Social Listening 101: A Beginner's Guide

Social Listening 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Social listening is an analytical tool that can help businesses unearth insights into customer sentiment, brand loyalty, and even buying trends. Getting started with social listening doesn’t have to be daunting — our ultimate guide will show you the basics and give you tips for mastering this technique.

Table of Contents

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the process of monitoring conversations online to uncover trends and sentiments about a product, brand, industry or any desired topic. It involves the careful tracking and analysis of social media channels, ranging from popular online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to less visible channels like forums and blogs. With the right tools in place, social listening can help brands capture valuable insights about their consumer base and adjust strategies accordingly.

Set Up a Dashboard to Monitor the Conversation About Your Brand

Once you have identified the channels in which you want to track conversations about your brand, it’s time to create a dashboard. This will enable you to access all relevant data in one convenient place so that you can easily monitor the conversations taking place – and act upon any insights obtained. Many social media management tools are available, such as Hootsuite and Sprinklr, which allow users to quickly set up a complete view of their digital presence that can be monitored and managed from one central dashboard.

Source: Brand24

Analyze the Sentiment of Discussions

Social listening allows you to go beyond simply tracking conversations and also extract insights related to how people perceive your brand, products, or services. To do this, you need to analyze the sentiment of online conversations. Sentiment refers to how people feel about something, be it positive, negative or neutral. Managing the sentiment of online conversations lets you track brand reputation and even act upon any areas of concern.

Use Metrics to Measure Performance

  1. Once you’ve set up your social listening report, you need to start tracking the metrics that will give you an indication of how well your campaigns are performing.
  2. Metrics such as reach and impression counts will give you an idea of where people are talking about your brand and who is seeing your content.
  3. You should also use sentiment analysis to gauge how consumers feel about your brand and track specific keywords related to products or services so you can monitor conversations around them.
  4. Finally, remember to pay attention to other competitors in the industry and any influencers discussing similar topics.

Focus On Campaigns That Get Results

  1. To get the most out of your social listening efforts, you should focus on campaigns that meet certain objectives. For instance, if your goal is to drive more engagement, look for metrics like the number of replies, comments, and shares to measure success.
  2. Or if you’re running a lead generation campaign, track the number of leads generated from the campaign along with any conversions from those leads.
  3. Lastly, make sure to monitor the relative cost per acquisition (CPA) or cost per click (CPC). Identifying which campaigns generate the highest return on investment will help inform where you should be spending your marketing budget in the future.

5 Benefits of Regularly Using Social Listening

Social listening is an important tactic for businesses wanting to stay on top of customer conversations, protect their reputation and gain meaningful insights about their consumers. With regular social listening, organizations can take advantage of five key benefits to help them better understand and serve their customers.

#1: Improved Customer Service and Relations

Regularly using social listening enables businesses to quickly and effectively respond to customer questions and complaints, which builds trust and improves customer relationships.

Additionally, leveraging data from social listening platforms helps companies understand their customers’ needs and preferences better, enabling them to develop tailored products and services that will meet those needs.

#2: Better Targeted Ads and Content

Regularly using social listening helps marketers develop better-targeted ads and content. By understanding their customers’ needs and preferences, they can craft more effective messaging that resonates with the target audience in various channels.

Social listening data can also inform real-time marketing decisions, allowing businesses to quickly adjust their marketing strategies to keep up with the ever-changing consumer landscape.

#3: Increased Brand Awareness and Sentiment

Keeping an ear out for brand mentions is one of the main benefits of social listening. It helps you to gauge sentiment around your brand and evaluate how people feel about your products and services.

This kind of data allows marketers to quickly identify potential issues and address them before they become major problems. Furthermore, it can help unearth organic content opportunities – like user-generated reviews or photos – which can be used as part of a larger content marketing strategy.

#4: Faster Product Development

By keeping track of what people are saying about your products and services, you can quickly identify areas where improvements need to be made. This information can help you speed up the process of product development, as you’ll have an insight into what consumers expect and want.

Additionally, it can help to ensure that the products or services you offer are relevant and up-to-date with current trends and preferences.

#5: Counteracting Negative Publicity

Using social listening can help you address negative comments and criticisms made about your Organisation. By monitoring these conversations on relevant platforms, you’ll be alerted to any online conversations which have the potential to tarnish your reputation.

You can then address the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible, using polite and helpful responses that put the customer at ease and diffuse the situation.

Popular social listening tools

Now that you’ve made your way through this social media course content, you should be familiar with social listening. As a refresher, social listening refers to the tracking and analyzing of conversations and trends related to your brand.

Another way to conduct social listening is simply by listening to your audience. In this reading, you will learn about the tools that allow you to conduct effective social listening. Social listening tools can help you monitor all of your social media platforms in one place.

In these tools’ dashboards, you can check:

  1. mentions of your brand
  2. relevant keywords
  3. feedback through tags and direct messages

You can even post on your social accounts directly from tool dashboards, and integrate all your accounts so you can track analytics.

Social listening tools

There are countless social listening tools on the market, and choosing the right one can be a big task. For now, you will have an introductory look at the most popular tools out there.

As you learn about each one, you can start to form an opinion on which you might prefer when you start your journey as a digital marketer. And after you’ve done that, feel free to browse their sites and test them out—you can’t know which tool you prefer until you try them!

Social listening tool #1: HubSpot Social Media Management Software

For the duration of this certificate program, you will continue to learn about HubSpot and its robust features. HubSpot does many things, but as a social listening tool, it offers integration for all types of marketing and analytics in one place.

With HubSpot, users can target specific audiences using the contacts database built into the customer relationship management tool, and then track and manage the engagement their brand gets from those interactions.

And, like many social listening tools, HubSpot allows you to reply directly to any tags, mentions and comments directly in the interface.

Social listening tool #2: Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool with features similar to HubSpot. It’s comprehensive in that users can post content via their publishing tools, and users can manage social listening and customer service needs.

Users find Sprout Social favorable because it allows them to discover trends from within their mentions and comments, and it provides valuable insights into their audiences.

Social listening tool #3: + Brandwatch ( is now part of Brandwatch)

Another comprehensive social media management tool that is commonly used is allows for direct communication between social media users and your business’s internal team members when necessary. also includes a feature called the Engage inbox, which allows users to handle private messaging communications effectively.

Social listening tool #4: Hootsuite

Like the other tools, Hootsuite allows you to create and schedule content, monitor activity and mentions, and manage communication across all your supported social accounts in one dashboard. Hootsuite also suggests the best times to post, based on your data and allows for team collaboration on all messages in Hootsuite Inbox.


Remember, these are just a few of the commonly used tools for social listening. They all have similar use cases, but the user interface and capabilities may vary. If you have a moment, take some time and try out each tool to help you identify which one you feel most comfortable in.

Resources for more information

  1. HubSpot
  2. Sprout Social
  4. Hootsuite

Social Listening FAQs

Social listening? / what is a social listening/ social listening definition/ social listening meaning

Listening to social media is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product, or brand. There is a massive amount of unstructured data produced by conversations on the internet.

An existing customer might tweet about how much they love your product, for example. Alternatively, you might notice a conversation where people are seeking solutions your product or service can provide.

Social listening tools/ tools for social listening/ social listening tools free/ what are social listening tools/ social listening free/ Social listening software/ Social listening platforms/ Social listening Hootsuite

Want to stay one step ahead of your competition? Social listening tools allow you to monitor conversations happening around your brand, measure ROI and get insights into industry trends – all with just a few clicks.

Discover 5 must-have social listening tools that can help you fine-tune your online strategy.

Social listening tool #1: Hootsuite Insights

Hootsuite Insights is an advanced social listening platform that allows you to measure and analyze campaigns over multiple networks. With this tool, you can track messages, conversations and key performance indicators in real-time across thousands of sources. Plus, the easy-to-use user interface makes it simple to find the metrics you need.

Social listening tool #2: Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a powerful listening tool for businesses of all sizes. Use their advanced search capabilities to find conversations and insights about your brand, analyze ROI from campaigns, and track competitor activity to get ahead in the game.

Sprout Social also offers industry-leading reporting that makes it easy to present valuable data points to stakeholders.

Social listening tool #3: Mention

Mention is a powerful and versatile social listening tool that allows you to track conversations, identify trends and measure ROI from campaigns. With Mention, you can monitor hundreds of sources including blogs, forums and Twitter in real time.

Plus, you can set up alerts for keywords or phrases that are relevant to your business so you don’t miss out on any important updates or opportunities.

Social listening tool #4: Brandwatch

Brandwatch is an advanced social media monitoring tool for teams that need comprehensive insights about their customers, competitors and market. Featuring a comprehensive dashboard, you can track volume metrics and sentiment, measure the ROI of campaigns, translate conversations into more than 70 languages and even combine data from other sources. With all the features combined, Brandwatch provides top-tier analytics around any topic or topic area.

Social listening tool #5: Talkwalker

Talkwalker is a powerful social listening tool to track every conversation happening around your brand. Not only can you monitor subject mentions, but you can also measure sentiment and engagement rates with collections of mentions and topics.

It also comes with a host of investigative tools to help you parse related conversations through keyword filters or advanced language processing algorithms. With TalkWalker, businesses have access to a huge pool of data sources like news sites, forums, videos, and images to get an in-depth view of conversations online.

Social listening vs Social monitoring

Understanding the difference between social listening and social monitoring can help you better tailor your marketing strategies and measure your success. Social monitoring helps to track mentions of your brand and foster customer relationships, while social listening allows companies to uncover deeper insights into their industry, target audience, and competitors.

What Is Social Listening and Monitoring?

Social listening and monitoring are both useful for measuring success in social media marketing.

  1. Social listening is the process of actively listening to what is being discussed across social media on topics related to your industry, brand, competitors, or target audience.
  2. On the other hand, social monitoring is the active tracking of mentions of your company’s name or branded hashtag that occurs on social media.

Defining the Difference Between Social Listening and Monitoring

  1. Social listening and monitoring techniques are both essential tools that can be employed by an organization to gain insights into what its audience is saying.
  2. While social monitoring involves tracking mentions of any content related to the brand’s name, social listening goes beyond just your brand to uncover what conversations and topics are trending across all of your monitored channels.
  3. By taking advantage of both techniques, you can get a more comprehensive understanding of your online presence.

The Benefits of Social Listening and Monitoring

  1. Social listening and monitoring can be utilized in a variety of ways to gain insight into customer opinions and which topics are trending within your industry.
  2. From staying ahead of customer complaints and dissatisfaction to spotting market opportunities, optimizing content strategies, and even anticipating changes you may need to make in how you’re delivering your product or service.

Numerous benefits come with taking advantage of both social listening and monitoring techniques.

Different Approaches to Social Listening and Monitoring

  1. Social listening is a proactive approach to gathering customer insights and sentiment. It focuses on the “listening” part of the equation by proactively scanning social media platforms for mentions of your brand or specific keywords that are associated with your product or service.
  2. By providing an understanding of what people are saying about you, social listening can be incredibly useful for creating engaging content and responding to customer comments promptly.
  3. On the other hand, social monitoring is more reactive, focusing on collecting data from channels such as news feeds, blogs, forums and more to detect mentions of topics relevant to your business. This approach can help you stay ahead of competitor marketing strategies and relevant industry updates.

How to Get Started with Social Listening/Monitoring?

The best way to get started with social listening and monitoring is by first identifying the goals of your marketing strategy. What are you trying to achieve? Once you have identified the key things you want to monitor, use this information to create a set of specific keywords or phrases that will be used to search for relevant mentions on social media.

From there, you can utilize tools such as Google Alerts or Social Mention to capture those keywords and begin tracking mentions. With an understanding of what people are saying about your brand, product or service, you can then use these insights to inform your marketing strategy and respond quickly and effectively when necessary.

Social listening examples/ social listening example

Understanding what your audience wants from your brand is easier when you listen to social media. An existing customer might tweet about how much they love your product, for instance. It is also possible to spot a conversation where people are looking for solutions that your product or service could provide.

Social listening companies

Taco Bell emphasizes customer service with social listening as a top priority. They also retweet every cool thing said about the brand and interact with users for fun, they also respond to customer complaints and value their opinions.

Social listening strategy

Social listening is an essential part of any successful brand’s marketing strategy. With the right approach to social listening, your business can track what people are saying online about your brand and products, gain valuable insight into customer sentiment, and identify growth opportunities.

#1: Understand Your Social Listening Goals.

Before you can create an effective social listening strategy, you’ll want to determine what you aim to achieve. This includes understanding both broad business goals and specific objectives when it comes to maximizing the benefit of your listening efforts. Defining your goals ahead of time helps ensure that you focus on activities which will have the most impact and help maximize ROI.

#2: Select Your Listening Tools & Social Media Platforms.

Select the monitoring tools you plan to use, such as keyword monitors, sentiment analysis tools and analytics platforms. Your selection should be tailored around each goal you have set out in your strategy.

Alongside this, decide which social media channels you will focus on, as depending on your business and target market you may want to monitor more than one platform. Ensure that all of your chosen listening tools are suitable for the type of data you’re looking for and do their job effectively.

#3: Monitor Mentions & Hashtags of Your Brand & Business Goals.

Social listening is key to understanding how customers talk about your brand and product. Monitor mentions of your brand and business goals, to track their conversations relevant to your content.

Make sure you use tools that provide instantaneous monitoring of those conversations, such as brand monitoring tools that continuously monitor specific hashes or keywords related to your project.

Analyze Social Insight Data Arising from These Mentions and Hashtags.

By leveraging brand monitoring tools, you can analyses the data arising from mentions of your brand. This can help identify emerging trends and new opportunities for tailored customer engagement which will go a long way in gathering insights about target audiences.

Additionally, it allows you to measure the effectiveness of current strategies and campaigns to better understand how customers are responding.

Analyze your social insight data by segmenting it according to sources, hashtags, time frame and other relevant filters to get the most out of this step in creating an effective social listening strategy.

Take Action on Insights Gained to Improve Outcomes & Engagement with Users

After you’ve taken the time to analyses your social listening data, the next step is to turn that insight into actionable strategies. Test out different content approaches, both organic and paid, to improve user engagement. Try responding and interacting with individuals who have interacted with your brand through social media and look for ways to add value to their conversations.

Additionally, you can use insights from users’ comments or questions to develop new campaigns and product development. By actively listening to customer feedback and implementing these insights, you will be able to create more tailored marketing campaigns that further resonate with your target audience.

What is social listening tools?

You can use a social media listening tool for monitoring and analyzing online conversations about your brand, a specific topic, your competitors, or anything else relevant to your business. Marketers can analyze mentions of specific keywords by pulling in mentions of those keywords.

Social listening report

You can use a social listening report to keep up with online conversations and pay attention to customer questions, comments, and complaints. You can boost customer engagement while building a more positive brand image.

Social listening Facebook/ social listening Instagram/ social listening Twitter/ social listening for Facebook

Please refer to this guide, here: The complete guide to Facebook listening

Social listening agency/ social listening jobs

Here’s your guide: Social Listening Tools and Services

Why is social listening important/ why social listening is important?

Through social listening, companies can gain a better understanding of the conversation surrounding their brand and products. Companies can use it to gauge brand awareness and improve products and services based on valuable consumer data.

Benefits of social listening/ social listening benefits

Social listening is a powerful marketing tool that allows businesses to listen and analyze conversations happening on social media. From understanding customer sentiment to improving customer service, this strategy enables you to gain valuable insight into your target audience and use that data to inform effective decision-making.

#1: Understand What Your Audience Is Talking About.

With strategic social listening, you can understand what topics your customers and prospects are talking about – and more importantly – how they feel about them.

By monitoring conversations happening on social media, you can better understand their needs, wants, and preferences; gaining an understanding of the problems they may be facing and developing campaigns that provide real solutions.

#2: Utilize Social Listening to Make Informed Decisions.

Strategic social listening can drive better-informed decisions that align with the needs and interests of your customers. As trends, discussions, and topics are unearthed, you can gain an understanding of how to best seize on opportunities for growth and innovation; creating campaigns and products tailored to meet the current needs of your customer base.

Not only does this promote engagement with your brand, but it further establishes trust between you and your audience as well.

#3: Create Targeted Content & Engage Your Audience.

Once you gain customer insights through strategic social listening, you can apply this knowledge to deliver content tailored to their immediate needs.

Not only does this demonstrate that your brand values customer feedback, but potential customers will also find relevance and appreciation in the message behind your targeted campaigns. The more personal you make each customer’s experience–the more engaged they become with your brand.

Additionally, be sure to respond to customer comments and engage with their conversations–this proves that you are a supportive and involved business entity; strengthening relationships and establishing trust with your fanbase.

#4: Identify & Tap into Industry Trends and Influencers.

Strategic social listening can help you identify trends and learn more about respected industry leaders. Following conversations with different stakeholders allows you to establish meaningful partnerships with influencers who can leverage your brand’s image.

Keeping track of the discussions around competitors and emerging technologies makes it easier for you to update products and services in line with customer demands. In addition, popular topics offer opportunities to participate in online conversations as well as increase visibility across various platforms.

#5: Monitor Brand Mentions & Establish a Reputation Strategy

Monitoring brand mentions on social media, blogs, and news outlets is an essential part of your reputation management strategy. Analyzing customer feedback also helps you measure your brand’s performance and build trust with stakeholders.

Constantly tracking conversations allows you to respond in a timely fashion and address any concerns expressed by your target audience. This ensures that your brand is seen favorably in the public’s eyes, propelling it forward to lasting success.

Also Read: What Is Real-Time Marketing and How Can It Help Your Business?

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