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  • Writer's pictureKiran Goojha

Social Listening: The Secret Weapon for Non-Profits

In the world of cause marketing, every message counts.

Organizations are often tasked with asking individuals to make decisions that could affect the environment, education, economic development, or human rights - just to name a few. Decisions that are translated to supporting a cause, or providing a donation. These decisions tend to carry a bit more weight than a traditional consumer purchase in that they require both the head and the heart to make the decision — with the heart playing a bigger role.

The purpose of cause marketing campaigns is to create and sustain a conversation with the audience — one that not only creates dialogue, but positions itself as a meaningful touch point to be relied on when the call for a donation pops up. To have these conversations, raise awareness, and solicit donations, non-profits rely heavily on social channels, which are favored due to their low cost of entry and the plethora of campaign management tools they offer. On these platforms, one of the best ways to capitalize on messaging and really focus on what is resonating with an audience is to leverage social listening.

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Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online. It is also used to get feedback that could help marketers differentiate their brand, product, or service. In the case of non-profits, using social listening tools to monitor conversations around campaigns could lead to better engagement, and allow for a nimble response that could also lead to higher return on investment. Understanding sentiment around a campaign allows the company to react quickly to a changing mood, and to therefore update messages to take advantage of the changes.

The good news is that the tools to execute all of this are readily available — many social publication and content management platforms include some form of social listening as part of their offerings, and there has been a recent development of robust social listening + influencer monitoring platforms. When choosing a platform, look for one that accomplishes the following:

  • It listens to both media and social channels. This means that it captures chatter outside of traditional social media channels with open fire-hoses, tapping into blog comments, RSS feeds, and media publications.

  • It provides both follower and sentiment analysis. The platform should go beyond simply telling you the ranks of your followers to sharing the positive and negative scores of their interactions with your content.

  • It allows you to score potential influencers. This will help you to pinpoint your industry influencers, so you can begin making contact with the people that matter in your niche.

  • It provides a publishing tool. Having a one-stop shop for social analysis and content delivery is a beautiful thing.

Building social listening into an outreach or communications strategy can only strengthen the impact of an organization’s message, and the front-end cost to acquire is but a fraction of the benefits reaped.


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