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Social Listening: What Is It and Why You Need to Do It

Want to create the best social media marketing strategy for your audience? You need to start social listening! Here’s all of our tips, tricks, and reasons you need to start today.

Posted 1 month ago

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 1 month ago
As a social media manager, you’ve got a lot of items on your plate that you need to balance. From creating incredible social media campaigns to following up with customers in the DMs to making sure your brand’s reputation is always on point. But how do you do this all effectively? By social listening, of course! Unsure what social listening is and why you even need to worry about it? Don’t worry. We’ve got you. Here’s everything you need to know about social listening, what it is, and why you need to start implementing it into your marketing and social media strategy.

What is social listening?

When it comes to your online strategy and marketing, social listening is key. But WTF is social listening? It’s when you start to listen (duh) to the conversations and trends happening around your brand and your industry as a whole.
And once you start really listening to these conversations, it’ll help you figure out why, where, and how the conversations are happening, plus it’ll help narrow down what people think of your brand and industry overall.

What’s the difference between social listening and social monitoring?

When it comes to listening, you need to start monitoring your social media channels. Monitoring is more passive than listening and usually involved identifying and responding to individual mentions. Social media monitoring is similar to social listening but is more focused on tracking metrics, like:
  • Brand mentions
  • Relevant hashtags
  • Competitor mentions
  • Industry trends
  • Keywords
Social listening goes one step further than social monitoring and takes action on the data you have collected.

Why does social listening matter?

With the right tools, social listening will allow you to track conversations around phrases, words, emojis, terms, and more that are relevant to your biz.
Social listening can help you with future social media campaigns, improve your overall messaging and content strategy, build more brand and influencer partnerships, and so much more.

How do you do social listening?

When it comes to social listening, there are a couple steps on how to do this effectively.
  • Step 1: Follow hashtags, brand mentions, competitor mentions, products, and keywords related to your business and industry.
  • Step 2: Go through all the mentions and analyze the information to figure out a plan of action for your content plan. It can be something as simple as responding to a customer or potential customer or something as big as changing your entire brand strategy.

When to use social listening

Not sure when to use social listening? There are a couple different uses for social listening:

Competitor analysis

Social media listening is a great way to understand how your social media stacks up against your competition. You’ll be able to see where your business falls short and does better than other similar businesses in areas like customer service, reputation, retention, and more.
Here are some questions to ask:
  1. Who are your main competitors?
  2. What are they doing well?
  3. What are they doing not so well?
  4. How much of the social media market do they dominate?
Tracking and analyzing competitors, their relevance to you, and it’ll help you stay one step ahead when it comes to your social media against others.
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Engage with your customers

One of the most important things is listening to your customers and identifying advocates or critics of the brand, you can listen to what they have to say and use the opportunity to create a conversation, figure out what your consumers want, and so much more.
You can also drive engagement with your customers by offering better online support.
social listening

Tips on better social listening

1. Listen for the right words and topics

Good social listening is all about choosing the best keywords for your brand. These keywords and topics will help you hone in on your brand strategy and figure out what words and topics people are using when it comes to your business and industry.
Need help figuring out what kind of words and topics to use to monitor? Here’s a list to start:
  • Product names
  • Brand name and handles
  • Competitors’ brand names, product names, and handles
  • Industry buzzwords
  • Your slogan
  • Competitors’ slogans
  • Names of people in your company and others in your industry
  • Unbranded hashtags related to your industry
  • Campaign names and keywords
  • Your branded hashtags and your competitors’ hashtags

2. Listen in the right places

When it comes to social listening, you need to figure out which channels your customers are at and how they are speaking about your industry on each.
Every channel is going to speak about your brand and industry in a slightly different way. On LinkedIn, they might speak differently than they do on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Once you’ve figured out which terms and social media networks you are going to monitor, use more search techniques to really narrow down and filter your results.

4. Learn from the competition

It’s time to start looking at your competition and seeing what they are doing. Is there something that they have done that you can make work for your own social strategy?
Is there something that they did incorrectly or had a misstep in their strategy that you can learn from? Write it down! It’s SO much better to learn the lesson from a competitor than to make the mistake yourself.
Now that you know the what, why, and how when it comes to social listening, it’s time to get started on checking in on your customers, and competitors, and implementing a strategy that works for you!
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Content

What is social listening?

What’s the difference between social listening and social monitoring?

Why does social listening matter?

How do you do social listening?

When to use social listening

Tips on better social listening


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