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Build a Blog Content Strategy Through Social Listening

Knowing your audience will help you develop compelling content for their eager consumption.

Knowing your audience is essential when developing and sharing content, especially in the field service space. One increasingly popular approach to getting a better grasp on your customers and prospective customers is through the art of social listening.

In short, social listening connects you directly to the feedback and opinions of your customers, and in turn can help you transform this data into valuable insights that better inform your content creation. Different from the practice of social monitoring–which is simply collecting social mentions and conversations–social listening involves a thorough analysis, helping you search for trends and track data around particular consumer interactions.

Why is Social Listening So Vital?

Much of the real-time data you gather from social listening reveals significant insights about consumers’ interests, specific words and phrases that are related to your brand, common service-related questions, trending industry topics, and demographic characteristics that can help ensure your content is relevant to your target audience.

Here are several reasons why your field service company should focus on social listening. It can:

  • Help you gain access to powerful data and analytics.
  • Enhance your understanding of your customers.
  • Reveal key topics via real-time conversations.
  • Help improve response time.
  • Identify influencers.

Sorting Through Mountains of Actionable Insights From Real Customers

When it comes to customer service–especially for HVAC, plumbing and other field service businesses–social media is increasingly becoming the norm for clients to share information about their experiences, both good and bad. Here are three ways you can use social listening in your content marketing plan:

1. Use Social Listening to Craft Personalized Content

Due to the ever-increasing volume of online content today, it’s becoming more challenging than ever to capture a prospective customer’s attention with a blog post, infographic or short video. As a result, brands must generate even higher-quality content to stand out.

A big part of your strategy should focus on developing content that is much more personalized and geared toward your followers. Personalization helps people feel like a company cares about them and wants to make things better by adding true value. You can use social listening as a powerful tool to create this type of enriched, personalized content. Start by analyzing how your audience behavior varies on each social platform, including preferred content topics, hashtags, and more. A fully featured customer relationship management software with social listening features can make moving from data to a content strategy simple by bringing vast stores of knowledge about different customers together in one place.

You also can get much more specific and develop custom audience profiles that segment prospects and customers based on location, or how recently they have engaged with your brand. Once you have designated your target audience segment, you can utilize social listening to devise more appropriate messages.

2. Use Social Listening to Develop a Paid Advertising Strategy

In many cases, your content marketing strategy does not go very far without the help of paid advertising. However, for field service companies that generate a lot of content, it can be perplexing to determine which blog posts, newsletters or videos to promote with paid advertising.

Fortunately, social listening can help you figure out–in real-time–which pieces of content bring in the most engagement and mentions on various social channels. Look for engaging posts that you have created, and what your competitors have success with as well. After reviewing this material, you can then respond by putting paid advertising behind your best-performing organic content. This method is especially advantageous when your content gains traction on social sites.

3. Use Social Listening to Discover Leads (and Nurture Them!)

Social listening can also serve as an ideal tool for lead generation. Consider using a social media management tool to filter consumer conversations by specific words or phrases that indicate they have interest in learning more about your services.
For example, a New Mexico HVAC company might develop a listening query with the keywords, “air conditioning service,” “in,” and “Santa Fe” to keep tabs on Twitter users who share HVAC content with their local community. That company could then tweet such users a link to the company’s comprehensive article Air Conditioning Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide for Summer. In this scenario, social listening helps your brand to simultaneously deliver prospective customers relevant content and cultivate new relationships.

You can then use audience profiling to pay better attention to this specific community of individuals who have shown they need the valuable information that your field service company offers. The key here is to offer a careful balance of content. It is critical to provide helpful information when needed and not come across as intrusive or too promotional. So if a prospect shows interest without directly mentioning your company, try to share content that is not overly-branded, and is more educational than promotional in nature.

The Bottom Line

With social listening, today’s marketers can now quickly and continuously check in with their customers’ needs and interests to reshape content strategies. The key takeaway is to always listen to your audience and learn from their feedback on social media. Staying open and receptive to consumer feedback via social listening can help you gain genuine insight into how they feel about your services and products in real-time, as well as cultivate potential relationships at every step of the marketing process.

Lisa C. Dunn is a writer for TechnologyAdvice and a freelance writer, copywriter, and ghostwriter who develops high-quality content for businesses and non-profit organizations. For over 20 years, she has worked with numerous PR and digital marketing agencies, and her work has been featured in well-known publications including Forbes, VentureBeat, Mashable, Huffington Post, Wired, B2C, and USA Today, among others.