What is Social Media Listening and How Can It Benefit Your Business?

Social media listening is an invaluable tool which takes social monitoring to the next level. It enables businesses to not only monitor and analyse their online conversations, but some of the best tools also allow businesses to take action based on the data collected. With there being an estimated 3.8 billion active social media accounts. 

It would be nearly impossible for businesses to manually keep track of every time somebody mentions something relevant to them online. Social media listening allows businesses to directly see the unfiltered real-time opinions of consumers without having to use more dated means of information collection such as using focus groups and questionnaires. Essentially, social media listening is about analysing data and using the information gathered to guide a business' day to day decisions, whether that be responding to feedback or adapting successful marketing strategies.

How Does Social Media Listening Work?

Social media listening tools work by searching through and collating online conversations (for example, blog posts, social media mentions, and comments under posts on a chosen topic) via a keyword search, allowing for only specific relevant data to be found. Examples of useful keyword searches include your businesses name and handles, your product name(s), your competitor's name and product names, industry buzzwords, and specific campaign names. All searches can be made country, language, and time-specific to ensure only relevant information is collected. The varying data is then integrated into a concise record log. During this process, data is classified either as positive, negative or neutral, which may be done by analysing the tone of any given statement by a user. This allows a brand to become more aware of their 'online mood', otherwise known as the social media sentiment; which is integral in understanding how your target audience feels about you. Following this, businesses are then able to take action, whether it be replying to negative comments, engaging with positive feedback, or adapting marketing strategies to align with trends.

Direct access to the unfiltered opinions of your target audience

Direct communications between businesses and customers via helplines or email are decreasing steadily, with consumers instead sharing their opinions with the world as their audience, on social media. Everything from complaints, to praises, are becoming public for the world to see. Social media listening means businesses no longer have to tediously search social media manually looking for their target audience's opinions, and time can instead be spent on tracking and responding to feedback online. This is essential as businesses are frequently judged by their online responses - most notably to negative comments. For example, in 2017, an infamous Pepsi ad was hugely scrutinized online for making light of demonstrations aimed at tackling social justice causes. Almost immediately after airing, the ad was pulled and a public statement apologising was made; showing the benefits of using a real-time tool to keep up with public opinion online. Social media listening is also beneficial in regards to positive interactions with customers and can create goodwill, which is integral for brand image.

Create Better Marketing Campaigns

Data insights are at the heart of creating successful marketing campaigns. Social media listening allows businesses to clearly identify the strong and weak points of any given campaign based on real-time online conversations; allowing them to adapt campaigns to fit online responses. Keeping up with trends can also be extremely beneficial for creating successful marketing campaigns. Using keyword searches to keep up with online trends and see what your target audience is engaging with online will help you to create relevant up to date campaigns. Ben and Jerry's, for example, use this online information to their benefit by continuously adapting their marketing strategies to fit online trends and social issues.

Selling Opportunities

The impact influencers have on customer conversion has long been proven.  Seeing influential people such as bloggers purchasing specific products will most likely, whether consciously or subconsciously, encourage people who look up to them to also purchase that product. Social media listening allows you to see who is saying what about your business - meaning you can track which influential people are speaking about your products. You can also track brand advocates who continuously use and positively promote your products. Identifying key people to your business means goodwill can be established via loyalty schemes or collaborations to further increase engagement.

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Gone are the days where occasionally checking a competitor's website could provide adequate information about where they are in comparison to you in the market. Social media listening can give businesses lots of valuable competitive intelligence. Businesses can use the data collected from social media listening to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a competitor's campaigns/products in real-time and adapt their own strategies to their advantage. 

Final words

With the shift to the digital age, social media listening can provide you with heaps of invaluable information which you may otherwise never know. Using the tool to your advantage can be the difference in a successful marketing campaign and an unsuccessful one.

Are you interested in creating the perfect social media campaign? TANGA Digital can create a bespoke strategy that best suits your budget, product and desired outcome. Get in touch today - email us on

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