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Welcome back to Salty Social Media Vocabulary, where we explore all things social media and CX. Today we’re covering the question: what is a social media listening strategy and why is it important? Not every brand has the resources (or needs) to conduct extensive R&D. Of course all products and services benefit from customer feedback, and one of the easiest ways to improve your CX is to listen to your customers without asking them anything. This means you need to to the following:

Find Your Customers
When we say “customers,” we mean past, current, and future customers. Find out where they share, shop, and spend time online—even just this info itself can inform your overall CX strategy. Once you’ve found them it’s time to tune-in.   

Shut Up and Listen
Don’t interact. Don’t ask questions. Just. Listen. There’s a substantial difference between engaging and listening, and while both are critical for a sound social strategy, engaging changes the conversation—both figuratively and literally. Think of listening as an intel operation: as such your objective is to gather information and go unnoticed by the community.

Don’t Wait for Them to @You; Make Inferences
Maybe your brand isn’t large enough to have a dedicated Reddit community yet. Check out your competitor’s communities. Find a general forum for your products. Even if the community isn’t talking about your brand directly, you can still learn what your customers are thinking and feeling about your competitors.

Understand All feedback is Good Feedback
That’s not to say that all feedback may be positive, but even negative customer feedback it will illuminate opportunities for improvement. Social media can be a trove of information about your customers; use it to your advantage.

An easy way to approach listening is to think of it as a sort of stealth tenet of your CX strategy: your customers don’t know your listening but if you act on the information, they will see the results of your research. Does your social strategy have a listening component? What’s your experience with listening strategies? Let us know in the comments below! We’ll see you again next week for more social media vocabulary.