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How to Use Social Media Listening to Identify Likely Buyers

As social marketers, we’re always looking for new approaches to identify and reach likely buyers. Which social networks do our likely buyers use most? What kind of messaging and CTAs will resonate with them? What do they care about, and how do your brand’s offerings fit into that equation? Here’s how using a social media listening solution can help.

1. Identify Where the Bulk of the Conversation Is Happening

You can use listening to identify the social networks with the highest volume of conversation around topics relevant to your brand. Which social network has the highest volume of conversation for this particular brand?

Advanced Listening, powered by Simply Measured

Let’s say that I own a lipstick brand called “Lucy’s Amazing Lipstick.” I don’t want to know only the conversation on social that mentions my brand specifically–this gives me a limited view of the social media conversation about lipstick.

I want to widen my lens, and understand what the lipstick conversation looks like around people not directly tagging me or talking about my brand. This means I am looking at the conversation data around terms like “lipstick,” “smudge-free lipstick,” and “gloss,” as well as my brand name and my competitors’ brand names.

Armed with this knowledge, I can identify the social networks where my buyer—the person most interested in my topic—is spending the most time.

2. Identify Where Conversation Growth Is Happening

You don’t just want to know where the bulk of relevant conversation is occurring. You also want to know where the biggest conversation growth is occurring. In the section above, Twitter is where the most conversation is occurring (sorry, I couldn’t resist), but Instagram is seeing the biggest conversation growth.

This is important information to consider as you put together your targeting strategy and determine where to invest your finite resources.

3. Identify What Drives the Conversation

You know how much conversation is happening, and where it’s happening…but what exactly is driving this conversation?

Advanced Listening
Advanced Listening, powered by Simply Measured

Which terms, hashtags, and events are generating the most response? Don’t avert your eyes. You’ll want to pay attention to the favorable conversations and engagement-drivers around your brand and/or market…

…as well as the not-so-favorable ones.

This will show you how to adjust your strategy and give you unique market research about your likely buyer. This is information you can use to better target social ads, put together a stronger awareness-building strategy, and even engage more effectively on a one-to-one basis.

4. Identify Geographic Locations

Now you know what the conversation is about specifically, but do you know where it is coming from? Where do your likely buyers live?

Advanced Listening, powered by Simply Measured

Can you plan personalized experiences, events, and campaigns in these areas to reach likely buyers and turn them into actual buyers?

5. Identify Who’s Driving the Conversation

Which social users are driving the most conversation around your brand and relevant keywords? These folks are influencers in your space.

Advanced Listening, powered by Simply Measured

Contact them and form relationships with them. These people have built their followings from scratch—and their followers are your likely buyers. Influencers are another path towards your buyer.

6. Identify Your Conversation Types 

Now that you have a good handle on the conversation around your brand and relevant topics, how can you a) identify your common conversation types and b) motivate your likely buyers in these conversations to buy or buy more?

For instance, let’s say you have five main conversation types within which most relevant conversations fall:

  • Pleased with your service: The social user is happy with their experience on your website, in your store, or at your event, and wants the world to know.
  • Pleased with your product: The social user is happy about your product, and wants the world to know.
  • Displeased with your service: The social user is unhappy with their experience on your website, in your store, or at your event, and wants the world to know.
  • Displeased with your product: The social user is unhappy about your product, and wants the world to know.
  • Seeking advice about your service or product: The social user is looking for advice and insight about your service/product.

If these are your five categories, you’ll want to come up with subcategories. For instance, which specific services do social users commonly claim to be pleased with? Displeased with? Which specific products do social users commonly claim to be pleased and displeased with? And, perhaps most important for targeting that likely buyer, which subjects are social users looking for advice and insight about in your category—and not necessarily directly related to your brand?

Once you’ve come up with your subcategories, it’s time to strategize. Which strategies will you create for each of these common conversation types, to turn likely buyers into straight-up buyers?

7. Identify Your Buyer Personas on Social 

Then begin marketing to them accordingly. More on that process here. 

This post How to Use Social Media Listening to Identify Likely Buyers originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It's plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

One pivotal key to excelling with social media marketing is understanding all the tools you have at your disposal. Each platform offers a number of capabilities that seem to be underutilized by marketers who either don’t know they exist, or don’t fully recognize their potential impact.

With this in mind, we’re setting out to highlight some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on social media platforms. Today we're focusing on the channel most pertinent to B2B marketers: LinkedIn*, with its member base of more than half a billion professionals.

Take Notice of These 5 Marketing Tools & Features on LinkedIn

Whether your goal is building brand awareness, generating leads, or boosting conversions, these five fundamental functionalities can provide a big assist if you aren't taking advantage of them already.

#1: Robust (and Now Simplified) Audience Targeting

LinkedIn recently overhauled its Campaign Manager tool (the interface through which marketers build, manage, and measure ads) around an objective-based advertising framework. The basic purpose of this initiative was to make it easier for users to align every element of their campaigns with the overarching objective. One of the slickest improvements to come out of this is the audience setup experience, which is now simpler and more intuitive.

From a B2B marketing perspective, the depth of available professional targeting parameters is by far LinkedIn’s biggest relative advantage compared to other social platforms. Nowhere else can you accurately filter audiences based on facets such as Job Title and Job Seniority. This provides unparalleled ability to reach decision makers and purchase influencers directly.

The revamped interface makes it quicker and more straightforward to select a qualified audience in line with your campaign goals.


#2: Revamped LinkedIn Analytics

The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report via Social Media Examiner found more than half of respondents (54%) either uncertain or disagreeing that they are “able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities.”

This is another area of Campaign Manager that LinkedIn recently spruced up. Given that advertising on this platform tends to be more expensive than other social networks, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting return on that spend. The new reporting experience makes it easier to see results at a glance, and make optimization tweaks on the fly.

The underlying appeal of LinkedIn’s targeting facets also applies to its reporting mechanism; you can get an aggregated look at who is viewing and engaging with your content (i.e., which companies, which job titles, which experience levels). These insights can help you align your LinkedIn strategy and even your content marketing strategy more generally.

#3: Content Suggestions

Can’t figure out what to share on social media? That’s a common enough challenge. The Content Suggestions tab, found on the top nav bar within LinkedIn Page admin center, offers ample inspiration. It serves up a list of third-party articles your defined audience is engaging with — essentially a readily available stream of targeted, trending content.

Not only does this make it easy for marketers and social media managers to find share-worthy content that’s more likely to resonate with their followings, but it can also fuel employee advocacy efforts.

#4: Website Retargeting

Retargeting is a popular digital marketing tactic, which involves serving ads to people who’ve already encountered your brand. The element of familiarity, plus a concrete demonstration of past interest, tends to drive considerably higher clicks and conversions than standard ads.  

Through its Matched Audiences feature, LinkedIn allows you to place a pixel on your company’s website, then serve ads to people who’ve visited it before, while they’re on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to follow up with someone in a different context. One especially savvy approach is to create customized retargeting creative based on the specific section of your site a person visited (i.e., upper-funnel messaging for someone who went to your “About” page, and lower-funnel for someone who checked out a solution page.)


#5: Lead Gen Forms

This might be my favorite marketing tool on LinkedIn, and it definitely seems like one that more B2B brands could be utilizing. Lead Gen Forms are leveraged in combination with various types of ads, enabling your company to collect valuable contact info (and additional data about a prospect) from an individual who downloads something of value with minimal friction.

Unlike most gated-asset forms, which require a user to tediously fill out multiple fields, Lead Gen Forms automatically populate based on the member’s LinkedIn profile data. As such, it takes only a couple of seconds to get through the process. Because you’re attaining a more comprehensive snapshot of people who download, you can better qualify them as leads in comparison with other form-fills that often procure only a name, phone number, and email.


Step Up Your LinkedIn Marketing Game

LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable components of a holistic B2B marketing strategy. As mentioned earlier, there’s no denying it’s a pricier place to play than most other social networks, but you’re also paying for access to a higher-quality audience. Using the five features above can help you understand, segment, reach, and engage this audience efficiently while closely tracking the impact of your efforts.

Another underutilized tool on LinkedIn is video, which has been a key focus for the platform recently. Learn about all the metrics and specs for video on LinkedIn, as well as every other major social network!

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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