Do you know how many times my team tells a client that they can perform social listening across the various channels? A bunch! Do you know how many times I hear a client respond with a blank stare and an unenthusiastic “cool.” Too often!

Social Listening
Right off the bat, let me start off by saying that many people mix up social listening with social monitoring. Although these two are similar and work best together; however, they are NOT the same. Please don’t use them interchangeably!

Listening goes a lot deeper than social monitoring; it involves tracking conversations surrounding specific topics, keywords, phrases, industries, and brands. Then taking that insightful data and discovering any opportunities. Social listening should provide you with enough information to help you fill your social content calendar with content that your target audience wants and thrives on.

How is listening different than social monitoring?
Social monitoring is the process of watching out for @mentions and keeping up with notifications. Monitoring is important, but if that is all you’re doing or that is all your marketing agency is doing —you’re missing out on opportunities! Basically, social monitoring is the process of gathering social interactions that then need immediate action taken (ie. a reply, a Like, re-route to the correct department, etc.).

Social listening is less about the day-to-day responses and looks more at the bigger picture. What trends are occurring, what insights can help build a better and more effective social strategy? If you only look at social monitoring, then you can get stuck in the mundane and routine tasks, while missing out on connecting on a deeper level with your audience.

What are the key benefits or social listening?
Now that you have a grasp of what social listening is and the difference between it and social monitoring let’s jump into what you can get out of social listening.

  • Overall Brand Health
    Social listening can help gather the overall health of a brand. It is easy to respond to negative and positive comments across the different platforms, but what social listening does is help you determine how those positive and negative reviews impact your overall brand sentiment.
  • Create Desired Content
    Let’s face it; if you’re creating and distributing content that your audience does not want to see, then you’re going to wasting a lot of time and not helping your brand awareness. When the content is not engaging or at least not relevant to your audience, it can be nearly impossible to convert them to leads. Social listening can help discover the language your audience is familiar with, and then, in turn, you can incorporate this language into your social content (i.e., posts, blogs, hashtags).
  • Improve Customer Experience
    While social monitoring helps with looking at each interaction on a case-by-case basis, social listening helps with seeking out more significant trends. This can help you uncover something that could be a lot bigger than you initially thought.

Social listening can provide you with invaluable insight and can keep your brand protected. If you are not currently using a social listening tool or have an agency that is only doing social monitoring, please contact Centipede Digital to get started.