Social listening is the process of listening to what people say on social media platforms to collect useful, actionable information. The most common applications of social media include (1) customer reviews for the purpose of reputation monitoring and management, (2) brand mentions, (3) audience assessment or research, and (4) market positioning.
Most people think of social listening in connection with brand reputation management and customer service.
Why is social listening important?
As PR pros, we are responsible for awareness and reputation, and it’s a logical leap to monitoring mentions and crisis control.
Even if we don’t handle social media for a client, it’s definitely our role to advise them on social listening and its kissing cousin, crisis management. Whether or not they TAKE our advice is an entirely different discussion, but we do need to be making recommendations, flagging gaps and helping our clients set up the appropriate processes for both listening and responding.
Over 95% of brands don’t bother to reply to untagged customer mentions. Don’t be one of them.
Recommended free tools for social listening include Google Alerts, Mention.com and Talkwalker.com.