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Social Listening: Why it's Important for Your Business

Every business has some social media presence. You’re on Facebook; your friends are on Twitter; and if your cat had opposable thumbs, he’d probably be posting pictures on Instagram.

Social media is a vital tool in today’s digitally-dominant culture. It’s a great way to promote your products and get your message out to the masses.

66% of businesses believe that social media marketing is a vital strategy for their business.

You understand the value of having a social media presence, but do you know the importance of social listening?

What is Social Listening?

It’s how you track and analyse conversations about your business, product and industry. Whether it’s your latest product on the market, a recent post on Facebook or an upcoming event, social platforms monitor what people are saying about your business.

It helps you understand what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and where you need to improve.


How Does it Improve Your Business?

Every business needs to know what their customers are saying about them. Are they satisfied with your products? Is there anything your business could be doing better?

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a vital part of any social media strategy, and how it can grow your business’s online presence.

1. Monitor your social media performance

It’s crucial for any business to publish new content as part of their social media strategy, whether that be posts, videos or event updates. But if you’re not watching out for what content is getting the best results, your great work could be going to waste.

It keeps you updated on which posts are doing better than others. Automation software will analyse and measure the results of your posts, keeping you up-to-date with which posts are getting the most clicks, likes and shares.

Knowing these results will determine what type of social media posts are working best for your business; whether it’s:

  • The tone of the post itself
  • The topic of the content included in the post
  • What form your content is (i.e. blog post, video, pic),

Keeping up-to-date with your figures and reports will inform you about what kind of content you need to be sharing with your customers.

For example, a law firm regularly posting links to blogs and videos from their company website views their social media reports.

They notice that the posts for their blog have better results than their videos. This fact leads to the law firm focusing on blogs and producing more content for their blogs, and leads to even better results.

key point

Shape your social strategy to suit the most popular content. Posting popular content will enhance your social presence, increasing your chance of converting prospects through social media.

Further Reading

Find out more about creating a social media strategy by reading our social media ultimate resource.

2. Manage your company’s reputation.

Customer satisfaction is a vital part of a business’s success, as it reflects on your reputation. If customers or clients aren’t satisfied with your service, they’re going to let the world know about it.

95% of dissatisfied customers tell others about their customer experience.

If you keep track of what customers are saying about you, you can spot a negative post and identify what a customer is unhappy about.

From here, you’ll be able to engage your customer in a dialogue. Find a solution and they may be happy to tell others how quick you were to assist with their issue.

Reacting and assisting customer problems quickly can turn a potentially embarrassing incident into a positive experience.

This aspect of social listening will build a positive reputation for your business, as it’ll give visitors the impression your company is always ready to respond to customer queries and complaints.

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3. Find your biggest fans.

Bieber wouldn’t be where he is today without his Beliebers, and your business wouldn’t be where it is without your loyal fans, customers and supporters.

If your customers are delighted with your business and product, they’ll be happy to let their friends and followers know how great it is. Your product should influence your business’s fans and promoters in the most positive way possible. 

67% of people are more likely to buy a product if a friend or relative has recommended it.

Your social platforms will keep track of the devoted fans of your business who have large numbers of followers and get large numbers of likes and shares on their posts.

You can identify which fans engage and respond to them. You can do this by liking and commenting on their posts, or entice them with rewards, such as discounts and new deals.

The better your relationships with these devotees, the more they’ll promote your products to their followers.

To find out which platform is the best for your business, read this informative piece on different platforms. Pay attention to number 1, it's the software we use!

4. Keep up to date with industry trends

Every industry changes, with new trends and products appearing all the time. So it’s vital for your business to stay on top and know what’s generating a buzz in your industry.

74% of customers rely on social media to guide their purchases

Social listening helps you identify what trends and products are popular within your industry. From this, you can adapt and develop your products to suit what it is your customers are excited about.

So, if your customers are buzzing about an emerging new trend or product, identify what it is they like about the product. It’s then up to you to adapt your product to suit your customers’ needs.

Conversely, if your listening is identifying a new product that’s gaining popularity with first-time buyers, you can use your social media to highlight how your product could be a better alternative.

This means you’re finding prospective visitors and leads for your business through the buzz you’ve discovered through social media.


5. Keep an eye on the competition

You need to stay ahead of your competition and be aware of what they’re doing, because you never know when they could leap ahead in the race for success. Are they using a marketing company? Do they have a Social Media Executive?

You can keep track of your competitor’s social media presence, helping you keep track of:

  • The success of their products
  • The volume of their social media output and its success
  • What the public think of them and their reputation is like
  • The satisfaction of their customers
  • What they’re doing that is proving successful

You can measure how successful your competitors are, what they’re doing that’s providing them strong results, and adapt your business to match and surpass them.

Tracking a competitor’s customer satisfaction is paramount, as it could be a way to find new customers for your business.

3 in 5 people (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.

You can spot and identify an issue or complaint a customer is having with a product, and how the business is responding to the customer.

With this, you can play superhero and swoop in to help the customer with their issue, identify what it is that needs solving and suggest how your product is better for them.

Get yourself ahead of the competition. You’ll gain new leads and potential customers and improve your online reputation by showing your business is helpful.

How To ‘Do’ Social Listening

Social listening is a mixture of analysing metrics in your social media analytics and having a knowledge of industry trends, social trends and ‘tricks of the trade’. It doesn't matter whether you use paid or organic advertising, you can still analyse your data.

An experienced Social Media Executive will hone these skills and develop an instinct for methods that work.

You should understand that you can’t fully automate the process, there has to be some insight into your results. Mix data analysis with human perception.


Here are 3 metrics you should be analysing;

Engagement Analysis

How many people are engaging with your content? How many, likes shares and clicks do you get from posts about certain subjects.

If you’re building brand awareness, then getting high-engagement levels is paramount. But what do you want from brand awareness? Do you want follows, pages likes?


If your content is being clicked and shared but nobody cares about your brand, you need to increase its value and ensure what your posting works with your bottom line.

Sentiment Analysis

You can’t measure this metric with software! To understand what your customers are saying about you, you have to read their comments.

You could be ecstatic about the fact you’ve got 100 shares and 500 clicks on one of your posts. However, if all the feedback is negative it’s probably not going to do much for your reputation.

There are many feelings social media users could have towards your profile, indifference, anger, disappointment, excitement, intrigue.

If you can understand how those feelings appear in the context of their posts, you can adapt your strategy to suit their needs.

Competitor Analysis

Similar to every are of business, you need to know what the competition is up to! Regarding metrics, it’s easy to get the basic information.

Likes, followers, comment sentiment, it’s all there. You won't be able to determine how many clicks the article gets. But the main thing is, you can see what’s going well for them.

Don’t imitate them; you always need to come up with ideas of your own. But always keep an eye out, you don’t want to get left behind.

Download Our Free Essential Guide to Social Media Marketing


Pro tip: Use a social media content calendar to keep your social content organized

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