Social media creates a platform for companies and their consumers to interact seamlessly in the digital age. With social channels, businesses connect with their customers on a deeper level. Being active on the right platforms means you’re always in your client’s pocket, ready to capture their attention.

However, perhaps more importantly, social media offers an avenue for organizations to listen to what their customers have to say. Social listening delivers real, intimate connections with your target audience.

What is social listening?

Social listening is a marketing methodology that involves collecting and analyzing conversations in the marketplace. Through social media channels, you tune into the discussions happening around your brand and industry to obtain actionable insights. This information then guides you towards making better marketing and product development decisions.

Social media listening tells you what people think about your brand, what they’re saying about your products and what would motivate them to spend more with you. This helps with forming future campaigns, improving your messaging strategy and developing more impactful relationships with customers.

By looking at trends and analyzing crucial metrics, you get to know your audience and your position in the marketplace much better.

The value of social listening

Today’s consumers crave bespoke and relevant experiences with brands. If you don’t listen to what your customers are saying about you, it’s hard to connect with them on any lasting level. Understanding your audience improves your chances of influencing and supporting them.

Now that customers frequently share their thoughts and insights online, companies have access to endless useful information. By investing in social listening, they learn the secrets of their target audience. The benefits of this include:

  • Better customer service: Sprout Social studies reveal that 83% of customers appreciate it when brands respond to their questions online.
  • Reputation monitoring: Social listening means you’ll be the first to know when customers are mentioning you in a negative context. By taking action to understand the root of the problem, you can prevent it from worsening.
  • New opportunities: Trends in the marketplace may inspire you to reach out to new customers or try a different marketing strategy.
  • Improved customer acquisition: The more you learn about your audience, the more targeted your messages become. This leads to better acquisition and stronger ROI.

How to start using social listening

Manually tracking every trending hashtag in your industry, or every mention of your brand name would be practically impossible. However, some tools give you a better overview of your chosen channels.

Advanced tools like Sprout Social listening supplement the analytics you obtain from your campaign to drive you towards more effective and lucrative campaigns. The more you listen, the more effective your advertising efforts will become.