Best Practices for Social Media Listening

Best Practices for Social Media Listening

Best Practices for Social Media Listening

Social media listening involves tracking digital conversations that occur across various social platforms. The goal is to understand what consumers are saying about not only your business but your competitors and the broader industry in which you operate. Information gathered can then be analysed and turned into actionable insights to inform future business strategies.

If you’re just getting started, here are some of the best practices to ensure you make the most of your social media listening.

How to Get the Most Out of Social Media Listening

Understand Your Objectives

Before you dive into your social networks, it’s important to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve. Billions of conversations take place on social media every day and trying to listen to every discussion involving your business is not just overwhelming, but unproductive. To gain meaningful insights, you need to establish clear objectives.

Understand Your Objectives

Are you looking for feedback on a new product? Or, maybe you want to set up a crisis alert system? There are many different reasons to engage in social media listening. Here some of the common objectives your business may focus on:

  • Customer Service: Find unhappy customers and do what you can to make them happy.
  • Monitor Brand Health: See what the general public is saying about you and work to improve your brand perception.
  • Competitor/Industry Analysis: Understand your competition and their strategies, as well as the current industry landscape.
  • Influencer Marketing: Discover new brand advocates that can spread your message.
  • Drive Innovation: Communicate with consumers and explore what they want and need.
  • Crisis Management: Anticipate negative social media and act quickly before it escalates.


Identify the Right Platforms by Starting Broad & Narrowing Down

Approximately 42% of the world’s population is accessible through social media. While Facebook has the largest audience, it may not necessarily be where conversations about your company actually occur.

Right Platforms

A recent study by Clutch indicated that businesses are using a variety of platforms including Instagram (71%), YouTube (65%), and even Reddit (27%) to find consumer concerns, new ideas, and more. If you’re only focusing on the major platforms, you could be missing out on important opportunities. Cast a wide net (at first) to identify where and how people talk about your business and the broader industry. This will help you form a sound strategy to participate in the most important conversations in your industry.


Keep a Close Eye on the Competition

Following your competitors can allow you to gain valuable insights into what is and isn’t working with your business. How do your competitors respond to feedback? What social platforms are those most active on? What conversations are they participating in surrounding your industry?

Close Eye on the Competition

Identifying niche communities, such as Facebook Groups with key brand influencers have the potential to widen your analysis. Often conversations within niche communities are more vocal as contributors feel at ease expressing their honest opinions. Keeping a close eye on your competitors messaging, strategy and what their audience thinks can provide valuable feedback. Don’t copy their exact strategy, but listen and learn from their mistakes.


Use the Right Tools

Manually checking each platform for mentions of your company is a lot of work. Although, with the right tools you can stay informed about important conversations relating to your company, products, and brand with minimal effort. You can identify early trends with real-time listening and beat your competitors to key opportunities with instant responses. One of the best ways to impress a potential customer is by responding immediately.

Use the Right Tools

Did you know that 30% of tweets don’t mention a brand’s handle? Without the right tools at your fingertips, those additional opportunities can slip away. Here are some factors you need to consider before investing in a social media listening tool:

  • Does the software analyse information from all platforms you need?
  • Are there automated reporting functions available?
  • Can you receive data in real-time for to beat competitors to opportunities and prevent a potential crisis?
  • Is the interface easy to understand, and does the software include visualisation features?
  • Can you respond to messages from within the software?


Collaborate With Other Departments

There’s a lot of information out there, and once you start listening, you will undoubtedly come across substantial amounts of relevant information that can be used to improve multiple facets of your business. From gaining new content ideas to improving product development and customer service, the information you gather may not be part of your original objective, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful for other departments.


As an example, 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to complaints and questions. By monitoring complaints within your industry, you could uncover a pain point and be the first to address it by sharing your insights with your product development team, who can tweak existing products or create a new feature to solve the problem.

Are you Listening?

Social listening can play an essential role in your marketing efforts and enhance the relationship between your brand and consumers. Tracking business/industry mentions and analysing complex social data can help you improve your reach, fine tune your strategy, and discover new opportunities in the market. However, it all starts with listening.

If you need assistance with social media listening, we can provide support that meets your brand’s needs.
Get in touch with our social media specialists by contacting us here.


If you're still not sure how to make social media work for your business, speak to BabbleHub TODAY for a FREE consultation to help your business grow!

About the Author
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Sertan Djelal
Sertan Djelal is head of online at Five Geckos Digital Marketing. He has worked as an online marketing consultant and strategist for over 14 years, having held positions both in-house as well as agency side, working with a variety of businesses and brands, supporting them to improve their online presence, web visibility & SEO.