As a mediator wanting to drive your business forward it is fundamental to your growth that you know how engaged clients are with your brand and your mediation services. You also need to know how you compare to your competitors in the mediation sector.
Social media channels are key in being able to connect and engage with your clients. You need to monitor all the relevant channels for mentions of your brand, mediation services and competitors. This is called Social Listening.
Social listening is a process where you track social media platforms for conversations or mentions of your brand. You can then look at these to gain valuable insights into what others are saying about you and there may be positive actions you can take to grow the conversation further. For example a client who has used your mediation services may post a testimonial on your LinkedIn profile. You can capitalise on this by responding to them. Thank them for leaving the review and expand on what they have said in order to further promote your services. You could say something like;
“Thank you ****for your kind words. I was delighted to help the parties achieve settlement at the mediation. As you know, property and construction is one of my main areas of expertise and I always get an enormous sense of satisfaction when I assist private individuals make peace with contractors on a project because I know how much a self-build project means to them and how much emotional investment is made in such projects”
What has your comment achieved? By expressing your gratitude for the testimonial you are demonstrating that you appreciate your clients. Mentioning achieving settlement shows that you have been successful as a mediator. You have promoted your niche and area of expertise, so now other clients reading this know that you are a property mediator, who can deal with construction projects, contractors and private individuals.
Posting a reply like this is the difference between a potential client scrolling past this post or stopping and remembering that a connection used a good property mediator recently in a case that successfully settled.
Search the social media channel for a particular hashtag. If #propertylitigation is popular or there is a specific discussion trending about property and construction, engage with that conversation. Keep listening to the conversation and be aware of how it develops. This is referred to as social media sentiment, in other words the online mood. Understanding how people are feeling about a topic or your brand (or a competitor brand) helps you with your marketing development. Social listening can guide you in the right direction for improving your marketing strategy.
Hootsuite give valuable advice about tracking competitors;
Social listening is more than understanding what people say about you. You also want to know what they say about your competitors. This gives you important insights into where you fit in the marketplace.
You will also learn what your competitors are up to in real-time. Are they launching new products? Developing new marketing campaigns? Taking a beating in the press?
Social listening allows you to find out about these new opportunities and threats as they happen, so you can plan and respond accordingly. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-listening-business/
Look at how your competitors engage with clients on social media. Which channels do they use? What sort of content do they write and in what format? But, don’t just focus on the social media post and think it looks good visually. Pay particular attention to how engaging it is. How many people have liked, commented or shared the post? This is what makes it successful. You could post a very pretty looking visual but if it doesn’t create any engagement or action from the reader, is it really of any value?
Use the social media platforms to develop relationships with clients. Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise online can help you to acquire potential clients/leads for future mediation appointments. Be involved in conversations that are being held about the mediation industry and your areas of expertise. Connect with the people who are engaging with these topics. No doubt this is what your competitors will do.
Hot tip: Don’t be afraid to engage with your competitors too. If they are part of the conversation, join in. Share your views and your sentiment. Let clients see that you are not afraid to be part of the conversation or collaborate with other industry experts even if they are essential your competition.
So what exactly should you be monitoring?
In our earlier hot tip we suggested the use of hashtags # A particular topic can be searched for and identified by searching for hashtags. The same applies to keywords.
There are a number of keywords that it is important to monitor on social media to assist you with your marketing.
Your brand name, including all your social media handles.
Your service name, which most likely includes the phrase mediation. Include phrases if they were misspelt – meditation is an all-time favourite of ours!
Competitor brand and service names. Include slogans.
Search people including mediator names, mediation providers, mediation schemes and trainers.
Different social media platforms are going to be having different conversations and engaging in different ways. LinkedIn will be having more industry specific, professional conversations whereas Instagram might have more visually engaging posts marketing events for example. Monitor them all. The platform being used dictates what people are talking about and how they converse – casual or professional discussions – both have value.
Social listening and social monitoring is hard work. It takes time and commitment and ‘you get out of it what you put into it’. It is at the very heart of building your brand.