Like any relationship, the one that you have with your customers should be two-way. Thats why setting up a listening station for your brand, industry or product can help you listen to your customers concerns, so you can better serve them and gain insight into how to earn more business.
What is a listening station?
A listening station is a set of lists, alerts and monitoring tools that you set up to listen to what people are saying about your business, brand or products.
A listening station allows you to:
- Track mentions of your brand in real-time
- Mine social networks for targeted leads
- Keep tabs on your competitors
- Get real-time research on market needs
- Stay on top of industry trends
Setting yourself up to actively monitor what’s being said to you, about you, about your market, your competitors and by your customers, is step number one. Employ a combination of free and paid tools such as Google Alerts, Google Reader, HootSuite and SproutSocial to filter, aggregate, follow and monitor your online presence and establish a routine of processing, acting on and sharing this information on a daily basis.
Use Twitter Lists
If your customers are on Twitter, create and add them to a list exclusively for your customers. You can then monitor what they are saying about your company, even if they don’t tag you. This can help you learn more about what your customers want or need.
You could also make Twitter lists of influencers by industry to track news and insights. Twitlistmanager is a nice tool for tracking Twitter lists.
Search Keywords and Business Name
Twitter and Facebook are both equipped with search bars that you can use to find your keywords. Periodically searching for your keywords and business name is a way to keep track of what is being said about a specific topic. From here you can note what questions and concerns people have and find ways to address them such as including an answer in a tweet or Facebook post or in your next blog post,
Another great way to automatically listen to your customers is to set up alerts on your desired keywords. There are a few ways your could do this.You could set up a Google alert and be notified by email any time Google finds new results on a topic that interests you.
You can set up email alerts for social media using Social Mention, and receive email daily notifications. Social Mention aggregates user generated content from across the world into a single stream of information Track yourself, your business name, a new product or any topic across social media. Your notifications won’t be in real time, but you can use the web itself to find realtime information.
You could also subscribe to questions and answers on Quora to stay current on what topics are being discussed and what questions people have about an industry.
In the comments below: Let us know what you do to listen to your customers today. Don’t do it yet? Try it! Set up a listening station for your business using one or all of these methods