How To Use "Social Listening" To Benefit Your Business

Social listening is a useful technique to help brands evaluate their online reputation, keep track of their competitors, and stay on top of industry trends. It can offer a treasure trove of insights to improve your overall digital marketing strategy. The actionable information can help you differentiate your brand, generate leads and eventually make a sale.

What Should You Listen For?

Your Brand

Monitor public opinion on your brand. Track mentions of your company, your leadership team, your products, or any other pertinent information. Any negative feedback can spread like wildfire and undo the hard work you’ve put into developing your image. A single damaging review can shape how people will view your business, however unwarranted. Social listening allows you to quickly catch these comments and respond appropriately before they spread like cancer. By taking complaints seriously you can restore goodwill and even net new recommendations from satisfied clients.

Your Competitors

Spy on your Competitors. How are they perceived? What’s being said about them? Are they seen in a positive or negative light? Are your competitors talking about you? Engaging in competitive assessment must be a continuous process. It will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and use it to your advantage. Look out for information about their brand positioning, new product announcements, pricing, and promotions so that you can constantly tweak your offerings.

Influencers and Brand Advocates

Influencers are trusted sources of information whether through blogs, social media platforms, product review sites, or community forums. They have an exceptional knack for speaking the language of their demographic. They can help you identify hot trends in the industry by monitoring the content they are sharing.

Look out for opportunities to collaborate. They can be potential brand advocates and help you promote your product or service. They are able to drive engagement because they are seen as an authority in their sphere. But before you do engage in influencer marketing be sure that you have a clear understanding of your objectives and what you expect the influencer to accomplish.


Follow relevant hashtags. Hashtags let you gather information on issues people are bringing up, their questions, and their complaints. You can use them to harness trigger events that could be an opportunity for your company. When a person expresses a pain point that you can address, jump in and get involved in the conversation. Offer a useful piece of content or refer them to your sales team.

Useful Social Listening Strategies

Set-up Google Alerts

Google Alerts can help you track different types of content relating to your niche. Get notices when your brand, competitors, or keywords appears on a new piece of content published online. It’s very easy to set-up. You only need a Gmail Account to get started. Just head to Google Alerts and type in the names and terms you want to monitor. After you click the “Create Alert” button, you will begin to automatically receive notifications via email. You can decide how often to receive alerts. Options include immediately, once per day, or once per week. You can also filter sources and regions.

Subscribe to Blogs

Keep tabs on content your buyers are reading by subscribing to blog articles they are sharing. You should also subscribe to the blogs and newsletters of your competitors. An RSS reader is a simple tool to keep abreast of new content posted on a website without consistently visiting it for updates. Popular RSS readers include Feedly, Flipboard and News Republic.

Use the Hootsuite Dashboard

Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you to share posts across various social media platforms using one dashboard. One great feature is creating customised streams. You can organise the accounts or hashtags that you follow into different categories. Hootsuite is available for the following platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. These streams update in real-time, keeping you aware of anyone mentioning your brand or reaching out to engage in a conversation.

Create a TweetDeck

Although accessible only via Twitter, this tool is excellent for monitoring mentions, interactions, hashtags and hot trends. You can view multiple timelines in one easy interface. It updates you on the most active influencers and allows you to track their Twitter activities. You can also evaluate positive or negative impressions using the sentiment filter which enables you to get a sense of what people feel about certain topics.

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