What is Social Listening and Why Does it Matter

What is Social Listening and Why Does it Matter

Have you heard of Social Listening?  It’s a very popular tool amongst brands right now, used to gauge and analyze their overall online presence.  It has many aspects to it, but when they all come together, it has the potential to be a very successful tactic for marketing management.  We’ve broken it down into a few simple sections below, to help you understand the What, How, and Why of Social Listening. 

What is social listening?

Social listening, in a nutshell, is the gathering and analyzing of data online to provide insights into your brand and your customers.  It can help you gauge the popularity of your brand, as well as the way it is being perceived by potential customers.  It is based on activity online, and specifically on social media sites.  

You can think of social listening as having an ear down to the ground online, so to speak.  Brands monitor the posts, comments, and stories being shared about them.  They can then use this information to see how they are being perceived and manage their reputation.  It is how brands hear what is being said about them online, review the digital conversations people are having about them, and engage with potential customers through the internet. 

How do you practice social listening? 

So the gist of social listening is monitoring how your brand is being presented online.  But how can you do this monitoring?  There are many methods, and the best results usually come from using them all in conjunction with each other.  

Your goal is basically to seek out everything that is being said or shown about your brand online.  Think of all the places people could be talking about your brand, from social media to review sites to personal blogs.  You can start with something as basic as a Google search for your brand name to see what results pop up.  Then, move on to more detailed forms of searching, like crawling sites for keywords and searching through hashtags and Geotags on social media.  Consistently check places where people are most likely to discuss your brand, to not only be aware of the conversations, but also to engage and take part. 

Why does social listening matter? 

Social listening is an extremely popular marketing tool right now for good reason.  By actively practicing social listening, you can easily find new potential customers who are active in the spaces you are monitoring.  People who are using the keywords, hashtags, and platforms that are most relevant to your brand are likely a good demographic for you to be marketing to and trying to convert into customers.  

Social listening also helps you stay current not only on the way your brand is performing online, but also on more general trends in your industry.  It will help you be aware of how competitors are performing online, new tactics they are trying, and new posting trends that are resonating with your target audience.

Social listening is all about being aware of the digital world around you and the impact it is having on your business.  This is very important information to be armed with as a marketing team, to best craft your strategy going forward.

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