Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn!

The key to a happy & successful marriage is to listen and communicate at the right moments. Giving confidence to your partner that you are all ears for them, understand them, and support in fulfilling their needs. And many marriages fail because we miss out on this simple yet very important part of a happy union.

Now don’t be alarmed or fluster after reading the above lines, I haven’t turned into a marriage counselor and no this article isn’t really about how to have a successful marriage; rather these are my thoughts and insights on enhancing the Brand-Consumer relationship through Listening - Social Media Listening!.

A Brand spends immense time, effort, and money to create campaigns and expect its consumers to listen and engage with them on social media; but when it comes to listening back to their consumers, many of them fail. We should not forget one of the main reasons consumers love digital channels is because it is a Two-way communication platform. And With the ever-increasing penetration of the internet in our lives, consumers continue to communicate more and more about the brands, be it to ask questions, appreciating them, venting out their anger on poor experience,s or advocating them to their friends. While Brands in this day and age of social media do respond to queries and complaints received on their own profiles. but many of them still don’t have a great TAT and they also often miss a trick or two when it comes to expanding the listening capabilities across the internet.

We, Brand managers, should realize that an angry or an eager consumer won’t necessarily write about his experience or ask for recommendations on Brand’s social media profile, but might also in one of the many review, complaint & discussion forums that are so prevalent across the internet. And this is where a strong listening set-up comes into play. As the saying by Paul Tillich goes "The first duty of love is to listen." So, if we want consumers to "Love our Brand", we have to learn to listen to them and not just listen but to learn & understand more about the consumers and their needs.

Some of the key steps for a good Social Listening eco-system includes having the right tool in place that will fulfill your requirements and fit in your budgets. Some of the tools that I have previously used and are pretty effective Hootsuite, Meltwater, Sprinklr, Mention etc. Before you decide on the tool you have to keep in mind 3 aspects - Objectives, Effectiveness / Useability, and the budgets.

Once you have the right tool, establish a team for monitoring and analysis, create SOPs, internal awareness, and even an employee advocacy program (You can read my thoughts on employee advocacy here). It’s also necessary to have the right mechanism to gauge the success and not measure it solely on business performance.

A few advantages of listening across Social & Digital media platforms can be:

  • Community Building

  • Brand Affinity

  • Crisis Management

  • Business/partnership opportunities

  • Consumer research

  • Complaint management

  • Product/service awareness & analysis

  • Competitor monitoring & analysis

  • Brand building

In the closing I would like to quote Diogenes Laërtius - “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.” So, while we aggressively continue to communicate about our brand and its product, let' also learn to listen and listen to learn!

Need help in finding the right tool and establish social media listening process for your organization?! Then, let’s connect and Collaborate! 🤝