How Social Media Listening Can Increase Customer Advocacy

How Social Media Listening Can Increase Customer Advocacy

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How Social Media Listening Can Increase Customer Advocacy

Trust in your brand can be won or lost based on what customers are saying about you online, and that can carry real-world consequences for your business.

That’s why it’s critical for brands to have an online reputation management strategy that allows for easy access to reviews, seamless engagement with customers, and swift problem resolution.

But not all social media strategies are created equal. Let’s take a look at how social media listening can increase customer advocacy.

What is social listening and why does it matter?

There’s social monitoring and then there’s real-time social listening. Too often brands implement a ratings + reviews “solution” that doesn’t solve anything—it just simply exists.

For example, maybe someone at the company is responsible for checking in every now and then—tasked to monitor any action involving a brand mention. But without an engagement tactic in place, this minimal effort approach won’t do your brand any good. In fact, it’ll make things worse.

Customers expect brands to interact with them online. They want to feel seen and heard. 41% of consumers say when brands reply to their reviews on social channels, it shows the company really cares about their customers. So if they’re taking the time to leave a rating or review on their experience, customers expect you to also show some effort and respond—in a timely manner.

A prompt response is especially important if the feedback is negative. If you can respond to a one- or two-star review within 24 hours, you have 33% higher probability of that person coming back and upgrading that review—sometimes by as much as 3 stars.

Social monitoring is not enough—for real impact, engagement is key. You need an online reputation management solution that makes it faster and easier to respond to as many ratings + reviews as possible.

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Uncover key areas of impact

When it comes to customers, every brand wants to be a good listener. But whether it’s through a Yelp review or Google rating, customers are more often talking about you—not to you. And their opinions have become a crucial step in the consumer journey.

Most brands have a system in place for monitoring these channels at the brand level, but that’s not always actionable at the location level. You need a way to directly engage with customers and resolve their issues faster to develop and maintain a positive brand reputation. Here’s how:

Find brand influencers in your network

One of the best ways to foster positivity and loyalty about a brand from consumers is to actively listen to customer feedback through unsolicited channels such as social networks. When customers feel appreciated, they become brand ambassadors and champions.

This is important because customers as brand ambassadors won’t just help spread positive brand awareness, but they also support your brand in community/peer-to-peer environments such as social media platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook brand pages, etc.

In these environments, brand ambassadors can organically support you by replying to reviews to help uphold your brand standards, drive goodwill, validate quality reviews, and negate outlying reviews. They “have your back when your back is turned,” and are an important part of an active listening strategy.

Get raw, unfiltered feedback on your product or service

Social platforms give customers the freedom to provide candid unsolicited feedback—and sometimes that feedback is in your favor. Other times, it’s not. But even negative social posts can serve a purpose by uncovering issues that were flying under your radar and ensure you’re identifying and resolving problems at a comprehensive, holistic level (e.g., if these are issues surfacing across locations). The key is to have tools in place that can easily identify these problem areas.

This is where AI-native text analytics comes into play. With unlimited real-time data, advanced filters, and Elasticsearch functionality, the text analytics solution—integrated into your ratings + reviews strategy—can help you see what’s important (whether you’re looking for it or not). In short, you get to see what’s most important ASAP.

Users will be able to get to deeper insights quicker than ever with features like:

  • AI-powered operational risk alerts: Determine, act on, and mitigate high impact, low frequency (HILF) risks with predictive analytics
  • Trend + sentiment recognition: Track the performance + sentiment of important topics across all sources
  • Sentiment by region: Recognize topic sentiment by specific areas + region with unstructured data analysis

Monitor the competition

Analytics and data visualizations will help you keep a pulse on where to focus so you can continue making meaningful changes to the customer experience through a ratings + reviews management solution. Some examples of key reporting visuals include:

  • Volume trends: Track reviews + star ratings over time
  • Text analytics: Understand sentiment, product mentions, and themes in the review comments
  • Review sites performance: See where your customers are leaving reviews
  • Store comparisons: Create a scorecard to ­­compare the performance of multiple locations
  • Keyword performance: Understand how your reputation management program is impacting your visibility for important local keywords
  • Google My Business insights: Gain an aggregated view of click conversions for important metrics like requests for driving directions + phone calls

And with best-in-class benchmarking, you can get an easily digestible perspective on your place in the competitive market. Many online reputation management solutions provide insight at the brand level—which is helpful but limiting as you’re only seeing an aggregated view and can’t dig into more specific details.

To really understand where you’re winning and where you’re coming up short, you need to know how each individual location is doing relative to its local competitors. Location-level benchmarks show you:

  • An overall rating compared to local competitors
  • Drill-down functions + selection of specific competitors of interest
  • Summaries from the most important review sites
  • Competitors’ performance across top platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google (including response rates, review volume, and individual review site volume)
  • Snapshot overviews providing a high-level view of how locations have performed over customizable date ranges

5 ways to take action on customers’ ratings + reviews

It’s easy to feel like what your customers say online is completely out of your control—but that’s simply not true. Taking these proactive steps to grow, own, and manage your online reviews can turn them into one of your most powerful tools for building a better brand image and customer experience.

1. Claim locations

Claim all of your brand locations on all five major review sites (Google+, Facebook Local, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Foursquare). This helps create brand consistency, better informs your customers, and lets you respond to them directly.

2. Listen and monitor

Take action on ratings + reviews and set up an efficient way to listen to and monitor the third-party review space. Knowing what your customers are saying about your brand is critical in making good business decisions, delivering on their expectations, and building loyalty to drive revenue.

3. Create a tracking and reporting process

Putting the review data in a format you can use to take action is key. At the highest level, brands should track review volume (overall and by location), star rating values, and text analytics from the open-ended comments—then share this data across the organization.

4. Respond to reviews

Brands who respond to reviews quickly and e­ffectively win big. It’s key for brands to set up a process to handle customer service reviews promptly—and either turn a bad experience around or celebrate a win.

5. Collect, publish, and keep reviews fresh

Actively collecting new reviews is a great way to build consumer confidence by increasing your brand’s online presence. Posting those reviews to the appropriate channels also helps increase your visibility on search sites like Google—which means more consumer eyes and minds on your brand.

Harness the power of a comprehensive ratings + reviews strategy

One common pitfall with social media listening is that it can be distracting, or even difficult to determine what areas are worthy of your attention. Brands newer to social media management will often find themselves unknowingly spending too much time on outlier feedback that doesn’t build toward the greater goodwill of driving customer loyalty or program ROI.

The right solution can help you surface the things that matter and ensure your focus areas have true ROI for your efforts. Ensure your social media management efforts are being tied back to larger CX initiatives, or other cross-functional efforts. It’s a common mistake for brands to have a siloed social response team not working in conjunction with other CX teams—preventing holistic insights that could benefit from fusing together these efforts.

Brands with an online reputation management system that integrates their other CX data and allows for easy access to reviews, seamless engagement with customers, and swift problem resolution have a huge advantage over those that don’t.

These brands know how they stack up against competitors, armed with insight to drive meaningful change and rise to the top of their industry. They are able to quantify ROI by demonstrating the connection between customer experience and sales growth. And, most importantly, they are able to easily engage with customers—resolving their issues, building stronger relationships, and increasing business volume without wasting time navigating multiple channels.

To learn more about how an online reputation management solution can help your brand stay ahead, inspire customer loyalty, and drive business outcomes, reach out for a demo.