What Is Social Listening & How To Use It In Your Marketing Strategy

Many social media strategies rely on basic outbound marketing. It looks something like this:

  1. You post
  2. You hope something happens 
  3. You repeat steps 1-2

However, successful brands on social media know that they should take things a step further by social listening. 

What Is Social Listening?

Social listening is a deep analysis of your brand’s online reputation. It’s about getting a broader picture of what’s being said about you, and taking action based on findings. 

It could include, but is not limited to, “the act of crawling the web and social media platforms to find all mentions of a brand (or any other keywords). This includes untagged brand mentions on social media, mentions of industry keywords that signal the interest to buy a product, mentions on blogs, forums, and news sites.” – Social Media Examiner 

It’s a basic two step process: 

  1. You monitor social media channels to see what’s being said about your brand and scout out trends. 
  1. You use this data to set up a process to take long-term action according to what you find. 

This second step is what sets social listening apart from social media monitoring. You’re not just collecting data, you’re doing something about it. While there are some 3rd party tools that assist with social listening, manual processes like Twitter, Google and Reddit search can often yield more powerful results. 

Here’s how to use social listening to your advantage.   

Use Social Listening To Generate Stronger Leads

The deeper you dive into what matters to your audience, the more you qualify them as potential customers. 

Lead generation can often feel cold and impersonal. However, social listening lets you track the conversations of potential customers so you can address them in a more personal way. 

Here’s an idea of how it might work from Business 2 Community:

  • “If you are in the pet grooming business, you can search for ‘smelly cat’ or ‘dog shampoo’. 
  • When searching, consider terms you think your customers will likely use when they discuss problems, issues or concerns that your product or service can solve. 
  • Once you are able to identify your potential customers, send them a polite tweet letting them know how you can help.” – Business 2 Community

So, with this simple Twitter trick, you can find tweets and comments from people already expressing frustration about the exact problem that your company solves. This sets you up to provide immediate value since the conversation has already begun. 

Use Social Listening To Get A Better Picture 

People speaking candidly and openly about your brand is always a good source of unbiased data. 

Through social listening, “you can see what people are saying about your brand when they aren’t trying to be visible, by not tagging or directly mentioning you. It lets you get a fuller picture of where your brand stands with your audience, competitors, and space.” – Twitter 

So, social listening lets you: 

  • find more influencers in your niche
  • fully monitor brand reputation 
  • gain greater insight into what’s working 
  • solve issues and indirect customer/community issues
  • scope out what your competition is up to

While native platform metrics (i.e. Facebook analytics) are a benefit to any strategy, it can be paired with social listening to round out the picture. 

“[Social] listening takes a broader scope. It gives you access to what people are saying about your brand… so you can take the next best action with all available information at your disposal.” – Twitter

Listening to what your customers are saying online is an important part of any good social media strategy. It allows you to make moves that benefit your online community and sets you up for long-term success. After all, with social listening, you’re not just monitoring an online conversation, you’re taking control of it! 

Need help with your social listening strategy? Contact us today to set up a FREE discovery session with our team – we’d love to help! 


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