Social Listening – Our Top Tools, Tips and Tricks

13 July 2021

If you’re a business or brand owner, you’re probably familiar with how important it is to analyse your social media stats. But how do you go beyond surface level analysis? How do you find out not only who’s talking about you, but what they’re saying and how they feel about your brand (both the good, and the bad)? Enter stage left – social listening!

“Listening is one of the most important things a brand can do online. If your brand is just broadcasting its own agenda, it isn’t truly engaging in a conversation.” – Jeremy Goldman

So, what is social listening?

Essentially, social listening allows you to track and analyse online conversations that mention your brand. Not only that, but it also helps to keep an eye on what’s going on in the broader trends within your industry.

Social listening provides us with a key opportunity to find out where, why and how these conversations are taking place across the digital landscape, pulling intel from social media posts, as well as comments from areas such as blogs, websites and other public forums.

This is turn can dictate how we shape our future marketing activity, producing the type of content that your audience wants to see, not just what we think they should see.

But why should I use social listening?

Great question! Social listening can provide you with some super valuable insight into your consumers, and into the way you market your brand.

Here are just a few of the ways social listening can help:

Boost your followers

For many smaller businesses, growing and nurturing your followers is a goal that ranks pretty high in the ‘to do’ list. While it’s true that followers aren’t everything when it comes to social media, social listening can help you to pinpoint relevant and popular hashtags to boost your reach, as well as discover new topics to tap into for content for relevant blogs or social posts.

Nurture customer relationships  

It’s great when a brand seems to know what we want or need, often before we even know it ourselves, right? Social listening taps into both positive and negative feedback to better understand what it is our customers are looking for in that particular moment, not just from us as a brand but from the industry as a whole. Tweaking your marketing strategy or campaign goals to address consumer comments can help put you ahead of the competition.

Keep an eye on competitors  

Never the most pleasant task, it’s important to keep a close eye on our competitors, and how the community reacts to their online presence. Social listening gives you the power to act as a little digital fly on the wall, benchmarking yourself against your competitors and keeping tabs on what customers are loving (or loathing), and factoring in how you can adjust your product offering to better compete in your industry.

So how do I get started and are there any social listening tools?

Glad you asked! It’s super simple to pull social listening into your marketing strategy.

There are a multitude of different social listening tools available, with differing options to suit most budgets. Here are a few of our favourites:

  1. Mention
  2. BuzzSumo
  3. HubSpot
  4. Hootsuite
  5. Tweetdeck

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and there are many other platforms out there you could try. But once you have established your platform of choice, there are a few tips to help you get started:

Establish your goals

As with any marketing activity, it’s always best to go into it with established goals in mind. These might be to boost your brand reputation, work on your customer service, or to gather some customer or competitor research.


You’ll need to decide on the right key words that you’d like to track. These could include things like your brand, product or service name (don’t forget to include any common spelling errors too), any designated company or campaign hashtags or other keywords related to your industry in general.


You’ll want to decide on where you want your online conversations to come from. Generally, it’s best to begin by looking at social media platforms, news sites and blogs, as well as other publicly available sources.

Listen and learn

Take what you find, and work with it. Are people unhappy with your brand or service? Open better channels of communication to find out why, and how you can solve their issues. Are people unhappy with your competitors? Good! Adapt your strategy to target those customers, showing them why your business is superior. Exciting new trends emerging? Create engaging content to tap into them and draw in new customers and audiences.

Social listening can be an amazing way to add extra depth to your marketing strategy, helping you to fine tune your organisational goals, and gain a better understanding of your target audience.

Need some extra help with your social media strategy? We’d love to chat!

Get in touch today & let’s talk about how we can improve your content game.

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