What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the monitoring of your brand's social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand or discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities. This is a kind of conversational research and it is an emerging trend in social media marketing.

It's being aware of what is being said about you. Social listening (or social media monitoring) is searching the public social web for mentions and conversations.

A typical starting place is keyword research to find the most relevant terms and hashtags to use in order to optimize your content. Setting up basic keyword alerts is a baby step in the process. Next, you might use that to locate and respond to relevant comments about your brand.

There are different social listening tools to help. They offer ways to track your competitors' performances and how their sentiments compare to yours.

You need real-time social monitoring to track down your brand mentions and group them under relevant factors using filters to narrow down the scope of information.

The filtering will make the data more granular - by geographical locations, by online channels (blog, social media, forums, etc.), positivity, recency, language, and by specific groups.

Not doing this process is the equivalent of not listening to your friend's and co-workers' comments about you. "I don't want to know what they think of me," is not really a good attitude for any organization


Your Brand Identity

"Brand identity" was something that was talked about as part of any business strategy. Now, it is a conversation about personal strategies and part of what some organizations, such as K-12 schools, need to consider who had not considered in the past.

A WordPress marketing post talks about establishing your brand and means much more than getting a good logo but as part of aligning your greater goals.

Your brand includes the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and other things but your brand is how your customers and prospects perceive you.

The post notes 5 key components of brand identity
1. The tone or voice of your brand - fun and playful or corporate and serious?
2. A visual style makes a brand identifiable even without the name present.
3. Using common words, phrases, and language throughout your communication creates this sense of identity.
4. Create a custom color palette and use it religiously, including for your website theme.
5. A good logo represents your business on everything from business cards to packaging to your website.


Double Your Site Traffic?

It is an awful lot to promise when you title your article "8 Web Design Tricks That Can Help Double Your Site Traffic."

The 8 tips (not really tricks) are all valid and putting them to use on a website should increase traffic. But they might not double it unless your numbers are very low or it's a brand new site.

Let's take a quick look at their list.

1. Optimize the site speed. Well, yeah. I read that if your website goes beyond the 4-second loading time mark, you have already lost about 25 percent of your prospective visitors. Ouch! Some of that speed depends on the user's connection and device, but you can decrease the data that is being transferred from the server to the browser by doing things like optimizing and minimizing the photos and other media on your site.

2. Design for small screens. Optimizing your site for mobile devices is crucial web design today. A beautiful website that is not mobile-ready viewed on a phone will look lousy. Your site has to adjust no matter what screen size or orientation is being used.

3. Put videos up on your site. Animations and GIFs create a higher demand, as well. But don't overdo it.

4. Simplify navigation.  Uh huh.

5. Proper placement of CTAs  If the term is unfamiliar, it means a Call to Action. You'll even find them on group pages on Facebook. They ask users to DO something and help you improve your conversion rates. "Experts" recommend that CTAs should be on every web page.

6. Consider the use of “white space” White space is not blank space. It is a visual element that creates a sense of balance. Crowded pages are confusing.

7. Take advantage of visual hierarchy.  That's the arrangement, color, size, and contrast of different visual elements that describe the importance and sequence of elements. When done well it allows users to see the “whole” and then lead them to different “parts” by using intuitive flow and different levels of priority.

8. Give Social Proof to Boost Your Customer’s Confidence The recommendation is to allow for testimonials and reviews. But that is not true for all types of sites.