Advanced active social media listening goes beyond your brand mentions or product reviews, and gives you PR opportunities to build a positive brand perception, holistically, and proactively.
What makes news?
When something happens in world around us that affect many people, whether positively or negatively, people start talking about it. If many people share the sentiment, it multiplies, and get bigger.
Remember how #MeToo campaign grew around a common social disgust, uniting women from all around the globe, and giving each & every lady enough courage to speak up. Even celebrities joined the open conversation without hiding or feeling embarrassed.
Why? Because crowd wanted crowd to hear them, loud.
Another example is how the biggest Qtiya-pa of Indian entertainment startup eco system got expose, when boss of TVF group got f**ked up publically by bunch of his previous coworkers. One lady came out and shared the story of her sexual harassment over social media, and then many other women stepped out too, who previously shared the same harassing experience by this guy.
With TVF management’s mishandling of the case openly in social media by public tweets, it got worse, and drew many more women over social media to raise their voices against work place sexual harassment for women employees, as a bigger issue.
Why? Because crowd wanted crowd to listen them up, loud.
So the truth is the online PR strategy is far crucial need for your brand today, then getting yourself photographed in newspaper every other day. Bad news about your brand can travel 100X faster online than offline in newspaper based PR world. And by the time your newspaper based PR team will be able to define a strategy, you’ll be finished.
Can you imagine the scale we are dealing with!
So what could be done? How should your social listening be combined with active PR tool?
Most of the decent size businesses have an active social media listening team & strategy in place, but majority of them focuses on either as immediate crisis handling or as a sale opportunity finder.
What you could do better is to use social media listening as a PR tool, and build your brands reputation with a long term vision, on your own, proactively.
And if you are short on budget you can do it all yourself for FREE as well. Let’s see how.
1. Listen beyond your brand & product, to find PR opportunities
The PRO’s go ahead of brand sentiments, product reviews and consumer feedbacks and try to listen beyond.
For eg. if you are a 5 star hotel brand in Goa. Beside listening consumer complaints & reviews online, your bigger focus should be on long term sustained interest of people in coming to Goa. Because people don’t come to Goa to visit your hotel, instead they may want to come to your hotel if they visit Goa.
So an active listening on tourist safety concerns, transportation concerns, beach side safety concern, beach adventure options, water sports options, and how people are comparing Goa to other destination? Are they finding Goa cheaper or costly in comparison of other destinations? Are they finding Goans supportive or threatening?
These topics could give you better opportunities to create relevant content to cater to this audience, reengage their interest in Goa as a city & tourist-destination.
For eg. – You can create “Top 10 things to experience in Goa, that you can’t experience anywhere else in India”, kinda content post. And send it to a travel journalist or bloggers to cover it, beside publishing it via your own channels.
2. Listen for social causes & crisis, where you can contribute
Like in this above example as a hotelier, if you find that on various online forums, that tourist are sharing their safety concerns, or molestation, or times of uncomfortable experiences (if in case), what you can do is you can run a small public awareness campaign to improve host-public behaviour to improve visitor experiences.
It may include connecting with low budget hotels, small road side sellers, local restaurants, local vehicle-on-hire providers, and making them aware of the growing concern among tourists.
You may share with them want you are trying to do to improve overall experience of a tourist with Goa as a city, and how they can contribute.
And then use it on social channels, forums to spread the content, and share it with travel bloggers & journalists as a PR story to get media coverage.
It will not alone give you press coverage, but will ensure long term business for you, as well as your community participation will earn you a better reputation around.
3. Build brand perception socially, by publishing PR content regularly.
Use the two tips above to build a list of things you can do, things that you can create content about, and then sync your content writing team, your social listening team, and your brand managers to work collaboratively, and produce effective content regularly.
Use your own website, your social media channels to broadcast and share with relevant bloggers & travel journalists.
Even I am a strong believers that you shall share such content with your consumers as well, because most of the tourists, on wanderlust, won’t come back to one destination again (I mean most probably), but they act as a wonderful influencer to influence others in their network & surroundings to visit your destination, and specially your hotel.
And a genuine customer’s recommendation to other potential customer(s), leave no space for doubt.
So conclusively I am a firm believer that what we call valuable content generation these days isn’t just blogging but falls in line of positive information generation, because the better informed your target audience is in advance, and the better they feel about your brand; the better public image you command.
See, PR is all about building positive perception. Online.. Offline.. doesn’t matter.