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What Is Social Listening and Why Should You Be Doing It?

what is social listening

Around 51% of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online. What is social listening? It’s your key to higher profits and social media satisfaction.

Nearly 50% of consumers have purchased a product based on recommendations received through a social media network. Social media can be a powerful way to improve your brand, but without social listening, you might be missing out on some key information.

The sooner you engage in social listening, the more you’ll understand about your business can improve.

Here’s what you need to know about social listening:

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is monitoring social media channels for mentions, products, competitors, or any other relevant themes. Then you analyze the information and take action in some way.

The actionable aspect is what differentiates social media listening from social media monitoring. Social media monitoring is about gathering data about your current situation rather than determining actions for the future.

Social listening requires analyzing trends surrounding your social media presence and using that information to make company decisions. Social monitoring focuses on numbers and metrics like engagement rate or number of mentions.

With social listening, you look at the mood surrounding the tweets about you, your products, and your competitors.

For instance, you might notice your customers using a certain hashtag when they describe their products. If it’s a good hashtag, you can make a clever post referring to the hashtag and acknowledging your customers’ opinions.

As your customer base grows, the need for social listening also increases.

Why Social Listening Matters

Social listening focuses on the quality of social media posts over the quantity of certain metrics. Sure, you might have a popular post, but that doesn’t mean it’s your best. That post could be driving high engagement, but if the comments are all expressing negative feelings towards your brand, then it doesn’t work in your favor.

Social listening ensures you’re getting an aerial view of your business’s reputation on social media. It’s about more than taking data at face value.

You should analyze all of the conversations surrounding your brand on social media instead of just the ones that pop up in your notifications. Then you can use that information to improve your business approach and customer experience.

Through social listening, you can discover pain points. Pain points are problems your customers face and how your product or service can resolve them. It also includes any problems people have with your products.

Here’s an Example

Let’s say a bakery has a Twitter. Most of the mentions and comments are full of people talking about how much they liked their pastries.

However, the bakery owner notices complaints cropping up about the brownies being too bitter. The customers didn’t necessarily tag the owner, but they did mention the bakery’s name.

After a month of complaints, the owner notices a trend: all of the bitter brownie complaints are posted on Mondays. After receiving so many complaints, the owner tweets, “We apologize for the bad brownies. We’re looking into the issue.”

The owner would then investigate why brownies were bitter on Mondays. It could be something with the recipe or the fault of a lazy employee. The owner would also remind workers to stick to the recipe… or even get a new brownie recipe altogether.

After the problem is solved, the owner would post something like, “Our brownies are better than ever! Try our improved recipe! #FoodieFriday” The tweet would also include an enticing picture of the brownies.

Social Listening Strategy

In order to make the most out of social listening, you need a social listening strategy. This is a plan that coordinates how you can effectively “listen” to what people are saying about your brand on social media.

You’ll need to track to track what keywords and hashtags people use in relation to your brand.

Social listening software can help you track keywords, hashtags, and related terms to your business. You can also track your competitors and see how consumers feel about their product versus yours.

Your competitor’s product might have certain features that your product lacks. Consumers might be commenting on it at this moment, but you won’t know without social listening.

Make a list of all the keywords, hashtags, product names, campaign slogans, industry terms, your competitor’s names, and themes you want to track and analyze. Track common misspellings of your brand name as well as competitors for more information.

Study all kinds of social listening software options before making a choice. Make sure you read reviews and become familiar with all the different features social listening software can have.

Apply social listening to multiple social media platforms. You might find that people talk about your brand differently on Twitter and LinkedIn than they do on Facebook.

Engaging With Customers

Social listening lets you connect with customers and learn their ideas/opinions/preferences on social media.

Certain people might be talking about your brand more than others. Identify key figures and fans (also known as “brand advocates”) in your social media circle.

Know who the influencers are in your industry and keep track of their social media profiles. They have the power to influence how people think about your business.

Your customers might be directly asking you for something. Keep track of all the reviews and recommendations your brand gets. They speak as loudly as advertisements do.

Start Listening To Social Media More Carefully

Around 68% of adults in the United States are Facebook users. What is social listening but a way to know your audience better?

Nearly 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily. The more you apply social listening, the better off your brand will be.

Discover what the world of social media marketing has to offer. It’ll benefit your business beyond belief.