Episode 6: What is Social Listening Part 1
In this episode, the Social Sales Link Team talked about “Social Listening and why is it important?” This two-part series will teach you how to listen using your eyes using different platforms.
Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! And so today we’re gonna talk about “Social Listening”.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! as we share LinkedIn and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Bill McCormick, Brynneen Tillman, and me, Bob Woods every week, Making Sales Social Live!
What does that mean? Brynne, what is social listening mean to you?
Brynne Tillman 0:33
Yeah, what a great question. And I think social listening can mean a lot of different things. But when it comes to social selling, and using social listening as a sales tool, I think it’s about understanding what is meaningful to your targeted audience. Often we go out and share content that we want to share. And we need to share content that they want to consume. But how would we know what that is, without social listening? So I think we’re going to talk about a couple of ways to do that today. And then we’ll continue that in a future episode. But, I think before we get into tips, we have to understand the importance of social listening.
Bob Woods 1:20
Yeah, without a doubt. Whenever I think about social listening, I always go back to my times when I was in broadcast news, and doing, producing news, shows, and things like that. We didn’t have the tools as a television station that everyone individually has now. And that’s so important, because we used to pay thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on research. So we can figure out, what it is our audience needs to do. Now, we just fire up Google, look at their website, check their social platforms, do all of that stuff. And you know, the only thing we’re out is time, we’re certainly not out of money. That’s, that’s for sure. Like we were so I mean, it’s amazing the wealth of information that we have now that we can integrate into our social selling efforts via social listening.
Bill McCormick 2:16
I agree. And you keyed in on it, Bob, you know, this whole idea of Google a couple of weeks back, my nine now nine year old granddaughter, has just turned nine just the other day, she went over and she asked me a question about something I said, gee! I don’t know, if I don’t know the answer, she said get your phone, Google it. At nine, she knew that. And I did some research and in 1900, human knowledge doubled about every 100 years, right? By the end of 1945, it doubled every 25 years. Do you know how long it takes for information to double now? I’d say a minute, but that’s probably not. It’s actually 13 months, on average. But they say very soon because of the Internet, it’s going to be doubling every 12 hours. And so all of that to say to reiterate what Bob said, so much information is right at our fingertips. And so when we socially listen, and what I like to say is you listen, we listen with our eyes, because we have to read it, we have to consume it. And but if you’re like me, you read out loud. So that’s what my wife says she knows when I’m reading something really seriously because my mouth is moving. And it’s so important to figure out what is it that our ideal clients want to hear, not what we want to say that Brynne started saying that I liken it to the golden rule versus the Platinum rule. The Golden Rule is Do unto others as you want done unto you. So you give them content that you think they’ve like, the Platinum rule goes one step further and do unto them as they want to be done on to you. In other words, give them the content that they want to create. And the only way that we can do that is by socially listen. So the first one we have up is Google, go figure, Google their company name. And so who wants to talk about this a little bit?
Brynne Tillman 4:13
Yeah, I’m happy to do that. And you know, it’s funny when whether this is social listening to start a conversation, or social listening we’ve got a scheduled conversation and we want to find information to build rapport, or we just want to learn about a company to find out if in fact, it is a company we’d like to work with. And so when we Google the company name, you’re going to get all kinds of results. I typically click on the news tab, and a lot of people don’t do this, right? they’ll just go, first page, second page of Google. But if you click on the news tab, you’ll see press releases, if they won an award, things that are in the news, right? and so often, that is content. That’s really valuable. You get to see, have there been any mergers or acquisitions? Sometimes even they run press releases on new hires, you know, there’s a you can see they were honored at a Chamber of Commerce event, there is lots of content around a company in the news. So that is one place googling the company name in the news. Another one is Google Alerts. I know Bob spends a lot of time on Google Alerts. So I’m going to pass that to him.
Bob Woods 5:32
Yeah, I’ll definitely take that one because it kind of goes back into the news thing that I was talking about before, it’s one of the many reasons why I’m so glad I had that experience, because believe it or not, a lot of it applies right now. But, what Brynne was talking about is, is you’re pulling information from Google to find this stuff out. Google Alerts flips that on its head and pushes information out to you. So what you can do is, come up with keywords and key phrases, and set them up as separate alerts so that whenever a company or person is mentioned in the news, you get that information like that. Basically, it’s better than a newscast because it could come depending on your settings, it could come to you at any time. And let’s say for example, you’re reaching out to an executive at a company, and you’re wondering, what the heck am I going to talk about, and then this alert pops up that they’ve been honored by an industry organization or something like that, that is a perfect mention for you to get in front of them. And you know, they may know about it, they may not know about it, a lot of companies, internal communications aren’t that great, let’s be honest. So you could be the person telling them about something that happened at their company. So and that’s adding value, I mean, if that ain’t adding value, I don’t know what is. So that’s just one of the many things that you can get from Google Alerts.
Brynne Tillman 7:04
Yeah, just set up Google Alerts, just go to google.com slash alerts. Yep! And you can set up, I recommend putting all of the companies that you’re going after, there, inside of Google Alerts, put your own company name, and your name, Absolutely! And if there are specific executives that you’re looking to get in front of, add them as well.
Bill McCormick 7:27
Before we move on, because what we’re going to talk about now are places that the company puts information. So Google, googling company name, and looking at new sources, and googling alerts is going to send you to other sites. It might send you to the company site, but it’s gonna send you to other news sources. So it’s so important that you read through those articles, you know, just don’t copy and paste an article and send it to someone thinking this is great. And it’s you know, about this terrible thing that happened to the company, and they laid off 150 people. Congratulations! So, have somewhere with all you know, socially listen with your eyes, read the article,it’s always great to pull a quote out, really love what your CEO said about that. So that you’re making it even more personal. So now, we’re going to kind of switch gears a little bit and, look at what the company is saying about themselves. So one of the places you can go is the company website. And there’s a number of different places you can make some discovery here about the company, you can go to the about section, where you can usually see their mission statement, their value statement, their vision, where are they going, you can find leadership. Sometimes in the about section, we’ll have our corporate leadership and you can find names and sometimes there’s that little “In” button and you can click and it takes you right to their LinkedIn profile. But then also they have press releases, you’re typically not going to find bad news on a company’s websites’ press releases, this is the good stuff that they want you to find. And so the company website can be full of great information for you. Also blogs, what are they writing about? Because what they’re writing about their writing for their clients. And so that’s the type of information that you want to find
Bob Woods 9:18
I was gonna say, believe it or not, the careers section – is also a great place, because if they’re staffing up an area, or if they have a location that’s not listed in their locations, they have separate locations or whatever throughout the country. But then you go into their careers, and you see a brand new city, and they’re staffing up for a location that they haven’t announced yet, So careers, along with everything else that Bill just sai, you don’t tend to think of careers as much, but that could be a treasure trove of information for you!
Bill McCormick 9:48
Never considered that at all. So great! So I’ve learned something today I’ve got to make a note about that. And then the other thing is their social platform. So we talked about LinkedIn and in our next episode, we’ll cover some areas on LinkedIn to socially listen. But let’s talk about some other social platforms. Are there other social platforms?
There are, believe it or not
Are there really? What are they called?
Brynne Tillman 10:13
So Twitter is a big one, right? Very fast, real time information is going out on Twitter. And so that’s a great place to see what’s happening inside of the organization. One of the things that I did a long time ago, and I don’t do enough of this, but it’s also social listening is I was going to be speaking with an influencer, it was not a sales call. But it was definitely someone that I wanted to gain rapport with. And I took a look at his Instagram, and I actually saw that he had gone on a Royal Caribbean cruise. And that’s the cruise line we go on. So something that simple, I was able to start and build a rapport. We’ve been on the same ship a couple of times, like we were able to engage on a social level, before we got into business, which builds rapport. So not just the company that we’re researching, but the individuals that we’re going to be speaking with. Now, some people say, well, isn’t that creepy? They’re putting it out there for people to see. Right? Like, it’s just I would not consider that creepy. I would consider that doing your homework. And you know, and I know next week, we’re going to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. But generally, I want to throw out something that I think is really important. Do not ever get on a call and ask a question that you could have found by social listening first.
That deserves to be repeated, often.
Bill McCormick 11:48
Yeah, I just got a message on LinkedIn from someone from a networking. Hey, Bill, what’s your email? And I wanted to say, go to my profile, click on the Contact information and I just put my email in there. We’re going to talk later, and I’ll say, Hey, did you know that… you know, and that’s another good reason to have your business email in your contact information on LinkedIn. So we talked about Twitter, fast pace, right? So that’s the headline, that’s the snapshot. That’s the right now it’s happening. Instagram, lot pictures, right? A lot of pictures on Instagram.
Bob Woods 12:24
That’s even more personal, I think too, I mean, especially with companies too, because they’re trying to convey an image as well as text at that point so you can really get more. I actually think more of a feel nowadays from Instagram, than you can with Twitter. And I’m not saying block Twitter or anything like that. But I mean, Instagram, I think is really elevated itself in terms of how not only individuals, but companies use it.
Bill McCormick 12:50
Yeah. And I think especially, events, so they’re there they’re taking pictures and Facebook for that. Also, many many companies have Facebook pages and then also looking at the different people you’re going to meet with, you can see more typically Facebook is more family oriented. I know that’s how I use it. You know, if you look at my feed, you’ll see we had birthday parties here yesterday. And so that’s what that’s about. And then there’s the the kind of the offshoot the new player in the social media field, Pinterest.
Brynne Tillman 13:24
Well, Pinterest is old, it’s old… It’s just backBM
Bill McCormick 13:33
I only know we have a page there. And that’s how I kind of know about it. And I’ve heard the term “Pinterest fails”. So you know, those are things you try to do when you see on Pinterest what you’re trying to do
Brynne Tillman 13:45
It may sell into a visually, like, we have two new clients selling into food service, right? And so there’s a lot of visual around both the food production and the restaurants. So they tend to have a lot of Instagram. So here’s the bottom line, right? Figure out where your prospects are hanging out. And start to truly listen to what it is that matters to them and start your conversations around what matters to them. Not about your product, not about your service, just identify what is the content, the topics, that they want to talk to. I say it all the time, treat the person on the other side of the message the same way you would if they were on the other side of the table. If you were sitting next to someone and they made a comment about their products, their industry, you would first talk about that before you would talk about you. So why would we do with any different on social? Social Listen, and as we go through, we’re gonna have lots and lots of these Making Sales Social Live! we’re going to talk about how to use that content deeply moving forward. But on our next Making Live! What are we, what is part two of this?
Bob Woods 15:15
Part two of this one is gonna be social listening, but this time using LinkedIn specifically.
Bill McCormick 15:21
The number one best social platform in our humble but very accurate opinion. So yeah, so join us next time for the next episode of Making Sense Social Live! And we’ll be talking about things such as the LinkedIn company page, social listening there on folks profiles, looking at the recommendations, and then we’ll actually kind of put it all together and talk a little bit about how to use the information we’re finding to have conversations and begin to build rapport. So, thanks for joining us, and we will see you next time!