Effective Social Listening: Strategies and Tips

social media monitoring

Social listening is an important social media strategy that can help you monitor social conversations and maintain a social presence. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on what people are talking about in your industry, identify opportunities for new content ideas, and engage with potential customers. In this blog post, we will discuss how social listening can be used effectively to get the most out of social marketing.

When implementing a good social listening plan allows social media experts to:

  • Understand social media demographics.
  • Identify social influencers and gain social insights.
  • Track-specific keywords for social mentions and hashtags.
  • Monitor customer service issues or complaints on social outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & more (list as many as you can).

The first step in setting up social listening is to select a social media monitoring tool. There are many social media management tools that you can use, such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. The social listening features in these tools will allow you to monitor conversations across multiple channels while providing metrics on the data collected. Some of these tools also include analytics reporting for deeper insights into social media marketing performance. It is important to select a social tool that will work for your business’s specific social goals and needs.

Social listening tools are also great because they allow you to monitor both positive & negative social mentions, reactions, or feedback on any given topic, brand, or event in real-time. This allows companies the opportunity to address social concerns quickly before they become major social marketing problems.

What is social listening?

identify influencers

Having a firm understanding of what social listening is will help you set up an effective social media monitoring plan.

Social listening is the process of actively gathering information about people talking in social channels using social media management tools, social analytics platforms & social data mining. It can also consist of other types of research like customer surveys or focus groups to get a better idea of what your customers are looking for on social media.

Social listening allows social media experts to monitor social conversations, gain social insights & identify social influencers or brand advocates. Social listening can also be used for influencer marketing and lead generation because it helps you build relationships with potential customers that are already talking about your industry on social channels.

Why do companies engage in social listening?

social listening strategy

There are many reasons social media experts decide to use social listening.

Listening activities can help businesses track industry trends so they know what types of content will resonate with their audience. Social data analytics tools allow social marketers the ability to monitor specific keywords for social mentions and hashtags so that it is easier to identify opportunities for new social content ideas or social marketing campaigns.

Social listening is also a great way to stay up-to-date on social customer service issues or complaints so that social marketers can address social concerns quickly before they become big social media problems for the company. Social monitoring tools help companies monitor both positive & negative mentions, reactions, and feedback about their brand, product, or services in social channels.

Track every important conversation

customer service team

It is extremely important to track conversations about your brand, industry, and social customer service issues or complaints. This will allow marketers the ability to address social concerns quickly before they become major social media marketing problems.

Social tools are also great because they allow you to monitor both positive & negative social mentions, reactions, or feedback on any given topic, brand, or event in real-time. This allows companies the opportunity to address social concerns quickly before they become major social marketing issues.

Social monitoring vs. social listening

brand mentions

While there are some similarities between the two, social listening and social monitoring are not the same thing. It’s important to understand the difference between social monitoring and social listening to ensure that you’re getting the best results from your social media efforts.

Social Media Monitoring:

The process of tracking what is being said about your brand, company, or product on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Social monitoring can be thought of as “passive” social listening or social media analytics – it’s a way to listen in and monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand, product, or company. Keywords that social tools such as Hootsuite and Brandwatch look out for in social monitoring include:

Social Media Listening:

The process of social listening is the proactive monitoring and engagement with social users online. Social Listening can be thought of as “active” social listening or social media customer service – it focuses on responding to customers promptly, engaging in dialogue when necessary, providing support where needed, and even going so far as fixing problems for customers.

Social listening to identify potential threats

social networks

Companies need to listen for social media posts that can hurt their social presence and do damage control before it becomes a major issue. Listening on social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram allows you to make sure your company responds quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency social media crisis.

Social media managers need to monitor their company’s social presence during major events including political elections and natural disasters so that they can be prepared in the event of a crisis situation. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using social monitoring tools that can monitor social media posts and flag any potentially harmful or damaging social content.

Social listening tools

social media engagement

If you have multiple social accounts (which you should) you will need to have the right tools to manage your social listening. If you don’t, social media can get overwhelming.

Below is a list of the most popular social tools to help you stay organized and get the most out of social media.

Tools to include:


Hootsuite is a social tool that has been around for years. Hootsuite allows you to monitor social accounts using different platforms. It can be used with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition, Hootsuite also allows users to have multiple social media profiles within one easy application.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social listening tool that allows users to monitor social accounts from one location. The social listening tool also supports different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. It is easy to use and does not require users to learn social marketing features or complicated steps.


Buffer is a social listening tool that allows users to schedule social media posts ahead of time. In addition, Buffer also allows users to add social media shares from their RSS feed or social media profiles. This social listening tool is only meant for social networking and cannot monitor social in real-time.

Crowd Booster.io

Crowd Booster is a social listening tool that allows social media managers to constantly share and schedule social posts. In addition, social media managers can take advantage of social listening. The social audio tool has a social listening function as well as a social media management platform. This social audit tool also provides social media alerts from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

5 Social listening tips

social media data

The following are some of our best suggestions if it comes to social listening. Keep this tool handy for the most money when you’re trying it.

Social listening is a great way for businesses to get ahead of the curve by knowing what people are saying about their brand. Here are 5 suggestions on how to get the most out of social listening.

Use a social media aggregator

Google Alerts is an effective tool that companies can use to track what’s being said about their industry and to find out whether users of social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have anything to say about your brand.

Listen for what people are saying about your company or product

Social tools can help you find out whether users of social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have anything to say about your brand. If so, it’s important to know exactly what they’re talking about because this is often the best way to get ideas on how you should improve your product or service.

Watch for complaints

One way to do social listening is by keeping tabs on people who are complaining about your product or service. In many cases, you’ll discover that the comments they’re making come from a place of frustration and anger. It’s important not to ignore these types of consumers because this could result in having them take their business elsewhere.

Get a handle on what people are saying about your competitors

You can use social tools to find out if there’s any chatter going around concerning your competition or their product/services. If so, this is a great way to learn how you might be able to improve yourself and offer something that will give consumers an incentive to choose your brand.

Monitor your brand name

Make sure that you’re listening to what’s being said about your company or product on social platforms. You can keep track of this by integrating a search for your business into the tool, so it tracks everything related to this topic. This is an essential step to ensure that people are saying positive things and this will help you get more traffic to your website.


By using social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn businesses can hear what their customers have to say about them which can be very helpful in terms of improving their product or service. Sometimes, however, people are more likely to complain about particular brands which is why it’s important to pay attention when they do this type of activity on social media platforms.

Create an authentic, personalized experience at every touchpoint

brand awareness

Today’s social users are savvy and they expect a personalized customer experience. To help you deliver on these expectations, we have some tips for how to create an authentic, personalized customer experience at every touchpoint of your business.

  • Make sure that each piece of content is relevant
  • Use real people in your posts, as social users prefer to see humans than logos
  • Use visuals and graphics rather than just text. Users are more likely to engage with your business if you include pictures, videos, or infographics in a post.
  • Offer options for customers who may have questions regarding a product but no time to call the company directly. For example, allow customers to request a callback, or send their emails directly
  • Personalize your email marketing messages by sending them from real people who look like they may work at the company rather than just an anonymous “from” field.
  • Use social tools to track what customers are saying about you and respond with timely comments that show you are listening
  • If you offer social media customer service or support, make sure to monitor and respond at all hours of the day. A recent survey showed that most customers prefer 24/hrs response times for their inquiries on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Monitor your competition as well; they may be offering deals, discounts, or hosting events that your customers may be interested in.
  • Remain transparent with information and updates about the company, as social media users need to know if they can trust you
  • Respond fast! The majority of consumers expect quick responses on social sites like Facebook or Twitter so plan ahead by having someone dedicated to monitoring these channels 24/hrs a day.
  • Show appreciation to your customers by thanking them for their feedback on social media. They took the time out of their busy schedules to share with you, so a simple “thank you” goes a long way!
  • Continue posting relevant content with helpful tips and advice that is important to your target demographic(s) even if you don’t have any new products, services, or updates to share.
  • Include links back to your social channels within blog posts and website content so users can continue the conversation on their preferred platform.
  • Listen more than you talk by proactively seeking out feedback from customers using surveys, polls, or listservs that are available to you.
  • Offer a variety of ways for customers to share their feedback with you, whether it’s via phone or email
  • Be upfront and clear about your business policies to ensure that social users are not surprised when they interact directly with your company. For example, if there is a strict no return policy listed on your website, tell customers so on social media.
  • Clear out any clutter by responding to customer inquiries and questions within the same day of receiving them.

Using social media listening data from social media platforms

brand awareness

Using the data you collect correctly is vital to today’s business success.

How does social media listening data help your organization?

Social Media Listening is quickly becoming a necessity for businesses, and it’s not just about monitoring what people are saying anymore — It’s now about understanding the conversation in context to build better strategies, uncover trends and even boost sales.

This data will give you insight into places that might need your attention, but it is up to you, with the help of social media listening data, to act on that insight.

  • Using social platform analytics
  • Knowing how your audience interacts
  • Identifying trends in real-time and during peak hours
  • Optimizing content for better reach and engagement

So now that you know how important social media listening data is.

Always remember, listen & respond with care!

social listening data

Your customers are the priority.

You’re not just a social media manager, you’re a customer service representative. This is why it’s so important to listen and respond with care. Social listening does that for you automatically! Acknowledge your customers & show them how much they mean to the business by always responding as quickly as possible – even if it means waking up at midnight to reply.

Listening is the first step in effective social management. Once you know what they’re saying & how they feel about certain topics or brands, take it one step further by engaging with those people – not selling at them! You can do this by asking questions, providing helpful tips & resources, sharing their posts on your own personal social media pages, or even creating new content to solve their problems.

Become a member of the community! Engagement is not something you can just set and forget. It’s an ongoing process that requires time, effort & patience to have any success with it at all. Be a part of the community by being an active member, not just another salesperson.

Your customers & other members will take notice and appreciate your efforts! It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small business or managing social media for a large corporation; engagement is key no matter what industry you work in. Take time to listen to your customers, acknowledge their concerns, and provide them with the tools needed to solve those problems. In return, you’ll gain a loyal follower who not only recommends your brand but also refers to it!


brand awareness

Having a social media presence is important for most businesses, but social media can be difficult to navigate. There are countless social platforms out there and it’s hard to know where you should focus your time if you want to have a large social following. If you begin with one social platform that is right for your business or interests. Then social media will seem less overwhelming.

Listening to what your customers are saying about your company or other topics you are passionate about is a great way to start social media. Once you know what people want from your business, social listening will help make social media easier and more effective for all involved.

To do social listening effectively, it’s important to keep in mind the target audience that connects with you on social media. What social platforms are they using the most? Many social listening tools will give you information that is valuable to your target audience, but it’s important not to waste time collecting data on social activity that isn’t relevant to your brand or industry.

Knowing what people want from your company and which social platform(s) to use is social listening at its core. Social media can be overwhelming, but social listening tools are here to help save you time and money so that social isn’t as scary anymore. With the right social monitoring tool in place, marketers can turn social into an effective marketing strategy that will engage target audiences with ease.

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