Dreaming of autonomous business growth and a loyal customer fanbase that provides unprompted free marketing? … Welcome to the endless possibilities of social media listening and customer advocacy!
In highlighting the importance of both customer advocacy and social media listening, this article will provide key strategies for business growth.
These tools will also increase customer retention and expand your network of potential customers.
This post will be divided into the following topics, so let’s jump in.
- What exactly is customer advocacy?
- Why is customer advocacy so crucial?
- What is social media listening?
- How can it be adopted as a tool for growth?
- Final thoughts
What exactly is customer advocacy?
One of the hotter topics in business strategy in recent years, customer advocacy is the act of fostering and maintaining relationships with loyal, reliable customers.
A strategy earned through consistent quality and exceptional customer service, customer advocacy sees loyal customers market your company for you, recommending your products or services to others and providing positive feedback.
Why is customer advocacy so crucial?
Nothing says more about your company or brand than good reviews from regular customers!
Potential customers will always respond positively to existing customer feedback as it proves firsthand that you are proactive in listening and responding to customer needs.
Customer advocacy is key to business growth as it helps you connect to potential customers and interact further with existing ones, finding new ways to improve their experience and make them feel valued.
It also cements your reputation as a trusted source, increasing customer retention and loyalty as they know they can rely on both the quality of your product and your willingness to engage with feedback.
Adopting a customer advocacy strategy = boosting your business’ overall revenue, it’s as simple as that!
What is social media listening?
With 4.59 billion social media users worldwide in 2022, everything happens via social media platforms today, and harnessing the power of social media has become key to the building of any business.
Social media listening is one of the most important ways this harnessing can be integrated into your business strategies. A true insight into your customer’s mind, social media listening monitors mentions of your brand, product, or service through posts, comments, or reviews on social media platforms.
The social listening tool gathers information about the social media conversations that are currently happening surrounding the keywords or topics associated with your brand or product. But how will social media listening increase your conversions and boost your retention? That's what we're here to find out.
How can it be adopted as a tool for growth?
Social media listening is able to provide invaluable insights into your current customer base and wider target audience.
You no longer have to assume what customers want, you can actually see it in their comments, whether positive or negative.
As a monitoring process, social media listening can track when customers mention your brand and enable you to respond to social posts thoughtfully, which in turn will prompt customer loyalty and boost retention.
This shows you are connecting with and actively listening to your customers and value their feedback.
Adopting social media listening will help you towards building customer advocacy, which is often why it’s referred to as the first step in the customer advocacy process.
Here are some of the key reasons why it is such a crucial tool:
Improved customer service
Social media listening allows you to improve your customer service, by better understanding the needs of your customers and responding to any comments or feedback, you are showing your customers they are being heard.
Tracking negative comments as well as positive ones, means you can offer solutions to any problems and listen to what dissatisfied customers have to say, taking their feedback on board.
This will prove your company’s dedication to customer service, but also, as this interaction is occurring via social media, it signals to potential customers your willingness to help and improve, ultimately bringing in further business.
By using social media listening to promptly and thoughtfully respond to customers, you are able to establish trust and further cement a relationship, boosting future customer advocacy.
Greater understanding of your target audience
This point speaks for itself, by using social media listening to monitor what is being said, you can track and identify the types of customers engaging with your product or service and better understand your target audience.
With both B2B and B2C companies, you can monitor the keywords, language, search trends, and questions that are being asked, and adjust your content or marketing in a way that appeals to this target audience even more than before.
By building content that is more relatable or relevant, you are increasing engagement and establishing yourself as a company that customers will return to, slowly building a loyal fanbase of customer advocates.
Highlighting potential gaps in your business
Social media often gives users the platform to express themselves in ways that they might hold back on in customer surveys or other direct company-based requests for feedback.
Though this may feel counteractive, social media listening can help you identify these weaknesses or shortcomings that your customers are flagging up in posts or reviews.
Listening to these customers and tracking themes in questions or comments can provide the opportunity to retain customers and improve on your product or service in general.
Using social media listening to monitor the topics, keywords, and questions of your customer base and target audience also allows you to better understand your competition and how you compare, recognizing places for improvement or growth and using it to your advantage.
This is also a great way of highlighting gaps within your industry and adjusting accordingly.
Engaging with trends in your industry
Following on from this, these social media listening tools can help to monitor and stay on top of what is trending, matching, or surpassing competitors.
By proving your company’s relevance and ability to stay on trend, you are better able to establish yourself as an innovator and figure of authority within your industry, improving loyalty, customer advocacy, and revenue growth.
In the age of social media, being informed on the ever-evolving trends and changes in your industry has never been more important in understanding what customers, existing and potential, want.
Connecting with other influencers and ambassadors
Social media listening can also help you to identify the influencers and brands in your industry that align most closely with your own company’s values, target audience, and content.
Working in a similar way to identifying and staying on top of trends, connecting with these influencers or brands can provide insight and knowledge of different potential marketing strategies, leveraging their respect to further build your own.
If these influencers are also well known to your customers, collaborating with them also increases the chance of retaining and engaging these customers further, keeping them coming back for more!
The thought of trawling through and monitoring the entirety of social media for these comments feels like a very daunting task, but luckily there’s a wealth of software that is able to help condense this data for you!
Social media listening tools that can help with this process, are becoming more and more popular, with software such as HubSpot Social Media Management Software, Sprout Social, Falcon.io, or Hootsuite, being some of the more recent software additions.
Social media listening is a crucial business development strategy and when used and adopted correctly will successfully boost customer advocacy.
Building trust and relationships through listening and responding to customer needs and feedback, is essential to making the customer feel valued and listened to.
This will make them far more likely to stay and keep supporting your business, eventually becoming customer advocates who will aid your marketing efforts tenfold, increasing customer retention and overall revenue growth.
What could be better than a loyal fanbase that helps your business and brand grow autonomously behind the scenes, unprompted and unpaid? Well, look no further than the flourishing movement of social media listening tools.
Like what you see? Why not get all the exclusive insights from some of the leading minds in the industry with a FoSaaS membership plan?