Social Listening Tools

I would define social listening as a process of monitoring and and assessing conversations on social media on what is being said about a product (this applies to individuals and brands) and then leveraging on these insights to identify business opportunities and data-backed solutions for your brand.

In my view, ALL brands need social listening as part of a comprehensive social media strategy but here’s the major drawback: it’s expensive. You must be willing to invest in what your customers are saying about your product and then implement those insights into solutions that will benefit your customers. The consistent process of listening and acting on solutions derived from listening will result in higher brand equity and of course, ROI.

You might ask: “why should I care about what my customers are saying about me?”

Simple answer: negative sentiment impacts sales.  With social media increasing its reach as a sea of opinions, perspectives and a means of self-expression, you better be concerned if your product has a negative sentiment among your customers. Once negative sentiment about your brand has spread like wildfire, don’t be surprised if sales start to dwindle. Also, you may be missing out on constructive feedback about your product and (equally as important) monitoring your competitors on social media.

So what are the benefits of a social listening tool?

1.     Share of voice — The number of social mentions your brand receives vs. competitors. This helps determine your level of brand awareness and the level of engagement you are receiving in comparison to your competitors.

2.   Sentiment — Once you have your mentions, analyse these mentions. Are these good comments or complaints? Look out for trends, themes and patterns in these social conversations. Are people giving you the feedback you need in order to improve your brand? Are people happy with your latest app update?

3.     Media breakdown — Here’s where you can see where your audience is most active. Perhaps you’ve been investing in Facebook all this while but to your surprise, most of your brand mentions are coming from Twitter. Perhaps this could be an opportunity to tap into a wider audience?

4.   Word cloud — What are the main topics of conversation surrounding your brand and your competitors? e.g. if you are a bank, are people comparing your mobile app features and asking for better updates? This is something your product team should be looking at. Or say you’ve just launched a new product — how’s the response like? what are people saying about your product which you could look into?

5.    Trends and visibility — This is especially useful if you are monitoring competitors closely. Tracking your competitors’ visibility and trends on social media helps you plan out your game plan and serves as a check-and-balance to see if you could be doing more on your end in order to be more visible.

6.     Influencer identification — Are there potential micro-influencers or brand loyalists that you could tap into? Or perhaps content publishers or e-commerce brands that have been mentioning your product which could inspire a new partnership?

These six points are just the main insights that you can derive from a social listening tool. Of course, different tools have different offerings which is why you need to know your objective for having a social listening tool. 

I hope this gives you a little bit on insight into social listening. Feel free to reach out if you have more questions.