The High Value of Listening In On Social Media

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Big Data is the most popular phrase or keyword in the marketing world, these days. But sifting through the insane amount of data that we all put out on the Internet is an intense feat. Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, analyzes and compares billions of social billion points related to a company, product or brand. With social listening it is easier than ever for a brand to gather insights that can help them understand a market for a new product or service.

How do brands use social listening?

Listening is the most basic, yet ​the most underrated social media activity for any small ​business. As a race director, you want to maximize profit and avoid waste by knowing exactly what your consumers want and this is where social listening can be a tremendous help.

“Social media has given brands a great opportunity to engage with their opportunity audiences,” Dan Neely, founder and CEO at Networked Insights, told “Ignoring that option is a waste of the medium’s true potential. Brands need to create new dialogues by connecting with customers. When brands can listen to their fans and engage authentically in conversation, they build this relationship, and create an emotional experience that makes an opportunity audience choose one brand over another.”

There are several ways to monitor social media. Large companies use in-depth software tools such as Radian6, Lithium and Trackur to gather comments from social media networks. But on a smaller scale, race directors can sign up for free Google alerts with related keywords, use Twitter to search hashtags or set up a free account with Hootsuite to monitor all their social network accounts. Having multiple sources of data can be remarkably useful since it helps cross-check reports and listen in on different social media platforms.

Whatever the method, the point is to “listen” to conversations taking place on social media and then hone in on what consumers want. For example, as a race director, you want to follow conversations around your running event, whether it’s a marathon or a fun run. Then, listen for conversations around what participants liked or disliked about recent events and plan your next event with those points in mind.


Mining For Data

Social media monitoring can be a bit of a rabbit hole, so it’s important to set goals when creating a social listening strategy. Searching for specific keywords that relate to your race on social sites, blogs and forums is key. Tracking social mentions (that’s whenever a person mentions your race by name on social media), finding interesting content and following industry news is also very important.

Another important aspect of social listening is to identify your industry’s key players: people or brands who are well-known in the endurance industry. By gaining their support through a simple retweet or mention, your race will be exposed to a new audience online and improve your visibility. Starting a social conversation around your brand is the number one goal of a good social media campaign. Viral word of mouth is the difference between advertising and social marketing—key influencers can help with that.

Before a big event, get everyone on your team more involved in social media listening. Trending topics are often a great creative boost. Creating conversations around trends and events can also be a great way to boost your social media presence.

How do you listen in on social media?