Social listening is one of the key tools in any company’s marketing kit. By gathering real data and insights into consumer behaviour, brands can learn to forge powerful connections with their audience. Building these connections allows brands to provide the services and answers to questions that your audience is looking for. When used properly, social listening is a tool that empower brands to make real connections with their target audiences. 

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What is Social Listening?

In essence, social listening is simply the process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, its products, and your competitors. Social listening lets you  cash in on opportunities to track, analyze and respond to online conversations, mentions and reviews about your brand on social media – and other digital channels. 

Think about it. Imagine you’re the proud owner of a cafe, and you serve different kinds of treats and beverages all day long, day in and out. While you’re working you can usually hear your customers talking. Most of the time they’ll talk their day, swap stories about their kids, or gossip about their next door neighbours. They also talk about the coffees you’ve served them, and the cakes – trust me here, I’m speaking from experience – and what they say isn’t always what you’d like to hear. You might hear that they absolutely love the chocolate-raspberry cake and that the coffee is the best in town, flattering right? That means you’re doing something right. If the person sitting across from them steals a bit of their cake and agrees with them, you’ll know it’s not an isolated opinion. Your chocolate-raspberry cake is a winner. 

But what happens if you overhear something less flattering? What happens when you hear that the coffee is bitter and burnt and the cake is dry and has no flavour? What happens if you overhear that conversation from more than one person? Then you have a problem right?

Wrong. You have an opportunity. An opportunity to improve something that your customers – your audience – is not enjoying about your product or brand. Armed with this new information you can now make a change to improve your products and/or services. 

Why is it important?

Social listening lets brands gather information and insight into their audience. Without that data, we can only base our actions on assumptions and guesswork which is not a strategic way to get ahead in life. In business – as in our personal lives – if we don’t listen to what our audience wants, we won’t be able to connect with them. Without connections there’s no way to influence or reach them. Connections drive all marketing, and without them the entire company will suffer. By building on the opportunties that social listening data offer, you can strengthen your companies and grow your brand strength. 

15 Social Listening Tools worth checking out

  1. Sprout Social
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Buffer
  4. TweetReach
  5. HubSpot Social Media Management Software
  7. BuzzSumo
  8. Keyhole
  9. SumAll
  10. Mention
  11. Awario
  12. Snaplytics
  13. Oktopost
  14. Iconosquare
  15. Tailwind

Final Thoughts

Social listening is a spectrum, an insights-generating tool that can help brands understand their target audience, customers, and competitors. It provides real information into what people are saying – and, by extension, feeling – about your products and services as well as the brand in general. Social listening brings brands and their audiences closer together, and lets people know that companies really do actually care.

Would you like to build your own brand’s connections with your customer base? We can help you get started.


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