How to use social listening when building a new website

Many people like to share anything and everything about their lives on social media.

They vent, they celebrate, they complain, they share their interests and passions, and in many cases, they don’t think twice about the things they post on their favoured social channels.

But from a marketing perspective, the never-ending stream of tweets, Facebook posts and comments being created online can be a goldmine when you want to find out more about your audience and the market in which you operate.

Social media gives you invaluable insights into what people really think about your sector, your brand and your services.

Image credit: iStock/oatawa

This information can prove particularly useful when you’re working on a new website. Before you even get started with planning the relaunch and how you want the site to look and feel, you should be thinking about your audience’s needs, pain points and goals. And what better way to find those insights than by looking at what they’re saying on social media?

If you’re developing a website there’s a good chance you’ve already conducted surveys among your customer-facing staff and existing audience so you have an idea about your target demographic, pain points and knowledge levels, and you can use this to create a list of keywords to research with social listening tools.

Here are five specific ways you can go further and put social listening to good use when reimagining your website:

1. Find out your audience’s pain points

The sad truth is nobody is going to contact you or buy from you just to do you a favour. You need to figure out what needs and problems they have, and specify how your product or service can help with these issues.

Figuring out your audience’s pain points is key to your new website strategy and structure – from your user journeys to your landing pages – and social media is one of the best places to do it.

When planning and building your site, ask how its various components will help potential customers ease their pain and address any specific complaints.

2. Persona development

One of the first things you should strive to do with any marketing project is to build a clear picture of who your target customers are.

Think about their likes and dislikes, how they prefer to be contacted, what content they interact with and their most important goals.

Social listening is ideal for this, as you can really focus on particular audience segments, explore developing trends and see what people are most interested in talking about.

3. Identify barriers to your audience contacting you

Once you feel you have a better understanding of your target customers and their various defining characteristics, you need to identify any potential barriers to them getting in touch with you to help solve their problem.

This could be anything from time and cost constraints to seemingly minor practical issues, such as your purchase process having too many stages or customers not knowing the best way to get in touch with you.

Look for trends among your key demographics and think about how you will integrate your findings into your broader digital strategy and marketing plans.

4. Spot content gaps in your sector

If your customers are asking a question on social media, it’s probably because they can’t find the answer themselves online, or the information they have been able to dig up isn’t entirely satisfactory or relevant to their needs.

If you can create content to fill these gaps and answer your audience’s most pressing questions, you’re instantly delivering value and showing that you have not only the understanding, but the capabilities to deliver what your customers are looking for.

5. Optimise your social advertising spend

Delivering valuable, well-optimised content to drive SEO and bring organic traffic to your site is a key goal of content marketing, but it’s also important to think about how you’re using paid advertising to generate leads, particularly on social media.

Thanks to social listening, this doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark.

Studying customer activity on social media will help you refine your understanding of particular segments and demographics, to increase the chances of your ads getting through to the right people and encouraging them to take action.

If you’re looking for support with any aspect of your digital marketing – whether it’s social listening, designing a new website or reimagining your entire strategy from scratch – Axonn can help.