The following is a special guest post from respected author and top CMO influencer Michael Brenner.
Social media is a channel content marketers can use in many ways—for content distribution, creating a community, and lead generation through paid ads.
While it’s not always the first choice for a marketing tactic that proves marketing ROI, it can also provide amazing insights and information to support your content strategy.
When you use social media listening for content creation, you tap into the voice of the customer and the industry’s ecosystem.
So, how can you do this? Let’s look at some specific steps you can take.
- Social media is more than a distribution channel; it’s also a learning channel.
- Using social media listening tools can provide insight into market trends and buyer sentiment.
- Adopt these tips and resources to use social listening to enhance your content strategy.
Content Ideation Is a Primary Challenge for Brands
Content teams leverage lots of tools and tactics to ideate content, from SEO research to competitive analysis to feedback from sales and other stakeholders.
However, many times the fountain of ideas runs dry, or you find that the content you’re creating isn’t resonating.
To develop content that your audience wants, you have to listen. You can gather intelligence from surveys or customer interviews, but that’s only a limited share of the market.
When you want to dive further into audience sentiment, motivation, challenges, and needs, social listening tools can help make the picture broader and clearer.
The importance of social media in the business world continues to increase as buyers look to it as a source of information. Whether companies like it or not, social media’s future is as a valid channel for communication and learning that supports content marketing.
What Is Social Listening?
Social listening is the process of tracking social media platforms for mentions and conversations related to your brand, competitors, industry, or topics. You can monitor these and analyze them for actionable insights.
It requires two steps. First, you set up a way to track the topics and keywords you want to monitor. Second is the analysis part, where you distill points into story arcs and explore ways to inject important insights into your content marketing.
Why Should Your Brand Care About Social Listening?
There are a few reasons it should matter. First, you want to know about the chatter around your brand and if it’s positive or negative.
For example, if your company releases a new product, you’d like to know what people think—the good and the bad.
Second, it helps you define your buyer personas better, using their actual words to inform your analysis of how and why they buy.
Third, it keeps you in the know about what challenges your audience is experiencing and what worries them.
For instance, many changes are going on around privacy and attribution in the digital marketing world. Monitoring conversations about this could help you plan out responses to your audience’s fears.
Uncovering any new pain points that you can solve is a goldmine for content.
Fourth, it’s a means to identify advocates or influencers. You might find that partnerships with these folks can boost your content.
Fifth, keeping an eye on your competitors and the sentiment around them could provide you with new angles and opportunities to exploit their weaknesses and highlight your strengths.
All five of these benefits from social listening can support your content creation, from what you write about to how you write about it.
So, how do you carry out this strategy? What resources can help you develop great blog topics from social listening?
Tips and Resources to Use Social Media Listening for Content Creation
Consider these tips and resources to streamline your social listening strategy.
Monitor relevant hashtags
You can follow hashtags on most of the major platforms. LinkedIn allows you to follow them specifically. On Twitter, you can save the search for one.
You can also use social media management tools like Hootsuite to create streams for specific hashtags. Find out how to do it below.
Just because your company doesn’t have a profile on a social media site doesn’t mean people aren’t talking about you or your industry.
You’ll also want to note that different platforms will vary in the conversations. The chatter on LinkedIn isn’t the same as on Instagram.
Determining where these discussions are occurring is critical to learning from them.
Refine the topics and keywords you’re following regularly
When you first set up your monitoring through a platform, you’ll begin with the basics of your company name, competitors, and pertinent topics, keywords and hashtags.
However, what’s important is fluid in almost any industry. Thus, as shifts occur, whether internally or in the industry at large, adjust your monitoring criteria and feeds.
Cronycle itself is a great social listening tool for content marketing. You can monitor the most trusted, relevant content and conversations among topics, communities, influencers and brands. Cronycle equips content creators to lead the conversation; grow their audiences and influence; and increase brand exposure and engagement.
Using Cronycle to stay ahead of key developments and emerging trends, you’ll begin to develop far more engaging thought leadership content.
Craft content based on what you curate
Content curation involves putting together a series of sources with your point of view. By listening on social media, you can curate pieces that touch on a hot topic, cite them in your work, and add your perspective.
Look at the questions on Quora
Quora is an excellent resource for understanding an audience. It’s a Q&A platform where you’ll find a wealth of questions that could relate to challenges your audience face and the ways in which they solve those challenges.
Search to find questions your audience is asking, and then develop new content to answer them. Learn how to use it below.
Listen, Create, Convert
Social media listening is an excellent strategy for content creation. It offers insights you can’t get anywhere else. Take what you learn and turn it into high-quality content that converts your target users.
A better connection to your buyers is always a great way to drive growth and boost your reputation.
Michael Brenner is the former VP of Digital Marketing at SAP, he’s been a CMO of multiple high-growth startups, and he now runs Marketing Insider Group, a fast-growing content marketing agency that delivers weekly content marketing articles and thought leadership to growing brands. He is the author of two books, The Content Formula and Mean People Suck.