Social listening is one of the key elements in digital analysis and a tool we use both on its own and as part of larger research projects. But what is it and why is it important to include in your research during campaign planning and analysis?
Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations in order to understand what students and other stakeholders are saying about your institution online and how your brand is being perceived. It can help to inform your content and creative strategies and allows you to react quickly to changes in the way your brand is being perceived online.
As an example, we ran some social listening on International Women’s Day and here are some of our favourite insights.
At Natives Global Consulting we often recommend using social listening as part of your analysis game. Here’s our top four reasons for including it…
What content resonates
Understanding your current content success in real-time can help focus your efforts on gaining traction on developing popular trends and topics appearing in mentions. This ensures that you can jump on the hype train with timely, relevant content that could get you increase organic reach. Social listening can inform your content strategy and for those of you that are agile enough to react and post – then you’re more likely to not only contribute to your target audience understanding but also help inform and shape an opinion that puts forward your brand as an expert.
If you use social listening alongside EduRank Enterprise, which can inform you of the most popular type of content you post vs the type of content that gets the most engagements, you are potentially looking at a very powerful combination of insights. Utilising information like this can boost your profile gaining more potential impressions from having interesting content that will be actively engaged with by your target audience.
Know your influencers
One of the most beneficial things about social listening is learning to understand your audience. Ranging from what students are talking about, to their top influencers and even how they talk. Identifying social influencers (or more likely, micro influencers) can be a challenge, but once you have done so, and built an authentic, two-way relationship, then this strategy can really strengthen your student recruitment plan. Check out our whitepaper and webinar on how you can use your data to identify and work with your social and micro influencers.
These data points are critical to your analysis and planning of a campaign as it can have a big influence on your messaging as well as content topics.
Timing is Everything
Social Listening can also show the number of conversations and sentiment your audience has across a range of topics relevant to your brand. Armed with this information, you could tailor content around these subjects to tackle both positive and negative conversations effectively and in a timely manner.
Location, location, location
There is a significant benefit to understanding where the conversations are being held, for example; the different URLs, blogs, forums, news feeds that your brand is being mentioned on. This information can be used to target your advertising across the relevant platforms as well as to understand your consumers’ journey, needs and interests.
Social listening can be highly beneficial to student marketers in understanding their prospective students, the content that’s being posted and should be posted, as well as the timeline and consistency of mentions.
Finally, social listening can help to identify new audiences with country analysis. Being able to pinpoint what countries are talking about your institution or a course that you offer means you can use this information when actively planning brand, course or awareness campaigns.
If you want to find out more about how social listening could benefit your student recruitment strategies, get in touch.