Social Listening: What, Why and How Ultimate Guide

Written by Bridgette Weller Brown
on 19 May 2021

Social media management and social listening go hand in hand. 

Social listening is essential in 2021. Digital marketers have been using their social media platforms to connect and communicate with audiences for years. Social listening is taking that concept to the next level.

Social listening helps you create more content, create and share bigger and better ideas, and better understand what your customers want.

What Is Social Listening?

Social listening is the art of listening to your audience on social media channels and in the general online space. This can involve reading comments, looking for tagged content on social media involving your brand and global or local events. Businesses can use social listening to gauge their audience’s reactions to new campaigns or related products, what content they want to see, and answer their questions.

Social listening allows us as digital marketers and business owners to know what your customer avatar is thinking and talking about.

Man in red t-shirt frowning with hand up to ear like he's listening

(READ: 3 Ways Business Can Prepare For A Post COVID World)

Why Does It Matter?

Social listening is a crucial part of your marketing strategy.

If you think about it, customer feedback has always been an essential part of marketing. Filling out surveys, leaving customer feedback, you name it.

In the new age of Digital Marketing, however, we have a different kind of access to our customers. Instead of filing through paper after paper of customer feedback, we have the option to be a fly on the wall of the conversations your customers are having online.

This means that as marketers and business owners, we can directly address the thoughts and feelings of our audience. For example, say you’re a pie shop and your audience is asking for a specific flavour of pie, you have the power to give your customers what they’re looking for.

As business owners, you can see memes, books, TV shows, movies, just about anything your ideal customers are talking about.

This means you can use social listening to develop new ideas for your business products or services, new ideas for social media content, and create timely campaigns.

(READ: What is an Email Funnel?)

Ways To Implement Social Listening Into Your Social Media Strategy

There are several ways to implement social media into your marketing strategy, but here are some simple ones you can start with.

1. Publishing Tools
Many social media publishing tools such as Mention, Hootsuite and Agorapulse have built-in social listening tools, meaning the platforms monitor when your brand is mentioned online.

2. Keep Tabs On Industry News
At Caffeinate, we love Facebook Groups and are subscribed to many. Facebook Groups are a great way to monitor news, events and general opinions within your industry niche.

At Caffeinate Digital, we have Google alerts notifications set up, which notifies us every time specific keywords are mentioned online. So every morning, the latest in Digital Marketing and business space, mentions of the brand online are delivered straight into our email.

3. Identify Influencers
Many brands have turned to famous online personalities to post about their products. Social listening is a viable way to identify which prominent online personalities are succeeding in your niche. This is a great way to discover what content strategies are performing best.

4. Find Feedback
Facebook and Google reviews are a great place to start, and see some of the good things people say about your business. If you’ve had negative feedback, you can use this information to grow, and get better.

(READ: What is Alt Text?)

5. Monitor Competitor Content
Analysing how your competitors content performs across social media platforms can help your content strategy ideas and tactics. Since you likely share an audience with opposing businesses, content and strategies that work well for them will probably also work well for you.

6. Check Your Notifications
You mustn’t stop diving into your Facebook notifications or reading your message inbox. Take the time to sift through those notifications and respond and likes comments, invite users to like your Facebook page. Show your audience that they’re being listened to. People love having their voices heard by brands they are interested in.

There you have it. Whether people are having conversations directly about your brand, your industry, or your competitors, social listening can contribute significantly to your business growth.

(READ: Read This Before Building Your Website)

So keep listening! Any questions, let us know down below.

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