In the Entrepreneur’s Toolbox: Social Listening and Social Networking

Keeping a Pulse on Customer Needs With Social Listening

Social listening is recommended for all small business owners. Startups may have a handful of social profiles, pages, and businesses, they follow, but many rarely do so strategically. Business owners can cut through the chatter with social listening tools that zero in on trends and their competitors. Depending on their budget, I recommend paid tools like Mention or free Google Alerts for specific keywords. Social listening helps entrepreneurs manage their online reputations. It can also increase customer retention by allowing small businesses to quickly respond to issues that come up – often reducing refunds in the process. Additionally, social listening enables small businesses to identify product and content gaps. This helps businesses create and introduce new products and content their audience urgently needs. Building Networks with Influencer Marketing Social influencing and influencer marketing are two other tactics that help businesses grow their networks and boost their brands. Of course, this needs to be done carefully without stalking or spamming the influencer you’re targeting. Social influencing can include blogger marketing campaigns, earned media mentions, and development of other strategic partnerships. When my clients reach out down the line to influencers they’ve been actively following, the influencers are often happy to help…if the tone has been appropriately set. Social influencing is useful for networking purposes and keeping a pulse on one’s niche. A few tools that I recommend for social influencing include Social Bluebook, BuzzSumo, and Klout. Small businesses have it hard. They have to keep up with their larger competitors on a fraction of their competition’s budgets. Thankfully, with inexpensive tools and a solid strategy, it can be done.

Author: Janet Kozak

Source: Startup Guide Issue 2

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