Are you an ecommerce business struggling to grow? Here’s how to use social listening for ecommerce.
The growth of eCommerce has been exponential over the years.
To put things into perspective, in 2021, the worldwide eCommerce sales amounted to approximately $4.9 trillion. This figure is forecast to grow by 50% and reach $7.4 trillion by 2025!
More products, more eCommerce sites, more consumers… For retailers, the industry’s aggressive growth has led to more competition for consumer attention.
Everyone seems to be selling similar products and doing things in the same manner as the others.
And that’s why, the need of the hour is to employ new strategies to steal consumer attention.
That’s where a social listening strategy comes in!
How to effectively use social listening for your eCommerce business
To offer better customer service
The retail industry is all about experience. Most people choose to buy products from their preferred brands – more because of the way brands make them feel, and less because of the products. Afterall, those products are most probably available on 100 other sites.
And when speaking of experience, you can’t avoid customer service. 96% of customers say customer service is the most important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
Besides, today’s customers want everything to be ‘now’, including customer service. That’s where social listening helps.
When customers mention your brand name or product, or when they have a conversation about you, you can instantly get to know about it through social listening.
This means you can respond to your customers’ comments, complaints, or queries in real time.
Social listening helps bring to your notice even those comments where customers don’t tag you. This way, you can never miss any mention.
But according to a study by Bain & Company, while 80% of companies think that they offer good customer service, only 8% of customers agree they’re satisfied with the customer service of those companies.
That’s a huge gap. As well as a great opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Isn’t it?
A simple strategy such as social listening could change your customer service game.
Another way social listening can help is uncover insights that can help shape your business decisions and action plans.
Social listening can enable you to not just know what the audience is saying about you, but help you dig deeper into information such as why, the context in which you’re mentioned, etc.
Here are the many social listening use cases:
- Spot negative comments and customer grouses, which are critical to address
- Compare people’s perception of your brand against your brand values and mission
- Understand patterns of purchase behavior through social media insights for eCommerce. These can help inform your future marketing decisions
- Understand your customers better, which helps in bettering engagement
- It helps you improve your products/ services based on customer feedback
- Make changes and tweaks to your products, services, content, etc. based on the ground reality of things
The above are just a few ways in which social listening helps gain business related insights. Every business has different goals. And social listening can be employed to achieve those goals.
Here’s a graph that shows how the airline industry benefits by fast responses to customer complaints on Twitter.
Influencer marketing is bigger, or rather, deeper than you imagine it to be. It is no more about big celebrity influencers with a following of millions of people.
Micro influencers (those with a niche, quality followers relevant to specific industries) are equally influential.
And it’s important to find these strong voices – both micro and macro influencers. But finding the right fit influencer is also one of the biggest challenges.
One way to find them is through social listening strategy. Not just that, social listening has many more advantages for influencer marketing. Here are some:
- Social listening can help you find the best fitting influencers for your brand based on targeted keywords and research. The result: improved influencer marketing ROI
- Businesses need to constantly look for new influencers because after a point, your current influencers can get saturated. Social listening can help you discover new voices
- Social listening can help you discover influencers across social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, blogs, news publications, etc.
- Social listening can also contribute in monitoring and tracking your influencers, what they’re saying about you and their performance
A short case study
An example of a social listening use case – how a grocery brand found their strongest influencers, mommies, through social listening.
Iceland, a UK-based grocery store, had big name celebrity ads to promote their brand. However, their celebrity promotions weren’t working out and affecting their approval rate. So they began their search for ‘real’ influencers via social listening. They found real-life mothers to talk about their brand.
The result: an increase in approval rate from 10% to 70% and more than 50% retention rate on Facebook and YouTube.
Let’s face the truth – even though your business may have a huge following on all channels, generating leads is one of the biggest challenges for all businesses.
And that’s why every eCommerce business has to constantly look for leads on various channels.
Well, your social media channels are one of your biggest goldmines if you put in the right kind of effort.
There are 4.65 billion people using social media. These people are also consumers. Many of them probably use products and services that are similar to yours. It’s just that they don’t know about your brand or your products.
You can use your social listening strategy to generate leads:
- Social listening can help you know your buyer persona
- Discover what your competitors’ customers are talking about
- Know what your competitors are offering and why customers like them
- Understand consumers’ preferences, likes, and dislikes
- Discover trends and new market opportunities
- Improve engagement by finding the right people and creating the right marketing campaigns to target them
Everything on the Internet is constantly changing – from online buying trends to tools to social media trends – just about everything!
And to be ahead of the competition, you need to constantly be on the hunt for what’s new. In other words, spot the trend before your competitors do.
For example, brands that adopted TikTok into their marketing campaigns early on were able to reap the real benefits of the platform that now has a billion active users.
But trendspotting is a vast field. You might want to spot trends in social media, or industry-specific trends, or customers’ buying trends, etc.
One way to identify these trends is through social listening. Here’s what you could do:
- Listen to your customers, potential customers, and target audience
- Listen to your competitors and their loyal customers
- To get a headstart, start your trendspotting social listening campaigns early
- Monitor products in your industry that don’t sell so you’ll know if they start trending
- Segment your customers to spot trends within segments
The above methods to spot trends via social listening is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s plenty more you could track to identify trends, depending on your niche and business goals.
To be able to do better than your competitors, you’ll first have to know what exactly they’re doing.
- What product and services are they selling?
- How are they promoting it on social media?
- What kind of campaigns are they running?
- Who are their customers and what are they saying about your competitor?
- What are the prices and perks they’re offering, etc.
To keep a sharp eye on your competitors, use social listening for eCommerce.
- Listen to your competitors’ mentions – positive and negative
- Listen across platforms – social media, websites, blogs, forums, news publications, etc.
- Set up searches for your competitors’ names
- Listen to the sentiment behind your competitors’ mentions
You can use data gathered from the above listening to benchmark your business against theirs. You can gain an overview of their overall strategy and learn from them, too.
Such a competitor watch can also help you understand where you lack and why you may be losing customers to your competitors. And that’s why it’s important to include a social listening strategy in your marketing plan.
User generated content
If you’re a digital marketer, you’d know how difficult it is to get more likes, shares, followers, and mentions, leave aside user-generated content that tag you with brand name mentions. Right?
You also know how valuable user-generated content is for eCommerce brands. When your customers talk about your products, brands, and their good experiences with you, almost half your job is done. That too, for free!
Consider these numbers:
- 92% of customers trust user-generated content such as reviews and recommendations
- 86% of companies say user-generated content helps them build loyalty and trust
- 70% customers want to read reviews from real people before making purchases
The good news – social listening can help you source user-generated content.
- Not all your customers would care to tag you on social media platforms. But social listening can help you discover these posts
- With social listening, you can get alerted about user-generated content instantly, and re-share it or engage with the customers instantly. For example, time-sensitivity is extremely important on social media platforms such as Instagram stories
- You can make your customers’ content go viral if you re-share it at the right time, on the right platform and increase your engagement rate
An example of a social listening use case – Starbucks.
So, are you ‘listening’?
eCommerce is no more just about offering products, services, discounts, and convenience. It is about meeting consumer needs faster than your competitors.
This is why social listening is almost inevitable and a critical need for online businesses.
To keep your brand competitively intelligent, fast, and agile, get started with social listening.