Almost every business, large or small, needs to listen to what their customers and prospects are saying about their products, services, and overall brand.
This helps them understand what they should be doing better and how they can take action to improve. One of the easiest ways to listen to customer voices is through social media platforms.
Given its immense popularity, widespread usage, and ability to get direct feedback from customers, there is no better place to understand customer sentiment than social media.
But businesses need a reliable and effective tool to ‘listen in’ on conversations happening on various social media platforms. This is where the right social listening tool comes into play.
However, as with any technology, there are so many options available on the market for social listening tools, including free and paid versions. Thus, it’s not easy to decide which tool is best for our business.
Read more to understand some key differences between free and paid social listening tools.
Luckily, there are some key features and factors to consider when selecting a social listening tool. Here’s what we need to look for when selecting a social listening tool.
In our opinion, keyword tracking is the most important feature to look for in a social listening tool. Keywords are terms related to a brand, product, or service. For example, suppose our company’s name is John Doe Unknown.
The social listening tool that we select must be able to show all our brand mentions on a social media platform simply by entering the keyword “JohnDoeUnknown” and the date range.
In addition to this, the social listening tool must be able to track hashtags, phrases, and more. This helps us monitor what trends our customers are talking about and how the brand can get involved in those conversations.
For example, suppose our customers are talking about how they would like to receive discounts from our company.
Thus, the social listening tool will allow us to track this conversation so that we can act on it and offer our customers discounts, thereby making them happy.
Social media platform support
There are multiple social media platforms, with billions (or even millions at least) of users on each, that can be used to listen to customer conversations. Thus, it’s important to look for a social listening tool that supports all the major social media platforms.
Some social media platforms that the social listening tool should support are:
- LinkedIn, and
It can be an added advantage if the social listening tool can support custom websites. Support for custom websites is essential, as we never know when we will need to monitor conversations on a custom website.
Thus, our social listening tool should be able to do that easily and effectively.
Analytics and reporting
Even the most powerful social listening tool is of no use if it’s not able to provide us with analytics and detailed reports. Analytics and reports help us understand customer sentiment and take action accordingly.
For example, with analytics and reports, the social listening tool should be able to show us the trends that our customers have been talking about, the topics they are discussing, and the kind of interactions they are having with our brand.
This helps us understand what we need to do in order to improve customer sentiment and take action accordingly.
The social listening tool should also be able to produce comprehensive reports with all the collected data.
These reports should include insights and recommendations that can help us understand customer sentiment better and make decisions accordingly.
Finally, the reports should be presented in a detailed and easy-to-understand format.
They should consist of graphs, charts, and other visual elements to make the data more understandable rather than just presenting raw numbers.
In addition to getting an idea of what customers are saying about our brand, it is also important to know what they are saying about our competitors.
Competitor analysis is essential for any business, and the social listening tool that we select should be able to provide us with this information.
The social listening tool should be able to provide us with detailed reports about our competitors’ conversations. It should provide us with insights into how customers perceive our competitors and what they think of their products and services.
This information can help us understand what our competitors are doing right and take action accordingly.
For example, suppose our competitor launches a new product and our customers are talking positively about it. We can use this information to understand what features the product has and use it as inspiration for our products.
Similarly, if the customers are talking negatively about our competitors’ products, we can use this information to create a better product or service.
AI capabilities For sentiment analysis
Sentiment analysis is one of the most important tasks in social listening. It helps us to understand whether our customers are talking positively or negatively about our brand and also helps us identify the sentiment of each conversation.
Today, many social listening tools are equipped with AI capabilities for sentiment analysis. This makes it easier for us to gain valuable insights from customer conversations and make decisions accordingly.
AI-powered sentiment analysis tools can analyze customer conversations accurately, quickly, and without any manual input. This helps us save a lot of time and effort when analyzing customer sentiment. Plus, the AI capabilities also allow us to analyze customer conversations in real-time and take action accordingly.
Interactive and intuitive dashboard
A social listening tool should also have an interactive and intuitive dashboard. This is important because it helps us monitor customer conversations in real-time, thereby enabling us to act quickly and efficiently.
The dashboard should also be customizable so that we can change the layout of the dashboard according to our preferences. Additionally, it should have filters so that we can analyze customer conversations based on specific criteria such as location, language, and date. This helps us quickly access the information that we need and make decisions accordingly.
Finally, the dashboard should be able to display insights in a visually-appealing format. It should include charts and graphs to help us quickly understand the data and take action accordingly.
Customer service and support
Customer support is an important factor to consider when selecting a social listening tool.
We want the tool to be easy-to-use and provide the best features possible, but what if something goes wrong or we encounter a problem? What if we need help?
Thus, it’s important to select a social listening tool that offers excellent customer service and support – preferably 24 hours a day.
In addition, customer service should be prompt and knowledgeable. They should be able to answer any questions (even the most difficult ones) we have and provide us with the best solutions possible.
We should also check the channels through which customer support is offered. It should include email, phone, chat, WhatsApp, and other options that are convenient for us.
This ensures that we can get help when and how we need it. This, in turn, ensures that our issues are resolved in the shortest possible time.
Every business needs a different set of features from a social listening tool, and customization capabilities are necessary to meet that need.
The tool should be able to provide us with a wide range of customization options that enable us to customize the tool according to our specific needs. This helps us get exactly what we need from the tool so that we can make the most of it.
For example, if we need to use the social listening tool to look for certain keywords or phrases, we should be able to customize it accordingly. Similarly, if we need the tool to be integrated with other tools that we are using, it should be able to do so.
Integration with current tools
Every business already has a set of tools and software that they use to manage and run their daily operations. The social listening tool should be able to integrate with these systems seamlessly.
This helps to bring all of our systems together so that we can manage them from one unified place. It also helps us save time and effort, as we don’t have to manually enter the data from one system into another.
It also ensures that all of our systems are working together in unison so that we can get the most out of our social listening tool.
Some of the common tools that the social listening tool should integrate with include CRM systems, email marketing tools, web analytics platforms, and more.
Finally, an important consideration when selecting a social listening tool is the price. It should be cost-effective and not too expensive for our budget.
We should compare different tools on the market and select one that best meets our needs at a reasonable price.
The tool should provide us with all of the features that we need at the most competitive price. We should also ensure that there are no hidden charges or fees so that we don’t end up spending more money than we had planned.
Overall, selecting the right social listening tool requires us to consider many factors.
Taking into account the factors mentioned above will help us make the most informed decision and get the best value for our money.
We should also make sure to read reviews from other users of the tool before making a purchase so that we can be sure of our decision. This will help us make the most of our social listening tools and take action accordingly.
Konnect Insights offers a robust and versatile social listening tool that has all of the features mentioned above.
In addition, our tool is highly affordable and easy to use. To learn more about our social listening tool, contact us today and get the help you need. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.