Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online. It goes beyond mere monitoring or watching social media updates to comprehend the sentiments, discussions, and trends being driven by users and is used to gather actionable insights. This helps brands to participate in these online conversations and to connect with their audience in a meaningful way.
More on Social Listening
Social listening can be a powerful tool for brands in many ways. It can aid in customer service by identifying complaints or issues in real time, allowing businesses to respond promptly and appropriately.
It also helps in competitive analysis as it provides insights into what competitors are doing and how audiences are responding to their strategies. Additionally, it can help businesses understand the impact of their marketing campaigns, identify influencers and advocates, and even predict trends by watching real-time discussions and feedback.
Social listening involves two main steps: monitoring social of your brand, competitors, products, and more; and analyzing the gathered information for insights to act upon.
The tools used for social listening scrape data from social media platforms and the web, including blogs, forums, and news sites, to give companies a broader understanding of their digital presence.
- Did you know that around 96% of people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles? This fact underscores the importance of social listening in understanding your brand’s full digital footprint.
- A surprising fact is that despite the growing importance of social media, only about 24% of businesses say they do ‘social listening.’
- The first tools for social listening began to appear around 2006, coinciding with the rise of the first social media platforms. Radian6, now part of salesforce, was one of the first ones.
Social listening can sometimes tread a fine line between gathering useful insights and infringing on privacy. While all the information collected is publicly available, some users have expressed discomfort with the idea that their posts and conversations are being monitored for commercial use.
FAQs about Social Listening
Social monitoring is about tracking and responding to individual comments and mentions of your brand on social media. On the other hand, social listening goes a step further to analyze the overall mood, sentiment, and themes that emerge from these comments and mentions, providing a broader understanding of customers’ perceptions.
Social listening allows you to understand what is being said about your brand online and why. This can inform your marketing strategy, help to identify potential crises before they blow up, and provide insights into customer needs and expectations.
There are several tools available for social listening, including Brandwatch, RecurPost, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and HubSpot among others. The choice of tool would depend on your specific needs and budget.
Yes, by monitoring real-time discussions, social listening can help identify customer complaints or issues as they arise, allowing your business to respond promptly and appropriately.
Insights from social listening can inform various aspects of your business strategy, from product development to marketing and customer service. For instance, you can identify common complaints to improve your products, or identify popular trends to inform your content strategy.