What is social listening? Social listening is the practice of aggregating any mentions of your brand on social media, then using those mentions and the sentiment around them to inform your marketing and business strategies.
It’s easy to confuse social listening with social media monitoring because one includes the other. Social media monitoring is where you simply find mentions of your business or brand and make sure to respond accordingly. Social listening, on the other hand, is really “listening” to those mentions to inform your marketing campaigns or other business decisions.
Social listening example
Let’s say you’re a local candy store. You have a lot of locals stopping by, but also a good many out-of-towners. People love taking pictures in your brightly colored shop and posting them on social media, as well as leaving reviews on local websites such as Google and Yelp.
You decide to start using a tool that doesn’t just show you their fun pictures and let you read the reviews but also takes in the words they use and analyzes them. By doing that, although you have a solid 4.5-star rating, you find that a solid half of those people are mentioning that they think you’re “a little overpriced.”
Now, you use that information to create a plan. You decide to provide more in-store samples and throw in a 10 percent off coupon for the next visit with everyone’s purchase to help people feel like they’re really getting their money’s worth. Over the next quarter, you watch that word “overpriced” disappear from reviews and Instagram posts.
Thanks to social listening, you just improved your ratings.
More ways to use social listening:
- You can discover influencers you’d like to work with.
- You can “listen” for competitors to keep an eye on their strategies.
- You can respond quickly to any customer service issues.
- You can discover trends in what new products or services your customer base is looking for.