Businesses typically want to try to increase their exposure through (SM) social media. There are obvious reasons why exposure is great for business, but it shouldn’t be the only thing to focus on. Instead of increasing the number of customers, you should be focusing on the number of satisfied clients, (customers are one time buyers, clients are repeat buyers).
When considering using social media as a tool to better understand your customers and what they want out of your products and services. Social networking sites were never built as PR tools for businesses. They are intended to facilitate interaction between users.
It is relatively easy to get a sense out of what your customers are saying about your products on Twitter or Facebook. However, simply listening doesn’t cut it. You need to actually make listening a strategy. This requires knowing how to listen and what to listen for.
How to listen
First of all, you need to figure out how you are going to listen to your customers. You could use tools as simple as Google Reader or keyword search tools. If you are willing to pay for important data, you can also consider buying a software application such as Trackur to monitor metrics and follow trends. After you have your tools in place, you need to know what to be listening for.
What to listen for
You want to have a sense of how many people are talking about you. Your presence in the social media world is almost always a measurement of your impact in your industry at large. Make sure you know how popular you are.
After you’ve started tracking these conversations, decide the context of what is being said. Everybody has an opinion online, so if you are popular enough you are going to have your share of people who are going to gripe. Don’t take it too personally, but you shouldn’t ignore serious concerns that are raised over and over again.