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If you don’t have a social listening strategy, you’re missing out on some of the most valuable data available to help build your business.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of marketers agree that the value of social listening has increased in the past year.

Social media listening tools allow you to develop a solid understanding of what customers and potential customers think about you by analyzing what they say on social channels.

You can also find out what they think about the competition.

This is unbelievable market research readily obtainable in real time—as long as you know how to approach it.

What is social listening?

Social listening is following social media platforms for reference and chat related to your brand, then examining them for insights to find opportunities to act. It is a two step process.

1: Monitor social media channels for references of your brand, competition, products, and keywords related to your business.

what is social listening
what is social listening

2: Analyse information for ways to apply what you learn. It can be as small as responding to a happy customer or as big as changing your entire brand positioning.

How To Get Started With Social Listening

Businesses should plainly define their business ambition as a beginning point for social listening.

These goals will determine what kind of data is collected from social listening activities.

Once businesses have resolved relevant business aims for their digital marketing and monitoring plans, they should  use a social listening tool.

In most cases, purchasing an online subscription or purchasing software is more efficient and effective than building a custom social listening tool.

Social listening tools allow users to deeply analyse what customers think about specific business offerings, analyse how competitors are performing, and identify key social media audiences.

Do what needs to be targeted. Users can proceed to select data sources or social media platforms from which they wish to extract data.

Social audiences are not limited to a single platform, but should aim to pull data that is most relevant and reliable.

Data can also be pulled on specific content or topics for a more targeted arrival to social listening.

A major benefit of social listening tools is that you can measure results, improve marketing strategies, and continue to grow.

Why Is Social Listening Important ?

Social media has become almost a necessity for business success.

Employing social listening strategies is important, as they allow business users to understand and engage with customers, gather competitor and industry intelligence, and improve key business offerings.

Social listening provides in-depth information about existing customers.

This can be used to identify collaboration opportunities with influencers and other brands.

In some cases, social listening can even help businesses avoid PR crises, as social listening can help identify small issues before they turn into viral issues.

How can social listening plans help in business?

social listening plans help in business
social listening plans help in business

If you’re not using SM listening, you’re building your business strategy. 

Real people are actively talking about your brand and your industry online.

Simply put, if you care about your customers, you care about the insights you can gain from social listening.

Here are some ways social listening can benefit your business.

1. Understand and engage with your audience :

Social media listening helps you understand what your audience wants from your brand.

For example, an existing customer might tweet how much they love your product. 

Or you can see conversations where people are looking for solutions that your product or service can provide.

Understand and engage with your audience
Understand and engage with your audience

Zappos is known for its legendary customer service and its constant social engagement with fans.

Tweet a picture of your cat in a Zappos box, and you might just get one retweet.

But they also monitor conversations where people suggest Zappos as an option for shoe shopping.

They burst in with a practical comment or supplemental recommendation, but never a hard sell.

2. Industry and competitor intelligence :

Social listening is likewise more than appreciating what people say about you.

You also want to know what they say as to your rival and your industry overall.

This gives you important insight into where you fit in the market.

Social listening shows you what your competitors are doing in real time.

Industry and competitor intelligence
Industry and competitor intelligence

Are they launching new products? Developing new marketing campaigns?

For example, when Wendy’s made a play on a Facebook/meta-brand update, Arby’s quickly jumped in.

Maybe the conversations you get will reveal a gap in the market that you can move to fill.

Discovering these new opportunities and threats allows you to plan and respond in real time.

3. Product intelligence :

Monitoring conversations around the industry reveals a wealth of insight into what’s working — and what’s not working — for current and potential customers.

This instruction is a gold mine for your client service, product improvement, and marketing bonds.

For example, Nordstrom’s social team got some important information to pass on to the UX team here.

Can you tweak an existing product or add a feature to solve the problems people are talking about? Maybe what you learn will spark a new product idea.

You’ll also learn about annoyance with your ongoing products—and your rivals’ products.

Can you modify things to address the concerns? If you do, be sure to let people know about it with a targeted marketing campaign.

10 social listening tools

1. Hootsuite :

Hootsuite offers businesses an efficient tool to monitor and manage their social media across multiple platforms.

It offers several useful features, including lead tracking, customisation for paid social media campaigns, and reporting and analysis for social media posts.

social listening tools
social listening tools

2. Sprout Social :

With its integrated social listening tools and analytics features, Sprout Social is one of the best SM tools on the market.

It clearly supports social media tracking and management through its unite Smart Inbox feature.

3. : is an all-in-one social media tool best suited for mid-market to enterprise-level companies.

It can be used to analyze advertising, publishing and content on social media channels.

The user terminal offers a single dashboard for all social media governments.

social listening tool,adview,netbase
social listening tool

4. Adview :

Unlike most social listening platforms, Adview is specifically used for social listening on Facebook and Instagram ads.

 You can use it to monitor up to three Facebook ad accounts on unlimited pages.

When you add Adview to your Hootsuite dashboard, you can respond to comments on all your Facebook and Instagram ads in one place.

5. Netbase :

NetBase uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help your social listening focus on key conversations.

It collects data from millions of daily social posts plus over 100 billion historical posts on the social web.

6. Youscan :

YouScan is one of the more mature social media monitoring tools, founded in 2009 in Kyiv.

Over the past decade, it has built a solid reputation and attracted clients such as McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Nestle and Google.

At its core, YouScan is a listening tool, capable of scanning SM and the rest of the web for brand mentions, and then analysing those mentions for their larger social impact.

YouScan’s real selling point, however, is its image recognition capabilities, which allow users to be very specific in their visual searches.

7. Brand24 :

Brans24 is not just a SM listening tool.

It gives you comprehensive data and analysis.

This helps paint a complete picture of how the world perceives your brand.

When you set up your Brand24 account, you establish a project.

This is the social identity for which you want to monitor mentions and social activity.

On big plans, you can obey more than one project.

8. Iconosquare :

Iconosquare is a great tool for real-time engagement on Instagram.

Its analytics will recap the mentions your brand has collected on Instagram .

You can then use his My Tags feed to monitor all the posts in which you were tagged.

You can also use it to analyze mentions with metrics such as by comment, image tag, or caption.

social listening tools keyhole, brand24.
keyhole, brand24.

9. Keyhole :

Used by brands like Reuters, Mashable and Billboard, Keyhole gives you more than just a peek into your brand’s performance.

It not only enables you to track your brand and its offerings across all major social media platforms, but also millions of websites.

Shortly, you can use it to approach all your direct and indirect brand mentions and hashtags in one instinctive dashboard.

This way you can interconnect with your viewers in real time.

One feature that deserves a special mention is its volume prediction feature that lets you know if a post about your brand is likely to go viral.

10. TweetDeck :

TweetDeck is a free tool that looks very similar to paid social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite.

This can be a much faster way to check and manipulate your Twitter account than Twitter itself.

You can set up multiple columns to display relevant collections of tweets for multiple Twitter accounts

 While most people choose columns like Home, Notifications, or Messages, you have many other options.

This includes setting up a column for @mentions – either on a specific account or on all accounts.

You can set up multiple columns to monitor a wide range of keywords if that works for you.

You can reply to Tweets directly from within TweetDeck.


This allows you to track sentiment in real time, so you can immediately see if there’s a significant shift in how much people are talking about you or the mood behind what they’re saying. 

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