Asking the Right Questions: The DOs and DON'Ts of Social Listening

Asking the Right Questions Centiv


You'd be surprised how many people need to sharpen their “listening” skills. In fact, you may be one of them and not even know it! There's a big difference between “hearing” what your customers are saying and “listening” to them. Here are some Dos and Don'ts that will help you learn the difference:

DON'T bombard your followers with an endless sea of questions. Asking questions is a great to engage your followers,but if you're asking questions in every post, you can make your business seem needy or like you don't have a clear plan-of-action of your own.

DO check in with your followers every now and again to see how they like your services. Post monthly surveys to give everyone an opportunity to give feedback. If someone posts that they are trying your services for the first time, follow up and ask them about their experience

DON'T encourage belligerent posts by responding to them. People who are cursing at you or are mentioning you in inappropriate posts just aren't worth the time and should not be associated with your name.

DO use social media as a vehicle to better your customer service. You should definitely reply to dissatisfied customers in an attempt to soothe them and save your relationship. Encourage people who are praising you by thanking or retweeting them.

DON'T encourage your customers to bad-mouth your competitors. While it's a good idea to investigate your competitors' failures, flat out asking your followers is not the way to gain that information. In the end, you will just appear unprofessional and will likely lose customers.

DO listen for dissatisfaction about your competitors. People are going to be talking about their less-than-perfect experiences with your competitors already, so there's no need to ask! Make notes and be better. When appropriate, you can even sweep in and save the day!

DON'T overuse hashtags, emoticons or abbreviations. Your product promotion should not look like this: “Come c r nu specials 2day!!!!! <3 #newspecial #weareawesome #insertunnecessaryhashtaghere.” You want to seem like a business, not a 13 year-old girl.

DO get up-to-date on modern slang. While you shouldn't use text-talk in your posts, it's totally OK to use a smiley-face or a fun hashtag every now and again. Even if you're not using them yourself, it's a good idea to know what all the new terms mean to better understand your customers' feedback.

DON'T “listen” without taking action. Remember when we said there's a difference between “hearing” and “listening”? This is exactly what we were talking about. There's no point in social listening if you're not going to use this knowledge to improve your products and services.

DO use what you learn from social listening to boost your product. Monitor your success on social media and compare those statistics to your sales numbers. Take notes and adapt as needed.

SocialCentiv has a unique tool that allows you listen for people inquiring about your services and lets you market to them directly. Visit us online at to learn more.