What is Social Listening?

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social listening

Social Listening Definition

The essence of social listening is monitoring various channels in order to come up with a strategy to ultimately better influence consumers. These channels are of the online and digital variety, which allows companies to easily collect data to determine consumers’ perceptions of various brands.

Further uses of social listening involves monitoring social media channels, to judge companies’ reputations, as well as their competitors. This data is crucial for any chief marketing officer or brand manager.

Social Listening Strategies

A key strategy is to locate influencers. These are the people that you’d like to keep track of, initiate relationships with, and communicate with in the future. After all, they are influencers. One way to locate them is by tracking the link or title of your article or press release, and then see who has shared it.

Locating influencers might be tricky at first, which is why a good fall back option is to find and engage with communities. Quora, Facebook, and Twitter are good places to look at for ongoing conversations. When you feel that you have something valuable to offer, then make sure to jump in!

Once you have influencers’ and communities’ attention, it is important to maintain the relationships. This can be done by improving customer care and being responsive. The reason that customer care is easy to improve upon is because social listening allows one to easily capture positive and negative feedback. Any negative feedback should instantly be responded to, in the hopes of transforming an angry customer into a lifelong evangelist.

Social Listening Tools & Platforms

Social listening in its purest form involves a deep level of market research, to ensure a certain scientific level of method and accuracy. However, there are many basic social listening tools and platforms available for companies to use at their own leisure.

  • Google Alerts
  • Hootsuite/TweetDeck
  • Social Mention
  • Addictomatic
  • Topsy
  • Followerwonk
  • Simply Measured

Social Listening Statistics

  • 54% of B2B marketers said they have generated leads from social media.
  • 24% of brands say they do “social listening.”
  • 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media- because 90% trust peer recommendations. But only 14% trust advertisements.
  • 76% of marketers say they need to be more data-focused to succeed, and 74% agree that “capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities is the new reality.”
  • Yet only 39% report using customer data and behavior patterns to shape marketing strategy in the past year.

Check out more social stats here.

Social Listening vs Social Monitoring

Social Listening: The practice of tracking online conversations about a specific phrase, word, or brand. Listening is what it sounds like – if you have a brand, you would obviously like to listen to what people are saying, in order to acquire crucial data and feedback to help shape your brand.

Social Monitoring: Watching for and identifying specific indicators within the practice of social listening. Technically, this precedes social listening, because before you find the actual phrases being uttered, you have to find ways and indicators in order to find the substance of what constitutes brand discussions.

Why It’s Important

Social listening is simply a modern, network-based loose focus group, in which companies can simply monitor existing and public forms in which consumers and potential consumers are effectively giving their opinions about brands, products, and companies.

By observing the online chatter, and listening to consumers and others for ideas, critiques, comments, feedback, praise, a company or brand can utilize this feedback and incorporate it into their product research and development, branding, and outreach strategies.

Additionally, social listening can be used to monitor competitors and see what they are doing effectively and not. This allows any brand or company to stand within a competitive stratosphere and not fall behind.

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