Social listening services have been a huge selling point for us lately. More of our clients (and brands in general) see the value and importance of customer service through social media. Because of this, we’ve found unique ways to use social listening services for these clients.
Not that customer care is the only way to service your clients with social listening. There are actually five different services we’ve been able to offer to our clients, which we’ll unpack below.
The benefit of social listening services for your clients
A little background: At B Squared Media, we’ve been selling done-for-you social media management and advertising services for nearly seven years.
Our clients range from small to enterprise. For the most part, we’ve seen the medium to enterprise clients take an interest in social listening services.
We’ve offered these services through our partnership with Sprout Social, using Sprout Advanced Listening.
As with all of our services, we provide “done-for-you” support, meaning that our team manages the software and social listening services, while reporting on the key performance indicators (KPIs) or goals we determine with each client.
Social listening can be used in a myriad of ways for your clients. We like to break our listening services into three major groups, (which we stole from Sprout Social, who taught us these three use cases):
- Industry intelligence
- Competitive intelligence
- Brand intelligence
I’ll outline these three use cases, plus give examples and some KPIs and goals below as we go through each of the five services we sell, which we have examples for.
Two social listening services for industry intelligence
Let’s start by looking at services for industry intelligence.
There are three opportunities to sell social listening services for Industry Intelligence.
- Audience & trend analysis
- Product & content research
- Influencer marketing research
Let’s take a deeper dive into two of these services below.
Product & content research
At B Squared, our marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign.” So, as we use social listening to measure conversations around the brands we monitor, we automatically start collecting data on what content our audience engages with most.
For example, we tag all of our client conversations with special tags that allow us to see when products, services or even hashtags are used, more or less.
You can use social listening to look at your competitors’ content, too.
Here’s a cool example of how we use social listening to help us with content and product research.
This client, a luxury appliance brand, has us using social listening to find instances of when clients are using “how do I …” or “how to …” type content around their products.
In the example graphs above, you can see that 83% of people using these types of questions were referring to widget A and 17% (or one person) had a pain point around cleaning product 2.
What we can do to solve these pain points is to take this information back to the client and have them produce “how to” videos that directly address the issues consumers are having with their products.
In the future, when these how-to scenarios come up, we can send the customer straight to a video that speaks directly to the issue they’re having. And over time, we can see that this content shows up in search. Our hope is that the customer doesn’t even have to ask on social how to solve for X once the how-to product video ranks.
Influencer marketing research
As it stands, our clients can’t afford to hire a Kardashian for their influencer strategies (nor do any of them have the desire).
However, they are extremely interested in working with micro influencers in their industry. We use social listening capabilities to do find them.
It’s a more-than-simple process, too. We just look for individuals trending around certain topics that align with our clients’ brands.
Our KPI here is to find suitable micro influencers and pass them to the client to start a conversation and possible relationship.
Two social listening services for competitive intelligence
When we look at the competitive landscape, there are three opportunities where social listening services can help:
- Competitor comparison
- Sentiment research
- Tactical differentiation
Here, we’re going to focus on another two examples.
Sentiment is a great way to take the temperature of your brand as a whole or to dive deeper into specific campaigns, products or topics associated with your brand.
Using the same luxury appliance client, we can see from the below graphs that there is a lot of negative sentiment around customer service. And 10% of that relates to “no call back” from the customer service department.
Once again, we take this information to the internal team for a fix. In this particular instance, a new customer service training, system, or software is implemented in hopes of seeing the negative sentiment around customer service go down or turn neutral/positive.
On the positive side, you can see there’s 41% positive messaging around “brand love.” This is the type of content we’d look for to create UGC or user-generated content.
Another fun way to use social listening services for competitive intelligence is via tactical differentiation. We actually sell this as “competitor warfare,” which plays to both #1 and #3 in the competitive intelligence group.
For one, you can easily use listening to pinpoint your biggest competitors on social media and compare their messaging to yours.
Once you’ve identified your closest competitors, you can then use listening tools to help understand how your similar campaigns measure up. In other words, what types of campaigns and content strategies do your competitors use and how can you differentiate yourself?
Let me tell you, clients love “competitor warfare.” Add in some paid research from a tool like SEMrush and the sky is the limit with research and reporting offerings.
One social listening example for brand intelligence
Lastly, brand intelligence is another place to consider selling social listening services.
And again, there are three opportunities to leverage when coming up with your menu of listening services:
- Brand health
- Customer experience
- Campaign analysis
For clients who just want to dip their toe into the vast pool of social listening, may we offer you–or may you offer them–an audit?
Sure, you can call it a “brand health overview” or something fancy, but we just like to go with a “social listening audit.” Use your gut and play to the tone and voice of the client and what would resonate best with them.
By running a “basic” social listening audit for your client’s brand, you can identify things like:
- Frequently-asked customer questions
- Feedback or conversation topics
- Audience demographics
- Overall brand sentiment
Share those insights with the client in your custom audit deck, and ta-dah, you’ve got yourself a pre-contract, value-add tool that should whet your clients’ whistle to go down the other rabbit holes we explored in this post.
Social listening as a service
At the end of the day, there are a variety of ways to utilize the three listening groups to create different listening services for your clients…and even more ways to pitch them.
Maybe you want to offer everything in one, comprehensive done-for-you service. Or maybe, like us, you want to offer different service tiers for different clients.
No matter how you slice and dice the capabilities of social listening, there are many options available to you to nurture your client relationships and rake in the revenue while doing so.
B Squared Media is a Founding Member of the Sprout Social Agency Partner Program.
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