What is Social Listening, why it matters and 10 Tools to Make it Easier

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Social listening offers insights into what the public perceive about your product or services. It enables to track the conversations that online users have, analyse them and respond to those conversations as needed.

What is social listening ?

Social listening forms an important part of marketing strategy of any organization. It is a process in which the organizations can monitor the conversations to understand what the customers are saying online about a particular brand or the industry.
Organizations can use social listening for multiple purposes :

  • Developing insights into the pain points of the customers
  • Understanding their interests
  • Responding to the queries and complaints of the customers
  • Getting feedback on the differentiating aspects with respect to competition.

The process of social listening involves two steps :

 1.Monitoring the social media
2.Analysing and taking the necessary action

The first step of social listening is to monitor the various online channels to identify any conversation that has a mention of your brand, the industry , your competitors , your products and services, or topics related to your business etc. Different tools enable the monitoring of these online conversations, which consider different metrics like number of mentions, engagement rate etc.

The next step involves the action part of social listening. This differentiates the process of social listening from social monitoring. The information gained from the monitoring is now analysed and the necessary action plan is put in place. Social listening enables to understand the actual feel and sentiment prevailing among the people.

Analysing the feedback received, understanding the social media sentiment about your brand or product and devising ways to take action based on the insights gained forms the important part of social listening.

Why Social listening matters ?

Listening is an important part of audience engagement. When a business organization keeps its channels open and explores upon opportunities to receive feedback or information about its brand and the services, it gains key insights into the ground reality and the prevailing trends.

Here are few aspects which makes social listening important.

1.Customer engagement: Social listening seeks opportunities to engage in the conversation that online users have about your brand. You can feedback about what is working well , what is not and where the customers feel that the brand or the product can be improved.
Engagement with the customers enables to retain brand loyalty and helps in increasing driving revenues.

2.Assessing and tweaking business strategy: When you are involved with the customers online, you get a feedback about – your products and services, perception about your brand, current sentiment among customers, potential change in trends etc.
All this information offers insights beyond the numbers. You can understand the various reasons which are contributing to the numbers. This helps to develop business strategy.

3.Managing social media perception: In business, Perception is a reality. The image that a brand carries plays an important role in influencing the actual business done by the organization. There could be situations, which if not handled properly can snowball into big time problems.
Social listening provides a scope to actively engage and asses the sentiments people have about the brand. Any potential problem can be identified and addressed immediately.

4.Re-evaluating social media strategy: Through social listening, you can estimate the active online presence of your brand. Whether people are talking about your product, if they do – what is the nature of the talk etc.
You might notice that your business is not getting the online traction that you intend it to get, or the image being carried does not reflect the real picture. Social media consulting firm can be tweaked to make your brand more engaged online.

5.Insights into your competition: Doing things better than the competition is a key driver in generating revenues. Apart from knowing how your business is faring, Social listening also helps to keep a track about what people talk about your competition. This helps to pick up good aspects from the areas where they are doing good and also to learn from the mistakes the competition makes.

10 tools for effective social listening

The online conversations happen on various social media platforms. There are different sources from which you can gain information about the customer conversations. All this would be a challenge to monitor without the help of social listening tools. Here are 10 of the best tools for effective social listening.

1.Hootsuite : This tool helps in setting up of social media streams to monitor the online conversations as well as specified keywords. It facilitates scope to directly engage and respond to the customers, reach out to influencers and potential customers etc.

2.Hootsuite Insights: You can get access to various metrics and graphical reports that allow you to monitor the social media. You gain access to more than 100 million data sources that includes – blogs, various forums, news sites. There are different options which help in tracking the conversations based on language, gender, geographical location etc.

3.Talkwalker: It offers social listening on various platforms such as blogs, videos, news sites, online forums, review sites, different social media networks etc.

4.ReviewTrackers: This tool helps you to specifically focus on the online reviews. It accesses reviews from more than 85 review sites. You can monitor the online reviews using this tool within 15 minutes of they being posted.

5.Brandwatch: You can monitor the nature of conversation about your brand from a huge database of nearly 95 million data sources. You can also setup email alerts to notify on conversations taking place.

6.Audiense: You can identify specific as well as a large group of audience using this tool. Which you can be used to monitor their online conversations.

7.Mentiolytics: Keywords, mentions , sentiments can be tracked across multiple languages. You can even find potential influencers using this tool.

8.Netbase: It uses NLP which helps in finding the most relevant social media conversations.

9.Synthesio: It can tag mentions specific to location, demographics, language, influence, sentiment etc. You can monitor conversation on highly specific topcis and customer segments.

10. Reddit Keyword Monitor Pro: Get access to the reach of 114.5 million views on Reddit every month. The conversations on Reddit platform provide a source for social intelligence.

Using few of these tools can make your social listening strategy much effective.

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