With the undeniable rise of social media and its consumption, B2B companies often question the added value of social media as part of the marketing strategy. Despite having been a contested topic and decision for marketers to make, social media is now a significant part of marketing strategies, even for B2B businesses. According to the London Research and ContentCal Marketing Maturity Report, it has been identified that 98% of B2B respondents see social media as their definition of what content marketing is, while a Content Marketing Institute report showed that 46% of B2B content marketers are planning on investing more into their social media efforts.
In engaging in social media efforts, something called “social listening” is an important investment for all marketers. Partaking in social listening efforts via social media helps shape B2B brand identity and brand perception in the same ways it does for other kinds of businesses.
What Is Social Listening?
Before we continue, we need to define what “social listening” is.
Social listening, like social media, was designed to help people form and maintain business-to-consumer interactions. B2B marketers have begun to see the value of social listening and have begun to implement it into their marketing plan in recent years. And with social media usage up 44% this year and with 90% of consumers stating they are more likely to buy from a business that they follow on social media, social listening can be the differentiator for your brand.
Essentially, social listening is social media monitoring. It consists of identifying how your brand or product or any other topic or keyword of value to you is being mentioned and spoken about on social media. It is a method of audience behaviour research that involves monitoring everything from forums to websites, to social media channels in search for topics, brands, competitors, products, themes, or any similar query. From that data, you then need to analyze conversations related to your brand and discover opportunities to engage with the content by responding to specific messages, posts. Nearly two-thirds of marketers agree that social listening has increased in value in the last year.
If implemented correctly, you can use the right tactics and queries to identify bigger social engagement opportunities, like industry influencers and overall sentiment analysis.
Is Social Listening Important for B2B Marketing?
Social media marketing is becoming increasingly vital for B2B sales success. With social distancing measures in place and face-to-face encounters more and more limited, the basis for concluding B2B sales are frequently done digitally, with social media outlets at the forefront. Thanks to social listening, B2B businesses may now respond to their customers’ demands and enquiries as they arise, even if they are out of reach from their corporate website or landing page.
Below are some reasons why investing time and energy into social listening can boost your B2B business.
Connect with your audience
Social listening encourages marketers to use their social media platforms to connect with its audience. It creates a dialogue between the business and the audience, instead of just using it for monologuing purposes. Additionally, it has given businesses another way to showcase, illustrate, and highlight their products and services to target consumers.
Identify and research emerging trends and important topics
Social listening is crucial, especially today. The significant and abrupt changes caused by the pandemic has resulted in new trends, shifted expectations, and an uncertain future for many firms. The B2B segment is in the process of adjusting to a ‘new normal’, and simultaneously, buyers are turning to the digital landscape for both consuming and producing business-related content. In our turbulent world, businesses that are willing to listen and adapt are finding methods to preserve and even grow their revenues.
Reduce the possibility of sounding like your competitors
By engaging in competitor research, you are not only keeping an eye on the industry and its emerging trends, but this can also help you differentiate your business in the field. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and then make a strategic content marketing plan to meet the needs of your target audience that your competitor is missing. Take a step further and evaluate your competitor’s status online to ensure you are avoiding their mistakes!
Connect with Potential Clients and perform industry research
Nowadays it’s more and more common for potential clients and customers to begin their research online to find products and services. In doing so, it’s also more likely that potential customers will search for opinions on companies, products, and services. These leads can include them expressing interest in your industry, products or services like yours, or even asking questions or sharing important feedback about you or your competitors.
Finding and monitoring these topics, leads, and conversations online can help your sales team disclose specific desires and pain points that need to be addressed in your marketing. Doing this research can also point you in the direction of new clients who are expressing interest in your products or services online.
Evaluation of the Impact of Public Relations
You want to be able to track the results of your PR plan, whether you’re dealing with a crisis or promoting a new brand identity. There’s no longer a need to invest in expensive focus groups and industry forums to tell you how your brand is perceived and performing. Instead, you may listen to people on social media and learn a lot more quickly.
Precise Sentiment Analysis
In broad analytical strokes, social media monitoring can tell you how many mentions you’re getting, whether you’ve gained more followers this month than last month, and other key statistics. Although it can’t directly tell you how customers feel about your new product, your most recent whitepaper, or your employee relations through statistics, this is where social listening comes in. Listening to how consumers discuss your company and products online can answer important questions for your business regarding your performance and your products.
Identifying Influential People
These days, the currency of social media power may change hands swiftly. Keeping up with only a few key influencers in your industry will put you behind the curve. You can identify powerful voices at the beginnings of their ascension if you listen carefully. This also puts you in a great position to take advantage of the surge of B2B digital influencer marketing.
Tracking Employee Satisfaction and Emotion
Social listening can also be a good approach to taking a glimpse into your employees’ moods and morale. This can have an impact on how your prospects see you. Many workers are finding it difficult to work from home now, especially with COVID-19 measures in place. You might be able to get an early warning via social listening before problems get greater and show up at HR’s door. Furthermore, for successful talent acquisition and retention, keeping a positive employer brand online is crucial.
Are you ready to invest in B2B Social Listening?
Social listening is a powerful tool that is mastered by B2C that B2B is starting to embrace slowly. With the role of social media growing in B2B in the last few years, implementing social listening for B2B brands can be a key differentiator for your business. It can be time consuming, so ensure you go about it strategically and track your results and performance.
Are you ready to invest in your social media strategy? We would be happy to support you on your journey. Reach out to us at Pace Creative to see how we can help you plan and execute your content marketing strategy that your business needs to build your audience and following on social media!