Social listening involves tapping into social media chatter to gain insights and develop a social media strategy. This guide will define social listening, explore its benefits, and list social listening tools you can use to grow your brand.
What Is Social Media Listening?
Social media listening is observing what people say about your brand and industry online to improve customer experience.
It entails monitoring what your audience says about your brand, products, competitors, and industry on social media. This involves analyzing online conversations and mentions to extract valuable insights.
With this information, you can then tailor your brand’s social media strategy for the business.
Social listening also involves understanding these conversations’ context, sentiment, and patterns. With the insights gained, you can manage customer issues, improve your social media presence, and keep abreast of competitor strategies.
Social Monitoring vs. Social Listening
Social listening can sometimes be confused with social monitoring. They are similar since they both involve keeping tabs on your audience across several digital channels. However, they differ significantly in certain aspects.
Social monitoring involves looking for individual brand mentions, keywords, and comments on social media platforms. It’s deliberate about ensuring customer concerns are solved promptly.
Social listening goes further, tapping into online discussions about your brand or industry trends to gauge customer sentiment and make well-informed decisions that enhance your brand’s performance.
Here is a summary of the fundamental differences:
|Narrow focus on an individual brand, company, campaign, and product
|Wider focuses on the brand, audience, industry trends, competitors, product categories, etc.
|Interpreting brand mentions for immediate to short-term responses
|Interpreting online conversations continuously to create a long-term social media marketing strategy
|Reactive approach where you reply to each brand mention as soon as it is posted
|Proactive approach in analyzing several key brand and industry metrics and actively seeking out feedback from your audience
How to Build a Social Listening Strategy
Social listening is helpful for your brand in understanding your audience’s underlying mood and sentiment and responding with a favorable marketing strategy. Therefore, it is necessary to design a social listening strategy.
Here are steps you can use to build an effective strategy.
- Set Your Social Listening Goals – An effective strategy needs clear goals like learning more about competitors and industry trends, countering negative sentiment, generating new marketing ideas, and discovering niche markets.
- Select a Social Listening Tool – Choose a social media tool that aligns with your marketing objective. This should also include the features you need, your marketing budget, and the time and resources required for setting up such a tool.
- Know Your Audience – Investigate and compile all the insights you have gained from your audience, including customers’ preferences for your brand and products, frequently asked questions, social issues and causes they present, etc.
- Make a List of What to Listen to – Generate a list of relevant keywords and phrases and apply them to your social listening tool or software. Categories include your brand name, words, hashtags, social media handles, industry buzzwords, and campaign slogans.
- Identify the Relevant Channels for Data Collection – Monitor the social media channels your audience engages the most, be it on X, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or TikTok.
- Filter Your Data – Ensure you apply appropriate filters and organize the information the social media tool collects.
- Measure Results – Measure the results against your KPIs to find out the sentiment about your brand, the mentions, industry trends and issues, etc. Analyze and come up with a better social media marketing strategy.
How Can Businesses Benefit from Social Listening?
Here are five reasons why social listening should be a part of the content marketing strategy for your digital asset company.
- Social listening is necessary to understand customer sentiment – Getting honest and in-depth feedback from customers using traditional methods like interviews can be time-consuming and costly at scale. Social listening lets you tap into online conservations and pick valuable audience insights. These insights can be used to create engaging content or launch product features your audience wants.
- Social listening can help you reach a wider audience – Social listening allows you to stay up to date on trending industry topics. You keep in touch with what’s happening in your audience, what social media interactions are getting traction, and the like. By leveraging these trends, you can increase your reach on social media.
- You can use it to solve customer pain points before a product launch – Social listening can enable you to resolve friction points for customers that may arise post-product launch. You can analyze market sentiment and tailor your product pre-launch to meet your audience’s expectations.
- Learn about your competitor’s weakness – Social listening lets you get feedback on your competitor’s brand and product performance. You can identify and improve their shortcomings to capture new customers.
- Social listening can help you identify key influencers in your industry – Monitoring conversations on social media helps you find influential people in your industry to partner with and enhance your brand messaging.
Top 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools
Now that you know what you want to listen for, it’s time to begin using social media listening tools. Here are the five best social media listening tools for your brand.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool to help you interact and grow your brand’s followers. Using Hootsuite, you can access over 16 billion social media posts daily. You can track your brand mentions, messages, comments, and posts across all your social media channels on a single dashboard. Hootsuite analytics helps you identify trends and patterns you might miss by individually monitoring social channels.
Hubspot is a market automation software that enables you to manage your sales, customer service, and social media on one platform. You can monitor social interactions and keywords, trigger email notifications for your brand mentions, create marketing campaigns, and share content with your audience. Hubspot also offers tutorials and free courses on using their suite of marketing tools.
Sprout is a social media management software offering a unified platform for monitoring social media interactions with customers and prospects. The intuitive platform offers 360° views of social media interactions, including real-time brand monitoring to track mentions and brand-related keywords and discover emerging trends.
Digimind is a social management tool with comprehensive features, offering real-time tracking of brand mentions across 20+ social channels and running advanced sentiment analysis for brands. Its advanced analytics provides unique insights to empower your social media marketing strategy.
Google Alerts is a free service offered by the search engine and allows you to monitor any keyword or phrase online. You will receive email alerts in the form of a report with links when the keywords are used. Google Alerts lets you customize the frequency of when you receive the reports. You can also use this tool to monitor brand-related mentions and gauge customer sentiment on the open web.
Reach Out for More Social Listening Tips and Tricks
Social listening can give you valuable insights into your customers’ evolving trends. It can also give your brand an advantage against other competitors.
The truth is that customers these days prefer brands that are more intuitive to their needs. Social listening enables you to infer your customers’ needs and build products to fulfill them.
If you want to incorporate social listening into your social media strategy, contact Rise Up Media and let us guide you.