Written by Joe Toal • Published 25th June 2019 • 5 minute read

Social listening has grown to become a major component in any consumer social media strategy, but did you know that social listening can be just as effective when it comes to brands targeting B2B audiences online as well?

The ability to home in on exactly what’s being said about your brand, to measure vital statistics such as mentions and engagements and to quantify emotion and sentiment, is a vital commodity for all brands looking to leverage social media and advance their business.

From a corporate perspective, where sentiment can fluctuate overnight and crisis can always seem to lurk in the rear-view mirror, social listening can play a key role in your online or social media strategy.

What’s more, brands in certain corporate spaces can find themselves up against their competitors who are targeting the same audiences, especially in niche industries. It is vital that you use tools at your deposal to try and get ahead and discover what content works best on each channel.

This insight can be obtained from social listening. Here is a quick, 5-minute guide to social listening and why you need it for your corporate business.

The statistics that matter

Traditional social media tools will enable you to keep track of the top-level statistics of your competitor’s social media channels. Audience growth, post frequency analysis offers little beyond vanity metrics and superficial comparison so can be hard to determine a true picture of their success.

We can track brand mentions and benchmark these against mentions of your competitors enabling you to depict your share of brand voice. We are also able to track the output and performance of owned content.

Social listening allows you to dig deeper and uncover insights into the impact and output of your competitor’s social media activity. For instance, the engagement rate of each of their posts, whether video and GIF assets work better than still imagery; the impressions generated by their recent influencer collaboration can all be tracked. All this information can be collated into easy-to-read reports, and what’s more, we can also provide insight into your industry benchmark, so you know exactly how you stack against others in your sector.

This information can help fill in the blanks between the ‘what’ and ‘how’: what are your competitors sharing that is working, and how are they sharing it. This is gold dust when you’re trying to go one better than a rival online and get a step ahead on social.

Shout, shout, let it all out.

No, we’re not having a Tears for Fears nostalgia session, we’re talking about share of voice and measuring your online influence.

What is share of voice and why is it so useful to measure? A very good question with a simple answer: because it enables you to visualise what proportion of your industry audience is aware of who you are, how often they talk about you, and how that stacks up against your key competitors.

You might find your brand has a small share of voice, which implies you’re not doing enough to raise your profile against your competitors and it’s time to amplify your message with a more robust social strategy that hits harder and further.

Conversely, you might find that, whilst you possess a much larger audience via traditional social media channels, your key rival has utilised a little-known community online and is using that to dominate industry conversation, seed key messaging and acquire additional traffic to site.

Such insight would enable you to understand exactly where you should be sharing your message, and the type of content you should be putting in front of your target audience.

When we start working with you, we pin your share of voice to the wall from the outset. As the weeks and months go on, we monitor its fluctuations and it becomes an integral part of our performance metrics.

Press coverage, new campaigns a revamped social media strategy are all great ways to give your share of voice a good kick start.

The calm before the storm

For those seasoned social media managers out there with a few years’ experience under your belt, you’d know that a crisis on social media is never very far away. What might be an innocuous error could soon escalate into a Twitter or Instagram firestorm with no sign of abating.

Whilst we cannot build a bullet-proof strategy that promises to eradicate crises for good – we can promise to notify you at the first sign of things going awry online. Enter sentiment analysis…

The ability to monitor sentiment should not be underestimated when it comes to forecasting a crisis. Just like dark clouds gathering before the main downpour, a decline in sentiment and a rise in the volume of mentions is the first sign of a crisis about to unfold. Our social monitoring platform allows us to place alert systems that signal immediately at the onset of a crisis.

Whilst that won’t necessarily dampen its effects, the ability to react instantly enables us to stay in control and limit the ‘catching-up’ period that so often causes a crisis to go from contained to uncontrolled. Working with senior crisis communication figures at PHA, we have a track record of using social listening to pinpoint exactly when and where a crisis has started, and later on use it as a way to track its trajectory, neutralise your most outspoken critics and assess the impact it’s had within your industry.

And there you have it; a whistle-stop tour of social listening and why it is essential for corporate brands. Of course, there’s a lot more that we can discuss about the virtues of our software and how we can use it to amplify your brand, but it’s probably best saved for discussing in person.

If you’re interested in learning more about both our social listening and social media services at The PHA Group, get in touch today and have a chat with one of our experts.