If you’re marketing your business on Twitter or Instagram, you know there’s more to a successful social media campaign than likes and shares. You’re always looking for ways to target your audience more effectively. While you might be using analytical tools to monitor your brand mentions and measure the engagement on individual posts, you’re probably not seeing the whole picture.
Imagine you come down with a bad cold. Your head is stuffy, your throat feels like sandpaper, and you’re reaching for so many tissues, you wish you’d bought stock in Kleenex. A shot of Nyquil and a few cough drops make you feel slightly better, but all you can do is treat the symptoms until your body fights off the infection. In retrospect, it would’ve been a good idea to eat a healthy diet, take a supplement to boost your immune system, and wash your hands more often to reduce your chances of getting sick.
Monitoring social media is a lot like trying to treat the symptoms of sickly business practices. You can reduce the impact of individual customer complaints by responding to them promptly, and you can attempt to recover sales by making changes to your products based on bad reviews. However, you’re spending time and money to address problems you could have prevented.
Hubspot defines social listening as “the monitoring of your brand's social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand or discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities.” Social listening differs from social monitoring in that you’re analyzing data to find the root cause of the conversation and create a long-term action plan.