Social Listening: What You Need to Know for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social listening is essential to your social media strategy because it helps you identify the needs of your target audience and creating content and strategies about what they’re actually and evidently interested in. Social listening helps your brand stay up to date on current topics and trends, which ultimately enhances your customers’ experience and sets you apart as a leader and expert. For example, half of the worldwide marketers use social listening to understand how consumer habits and preferences have changed during the global pandemic. 

Now that we’ve established that it’s an effective, widely used tool, we can look deeper into why it’s important and how to use it:

Why Social Listening Is Important 

Social listening has two components: monitor your brand’s social media channels for mentions and feedback, and to notify you of activity such as keywords, topics, and competitors that relate to your brand. Social listening gives you the what and the why. This allows you to investigate further and gather valuable information in order to create the most relevant and effective strategies. 

Customers appreciate when brands engage with them, whether that’s replying to reviews and feedback, or joining in on conversations happening throughout the social media platforms. Responding to your customers is sure to set you apart, it’s reported that only 1 in 10 messages get a response from a brand, but 83% of respondents like when brands respond. 

By implementing social listening, you are positioning yourself to be one of the first to discover new opportunities in your market. You can observe general grievances, events, and what is or isn’t working for competitors then do it better. 

The use of social listening will positively impact your bottom line, specifically with customer acquisition. By gaining insights into your target market and crafting valuable content that applies to their specific needs, you’re sure to grow your follower base and widen your sales funnel. 

Social Listening Strategies

Your social listening strategy will depend on the goals you have set for your business. Once you have your goals defined, you’d then select your channels, tools, and keywords. 

Some examples of different goals to center your strategy around are increased engagement with your audience, industry trends, customer acquisition, competitive analysis, brand reputation, and event monitoring. 

Social listening will help with industry trends and increasing engagement with your audience by guiding you to key points in developing trends for you to create content with or mention during your interactions. You can monitor your brand’s reputation and make moves to address misconceptions or make changes within your organization if your representatives aren’t portraying your brand the way you envision.  There are different platforms and tools for you to use when developing your strategies. The important part is that you do have ears out there that are actively listening to your customers. 

Get Started with Social Listening Tools

A quick Google search will help you find a variety of tools to use for social listening, there are many available that a free and you’ll want to choose one that fits the needs of your brand and your goals. Here’s a quick snapshot of some tools:

  • Mention – You’ll get a competitive analysis, the capability to discover top influencers, keyword, and brand data. A free trial is available, then packages start at $25/month.
  • Awario – Listen across the web from social media to blogs and forums. Similar offerings to Mention. You can sign up for free, then it starts at $29/month.
  • HubSpot’s Social Media Management Software – This allows you to monitor social interactions with contacts in your database, create keyword monitoring streams, and triggers email alerts for mentions. This is part of what HubSpot offers on its CRM platform. 
  • Hootsuite – This is a social media management dashboard that offers social listening tools by allowing you to view brand mentions and comments, track influencers and competitors, and displays trends. A free trial is offered for 30 days. 

Most offer free trials, but if you are a smaller company, you can take advantage of some of the larger platform’s tools for free – especially if your plan is to monitor one channel. 

Start listening to what your customers are actually talking about!