A Beginner’s Guide to Social Listening

By Patrick Whatman

We all have that friend who refused to join Twitter, doesn’t update LinkedIn, and deleted their Facebook account. They’ve decided that social media just isn’t for them, and they don’t care that the rest of the world doesn’t agree.

They’re not listening.

That’s fine for your friend, but it doesn’t work for your business. No matter what you sell, your customers use social media. Which means you have to have a strong social presence to capture their attention.

More importantly, they may already be talking about you on social networks. And if you don’t keep track of those conversations, you’re missing out – big time.

In this post, we’re going to see how you can monitor conversations, watch your competitors, and keep customers happy – without investing bucketloads of time. Can’t wait!

So let’s start with a simple question:

What is social listening?

Put simply, social listening shows you what’s being said on social media, without you having to go looking. This lets you:

  • Know what’s said about your brand in real time
  • Track social media mentions on every platform
  • Analyze those metrics to find trends
  • Produce reports to show to clients and colleagues

It’s also known as “social media monitoring,” and the goal is make the social world a little less mystifying. You know that there are countless social media messages sent every day. On Twitter, for instance, that number is 500 million. And that’s just one social network!

Social listening lets you track all these messages – across every platform – to find the ones that matter to you.

Why is this valuable?

You may remember what it felt like when social media first broke onto the scene. You probably had a Myspace page, and you’d look at friends’ Myspace pages to see what they were up to. And to see what Tom was up to:

myspace social listening

And then maybe you had a Bebo account. With two accounts, it wasn’t too hard to switch back and forward.

Things are a little different these days:

social media listening

Source: Quka / Shutterstock.com

And now, social media isn’t just for chatting with friends. Every business worth a dime has a presence, and social has become a powerful sales tool. At the very least, your business needs to be there to answer customers and stay connected.

So now you’re on a handful of social networks (at least), and your clients are on even more. It’s simply not possible to know what’s being said on all of them at once, without a little help. That’s why we have social listening tools.

Social listening helps you:

Track every social channel from one place

This is really the key point. You could go from network to network searching for any mention of your brand name. But there are two problems with this strategy:

  1. It’s a massive waste of time
  2. You’re going to miss things

You’re just not going to know everything said about your brand without help. There are too many sources, too many customers, Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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