Many B2B companies leave social listening out of their marketing strategies because people aren’t talking about their company online. That’s a major mistake. Whether people are talking about your particular brand or not, keeping abreast of the conversations surrounding your industry provides a B2B company with incredibly valuable opportunities to expand your client base, lessen the impact of any criticisms, and foster greater brand loyalty.
Since many B2B companies don’t get a whole lot of mentions online, they see no benefit in social listening. However, listening to the audience you’re trying to attract—the kinds of people looking for the service or product you offer—yields the same benefits as listening in on conversations specifically about you. First, you will be able to compile a new pool of prospects you can contact. And since you’ve been listening to their conversations about what they want out of the kind of product/service you offer, as well as what they’ve found unsatisfactory in competitors’ offerings, you’ll be poised to demonstrate how your company can meet their needs in a much more prospect-specific way than ever before.
If people are talking about your particular business, social listening can become a research and development tool, giving you free insight into what customers like about your offerings, what they don’t like, and what they’d like to see you add. You can then join in the conversation yourself, letting customers know how you’re incorporating their feedback into future offerings. This, of course, will go a long way to keeping current customers loyal. Social listening can also be a tool for crisis management. When you use social listening to keep abreast of any criticism leveled at your company, you’ll be able to quickly and personally address your customers’ concerns and resolve their issues.
Finally, social listening allows you to identify the thought leaders in your industry, the people who are driving the conversations and/or whose opinions hold the most weight. Posting relevantly in the same circles as these leaders will not only help you forge a beneficial relationship with them, but will get your posts seen and shared by a larger pool of people.
The benefits of social listening for B2B companies can’t be ignored. Just because people aren’t always talking about you, that doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t worth getting in on.