Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online.
Marketing teams primarily use social listening for community management, such as identifying customer pain points and providing direct consumer response to questions, complaints, and comments. It is also used to surface feedback that could help to differentiate their brand, product, or service.
Why is social listening important?
As digital channels proliferate, there are myriad ways for consumers to share feedback and experiences — both directly and anonymously.
Social listening allows marketing teams to prioritize and evaluate feedback from the public. This feedback can be used to create more appealing offerings, both in the form of product and services as well as content and advertisements.
One important distinction: Social listening monitors individual conversations about a brand and industry. It does not provide insight into the direct impact of your marketing programs.
Tracking mentions and notifications is key to an effective engagement strategy. However, analyzing the context and larger trends around those conversations through social listening can give you valuable insight to better speak to and serve your target audience. But you may ask: what social conversations should I listen to?
Let’s take a look at Twitter. Over 25 billion social interactions take place on Twitter each day, so it offers a breadth of consumer, industry and cultural insights unlike anything else. With that type of volume, most companies don’t have the ability to go through every Tweet about their brand or industry. Plus, looking at these Tweets individually makes it difficult to see larger trends or themes.
That’s where listening comes into play. With social listening, you don’t treat every Tweet like a task. You look at the aggregate of a collection of social media messages.