What is Social Media Listening and How Can It Help You Gain Customers?

Christine Perez

February 09, 2016

What is Social Media Listening and How Can It Help You Gain Customers?

Are you listening to what your customers are saying about you online?

If you’re in business today, you’re probably online in some capacity – whether your business has a basic website, a comprehensive eCommerce platform, or a Facebook page. Even if you don’t publish your own digital footprint, your customers have most likely done some of the work for you by leaving reviews, mentioning you in online conversations, and posting photos. And that means you should be listening.


What is social media listening?

Social listening is about being proactive and finding out what people are saying online about your business, industry, competitors, and other relevant topics, via social media.

Social media is not just another place to broadcast your business’s messages, products, and information. It’s a conversation where listening is just as important as talking. If a customer came into your store or called you on the phone, you would listen to their questions and needs and respond thoughtfully. Social media marketing is no different.


Importance of using social media to understand brand perception of consumer companies across global industries.



How can I find out what people are saying about my business on social media?

Listening to your customers on social media can involve a dedicated, ongoing process with specific tools, or can be as simple as checking messages and comments once a day.



Have you Googled yourself lately? You might be surprised by what comes up. Performing regular searches for your business, products, and industry on both web and social media platforms is a key part of social media listening.



Social Media Pages

Be sure to review the comments and messages on your social media profiles. Keep an eye on what people are saying and be as responsive as possible.


Consumers might post on a business’ social media pages in order to resolve a problem, praise a product, share a story, or get more information.


Review Sites

If your business is listed on any review websites, check out your reviews and ratings on a regular basis. A web search should also help you find any reviews you might not yet be aware of.


Monitor review sites like Yelp to see what your customers are saying about their experiences.


Hashtag Tracking

Research hashtags relevant to your industry and see what people are talking about. Think of hashtags as a way of indexing conversations – people include hashtags in their posts to help categorize them. Consumer-facing companies especially can see a lot of value in identifying popular hashtags amongst their target consumers and listening in on the conversations.


Track hashtags easily using the search tools on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Monitoring Tools

You can automate much of your digital monitoring with tools like Google Alerts, Social Mention, Hootsuite, Talkwalker, Mention, and many more.


Google Alerts allows you to set up customized notifications for different search queries, delivered to your email or an RSS feed on a regular basis.


What can social listening help you accomplish?

Social media monitoring isn’t just for marketing. It’s an integral tool for customer service, sales, research, product management, IT, and human resources and can give you the intelligence you need to maintain the best customer experience (CX) possible – a key differentiator between brands in 2016.


For 69% of global consumer companies, marketing teams regularly use social media to view consumer comments.


Monitoring social media conversations allows you to stay in front of what your customers need. Listening to what’s being said about your business on social media will give you insights to help you gain new customers and keep your current customers happy.


Discover Opportunities

  • Discover new needs in your marketplace – a product or service you could offer that would solve a prevalent problem potential customers are talking about.
  • Hear what prospects are looking for in a business like yours.
  • See where competitors are falling short and step in to gain their customers’ loyalty.


Keep an eye on what your target customers say about your competitors – if you can solve the customer’s problem, you can gain their loyalty.


Identify Roadblocks

  • Uncover issues in your business: shipping delays, miscommunication, product issues, etc.
  • Identify service issues that may need to be addressed with specific employees.
  • Follow-up with unhappy customers to provide a resolution.


Follow-up with complaints in order to address issues and keep customers.


Celebrate Successes

  • Reveal excellent customer experiences and reward the team members involved as part of ongoing employee recognition.
  • See what’s working best in order to build upon successful products, practices, and promotions.
  • Make happy customers even happier – and show potential customers how they can expect to be treated.


Discover what makes your customers happy and improve upon it.


Deliver Excellent Customer Service

  • Stand out from competitors by being responsive to what customers are saying.
  • Seek out issues instead of waiting for customers to come to you.
  • Proactive customer service gives you the chance to resolve an issue before it grows and you lose the customer.


Social media listening allows you to deliver responsive and effective customer service.


Remember that social media is a conversation – the more you listen, the more you’ll learn about your customers, and the more you’ll be able to help your business grow.

Interested in hearing how we can help you reach your customers by what they’re talking about online? Check out how social media listening on behalf of our client, MOVE Bumpers, won us first place (tied with Pizza Hut!) in PR News’ Digital PR Awards.



Christine Perez

This article was published by Christine Perez.