See the full article on Future of Commerce.

Organizations all over the world are going through a digital transformation with social listening technology. From B2C, B2B, B2G, or NPO, you need to constantly be thinking in real-time. How do businesses that have been around for many decades, or even centuries, transform to embrace the now up-to-the-minute nature of digital?

In a single minute, there are 350,000 tweets sent, 290,000 Facebook updates, and 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube – of all that content, what is relevant to your industry? Your company? Your employees? Your customers? To harness the power of all this data, you need a platform that can make sense of it all and allow you to pull out insights that lead to action. By incorporating social listening technology, people, and process into your gameplan, the marketing department can become the agent of change within an organization.

There are many social listening platforms on the market – Forrester provided an excellent overview of the enterprise grade systems last year, and Trust Radius makes it easy to compare two or three tools side by side with ratings, reviews, pricing and more. Every business has different needs, so it’s critical you find a partner who can help you assess, select, set up, and train your staff on the use of these tools. Otherwise, if your staff isn’t using the tool, or it’s not properly integrated into your processes, your sizable SaaS investment won’t see much of a return over the course of your license.

Once you’ve got the right social listening solution in place, your team is fully trained on its features and functionality, and you’ve mapped your desired outcomes to clear roles and processes, then you can start to reap the rewards of your social listening transformation. What are some of those rewards?

1. Marketing Benefits

Marketing benefits by pulling insights from relevant social conversation that lead to changes and optimizations in communication strategy, content strategy, and brand building. Marketing is better equipped to build personas, segment advocate networks, build compelling influencer campaigns, create stronger media relations, and compile real-time competitive intelligence and benchmarks.

2. Customer Service Benefits

Customer challenges are brought to the forefront, customer feedback loops are tighter, and customer complaints are resolved faster. Lost customers are identified and rescued before they cut ties with your company, and building up new customer relationships is made more efficient. Your self-help knowledge-base can become more discoverable if your social customer service representatives are at-the-ready with deep links to send to customers in need, surfaced by your listening tool. And all of this can lead to reduced stress on expensive resources, like your call center and long asynchronous email threads.

3. Commerce & Sales Benefits

Once the sales team starts getting insights that your marketing team has culled through social listening efforts, then the hard ROI of social listening starts to kick in. For your sales reps, early funnel stage triggers are more easily identified, buyer mapping becomes more tangible, prospecting time is more efficient and more MQLs are coming to sales from marketing. Insights derived from social listening can also make the lead nurturing process more effective, and when a potential customer is about to switch from a competitor, your sales team can be the first to know.

Has your firm already undergone a digital transformation through social listening? What worked, and what were the biggest challenges? Share with us in the comments.

Also: 3 (More) Ways To Leverage Social Listening


Jed SingerJed Singer is the President and Lead Strategist of Socialight Media Marketing. He has been keeping his clients at the forefront of social marketing since 2006. He has worked with the world’s largest brands and organizations, including P&G, MasterCard, ESPN, and Humana. His team crafts award winning campaigns and designs strategies for community building, customer engagement, and lead generation that impact the bottom line.