Did you hear that? If you aren’t participating in social listening, the answer is likely “no.” And what exactly is the “that” you didn’t hear? Insights into your brand and industry from potential and existing customers, which is business intelligence organizations can’t afford to miss. Before you miss out on more of this valuable information, let’s take a look at what social listening is, why it’s so important and how it can help.

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is the process of monitoring social media conversations to understand what people are saying about a brand or industry. It goes beyond the @mentions, comments and other notifications you receive for your company’s social media accounts and encompasses social media platforms as a whole. Going beyond social monitoring, where you are simply looking at what is being said and responding accordingly, social listening also involves analyzing the larger trends around social conversations.

Why is Social Listening Important?

For many years, businesses – particularly B2B brands – could get away with not having a social media presence. But those days are now long gone. Social media is no longer a nice-to-have for businesses, it is a must-have. People turn to social media in many aspects of their lives, and connecting with and discussing brands is a part of that activity.

How Can Social Listening Help My Brand?

A tremendous amount of customer data is generated by all the active users on social media today, and without social listening you don’t have access to that data, which can help you:

1. Create better content. Quality content is an essential part of any social media strategy. And the more relevant the content to your audience, the more engaged they will be. But how do you determine what content will be the most engaging. Instead of throwing different types of content out to see what sticks with your audience, utilize social listening. It can help you better understand the hashtags and language people use when discussing your brand or industry, as well as trends in content popularity.

2. Track brand sentiment. Over time, social listening can help you see changes in the sentiment around your brand and what influences those changes. For example, if you suddenly see an uptick in positive sentiment, what caused it? Did you release a new product or service? Or did your company recently receive some positive press coverage? The longer you listen and understand, the more you can help reverse the negative or capitalize on the positive.

3. Improve customer experience. Thanks to the power and popularity of social media, the customer experience is more important than ever before. Social listening can help you improve your organization’s customer experience. By responding to conversations about your brand, you assure customers that you hear them and care about both their compliments and complaints. You can also start to see patterns in conversations and respond accordingly. For example, is a problem affecting just one customer or shared by many? This intelligence can help you drive smarter business decisions.

4. Focus. Social media today is a noisy, crowded place. It’s easy to get caught up in irrelevant and unimportant distractions. Social listening helps you to focus on the conversations, mentions, keywords and competitors that truly matter and will give you the most valuable business intelligence.

Need a social listening tool? That’s just one of the many features in the ClickDimensions social engagement platform. Learn more here.