Social listening is becoming an increasingly crucial aspect of effective SEO and online marketing practices. It’s a fairly simple concept that can sometimes have a series of complex executions. Basically, the gist of it is that you need to take the time to listen to your customers and give them what they want.
This is sales 101. It sounds easy enough on paper and while this isn’t an entirely radical idea in the sales and marketing world, social media and SEO practices have revolutionized the way social listening is impacting brand awareness.
What Is Social Listening?
Essentially, social listening, which is sometimes referred to as social media listening, is the process of keeping track of what people are saying about your business online and responding to it. How well you listen to what your audience is saying—yes, even the negative comments are relevant—and how you respond to their feedback and opinions can positively impact SEO. Social listening isn’t just relegated to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It can also be in reference to Google reviews.
When we talk about responding to people’s online feedback, we’re not just talking about replying to comments on social media platforms or trying to resolve individual customer problems online. These things are important, but they’re just a miniscule aspect of the overall bigger picture. That is, you have to ask yourself how well you’re actually listening to your customers.
If you notice there’s an emerging trend in terms of what your customers are asking for and expect of your company, you need to implement certain changes based off of these observations to let them know you care about what they think.
How Social Listening Can Enhance Your Search Rankings
One of the best ways to improve SEO with social listening is to prove to your customers that you’re not just hearing them, but that you’re actually paying attention to what they want. This is one of those “actions speak louder than words” scenarios in which you need to actively prove that you’re making the branding changes that your customers crave. Here are a few pointers on how you can effectively do that through great SEO tactics:
Create High-Quality Content That Speaks to Your Target Audience
A big part of listening to your target audience has to do with the type of content you create. Does it answer their questions? Does it speak directly to their sensibilities? Is the content you’re producing relevant to your branding and what’s expected of your company?
These are all questions that should be lurking in the back of your mind every time you put out a new blog post, video, infographic, or use certain stock images. Keep in mind that social listening is a two-way street and is intended to generate interesting conversations about your brand or topics that are directly related to it.
To get the conversation started, take the time to read through customer comments, respond to them, and then see how you can fit their feedback into your marketing and SEO practices. If you don’t have the time or the know-how to do this yourself, then it pays to hire an SEO and social media expert who can do it for you.
Use Timely Relevant Topics to Improve SEO Strategies
Recently, you may have noticed that major brands like Nike and Gillette have been releasing socially impactful ad campaigns that feature important messages based on current topics of interest.
For instance, Nike’s most recent ad campaign starring NFL football player Colin Kaepernick certainly drew a great deal of controversy. While this was a very risky move for the athletic apparel giant, it was also a smart marketing strategy. Regardless of whether or not people agreed with the partnership, the point is that it got people talking about the ad and the social issues that it represents, keeping the company on the tip of everyone’s tongues.
The company received a lot of negative feedback, but they also got a lot of support for taking a stand in the midst of a very important and relevant social issue that was on everyone’s mind. That infamous ad reached millions of people in large part because of its controversial nature.
Now, Nike is a major brand so they can afford to lose a few followers because of controversial branding choices. Unfortunately, smaller businesses don’t have this luxury. But that doesn’t mean you should stay out of the loop altogether. Find out what your customers are talking about online and don’t be afraid to join the conversation. This leads to the next point.
Use Social Conversations to Gain Greater Visibility
Engaging in significant current conversations on social media without alienating your customer base in a major way is like walking a tightrope. Some brands have managed to do this well while many others have faltered. This is one of those “read the room” situations. Assess which side the majority of your customers stand on and proceed with caution but try not to let go of your own morals in the process.
As always, find out what your target audience is searching for and try to find unique ways of incorporating that into your content.
Leverage Well-Known Social Influencers in Your Industry
Think of social influencers as the popular kids in high school that everyone listens to and admires for one reason or another. Social influencers are the online version of that. They’re charismatic, usually easy on the eyes, and they have a distinctive way of gaining the trust of their followers and getting people to listen to them.
Aside from amassing a large social following, the thing that makes social media influencers so beneficial for your online marketing campaign is their ability to reach out to and influence people on a grand scale. Getting these individuals to showcase themselves testing out your products or talking about your company is a great way to get noticed.
Numero Uno Web Solutions has helped numerous companies of various sizes establish and expand strong SEO strategies to grow their online businesses. We can help you, too. Our experienced team of SEO experts are adept in market research and effective content creation that can help substantially increase your visibility and search rankings. Contact us today to learn more!