Across the internet and on social media, I have seen many school districts and companies wondering how to hide or delete comments from their audiences. Although I advocate deleting any hate speech or derogatory comments, I am not in favor of turning off our audiences’ words.
The power and knowledge comments bring to our district far outweighs any negative brand image it might convey. I believe comments are a powerful tool to tap into our audience’s mind and improve customer experience in our district.
The Power of Social Listening
Social listening allows brands to follow and examine conversations about them on social media platforms. In the past, I have said this in many presentations and consultations, knowing your audience is one of the most critical aspects of your companies or school district’s marketing efforts. Researching your audience should be one of the first things you do as you start a new marketing campaign.
There are many benefits to comments and social listening; here are five that I feel are vital to improving your customer experience:
1. New Access to Customer Experience
According to Sprout Social, Eighty-three percent of audiences like companies who respond to their concerns on social media. People have come accustomed to social media and have used the platforms to complain about their experience. It has become an essential mechanism for Customer Experience.
Comments have become a great way to learn about problems in advance of an avalanche of audience backlash. Staying ahead of trending problems is key to solving issues before reaching the tipping point of becoming a disaster. Comments also give us a chance to craft carefully planned responses to situations.
In CFBISD, we have created a database of commonly asked questions and concerns across our social media platforms and any community page on Facebook, Nextdoor, Twitter, Instagram. It has become an excellent method to analyze our community’s pulse and give power to our department to solve problems quickly. The simple database is a Google Sheet that can be shared easily across departments.
2. Discover New Opportunities
Many of my presentations have been created on the notion that customers are now in control. No longer can a company or school district expect a person in the community to use their product or service just because it exists. There are countless opportunities to jump ship and truly see if the grass is greener. With information at their fingertips, they no longer need a company to feed them advertisements to make choices.
Embracing comments is your opportunity to use social media to build an experience the customer wants and needs. By analyzing statements, you can see trends and concerns your audience is talking about on social media.
What do your customers want? What are your customers concerned about in your district? How can your company solve these problems and become a trusted company in your industry? Listening to comments, you can answer these questions and develop new opportunities for your audiences.
3. Heighten Your Marketing
Your marketing campaigns can be built of audience statements. Knowing your audience’s concerns, you can develop marketing to solve their problems. Creating white papers, podcasts, checklists, email campaigns, videos and newsletters around what you see on social media can be powerful. You are giving your audience what they want.
- CFBISD Kindergarten Example – FB Live, Checklist
- CFBISD Teacher Recruitment Example – revamp
- More recent – COVID – 19 FAQ Section on Website
4. FAQ in Central Location
And speaking of FAQs, collecting comments, concerns and opportunities across social media and placing them in a central location on your website can be powerful. If one person has a question, that probably means ten more people have the same question.
Developing a location to house your questions and concerns, along with answers to your questions, can be a great way to build trust.
5. Monitoring Competitors
Now… rinse and repeat, except do it for your competitor’s social media. Analyzing your competitor’s audience’s concerns and compliments is a great way to develop approaches to win those audiences and please your audience.
What are your competitors doing right? What are they doing wrong? How can you capitalize on what they are doing wrong and improve customer experience in your school district by learning from what they are doing right? Learn from your competitors.
What Can You Do with Social Listening
- Create FAQs – help your customers
- Build Customer Experience in Departments – everyone helps
- Create remarkable content from problems – landing pages
- Have experts answer your questions – teachers & departments