Social Listening Tools For Small Business Owners

Yay BooSocial listening is a hot topic for businesses of all sizes, as it should be. Small business owners in particular can benefit from social listening as they seek to grow their businesses. A variety of social listening tools are available, and many are free or inexpensive. These tools allow businesses to glean valuable information which will help them grow without much additional expense.

Small business owners can use social listening tools to find out what people are saying about them online. A good use of this knowledge includes taking the information they obtain and applying it to better serve current customers and to gain new ones. For example, let’s say some customers start complaining about a local restaurant on social media channels. The business owner who tunes in with social listening tools “hears” these complaints and is able to take swift action to resolve them. Time is of the essence and a quick resolution often becomes a customer service “win.”

Small business owners may also use social listening to monitor their competition. For example, a small retailer who is struggling with pricing may use social listening tools to see what clients are saying about his or her competitors’ prices. Social listening provides a competitive edge for the retailer, allowing him or her to offer the same or better prices.

The following social listening tools are affordable, easy to use and provide effective results for a small business owners:

  1. Social MentionThis social listening tool is super easy and provides a lot of information very quickly – for free. The user plugs in a keyword, and the tool does the search across 100+ social media networks.
  2. Topsy: This tool has a free search engine which looks a lot like Google. The search engine type capabilities provide accurate and robust results. Another useful feature is the ability for users to filter searches within time frames which range from the past hour, all the way through “everything.”
  3. Trackur: This social listening tool is not free, but prices start as low as $27/month for complete social media monitoring and management. They also offer a 10-day free trial for each of their four plans.

These particular tools offer small business owners an inexpensive way to get direct feedback about their businesses. Businesses who “listen” experience huge payoffs, no matter which social listening tools they choose; they have the opportunity to engage with their customers, improve the way they provide services, and do better business overall.

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