5 reasons why Social Listening is key to Company Success

In my initial blogpost, I questioned how companies are using Social Media to help build relationships and increase brand awareness and loyalty with their clients.

One way they are doing this is by actively listening to the dialogue happening on Social Media.

Following is an amazing example of a company using active social listening to help build relationships and increase brand awareness for their company.

KLM #happytohelp campaign:

KLM #happy to help campaign

The KLM #happytohelp campaign wonderfully illustrates the power of listening to the social media dialogue.  This active social listening is critical for building and maintaining company/customer relationships.

Being out-of-touch with customers can be costly

Bad customer service.  We’ve all experienced it.  It leaves a bad taste in our mouth and motivates us to let everyone know that they should NOT do business with the organization or individual that offended us.   

However, unlike the past, when bad mouthing by an upset customer was usually limited to one’s own neck of the woods, today,  a single “Tweet” or online posting by an irate customer can go viral – and in a short time, if not handled properly, has the potential to cause serious damage to an organization’s brand and reputation.

Comcast complaint goes viral

Nothing screams out of touch more than a company that disregards its customers or takes its clientele for granted.   In this day and age when consumers are increasingly savvy and competition is fierce, a company that remains out of touch with its clientele and the world around them is almost certainly doomed to fail.

That is why social listening is so critical to an organization’s success.   And listening doesn’t just mean being aware of what people are saying, it means responding to this awareness.  Put simply it allows a company to: Listen. Understand. Act.

5 reasons why Active Social Listening is key to Company Success

1.  It shows a company cares.

How often do we get frustrated when we don’t feel listened to?   My wife reminds me at times that I don’t LISTEN to her enough (ahem.touché.sigh)  While I hate to admit it, she’s often right.  Nothing is more insulting than having someone NOT listen to you.   But listening takes work, and to become good at it, one has to work at it (note to self).

A company that demonstrates caring through listening, has a greater chance of fostering increased customer satisfaction and loyalty to their brand.  Small gestures that show a company cares can go a long way to nurturing a longer term relationship with current and potential clients.   

In the following keynote address entitled “Care Immensely or Die!”, Gary Vaynerchuk, colourfully and passionately stresses the vital importance of caring in the new economy.

Gary Vaynerchuk %22Care Immensely or Die%22 Keynote Address

 2.  Listening allows a company to be aware of how people feel about their product/service. 

Knowing how people feel about an organization allows a company to react and adapt to changing circumstances and trends.  This knowledge enables a company to respond to peoples’ concerns in a timely manner.  A timely intervention with a client or potential customer can go a long way to holding onto an existing customer or acquiring a new one.  

3.  Listening gives insight into what people want/need.

Providing a product/service that people want or need is key to the success of any company.

Active Social Listening allows an organization to modify its current products or services according to the evolving wants and needs of the marketplace.  This ability to adapt to evolving wants and needs is critical for a company’s long term success.

4.  Listening provides knowledge about the competition and how others perceive them.

Social listening also enables an organization to know what its competitors are doing and how other potential customers are reacting to the competition.  This knowledge allows a company to adapt accordingly and potentially gain new customers who may be no longer satisfied with the company they have been previously dealing with.


5.  Consumers expect a timely response when they use social media to ask a question or post a complaint.

According to a consumer research study by Oracle, “more than half of consumers on Facebook expect a same-day response to questions and posts, where 52 percent of consumers using Twitter expect a company to respond within two hours.”  The study also found that 30 percent of Twitter users expect a response within half an hour.   

What does this all mean?   Quite simply, if a company wants to meet consumers’ expectations, they need to be actively listening and engaging in social media on an on-going and consistent basis.

How to listen to the social media dialogue

The following articles provide some great tips on how to listen to the dialogue on social media.

Are You Ready to Listen Differently in Social Media?

How to Gather Fan Feedback on Social Media

How to Deliver Exceptional Social Media Customer Service

Food for thought

* In your personal or professional life, do you spend enough time actively listening?

* Have you ever personally experienced a company that did not listen to what you had to say?

* Do you know of any other examples of companies doing a great job of active social listening?

I want to hear from you.    Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

One thought on “5 reasons why Social Listening is key to Company Success

  1. For a company to invest in social media and not listen is really counter productive and I would question the purpose or the person who was coordinating their media outlet. Now what I think you are saying is that it is difficult for people to listen to each other, normally. So know we need guidelines and quick charts to assist people in learning how to listen effectively. The more people become disconnected physically from people as we keep our heads down and our thumbs vibrating to the ticcy tac of our relationships we miss each other ….in more ways than just running into someone…by accident. The smart companies will require you to become interactive with their company so you can feel part of the GROUP….a very coercive dynamic. One that dates back to caveman times and the need to feel secure as the group offers that security. So if companies are clever and use “FEELINGS” to sell their products the result may not be completely positive for all viewers. Some will always see the manipulation in advertising as well as social media. I think for a company to utilize social media to the extent they engage the users and don’t exclude them and to do it in a way as to be inclusive not restrictive and for both side to work to a common goal and let the user know they are instrumental in that change the company is willing to make on behalf of all it’s users/customer/consumers.

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