6 Uses of Social Listening for Agencies
Faced with an increasingly competitive market, the scope of responsibilities of communication agencies has evolved greatly. From the analysis of the competition to the measure of the return on investment while passing by the relations press and influencers, while ensuring that the customers are satisfied, your agency is responsible for everything!
Such a workload implies a millimeter use of his time. Fortunately, there are tools to save time and efficiency: social listening tools.
Social listening means the monitoring and analysis of social media publications (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, but also forums or in consumer opinion sites) on a specific topic. This activity meets several objectives: the monitoring of the e-reputation of a brand, the competitive analysis, the trend watch or the search for consumer insights.
But how can these tools fit into the work process of an agency? This is what we will see in this article!
Why use Social Listening in an agency?
To save precious time
When working in an agency, time is a scarce resource. You can not spend hours browsing the web and write down each relevant message for the needs of only one of your customers. Especially since new messages are constantly being published!
Social listening tools automatically scan the press and social media for information about your customers, competitors and industry in just a few clicks.
Tasks like reporting or search for opportunities, which used to take hours, are now done in seconds.
To stay informed during your travels
Working in an agency also means being regularly on the move. You must attend many meetings, appointments and events. Difficult to keep up to date with the latest important information about your customers when traveling.
Some social listening tools allow you to receive alerts wherever you are, thanks to a mobile application and an intelligent notification system. If some alerts require an immediate reaction, you are free to transfer them to your available colleagues!
Because your competitors are already doing it
As Brigitte Majewski, VP and Research Director for the Forrester research firm, pointed out to Adage :
“Too many agencies do not rely on data because they are focused on creation. But this model will not work anymore. In the future, marrying creativity and data will be the key to success for agencies. “
Staying competitive is crucial for agencies. These are facing a lot of changes right now. Markets, technologies and business philosophies are constantly changing, which can sometimes make it difficult for an agency to work.
To stay one step ahead of your competitors in this industry, you need to be flexible and agile at the same time.
More and more agencies are now using social listening, both for their customers and for their own brand. These solutions allow them to expand their areas of intervention, including services such as influencer research or crisis prevention for example.
Because if you do not monitor the mentions of your customers – someone else will.
6 Social Listening apps for agencies
1. Collaborate with new clients
The social listening can help you in the development of pitches to present to your future potential customers.
Imagine that you participate in a tender for a company.
While other agencies will base their argument on how they think the target audience behaves or on the size of that audience, you will be able to use social listening to prove your speech.
The social listening will help you in the blink of an eye to analyze the existing brand that appeals to you. How many people are talking about it? For what reasons? How do their competitors act? Who are the influencers in this sector?
If you have all this information already ready when presenting your pitch, you will easily outperform your competitors. For example, you can tell them precisely that 2,000 people were exposed to their brand last week, while their competitors hit 10 times more.
It’s up to you to present a plan of action that will reverse the trend!
2. Track the reputation of your customers and anticipate their crises
On social media, a message can become viral in hours, even minutes. It is crucial for agencies to analyze the reputation of their customers and constantly monitor their endorsements and the sentiment of those endorsements.
In the words of Warren Buffett, it takes 20 years to build a reputation and only 5 minutes to destroy it.
For agencies, the question is not “if” a customer will experience a crisis, but “when”.
Help your customers spot a negative event before it escalates into a crisis. Minimize action time by activating alerts when a customer encounters unusual volume, a negative sentiment that is higher than the norm, or when influencers relay the news.
With about 30% of corporate crises becoming international in one hour , it is very important to stay one step ahead of the problem.
3. Detect flagship trends
For an agency, staying abreast of the latest trends is crucial.
To deliver truly impactful campaigns to your customers , you need to know their market and their target by heart, and anticipate future trends.
What are the exciting innovations of the moment? Which topics are most mentioned by their target? Who are the people who really influence their sector?
Trends reflect the interests and intentions of the public. Mastering these trends means knowing what drives and makes your clients’ target audience speak. A social listening tool helps you discover the trends that inspire great campaigns.
4. Offer a competitive intelligence to your customers
Analyze your customers’ main competitors , their news and their campaigns will help you to develop your expertise and help your client to position himself on his sector.
You can build competitive relationships to highlight the performance of the social accounts of their competitors, the various campaigns put in place, influencers activated.
For example, a competitive social media report can be done in three stages:
- Analysis of the strategy and the positioning of the competitors : study of the published formats, the themes addressed, the tone employed, their interactions with their audience.
- Analysis of their performance social networks : frequency of publication, commitment obtained, growth of their community, etc.
- Analysis of their mentions : volume and share of voice mentions, trends and key topics, feeling, influencers engaged.
You can also track their customers’ feedback to get insights on their products, their points of differentiation and possible improvements for your customers.
5. Track the real-time impact of an event
You organize trade shows or events for your customers? Social listening helps you to follow in real time the reactions of the participants.
Influencers participate and speak up? Easily spot them among the message flow and make sure they get the most out of this event.
Follow the participants’ live reactions to identify the key topics, both positive and negative , that they talk about most, and react accordingly, to ensure the impact of your event .
6. Prove and show the ROI of your campaigns
Proving the return on investment of its campaigns is one of the major challenges for communication professionals.
If for a long time, the agencies could stick to the number of mentions generated and the equivalence advertising, this is not enough today for their customers.
To prove the value of your work, it is recommended to create post-campaign reports, showing the results achieved and the objectives achieved.
A good campaign report should contain concrete results, your observations that justify these results, and your recommendations for the future.
As part of a post-campaign social media report, your report might look like this:
- Summary of results (or executive summary)
- Owned Media : Analyzes related to the accounts of the brand. For example, the number of posts published, their impressions, the evolution of the audience and the engagement.
- Earned Media : This part analyzes the mentions and messages generated by Internet users, related to the brand. It contains the volume of mentions, their feelings, trends and key hashtags, audience and committed influencers or top publications.
- Competitive Benchmark : How did your customers’ competitors perform over the same period?
- Recommendations : your action plan to improve your performance over the next period and your strategic recommendations for your client according to the insights observed during your reporting.
Social listening tools automate the creation of reports, which you can customize according to your agency and your client. You just have to add your own comments!
Thus, thanks to social media, agencies as advertisers have access to an incredible amount of information and insights about their sector, made easily accessible via social listening tools.
For an agency, the goal is to be able to count on both its creative talents and a good knowledge of the data. While brands are already crowded with astronomical amounts of data, your agency can differentiate itself by helping them extract truly critical information and develop a solid communication strategy.