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How can social media listening increase customer advocacy?

How can social media listening increase customer advocacy?

The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.” - Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot. This statement encapsulates the value of customer advocacy to a brand. Lasting relationships with loyal customers who will advocate for your brand’s products will help your brand grow the same way advertisements will, minus the cost. To do this, it is important to first understand your consumers inside-out, what matters to them, trends they care about right now, their needs, wants and concerns. Fortunately today, there is an abundance of data on social media that brands can leverage when creating a consumer-centric strategy. With social media listening, brands can increase customer advocacy by creating the perfect customer journey that is built on the latest consumer insights obtained from various online sources.

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What is social media listening and why is it so important?

Social media listening is about identifying, monitoring and analyzing consumer conversations across social channels - these include consumer feedback, brand mentions, competitor mentions, and industry trends, amongst others. With social listening, you are able to identify emerging trends, avoid looming crises, and understand consumer sentiment towards your brand as well as competitors.

With a robust social media listening strategy in place, your brand will be in an optimal position to drive customer advocacy by creating products and a customer journey that earn the favor of your customers.

Becoming a loved brand

In Talkwalker's latest Brand Love 2022 report, we share that loved brands create 3 times more word-of-mouth than those that don't. These brands are also able to achieve a price premium and grow 3 times faster than the industry average. And this is no surprise, because when consumers love your brand, they will not only stay loyal to the brand, but also promote it to their peers.

Due to the importance of brand love in driving growth and customer advocacy, we've come up with metrics to measure and benchmark brand love with social media listening.

  • Passion score - measuring extreme passion, either positive or negative, towards a brand
  • CSAT score - measuring the level of satisfaction among the consumer base across reviews and identified customers
  • Trust score - measuring the level of trust consumers have for the brand

With Talkwalker's Brand Love Benchmarking Solution, we measure global conversations across social, blogs, forums and online news to deliver real-time, measurable results. These conversations are then scored by our AI-powered Brand Love Index designed around the 3 benchmarking pillars above - to deliver tangible metrics on customer preferences towards your brand.

Get the full Brand Love 2022 report

Other than driving brand love, how exactly do you use social media listening to increase customer advocacy?

Create an optimal customer journey

Social media listening drives customer advocacy by allowing brands to understand consumers’ needs, wants, issues - and provide them with service that meets their needs. By keeping a pulse on what your consumers are saying about your brand on review sites, forums, audio, images, video and other social media comments, you can identify existing gaps in the customer journey that need to be addressed, and take swift action to close these gaps. You will also be able to identify aspects of the customer journey that are keeping customers happy, and ensure to keep up with it.

Social media listening also helps to improve customer service by allowing brands to respond directly to consumers on social channels. By tapping into the sentiment analysis feature of social media listening, you can identify positive and negative feedback quickly, and respond directly to this feedback in a timely manner. Brands that devote time and effort to build an authentic communication channel with consumers will gain an army of brand advocates that feel valued, and will be happy to act as ambassadors of the brand.

The chart below shows how consumer sentiment differs across various brand touchpoints - social media, online reviews, customer support as well as customer surveys. This allows you to plan and prioritize your responses to consumers across the various channels accordingly.

Sentiment split as a part of social media listening to increase customer advocacy

Split of consumer sentiment across different brand touchpoints

Ensure a positive brand reputation

In order for customers to have the confidence to advocate for your brand, it is vital to first ensure that the sentiment surrounding the brand is positive. It is important to first be a brand that customers want to be associated with and would want to promote to their own peers and networks. With the millions of consumer conversations happening daily across social media, brands cannot afford to risk missing out on important brand mentions that could indicate consumers’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the brand, which could potentially grow into a full fledged PR crisis.

One reason which makes Starbucks a favorite brand among consumers is how it regularly replies to customers’ feedback on social media, as seen in the example below. This ensures that any negative customer experiences are addressed swiftly before they develop into a bigger issue.

Starbucks responds to customer Twitter

Starbucks regularly replies to its customers on social, even when the brand isn’t being explicitly tagged in the mention.

Keeping track of brand mentions on social media is not something that should be done manually - especially not with the vast volumes of brand mentions being generated daily. With a social media listening tool, you will be able to identify potential crises before they even happen, and take the necessary action to mitigate the issue before it worsens. With a thorough system of crisis identification, monitoring and management, brands will be in a good position to maintain a positive brand image, hence encouraging loyalty and advocacy amongst customers.

Drive advocacy with social listening today

Understand your audience and plan your content strategy accordingly

Another way in which social media listening helps to drive customer advocacy is by allowing brands to have a deeper understanding of their audience and craft the right brand message for them. To engage customers who will end up becoming your brand advocates, it is necessary to first identify the right audience - are you speaking to the right people? Is your brand message relevant for your audience? Is your content strategy in-tune with what your audience cares about? To encourage loyalty and advocacy amongst your audience, it is important to speak to your audience with content that matters to them.

With social media listening, brands can obtain valuable insights about their audience - their behavior, geographical information, demographics, and more. And craft content that is relevant to them with an authentic tone of voice.

Take Glossier for example. The beauty brand is known for its supportive customer base due to various reasons. One of them is the brand’s content strategy that is built on a solid understanding of their audience. Glossier makes user-generated content an important part of their content strategy, which in turn generates micro-influencers who promote the brand online. Because the brand understands the value of community amongst consumers today, Glossier regularly shares user-generated content promoting its products, as seen in their ”Top 5” Instagram Story Highlight. Other than encouraging more customers to share their usage of Glossier products, this initiative also helps to connect Glossier fans with one another.

Glossier Top 5 Instagram features

Glossier’s Top 5 user-generated content highlights on Instagram

Benchmark against your competitors

On top of monitoring what consumers are saying about your brand, social media listening allows you to understand what people are saying about your competitors - which of their campaigns do people love, what are the consumer gaps they are facing, and where are the opportunities for you to jump in on to make your brand the preferred choice of consumers? By tapping into social listening for competitive benchmarking, you can take the required action to rise above the competition and become a brand that consumers love and would want to advocate for.

With a social media listening tool like Talkwalker, you can regularly measure your share of voice, which is a measure of your brand’s market share versus competitors, based on consumer conversations generated around the brand. By analyzing share of voice, brands are able to identify specific channels and compare consumer mentions of their brand versus their competitors on each channel, as seen in the example below of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Engagement for Coca-cola vs Pepsi across social channels

Talkwalker simulated report comparing likes for Coca-cola versus Pepsi across various social channels

Identify loyal customers and influencers

By tracking and analyzing discussions about a brand, you are able to identify loyal customers and influencers who may already be advocating for the brand. You can then create a program to strengthen the relationship with this group of customers and encourage them to continue sharing their positive experiences with the brand. Brands can also identify potential influencers, reach out to them, and find ways to incentivise them to advocate the brand’s products and services to their respective networks.

A brand that has successfully done this is Shopee. The e-commerce leader leverages Talkwalker social listening dashboards to monitor organic conversations around the brand, and identify the positive experiences users had with Shopee. This allowed them to identify the top Shopee fans and surprise them with a variety of rewards - from Shopee vouchers to gifts delivered right to them.

How to conduct social media listening to increase customer advocacy?

With a better understanding of the various ways brands can leverage social media listening to increase customer advocacy, let’s take a look at how to conduct social media listening.

  1. Identify the social media platforms that your target audience are active on - these would usually include the major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as other platforms that are relevant to the business.
  2. Identify the specific keywords, phrases, hashtags and topics to track in order to capture the consumer conversations that are relevant to the brand.
  3. Use a social media listening tool to track and analyze the social media conversations happening in real time. With a tool like Talkwalker, you can leverage features like image recognition, speech analytics and visual analytics to get a more complete picture of what consumers are saying about your brand.
  4. Analyze the insights to identify loyal customers, existing and potential influencers, competitor performance, potential issues faced by customers that need to be addressed, as well as opportunities to further strengthen the customer relationship and encourage advocacy.

How can social media listening increase customer advocacy?

In order to become a brand that your customers would want to shout about, it is essential to first show that you understand them inside-out. Only then would you be able to meet their needs, develop a strong consumer-brand relationship, and become a preferred brand versus your competitors. With social media listening, the process of understanding your consumers becomes more efficient and accurate, allowing you to dedicate resources to create an insights-driven journey that your customers love.

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