Updated: Oct 4, 2022
What is the difference between social media monitoring and social listening?
Social listening is the step after social media monitoring, and social media monitoring is monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, your competitors, your products, and keywords relevant to your business. There are tools to help you with social media monitoring and social listening, such as Hootsuite. You can find a full list by googling social listening tools.
While social media monitoring is important, acting on what you find might be more so. That is where social listening comes in. It’s not so much about the mentioning of your brand as it is about the feeling behind the mention- is the person mentioning your brand happy or discontent? This is also called social media sentiment and it must be analyzed.
Hootsuite describes social media sentiment analysis as collecting and breaking down the posts about your brand while considering opinions and the emotions behind the posts.
Tracking social sentiment helps you understand the audience. Get the full scoop- not just how they feel about the product. It’s also important to understand how they feel about your ads, posts, and overall brand.
Social listening can help you improve your customer service.
It can also help you improve your customer service. When you are actively social listening, you will be aware of potential threats to your business much quicker- meaning you can respond better than if you woke up, went to the office, and realized your brand was all over traditional media and social media in a negative light. It makes resolving complaints easier.
Social listening highlights your target market’s perception of your brand messaging.
Adjust brand messaging if necessary. It is possible your brand messaging might be distasteful to your target market. Social listening allows you to make the necessary adjustments.
On the other hand, it is possible you might have messaging that is a huge hit with your audience. You might use that opportunity to adjust your brand strategy to include more messaging like the preferred messaging.
Use social listening to understand where you stand in your niche.
You likely have some areas in which you are doing beautifully, and some that could be improved. When you analyze your social media sentiment, these areas will be revealed and you can respond properly.
Social listening is part of your audience research.
By knowing what your audience loves (or doesn’t) about your product, you can do two very important things. First, it allows you to address the issue by responding on social as soon as you find the comment. (Don’t forget to respond to the good comments, too.) This shows your audience that you care about their satisfaction with your product. Second, it allows you to fix the problem and improve your product.
Now, you understand what social listening is and how analyzing the data you find for sentiment can help your brand. Let’s answer the question- True or False? Social listening can help you find leads.
True. Social listening can help you find leads.
Many people stop after understanding the sentiment behind the mentions, but you can take it a step further by using it to help you identify leads. Wordstream recommends getting creative in this step.
One way you can act on social listening to generate leads is to find potential customers and offer them a special gift. Do this by reaching out to the person on a social media platform. It’s better than an ad because it’s personal. It makes them feel special. Simply monitor for keywords related to your offer. For example, if you sell beauty products and your company just launched a new eye cream, you might monitor for the words “tired”, “exhausted”, “looking old”, etc. When your social listening tool indicates accounts that mentioned your monitored keywords, you can reach out to them and offer them something.
Wordstream also recommends finding those complaining about your competitors and reaching out to them. Depending on the reason the customer is unhappy, you would reach out with a reason to choose your brand next time. For example, if the other brand uses toxic chemicals and yours uses organic ingredients only, that’s your in!
Using social listening tools allows you to use another lead generation tactic. When you are monitoring for keywords relevant to your product, you will come across influencers’ and micro-influencers’ names and accounts. These people are constantly trying new products relevant to their audience. Offering a free product for them to review is a fantastic way to generate leads.
To sum it up:
Social media monitoring is monitoring social media platforms for keywords relevant to your product, your product’s name, and mention of your brand and your competitors’ brands. Social listening is understanding the sentiment behind the mentions and acting on it. Lastly, you can use social listening to generate leads.
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