What Is Social Media Listening? (Guide For Beginners)

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If you own a brand or work for a company with a huge number of customers online, you’ve probably heard of social media listening tools. Also called social media monitoring, people assigned to this job have the task of assessing what is being said about a company, brand, or individual online. In the current world,  many businesses have utilized the internet to their advantage. That is why it is important for a company to know everything when it comes to social media marketing.

One way to ensure that a brand is doing well is to monitor people’s feedback and opinions online. It includes assessing the performance or the quality of the product they are selling to the market. In order to know what needs to be improved or what needs tweaking, one must be able to navigate through social media listening platforms.


What is Social Media Listening?

Social Media Listening
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Social media listening is used by various brands, companies, and individuals aiming to improve their image for their audiences. Monitoring what people think of your company allows you to focus on areas that need improvement, and at the same time, address your audience’s conversations online.

If you are still a bit lost on what social media listening is, you can start by imagining that you own a small bakeshop. Sometimes you will hear people’s comments about your pastries and assess what needs to be adjusted. This can only be done if you reach enough consensus through a number of your customers.

Social media monitoring functions similarly, except that it has a scope since everyone with internet access can post something about your products or services. It is best that you use a listening tool to help you manage the bulk of the data you will gather and analyze them for your convenience.

The discussions on the internet can provide you with a platform to improve your customer relations and public image. That is why having the right listening tools to analyze social media information is crucial for the benefit of your company.

Both social media and in-person information are valuable to businesses as a customer intelligence tool. There are online forums about specific products on social media platforms like Facebook or Reddit, and social listening is usually done on these sites.


How Is Social Media Listening Done?

Social media monitoring
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If you are new to social media monitoring, it might seem like a complex task that takes too much time and money to maintain. However, there are now free social media listening tools like HubSpot, Hootsuite, and Buffer. They can analyze the data to provide you with opportunities to improve your business.

The main aspect of why brands and companies conduct social listening is to understand the social media sentiment of their clients. Understanding how your customers feel will help you develop your marketing techniques as well as track the developmental efforts of your business.

There are two main processes of how social media listening works:



The first process is where your listening tool monitors the various media channels through keywords and mentions that are related to your brand or company. This also includes monitoring competitors for how their business is performing in the market through similar searches by customers.



The pieces of information the listening tools have gathered while monitoring social media platforms will then be analyzed. During this process, you can put into action your plans for your brand or business. This can range from responding to customer feedback to making adjustments to your products for better client satisfaction.

There are various social listening tools that give you the option to monitor or listen to social media platforms. If you are unsure what’s the difference between social media listening and monitoring, it is useful to remember that monitoring only includes looking at metrics from the following:

  • Relevant hashtags
  • Industry trends
  • Competitor mentions
  • Brand mentions

On the other hand, social media listening involves taking action based on the metrics or monitoring you have done. The main difference between the two is that social listening considers beyond the metrics allowing you to understand the pulse of your consumers.


What Tools or Programs Can Help You?

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Good social listening is the key to build a successful business. Choosing a good social media examiner is crucial to find relevant information that will benefit your team. There are social media listening tools that can filter out keywords you can use to monitor the customer feedback and how your brand is performing in the market.

Social media listening platforms are the channels your social listening tool will operate on. Topics and keywords from online forums will be monitored by your social media listening tool to learn what people are saying about your business and the industry you are in.

The keywords and topics related to your brand will likely change as trends come and go. Here are some features of the best social listening tools:

  • Monitoring your brand name, product names, handles, and even common misspellings
  • Determining your slogan and those of related businesses
  • Monitoring your competitors’ product performance
  • Identifying the buzzword in your industry
  • Searching for campaign keywords
  • Looking for branded hashtags of your competitors and those in the same business industry as you.


You also need to find the channels where your customers are talking about your brand so you can monitor them easily. All of these contents and data can be overwhelming if you are monitoring them manually. However, you can save a lot of time from going through all the information with the help of a reliable social media listening tool.

Social media listening tools can provide you with a wide net for your brand’s social listening program. Conversations are likely to vary from one social media platform to another, and that is why it can be challenging to find the right channels without the help of a tool.


5 Social Media Listening Platforms

Now that you know the basics of what social media listening is, the next thing you have to do is find the perfect social media listening tool for your brand. There are many social listening programs available online that offer unique setups based on the varying needs of companies and business owners.

If you are planning on using free social media listening tools, it is important that you still maintain good communication with your team. This allows you to ask for input and ideas based on the information from the social media listening tool.

Here are some of our top picks for the best social media listening tools that will benefit your company in the long run:



Screenshot from Hootsuite


Created by Ryan Holmes in 2008, Hootsuite has become one of the most popular social media management platforms. You can set up social media listening using this program. This is done through monitoring conversations, mentions, hashtags, and keywords related to your product.

This social media listening tool is used by big companies to engage with their customers. It also allows you to switch between dashboards so you can manage various streams of social media with ease. Hootsuite also features the option to follow influencers that can help you spread your brand name and attract more potential customers.

What makes Hootsuite great is that it can accommodate your growing business team. They offer a 30-day free trial for their customers, and you can have the choice to manage 10 to 35 social profiles all at once, depending on your marketing budget.



Sprinklr Logo
Photo from Wikimedia Commons


The Sprinklr social media listening tool is listed as one of the leading social listening platforms in the world. If you are targeting mainstream social media to improve your business, this tool might be perfect for you.

The creators of this social media listening tool believe that customer experience management is a key feature to improve your brand’s image. That is why the data that this program gathers will be helpful for analysis and engaging with the public.

Sprinklr features an AI engine that can provide their clients with real-time customer insights across your entire team to encourage innovation and collaboration. They also work with some of the biggest companies in the market today, such as Microsoft, Nike, and Samsung.


Reddit Keyword Monitor

If you frequently use search engines, you’ve surely heard of Reddit. It is widely used by individuals looking for tips, sharing product insights, and answering even some of the most common questions on the internet. This makes Reddit one of the biggest online platforms, with over 120 million visits each month.

Using Reddit as a social media listening platform can provide you with an immense amount of data related to your industry. The Reddit Keyword Monitor is great for those who are looking for user-friendly SEO tools. Marketing is all about knowing where your audience is and what they are looking for, and that’s why many business owners rely on Reddit for social listening.



Another great social media monitoring tool is ReviewTrackers. This program allows you to use customer feedback and reviews to drive your retention strategies. You can also increase your views and customers by engaging more with the public on different social media platforms.

ReviewTrackers aims to ensure your brand’s consistency so you can boost your business and increase your visibility across the digital marketing world. Aside from providing consistent engagement with your customers, this tool will also help you increase your local SEO rank.

ReviewTracks has four subscription tiers to cater to all types of customers and their needs. You can also request a free demo for each tier to make sure that you get the best possible deal for your growing business. For more effective social listening, you can link your Hootsuite account with ReviewTracks and filter out the most relevant data.



Photo by Synthesio


Developed by Ipsos, Synthesio uses an AI program that handles social intelligence structures to make sure that your customers’ feedback is prioritized. This social listening tool helps you identify the preferences of the public so you can adjust your products and services accordingly.

Synthesio has market and research models to inspect and notify you whenever there is a shift in public opinion and conversations about your industry. You can also send out digital surveys to find out what consumers think about your brand. This is why Synthesio is the third-largest global market research firm and is well-loved by many business owners.

Their services include metric reports and strategic insights reports. If you want to try out their services, you can also avail yourself of their free demo and check out their webinar recordings to create the perfect subscription plan for your company.


Benefits of Using Social Media Listening to Business

Social media listening is a helpful tool that can improve your business. It also makes you more efficient in addressing customer feedback. If you are still unsure why you should invest in social media listening tools, we have listed some of the pros you can get from social listening.

You can find the weak points of your brand according to online feedback. You can use this information to tweak your existing products and services. It is important that you are aware of what your customers like and dislike so that your team can come up with new ideas to improve your brand and bring more profits.


Better Customer Relations

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What better way to improve your brand’s relations with your patrons than to provide them with the service that they are looking for? If you treat your customers with value, you will attract more clients. You can do this by assessing their needs and interacting with them on social media platforms.

It is important to know that you can monitor varying feedback online. You can improve your image and customer relations by constantly interacting with your target market to understand their social media sentiments.


Manage Crises Efficiently

It can be tricky figuring out how social media listening increases customer advocacy. Especially, if you aren’t hearing your customer’s opinions. However, you can only increase your customer advocacy by knowing the right actions you should take.

Social media listening tools can help you decide the best course of action. You can track in real-time the engagements with your products and share your strategies for your team to handle the crisis quickly.


Track Your Competitors

Social media listening tools are not just used to improve the services of a company. Many business owners are using a social media listening tool to track their competitors and their performance.

By monitoring the performance of your competitors, you can gain insight into what the customers are looking for and how you can compete with the demand of the market. You can also listen to feedback from customers online about other brands so you can plan and respond efficiently.


Identify Influencers and Advocates

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An important factor that affects the image and sales of a business company is how it is being advertised. Social media listening will help you identify individuals who have a wide audience reach. This will allow you to better advertise your product to your target audience. Online influencers play a great role in promoting brands and products to increase your sales.

Many businesses are promoting their products online with the help of influencers on social media. Having a social media listening tool will help you determine individuals who can act as brand advocates for your business. You can also collaborate with them and offer deals in exchange for brand promotions and ads.


Discover New Trends

The market is brimming with new businesses every day. It can be tough to maintain your sales with new competitors around every corner. Hence, that is why it is important that you are aware of the trends and the market perception for products. You can adjust and tweak your brand according to recent trends.

Lastly, social media monitoring is a great way to stay updated. The information can help you establish your brand and attract new customers daily.

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