s the monitoring of mentions of specific, phrases and word or more detailed social media queries. And of course the web. Then add the data analysis and you have social listening. You can just track your brand name, but you can also search competitors mentions, campaigns, hashtags, industry sectors, and people etc. You can go way beyond social media and take a look at news websites, forums, the deep web and blogs. Social listening is also known as brand monitoring, social media measurement,, social intelligence and, social media monitoring and even the ridiculously titled buzz analysis.

The benefits

Social listening offers you valuable insights on customers, market, and your competitors. Social listening is just one Competitive Intelligence tool, and it helps you answer the questions you need to ask. The one’s that matter to your business. But what can you use social listening for?

1. PR and reputation management

Social listening helps your PR teams by monitoring when and where your press releases and articles get published. Your team can track mentions of competitors and the industry keywords across all forms of online media to isolate new opportunities to achieve more coverage and talk to new relevant journalists. Mentions of your brand and products allow you to track your brand health and react to changes in the volume of mentions and, most importantly, their sentiment to respond to, reduce and prevent reputation crises. You can also get to know about data leaks and hacks before the Daily Mail or New York Times.

2. Product feedback

Social listening is great for tracking what your customers and clients are saying about you and your product online. Monitoring the key topics and sentiments you can develop your product capabilities and range. You will get a great understanding of what they love about your product, and what’s missing from it.

3. Audience and customer service

You will also learn about your audience so you can understand their needs better and be able to speak their language. So you improve your tone of voice in your written correspondence and on your website. Social listening allows you get to exceed your customer’s expectations by responding to the social media queries straight away. Most people want a response within an hour. One thing for sure, if you don’t respond for a few days, your competitor will eventually benefit.

4. Competitor analysis

Social media monitoring tools give the ability to track what’s happening with your competitors. What customers are saying about them and how quickly they respond to queries. Monitoring can work hand in hand with core Competitive Intelligence to understand what they are going to do next. But basic monitoring will determine the voice and brand health metrics and then allow you to compare them with your statistics.

Understand what your competitors’ customers love and hate about them. Which of their products are popular and which are in the sales basket. Whom do they partner with and who else is talking about them. There are many ways to exploit Social Media using Competitive Intelligence, but that is another subject.

5. Lead generation

Lead generation is often the hidden magic of social listening because it needs some serious thinking and digging around. Boolean search is a great way to search for prospects and tracking who is talking to each other, and following each other will reveal interesting patterns.

6. Influencer marketing

Find who your most influential brand advocates and manage the process. Look for new influencers. Direct your attention to those influencers in your market and approach them. The first place to look are the influencers promoting your competitors’ products and services.

Summary

This article advised that using social listening for competitive intelligence could be a beneficial exercise to understand your market and customers better. By looking at your competitors, influencers, lead generation, product feedback, customer service, PR and reputation management.

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