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Social listening

For brands, there are many benefits to analysing crowd noise; but a key aspect is untangling what is relevant to the business and what is not and then responding in real time to anything requiring attention.

What is it?

Social listening is the process of monitoring mentions on social media sites like Facebook, twitter and Google+ to find anything which directly mentions your brand, its competitors or relevant markets by looking for keywords.

Businesses can outline words or phrases which are relevant and set up alerts to posts which do not tag or mention the company directly but are linked to these specific words.

The best way to do this is through a handy online platform which will let you specify which keywords you want to highlight and track them all in a handy stream. Sites like Social Media Spaces, Hootsuite and Adobe Social are great ways to get crowd noise organised into manageable feeds.

Why do brands need it?

  • Partaking in social listening will give brands a much better understanding of customers, the questions they have, the products they are buying and what they think of the brand. This information can then be used to add value to the business.
  • Engage with and respond to questions customers are asking about the brand and the conversations they are having.
  • Tagging the latest products and promotions in social listening searches will help to gauge how successful it has been. Brands can see how many people are talking about them at any given time and whether the message is positive.

Taking the time to listen to customers is a clever way to bridge the gap between consumers and brands. There are so many companies using this and getting a glowing response from it. Anything that goes awry can be put to rights as soon as it occurs and any praise can be acknowledged.

One of the most important things to remember about social listening is that it is a two way conversation. If brands only distribute information but never acknowledge feedback or engage with consumers they will only reap half the benefits. Social listening presents a bonafide opportunity to gain insight about what consumers really think and want from brands.

Nick Green,