Social media is a treasure trove of consumer opinions just waiting to be tapped into. One of the most efficient ways to extract insights from this data is via social listening.

Social listening tools uncover patterns and trends within social media conversations to provide brands with knowledge that can give them a competitive edge.

Here’s what social listening tools can do for you:

A notebook with business ideas inspired by social listening

1. Boost your business

Listening to social media conversations by professionals and experts in your field is a great way to keep up with new developments in your industry. With a social listening tool, you’ll receive these newsworthy posts the moment they are published. This information can help you improve your business strategy so you are prepared for any industry changes.

You can also use your social listening tool to find criticism or praise that consumers have about your solutions, as well as similar solutions by other companies. Use this data to learn what consumers do – and don’t – want.

Once you’ve uncovered consumer preferences, you’ll be able to develop targeted products. This is also an opportunity to listen to consumer needs that aren’t being met by your competitors and develop solutions for these people.

Read amaSocial's blog post on Social Listening Tools
Social listening helps you outsmart your competitors in other ways too.

You can learn from the content that your competitor posts on social media. If their social media is sparking lots of engagement, then consider what they are doing right and learn from their success. Or, if you notice that a competitor is struggling to engage with audiences on social media, use it as an opportunity to reach their audience with better, more impactful content.

Social listening tools can also keep you in the loop regarding the topics your competitor is posting about. This gives you an indication of the solutions your competitor is launching or significant changes they are making. Use this insight to prepare for these developments, whether they present threats or the potential to gain a competitive advantage.

A stethoscope listening to what social media users like

2. Build your brand image

It’s hard to determine the perceptions people have of your brand – unless they volunteer their opinion. This is exactly what happens on social media.

How users feel about your business and the impressions they have of it influences the health of your brand image. If your brand’s health on social media is not where it should be, it’s time to take action.

Use your social listening tool to see what negative topics people talk about most in relation to your brand. The results will show you whether you need to make improvements to the way the company does business, or whether you need to launch PR and marketing campaigns to change public perception.

Social listening can help you nip a PR crisis in the bud, too – by keeping you informed of each and every mention.

Checking your notifications on social media platforms could help you identify the social media posts that mention your @handle. But what about the posts that merely use your brand’s name – without mentioning your @handle? You’ll never know about them and will have no idea what those posts say about your business.

A social listening tool can inform you of negative coverage of your brand on social media – whether users mention your @handle or not – before it’s too late to tackle the problem.

Cutting-edge social listening tools will also send you alerts when a specific topic related to your business is gaining more attention on social media. This gives you ample warning when there is a surge in posts that complain about a particular issue so you can take action and keep your brand image healthy.  

Cartoon men building a marketing strategy

3. Enhance your marketing strategy

Social listening can improve every aspect of your marketing strategy, from your social media marketing and advertising plans to the content you write and the influencers you choose.

Your social listening tool can show you all the posts people wrote about your social media marketing campaigns, for instance. Let their response to your campaign guide your future strategies.

You can also dig deeper into your social media data to see which of the topics that people talk about when they mention your brand are most popular. Use this insight to inspire future social media posts.

Some social media listening tools are able to identify the social media users giving your brand positive coverage. Each of these users could potentially be an influencer for your brand. Take time to examine their profiles, audience and reach to find an influencer that will work for your business.

A good social listening tool can provide your brand with the data and insights you need to strengthen your social media, content and influencer marketing strategies. Let the knowledge you gain from social listening guide you on the road towards marketing success.

The key is to listen.

Read the amaSocial blog post