Top 3 Reasons to Implement Social Listening

Social Listening is a powerful source of information to fuel up effective communication strategies. When done right, it can enhance an idea, boost a campaign, or upraise an entire brand through proper communication. 

According to a report by Data Reportal, We Are Social and Hootsuite, at least 5 billion people worldwide use the Internet, of which around 4,6 billion are on social media. Therefore, monitoring and actively listening to what they talk about on different digital platforms can be more than useful for companies seeking effectiveness and greater results from their communication strategies. 

Knowing what users feel, think, and say on social media, as well as understanding your competitors and potential customers’ behavior, allows you to rethink, adapt or improve your strategies while strengthening those that have proven to work the best for your goals. 

What is social listening?

For companies that have a presence in the digital ecosystem, social listening is a fruitful research method. It is all about understanding what is being said on the Internet about relevant matters: the brand, its reputation, the industry, the competitors, the overall public opinion, etc. How? Monitoring the online conversation, by tracking the messages spread along different platforms and how users react to them. 

This is why at MileniumGroup, as a top PR and communications agency, we rely on tools such as Meltwater, which comes in very handy when tracking messages related to particular topics in different media and social networks. 

What social listening measures?

The key to effectively monitoring the online conversation is to seek and analyze the truly important information. Keep an eye on these: 

  • Social mentions: when a user mentions the brand online or makes a specific reference to it, whether positive or negative, it is always important for social listening. 
  • Hashtags: this way of indexing topics and discussions by using the numeral symbol (#), makes a great way of monitoring what people feel, think, and say. Hashtags can easily become viral and turn into trending topics, thus allowing brand positioning, reaching new audiences, and increasing engagement.    
  • Core business topics: social listening provides important insights about the essentials of any business, such as what are its threats and opportunities, its strengths and weaknesses, and its misses and hits. Brands can actually improve themselves when paying attention to social listening. 

The insights that come from social listening can clear the picture for companies to focus on what matter the most: managing the interactions with this conversation and promoting changes of perception when necessary.

When to use social listening?

The purpose of social listening, as is quite obvious, is to listen to what people say about a brand on social platforms; not only what is currently being said or what has already been said, it also allows us to look into the future.

Therefore, it is helpful at various points in the deployment of a communications strategy and can be used at any phase that requires insights into what audiences think and say.

In our particular case, we believe that social listening is especially useful in the knowledge stage, as it allows us to understand the maturity of any specific topic in the market and in public opinion, as well as to obtain key information from the audiences. 

It is also a great technique to measure the results of strategies in the monitoring and analysis stage, so it is advisable to include it as a regular practice for crisis prevention in the digital environment.

Top 3 reasons to implement social listening

If you’re wondering why you should implement social listening when designing and carrying out successful communication strategies, here is a list of the top 3 reasons you need to know:

Digital users feel

Digital ecosystems and social media are repositories not only of comments and opinions but also, especially, of feelings. When people express themselves on social networks, they reveal a great deal of subjectivity: what interests them, what they want, what bothers or displeases them, etc. 

For a brand, knowing what audiences think and feel, above and beyond their behavior, is a great input if the purpose is to create next-step strategies and get maximum results. Given this need, social listening is a very useful method, as it does not simply focus on numeric data, but delves deeper into the tone of the conversation.

For effective PR and communication strategies, understanding people’s perceptions and emotions towards the brand and its competitors translate into targeting real needs and expectations. How? By tuning up messages or actions, improving services, boosting product development, adjusting the path through sound business decisions, and even avoiding risky reputational crises.  

Anticipating the future is essential

Establishing early warnings to monitor potential crises allows us to review, in real time, what is being said about our brand and to manage it in a way that does not affect the brand’s reputation or interests. This means, for example, removing content that triggers negative reactions or responding in advance to a controversial or risky conversation. 

Likewise, it is possible to detect trends and take advantage of newsjacking, which consists of timely including current popular topics in order to gain notoriety and get a place in the greatest conversations of public opinion.

Social listening to know your competition

Of course, knowing what’s going on with your competitors and the overall industry is a good idea. This means understanding what people say about other brands or global circumstances affecting the industry. This also means being aware of the moves that other companies are making to fix or leverage any situation for their own benefit. Thus, social listening not only provides information about the place of each brand in the market but also helps you see the big picture to know what actions will be the most effective. 

Successful social listening

Social listening is an essential practice for any organization’s strategic communications. In the last year, according to a Hootsuite survey, social listening has increased the value of brands, by allowing them to improve their reputation, enhance the users’ interaction with them, leverage opportunities, and manage potential crises. 

Netflix, for instance, realized through social listening that some of its users fell asleep while using its platform; in response, it launched the Netflix Socks campaign and created a pair of socks that could pause the streaming when the user fell asleep. This campaign was worth the Best of Social Media award, in the Creative Use of Technology category, at the Shorty Awards. 

For its part, TOMS shoes find out through social listening that its customers were talking a lot about My Little Pony, so they launched an edition of My Little Pony TOMS that was sold out within 48 hours. 

At MileniumGroup, we develop strategic communications campaigns powered by an expert implementation of social listening, for clients such as Logitech, Discovery, Electronic Arts, Google, and many more throughout Latin America. Our launching campaign for Violife in Colombia, to mention one, gave us excellent results based on powerful insights obtained through social listening. 

If you want to know how our expert team can offer your brand all the benefits of social listening, reach out to us