Imagine you’re the owner of a local pizzeria.
Business is slow and you’d like to attract more customers. You’ve heard about the whole “digital marketing” movement so you decide to give it a go. You put together a Facebook page, invest in a website and even sign up for an Instagram account so you can share some cheesy pics of your food (pun intended).
“My business will be booming in no time.”
But two weeks have passed and not much has changed. You’re puzzled.
“Why isn’t there a line out my door?”
“Why aren’t people liking my stuff on Facebook?”
“Are people finding me on Google?”
“This slice looks delicious. People are going to dig this pic.”
“Wait, what’s a hashtag?”
Frustration starts kicking in. It’s you against the internet. The Facebook Gods have failed you. Your world comes crashing down on you. You scoff down a garlic knot. It doesn’t help.
You take a step back and realize you’re spreading yourself thin across too many platforms that are foreign to you. It’s time to reevaluate. After a bit of research, you come across a little owl talking big game about leveraging their social media dashboard for your business. Then you come to learn about the power of social media listening.
What is social media listening?
Take a moment to think about the state of social media right now. Every single day, more and more businesses are coming to the realization that social media plays a huge role in attracting new customers.
As we talk, tweet and share content all over the web, brands are beginning to see that this provides them with the perfect opportunity to listen to what we have to say, respond accordingly, and initiate us to take action.
In result, Twitter has quickly transformed into the new customer search engine for brands looking to win people’s business in 140 characters or less.
How is it done?
To keep things simple, let’s pick up from where we left off with our pizzeria story.
Today we’ll be using Hootsuite for social listening. Hootsuite is the world’s leading social media management system trusted by brands like Disney, Virgin Group and Levi’s. (Disclosure: I am a former Hootsuite Solution Partner & Brand Ambassador. Why? Because I believe in their product enough to put my own and my agency’s name on it.)
We’re now on Hootsuite and we’re ready to start leveraging their advanced search filters to attract more business into our pizzeria.
Social listening is as simple as setting up a custom search stream on Hootsuite to filter out the noise and tune into what’s relevant to our goals.
In this example, our pizzeria will be listening to prospective customers on Twitter. Our goal is to look for hungry people in the area that we could engage with and attract to our restaurant. We’re setting up a geo-targeted search stream on Hootsuite’s dashboard for the keyword “hungry” that has been tweeted within 5 miles of our pizzeria’s location.
Here’s what we find:
Wow. Need I say more?
We searched one keyword: “hungry.” Four people within a five mile radius of our pizzeria have tweeted about how hungry they are in the past hour. These people are hungry. Really hungry. The tweeter up top is using expletives to express her pain – the third one down, a crying emoji. They don’t just want pizza. They need pizza.
Luckily for them, brands now have direct access to this information and could take advantage of this opportunity to incentivize and ultimately convince these people to stop by and eat at their restaurants.
Luckily for us, a restaurant has yet to come to their rescue. Let’s do that right now:
And this is the magic of social media listening.
In less than two minutes, we set up an advanced search stream on Hootsuite, found four hungry tweeters within 5 miles in real-time, and came up with an incentive to get them into our restaurant.
Would you turn down a free slice and garlic knots? Would you go back to a pizzeria that was cool enough to offer you a free slice and garlic knots via replying to your “I’m hungry” tweet?
As a millennial who loves pizza, I’ll tell you right now that if a pizzeria tweeted me insisting that I stop by for a free slice, they would instantly become my new favorite pizza joint in town (if the pizza was good).
Unfortunately for most consumers, this is yet to be the case.
It’s your turn to start listening
Shortly after reading all of the tweets about being hungry, I decided that I was hungry, too. More specifically, I was in the mood for a burger. But I was too lazy to Google all of the burger spots in the area because that takes too much time and effort.
So instead of conducting my own search, I tweeted and waited for a good burger joint to reply to me and make my day.
All I got was a Retweet from a fellow hungry millennial. I still want a burger, and now she does, too.
The sad truth is, somewhere in the area there’s probably an owner of a burger spot who’s setting up their Facebook page, hiring a web designer and creating an Instagram account with expectations of having a line out their door in the next coming weeks.
Yet I’m their most obvious opportunity, and I’m knocking.
It’s time for you open up your ears and start listening.
Over to you!
**How will you incorporate social listening into your Twitter marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments!**