How to use social listening when building a new website

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We tend to share everything about our lives these days on social media. We vent, we celebrate, we whine, and according to our report The Complainers, 78% of people would head to Twitter to complain about a brand. From a personal perspective we rarely give a second thought to some of the things we post.

But from a marketing perspective, the thousands of tweets, Facebook posts and comments that are being created online are an absolute goldmine for marketers - here we have what people are really saying about your sector, your brand and your services.

This information is absolutely vital if you are creating a new website. Before you even get started with planning you need to be thinking about your audience’s needs, pain points and goals. And where better to find those than through what they’re saying on social media, on forums and in the darkest depths of newspaper comments sections?

If you’re developing a website there’s a good chance you’ve already conducted a series of surveys among your customer-facing staff and existing customers so you have an idea about your target demographic, audience pain points and knowledge levels, and you can use this to create a list of keywords to research with social listening tools.

Here are five ways you can use social listening when planning a new website:

1. Find out your audience’s pain points

The sad truth is nobody is going to contact you or buy from you just to do you a favour. You need to figure out what their need is, what their problem is and what they’re struggling with. Where else to find this than on forums and social media where they’re probably moaning about it? Figuring out your audience’s pain points is absolutely key to your entire new website strategy - from your user journeys to your landing pages. Everything on your site should be geared towards helping your potential customer ease their pain.

2. Persona development

One of the first things you should be doing with any strategy is figuring out who your target customers are - their likes, dislikes, pain points, how they like to be contacted, what content they interact with, what their goals are etc. Social listening is ideal for this, as you can really hone in on specific individuals and look for trends and really see what people are really talking about. (Want to learn more about developing personas? Check out this ebook.)

3. What might hold your audience back from contacting you

Now once you know their pain points you need to identify any reasons why they might not get in touch with you to help solve their problem. This could be anything from time and cost to some more minor issue, for example if your purchase process is too time consuming or if they can’t find the right place to contact you. Look for trends among your key demographics to plan how you will integrate this into your strategy.

4. Identify content gaps in your sector

Most of your audience are going to be smart cookies. If they’re asking a question on social media it’s probably because they can’t find the answer themselves online (although there is a chance they might need Let me Google that for you) either on your site of on the sites of your competitors. So if you can create content to plug that gap you are instantly creating content that is (mostly) unique and really serves the needs of your audience.

5. Where you should be spending your money on social ads

In this day and age organic reach is dying and paid ads are becoming more and more necessary on social media. But thanks to social listening you don’t need to take a shot into the dark - you can use your social listening tools to really drill down specific demographics - age, sex, location etc. of your target audience to create a really targeted campaign for maximum effect.

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