Did you know 75 percent of organizations don’t know where or how their key audiences are talking about them? That’s kind of a shocking number when you think about how many people use social media – 69 percent of Americans according to Pew Research Center – and when you realize less than 10 percent of tweets directly mention a brand.
To help companies know what conversations are out there, more marketers are turning to social media listening.
Before we get into why it matters, let’s back up and discuss what social media listening is. According to Sprout Social, social listening involves “tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.”
What’s important to note is that you aren’t just measuring the number of mentions, likes, retweets, comments, etc. that your brand or a topic receives. Social media listening manipulates online conversations to determine sentiment; identify top keywords, hashtags and emojis; and recognize key influencers and popular content sources.
Understanding the reach and the engagement your business receives is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to monitoring. With social media listening, an organization is able to:
- Measure the effectiveness of campaigns – whether it’s a social, paid media, content, PR or IR campaign
- Determine what channels your key audiences live on
- Develop buyer personas and content themes
- Identify influencers and key stakeholders
- Analyze sentiment
- Correct fake news or inaccurate brand perceptions
- And more
Beyond the tactical level of social media listening, you as a marketer are also able to support and leverage larger business objectives, help your business navigate a crisis, improve customer service, apply quantifiable insights to make more informed decisions, show the value communications can have on a business and, most importantly, speak to your customers the way they speak about you.
It’s clear that social media listening is an essential tool for social media marketers to have in their arsenal.