There is so much information out there and we are bombarded with it each and every moment. I open my email inbox and there are hundreds of emails. I open my Twitter and there are so many tweets that I want to stop what I am doing and read. I drive home and I can’t decide what half-hour podcast to listen to. Then, at the end of the day, I open Facebook and there are so many new details to consume. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and there are so many items on the menu that you can’t decide? You only wish the menu was shorter with less options. When utilizing social media you need to put a process in place of capturing tweets and posts that is relevant to you and the success of your business in a clear and concise manner. Enter – Social Listening
[tweet_quote]What is B2B Social Listening? [/tweet_quote]
B2B social listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of using social media tools to monitor (or “listen”) to online dialog so that you can view only those conversations you are interested in. Social listening is instant, provides immediate results and robust data.
Businesses use social listening to monitor relevant conversations that they can use to:
Find ideal and targeted prospects
Engage and network with potential partners / resellers
Monitor your competitor’s activity
Support your current clients
Engage with current clients and industry experts
Identify needs and pains of the industry.
Tools for B2B social listening?
There are many social listening tools out there. Some are free but most are not. But you get what you pay for. For robust data gathering, workflows and integrations with CRM we recommend Radian6 which is part of the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. Radian6 is a great tool for integrating your social listening and social media into your sales and marketing processes.
Another great tool is Twitter itself. Twitter is free so you don’t get the robust features of Radian6 but if your processes are not too complex then it is a great listening tool. I recently wrote a blog on How to Use Twitter to Find Prospects which will give you a few suggestions on how easy it is to social listen with Twitter.
Several of us at the Galvin office us HootSuite. The nice thing about HootSuite is that it’s free edition allows us to save our searches so that every time we go into HootSuite there is a panel right there.
How to Use B2B Social Listening?
Choose a listening tool. If you are new to social listening then we would recommend a free tool so that you can get started. Then, as your listening matures you need to consider a paid application such as Radian6.
Choose the keywords or hashtags you want to track. As you determine what keywords or hashtags you want to track you need to make sure they are relevant and specific. General keywords will give you a large amount of data to listen to. Again, we recommend reading How to Use Twitter to Find Prospects. Also, make sure you are tracking your competitor’s, their products or solutions, as well as industry related concepts.
Take time to read the tweets and posts. Listening is the easy part. But it takes effort to do something with the data you receive. Our recommendation is to set aside two-three blocks of 10-15 minutes every day to engage in the social media dialog.
Review and focus. Keep reviewing your keywords or hashtags. Keep looking for new ones and make sure you are refining your focus down to a narrow niche, solution or offering.
Share and spread the good news. The best compliment you can give to someone on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN is to retweet their message.