“Trying to listen to everything at once is like trying to drink water out of a bursting firehose.” – Brooke Sellas

Would you like to know for sure that the content you create is exactly what your customers want to see?

Good news – you can! And it’s thanks to social listening.

CEO & Founder of B Squared Media Brooke Sellas took to the Content Jam conference stage to talk about how social listening can create content that strengthens your customer relationships and shows increased conversions.

One of the most significant questions marketers face is, “What content will do people want?”

Although many marketers rightfully look to keyword research to answer this question, conversations happening on social can uncover topics before they even become popular – which helps you be strategic rather than tactical.

“Think conversations, not campaigns.”

What is social listening, and how does it work?

“Social listening is using AI-enhanced software to listen beyond what we as humans are capable of. Artificial intelligence is software that mimics our intelligence.” – Brooke Sellas

Basically, social listening is like an extra pair of eyes and ears that tells you about the needs of your customers on a human level. You can use technology to bridge the gap: Google Alerts is a great, simple example of social listening.

Social monitoring is different than social listening. Monitoring tells you what, listening tells you why.

The difference is:

  • Social monitoring: Data drives reactive responses
  • Social listening: Insights drives proactive decisions

Are you intimidated by an artificial intelligence approach to understanding humans? Don’t be! It’s not as backwards as it sounds.

“AI is here to make you look like the smartest person in the room – and who doesn’t love that? The point of AI isn’t to push us away from each other but to actually bring us closer and become a more human-centered brand.” – Brooke Sellas

The BIC Method of social listening

Brooke highlighted 3 things that make social listening an effective content-creation tool:

  1. Brand Intelligence
  2. Industry Intelligence
  3. Competitive Intelligence

Together, they create the BIC Method for social listening.

Brand Intelligence

Brand intelligence is made up of 3 things:

  1. Brand health
  2. Customer experience
  3. Campaign analysis

First, brand health – how your customers feel about your brand.

Social listening lets you drill into positive, neutral, and negative mentions to adjust your content and be a larger part of the customer conversation.

A financial client of Brooke’s thought their brand was doing pretty well – until they gave social listening a try.

They only had a 50% overall sentiment, which broken down came to:

  • 34% positive
  • 34% negative
  • 32% unrated

Brooke’s company used social listening AI software to compare that finance client to other partner clients so they could find out where the negative sentiment was coming from. Through AI social listening they found a coding glitch, fixed it, and watched the positive impact grow to 89%.

Next, you factor in customer experience – what kinds of experiences are customers having?

Social listening can help you analyze online data to identify customer pain points. In one luxury appliance client’s case, they solved a simple problem by creating new content that spoke directly to the customer experience – all thanks to social listening.

One fancy coffee machine from this client sells for over $1,000. And yet, for such a fancy appliance, people could not figure out how to do one simple (and vital) thing with it: change the coffee filter.

Can you guess how they learned this problem existed for customers? You got it – social listening software.

AI found that there was not an adequate content source to help walk people through fixing the problem (how to change the coffee filter). All that was available was a customer manual the size of a Yellow Pages phone book.

Pass.

The client used the data sourced from the social listening software to learn that they needed to create better customer content that solved this problem. That data resulted in a short, easy-to-understand video about changing the coffee filter that was placed on the product page.

Hellooooo more conversions!

Finally, use campaign analysis to learn which campaigns have the most positive and negative impacts on the customer experience. What parts of a campaign did people respond to more? All of this social listening data helps you keep your positive sentiment high.

Industry Intelligence

Do you have industry intelligence? Industry intelligence is keeping up with changing trends, customer preferences, and influencers in your industry.

Industry intelligence takes three things into account:

  1. Audience and trend analysis: Look at who talks the most about your product and stack that against who actually BUYS the product.
  2. Product and content research: Consider how can you figure out the best products and content to create and share based on the social conversations you see.
  3. Influencer recognition: How do you find people who are influencers in your space and leverage them to help you spread your message?

Competitive Intelligence

“Know thy enemy competitor.”

Ask yourself, “What are people doing better than us, and what are they doing that isn’t so great?”

Competitive intelligence is knowing what the other companies in your industry are up to – and using that info to help guide your own business actions.

How do you do this? 3 steps:

  1. Competitor comparison: Who are your biggest competitors on social media and how much of the message do you own? Knowing your share of voice in relation to your competitors can help you more effectively allocate your resources.
  2. Sentiment research: How do your competitors’ social followers feel about them and how can you leverage that data to your benefit?
  3. Tactical differentiation: What kinds of campaigns and content strategies do your competitors use and how can you differentiate yourself?

Listening data that’s product-specific helps you create social content that showcases products you already have to get people in the buying mood.

Armed with competitor intelligence, you can answer two questions:

  • What do you think people want
  • What do they people actually want

The combined power using social listening with the BIC Method can empower your business to make content that truly resonates with people that you want to reach.

It works – just ask Brooke!

“The point of tech isn’t to move us further away from each other, it’s there to bring us together in a better way, in an easier way, and help us to become a more human-centered brand.” – Brooke Sellas