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Social Listening: What is it and Why It's Important

Social listening is a way to track, analyze and manage conversations about your brand on social media. It works by tracking mentions and conversations related to your brand, products, and competitors on all relevant social media platforms. Once collected, this data will help you engage with customers and improve your brand’s offerings according to customer feedback.

With social listening, you get a sneak peek into what people are saying (and thinking) about your brand. Social listening can help you identify issues customers are having with your products. 

Oftentimes, customers will express their desire for companies to come out with something new that would better suit their needs. Brands can use that insight gathered through social listening to inspire future product development efforts. 

Basically, social listening is a way to listen to what people are saying about your brand as well as what your customers want. From your brand.

Social Listening vs Social Monitoring 

Social monitoring is the process of gathering data on brand mentions, hashtags, competitor mentions, and industry trends. It’s a similar process to social listening, but it focuses more on finding ROI and A/B testing campaigns. 

Social listening takes the data collecting steps used by social monitoring a step further by considering what the data is saying about overall brand perception. Social listening is a way to find out how customers view your brand and products in comparison to others on the market. 

While social monitoring is more about collecting data to analyze campaigns, social listening gives brands the information they need to steer their brand perception, and offerings, in the right direction. Brands can actively respond to mentions, which can greatly impact customer opinion. 

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 Benefits of Social Listening 

Customer Engagement

Hearing what customers have to say about your brand gives you the chance to respond, and deliver. Without social listening, you probably won’t see customers raving (or complaining) about your product on social media. 

Social listening helps you stay on top of customer service requests, potential website glitches, trends, and more. Plus, responding to comments makes your customers feel valued. Customers want to be heard, and that’s what social listening is all about. 

Crisis Management

Social listening also prepares you for potential PR disasters that might come your way. If you’re seeing a flood of negative feedback, that’s your cue to address the issue. Social listening helps you get in front of negative sentiment and make the necessary corrections before the crisis becomes overwhelming. 

Competitor Tracking

Social listening doesn’t just help you monitor your own brand perception-,it also shows you what your target audience is saying about your competitors. With this, you can keep tabs on what your competitors are launching, how their customers are responding, and what you need to do to stay on top. 

PLANOLY's Comments Manager + Discover Tool Can Help

PLANOLY's comment management tool is an easy way to get started with social listening. Head to your Planoly dashboard and click ‘Comments’ in the top right corner. You can filter your comments to view “All,” “Starred,” or “New.” Additionally, you can add checkmarks to the Instagram posts you’ve already engaged with to simplify your comment triage process. 

Reply to comments right from the dashboard by typing the username you want to reply to, and then writing out your comment. You can also “Star” certain comments to keep track of what you want to reply to at a later time. 

There’s more! Identify user-generated content relating to your brand through our discover tool. With discover, you can search for usernames and hashtags and add other users’ posts to your grid right in the Planoly dashboard. This is super useful for reposting user-generated content while discovering what your audience is posting about your brand. 

Tips for Responding to Negative Comments

Dealing with negative comments is tough, especially considering the task of deciphering between comments from internet trolls and those left by genuine, dissatisfied customers. Here are some tips to help you deal with negative comments on social media, the right way:

  1. Respond quickly. The sooner you respond, the better chance you have of resolving the issue without losing a customer. 
  2. Be genuine. If the customer discovered an issue with your products, let them know that you’re working on a solution. Customers want to feel heard, and rigid template responses won’t give them the satisfaction that a sincere response will. 
  3. Take testy conversations to the DMs. When responding to a customer gets messy, it’s best to go private with the conversation to limit the damage to your brand reputation. 
  4. Remember your customers. They are commenting as a request for help. Your response should be your way of helping them solve the problem. 
  5. Try not to hit “delete.” Delete one negative comment, chances are you’ll have quite a few more on your plate. Show your customers you value their feedback by responding to their comments and doing your best to solve their problems, rather than sweeping their comments into the trash bin. 
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Danielle Townsley

Danielle is the Social Media Manager at PLANOLY. She stays in the know of the latest industry trends and is always finding ways to create engaging and educational content for PLANOLY’s social platforms.

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