Know What Customers Think via Social Media Tracking

“The goal of social media is to turn customers into a volunteer marketing army”. – Jay Baer

For any business, it is crucial to know what customers think about it and what they say especially via social media. To do so, it is important to develop a robust social media strategy and have clearly defined goals on how to track its success, particularly from the perspective to know what customers think. Without regular tracking and monitoring the success of your social media efforts, there will be little that a company would gain by simply having a social media presence. Even for the success of the overall business, it is imperative for a company to know what customers think, such that it can divert its resources and energy towards doing what customers want. It is important therefore, to set up measurable and quantifiable goals to track your social media success. Despite the value that social media adds in today’s business world, some companies still make the huge mistake of using it mainly to broadcast news about them. They do not utilize its tremendous potential to know what customers think and thereby develop existing customers and gain many more.

Social media tracking as a strategy is not simple and just like any other business strategy, is rife with challenges. For many companies and their representatives, tracking social media to measure ROI and to know what customers think, can be an extremely formidable task. Sentiments and opinions change, market scenarios change, and other such fluctuations that can completely alter the image of the company unless there is constant tracking to manage them. For instance, an irate customer could post a negative comment about a company, for all to see and if the company does not respond in time, the negativity could well become the ‘popular view’. Without constantly tracking to know what customers think, it would be tough to manage debates and discussions that involve your company. Social media tracking is not just vital to know what customers think but also for the company to understand whether its ‘social activities’ are gaining success and what it can do to improve and get more customers to do business.

The good news is that there are a number of tools / methods to help a company to track consistently its social media campaign effectiveness and to know what customers think. Doing so will increase the reach and efficiency of the company’s brand and possibly impress customers enough to become active brand ambassadors. Given that in the current competitive scenario, the already limited resources and budget of companies seem even smaller, it would be prudent for a company to understand first the purpose and goals to be achieved via social media. Of course, it is vital to know what customers think but in addition, it is also crucial to keep them engaged by answering their questions and putting together efforts to build a community for healthy discussions. With so many social media channels, it would be essential not just to track what customers say via all of them, but also to know what customers think about the kind of information and content your company publishes via each of the channels. By tracking your social media strategy, your company would also be better equipped to know what it would like its customers, readers and target audience to do with the content – reading, sharing, engaging, and or becoming regular customers.

For a business to run successfully, it must be constantly aware of the needs and expectations of its customers by making every effort to know what customers think. It is important to manage the social media strategy in a way that it elicits responses from customers and enables the spread of awareness for any products or services launched by the company. In addition, tracking social media interactions will help a company to know how better to utilize the ‘clout’ of influencers, to further its business. The fact is that to understand the efficacy of any tool, it is imperative for a company to measure it – and social media as a tool is no different. Using this tool effectively will help your company to know what customers think, put in place more robust strategies to encourage more ‘conversions’ and improve the overall efficacy of its efforts.

To know what customers think essentially means that their behaviour aligns with the long and short-term goals of your company’s social media efforts. You would need to track whether they take part in ‘conversations’ about your company, how often do customers share and like the content published by your company, which content seems more popular, and what is it that piques them or does not interest them enough to pass on. Tracking all these behaviours would help a company to know what customers think about its efforts and its social media presence and whether they would be willing to help the company in their capacity as customers and readers. An understanding of what customers think will help a company to drive more traffic to its website and social media site – thereby increasing the chance of more people becoming buying customers. Customers ‘speak’ all the time via social media now and by tracking your company’s social media sites you would be able to ascertain what customers think about your company in comparison to your nearest competitors. This information is crucial for your business as it would help you to put in place strategies to better you’re your competitors do, provide offerings to customers that no one else does, and remove any inadequacies that could make customers move away to competitors.

Social media tracking helps your business to know what customers think – it makes the customer’s voice heard in the ‘right’ places within a company, who would then be able to make the necessary changes / improvements to ensure that the business be seen as valuable to the customers.  Social media tracking will allow your company to gain ‘real-time’ feedback and updates. Customers share and your business would know what customers think in the present – right now. This is the most valuable kind of feedback for any company and sustained tracking and utilization of the feedback will prove to be a major competitive advantage for any company. There is no room for ambiguity – customers will tell you what they think and your company would know what steps to take based on the customer’s opinions.

By tracking social media comments, not only will a company know what customers think, they can integrate these thoughts in their overall strategies for marketing, content development, and promotions. When all the strategies are aligned, it leads to a greater and wider positive impact, helping the company to reach out to its existing and potential customers more efficiently, due to enhanced customization. By paying due attention to what customers think a company would be more focused on working in conjunction with them and would be able to break down the barriers of communication and channel silos. Since the company would be tracking opinions via all channels, they would be able to formulate uniform and consistent messages across all of them, thereby maximizing the value and benefits they derive from each of the social media channels. The aim of any strategy of a company must be to know what customers think, else even the most concerted and consistent efforts to gain more traction and increase the customer base would be in vain.

To know what customers think must not only be part of the social media and marketing strategy, but an on-going part of the customer’s journey with the company. Doing so, should translate to profitability and loyalty, which in turn lead to both short-term and long-term successes.

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