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The elements of SEO are many: technical, content, UX, meta data, etc. This post will tackle yet another contributor to improved SEO results: social listening.

What Is Social Listening?

Social Listening, or Social Media Listening, is a process of monitoring comments, replies, tags, mentions, and everything that might connect to your brand on social media; this can be leveraged to build user engagement, brand awareness, and customer loyalty – and can even help with market research.

Here’s how to put it into play.

Concentrate on User-Generated Content

Out of all the search results that you are provided with, user-generated content covers around 25% of them. You need to engage with the audience through comments, replies, and tags.

Around 90% of social media users prefer this medium to communicate with their brands and seek answers to their queries. Brands need to respond to both negative and positive feedback given by the users. There are powerful benefits of doing this: quick resolution of images helps your brand image, customer advocates, and customer loyalty; a feedback loop is a great source of knowledge for your brand; and you can have a huge impact on shaping 25% of your online presence.

Participate in Conversations

Online conversations are a big opportunity to define your brand and its voice. Some examples:

Wendy’s has been adopting humor as the key element in their tweets to expand their reach and engage with the audience. This has helped garner the brand press in Buzzfeed, Boredpanda, etc., leading to more traffic and engagement.

Create Content that the Audience Is Looking for

Social listening will allow you to learn what matters to your audience, and you can respond to that by producing relevant content, which increases engagement and helps improve secondary metrics like bounce rate.

Follow the Trends

Keeping track of what’s trending is a good Social Media Listening benefit. This can help shape your online content – specifically social media content, which brands can create and implement quickly to capitalize on a trend before its window closes. A great (and famous) example of this is Oreo’s nearly instant reaction to the 2013 Super Bowl blackout:

Find Influencers to Extend Reach

Many brands are aligning with social media influencers who reflect the brand’s character and values and help amplify the brand’s reputation with the influencer’s audience.

For example, Maybelline has reached a new audience by tapping Manny Gutierrez (@mannymua733) as their first male Social Media Influencer – and gotten the bonus of good press as a result.

Conclusion

Social Media Listening isn’t just for Facebook and Instagram, of course; keep Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, and other platforms on your list of channels to monitor. Be active, be genuine, and listen to what your customers are saying, and your brand will reap rewards down the road.