Social Media Listening: What it is and How to Use it

What if I told you that there’s a near-endless source of rich information that your brand might be underutilizing? Seems too good to be true, right? Trust me – it’s there. 

A lack of social listening could be holding back your brand from reaching its full potential. Listening goes beyond just monitoring your audience on your social channels. While monitoring and responding is a great practice and does benefit your business and brand image, social listening can provide you with much more useful information and insights that can be directly applied to help you grow your brand and stay successful. 

 

1. What it is and how it’s done

Social listening: tracking social media platforms for mentions and conversations related to your brand, then analyzing them for insights to discover opportunities to act. (Newberry, 2021) 

Social listening can be done easily. It consists of tracking mentions of your brand on social media, blogs, or other websites, and studying what people are saying about it. After finding new leads, data can be collected and your audience’s overall sentiment toward your brand can be discovered. All of this information will greatly enhance your ability to build your brand’s image and grow your audience.  

But what is it about social listening that’s so crucial to brand growth and development? No need to ask — we’ve got it all laid out here.  

 

2. Untapped landscape of information

One of the most astonishing aspects of social listening is the vast and rich source of knowledge that is out there. All of this information is ready to be tapped into and can be used to start bettering your brand almost as soon as you begin your search for it. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “If this well of knowledge is so big, how come I haven’t seen it yet?” Chances are, you already have and just didn’t know what to look for, and if you aren’t utilizing a social listening strategy, you are severely hindering the success of your brand. Each of your brand’s social platforms will have distinct trends that identify key points where they come up short and where they succeed. Employing a social listening strategy can also identify questions that your audience may frequently have; general comments about products or services; reviews, both positive and negative; and the overall sentiment your audience has regarding your brand. All of this information can be used to benefit the brand.  

 

3. Allows you to listen to what others say about your brand, products, or services

At its core, social listening allows you to hear more effectively what your audience is saying about your brand, helping you to better understand and quantify the conversations that are had regarding your brand. It will allow you to better visualize the competitive landscape and awareness of your brand, and it can be used to improve the products or services your business provides. Think of it like this if you were looking at a local blog that was discussing your business, you would most likely want them to say positive things. They’re not always going to say positive things. Negative feedback is ever present in the digital landscape, but by acknowledging the feedback and actively listening to the conversations discussing it, that feedback can be taken into consideration and used to make changes to your products, renew a service process, or update your brand.  

4. Find new opportunities, generate leads, and get an edge over competitors

Along with finding more information about what people like and don’t like about your brand, social listening can be a great resource for generating leads and finding new opportunities. By seeking out discussions about your products, you’re bound to find articles and blogs of people talking about things they wish a brand did or products they wish existed. All of this is free information that can help boost your business and keep you ahead of the competition. That’s right; it’s a winning situation where your business can have in-depth knowledge to use in a competitive analysis. Just as you can listen to your audience, you can also listen to the competition and discover deeper insights into what they do well and what you do better.  

 

5. Provides new ideas for social marketing strategies

The information found when listening to social conversations is incredible in that it can be applied to many scenarios. These include business development strategy and social ad strategy. To put it simply, now that you know what people online are saying about your brand, you can further develop or make changes to social strategies to better engage your audience, hold their attention, and improve the overall sentiment towards your brand in the future. This can be achieved primarily through running ads on social media in the form of boosted content. Every social channel has some form of boosting available for businesses to use, and this newfound knowledge of your audience can help you better gauge boost success. For example, if you were to create an ad on Facebook to garner more engagement that was unsuccessful, would you use this ad setup again? Probably not when it makes more sense to run two ads that test two different ad audiences. Listen to the feedback that is received from a test like this. Doing so makes it easier to make sure the right ad strategy is picked for your social audience.  

Properly utilizing a social listening strategy can do wonders for your business. It can give you the insight you need to create new tools, refresh your strategies, and stay ahead of the competition. If you’d like to learn more about social media listening, check out these articles from these digital companies to gain further information on this topic: 

Sprout Social

Hootsuite

Media Toolkit

HubSpot

TechTarget

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