The Beginners Guide to Social Listening in 2020

social listening
Social listening (or social media monitoring) can be defined as a way of tracking the popularity or mentions of a brand by extracting information from social networks. These may include Twitter, Facebook or blogs.

Did you know that 59% of Americans who have a social media account agree that social media has made customer support way easier and has helped them get their concerns resolved?

Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg on social media marketing for customer service or social listening. 

Social media is versatile and powerful especially for brands seeking to grow on the platform or build a customer (or can) base. 

If you’ve been on social media lately and follow at least one brand, then you should know there’s been an increase in the usage of social media for customer complaints. 

Also, about 30% of tweets that mention a brand do not include the brand’s twitter handle. 

If not looked into, these brands may never get to see these tweets. They miss out on what customers are saying about certain products or services. 

I’m driving somewhere but before that, how can we define social listening?

What’s Social Listening?

Social listening (or social media monitoring) can be defined as a way of tracking the popularity or mentions of a brand by extracting information from social networks. These may include Twitter, Facebook or blogs. 

Monitoring mentions allow brands to find insights regarding the brand’s overall visibility on social media networks. 

Just like I’ve mentioned, around 30% of tweets with brand mentions don’t even include the brand’s Twitter account. 

And this is exactly where social listening or monitoring comes into play. 

With or without mentioning your social media handles or tagging your pages, you can extract these insights and know what’s been said about your brand. 

And with the heck load of social media networks, you must come up with a simple yet effective strategy for social listening to help track how well your brand is doing. 

In a nutshell, social listening let’s you:

  • Track what social media users say about your brand (in real time)
  • Turn these metrics into meaningful insights
  • Analyze these insights to know what works and what doesn’t.

Now for this guide, we’ll be walking you through a step by step process on how you can go from a complete beginner to a social listening pro for your brand. 

Basically, we’ll show you:

  • How to come up with goals for social listening campaigns 
  • Picking what social platforms to monitor
  • How to pick the right social listening tool for your brand 
  • How to setup your campaigns and begin engaging. 

But before that, let’s quickly discuss the importance of social media listening. 

We want to make sure you why you want to track brand mentions and some data to back these reasons up.

Here’s the thing…

There are tons of reasons to dive into social listening for your brand but we’ll be looking at some of the most popular reasons brands monitor what’s been said on the web. 

Backed up reasons to use social listening

For Customer Service: this is probably one of the biggest reasons brands go into social listening – it kind of beats all other reasons. 

Why’s that so?

American Express ran a study on customer service experience and found out that a customer shares his/her experience with more people if it was a negative one and to twice lesser if he or she got a positive experience. 

We’ve also mentioned that 59% of Americans who use social media report that social customer service has helped them resolve customer complaints. 

And knowing we’ll that a lot of customers don’t tag brands, social listening comes into play. 

Social listening picks up tweets, web mentions, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google plus posts even if people don’t tag your brand. With this, you can easily help resolve your customers complaints or problems. 

Reputation Management; Just similar time the previous point, reputation management is a great importance of social listening. 

It’s simple…

If your customers are not happy with your products or services, they will more likely tell more people than they would if they had an awesome experience for example. And since about 30% of tweets that mention a brand don’t include the brand’s handle, social media listening becomes vital. 

Social listening takes out the hurdle in having to find social media posts about your brand. With a few clicks and a great social listening tool, you can get all brand mentions notified on a dashboard for you. 

Collect Feedback About Products: Have you just released a product and want to find out what your customers or buyers think about it?

Social listening helps collect data that allow brands know how well their products are performing. It basically allows brands to track what consumers are saying about their products on the internet. 

Companies can gather these feeds and use to create even better products their customers would love. 

How to actually do social listening for your brand (step by step)

Just like we’ve mentioned earlier, we’ll walk you through a simple step by step process to tracking social mentions for brands. 

Ready?

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Step 1: Setting goal for your social listening campaign. 
  • Step 2: Picking the right social networks to track. 
  • Step 3: Picking a tool (we go through a few)
  • Step 4: Tracking and engaging. 

Step 1: Begin by setting your goals

It’s normal to want to just go into social listening because you feel it’s important for your brand and since every brand is doing it, you also should do it. 

But that’s not the case!

Just like you plan any other strategy or business plan, you should clearly know why you want to track your brand on the internet. And with a better clarity on what you want to achieve with social listening, you can expect better and more targeted results for your campaigns. 

Now, what goals should you set?

Here are a few goals or targets brands focus on with social listening:

Customer service – we all know how important customer service is and it’s no doubt one of the most important reasons brand use social listening tools today. 

Want to use social listening for customer service?

You should at least know where your customers hang out, what social networks they prefer to use and blogs they engage with.

Effective customer service improves customer retention or customer lifecycle in general. 

Get the idea?

Competitor analysis – social listening can be used for competitive analysis for your brand. 

You can basically track and find what people are saying about your competitors online. This will help you make a better plan, create better products and even get to know what your target buyers want to see in your products. 

Reputation management – a bit worried about what people are saying about your brand out there? Reputation management can be your sole focus on certain social media networks. 

You can monitor what people say about your brand and make sure your brand isn’t dragged in mud on the internet. 

As you may have noticed, any goal you pick will relate to all other ones as you each goal may involve all other ones but it’s very important to be clear on what you want to achieve. 

This would help in getting better ROI and will help you with picking the right social media channels to track and social listening tool to go for. 

Step 2: What social media platforms?

After getting clear on what you want to achieve and setting brand goals, you can easily select the social media platforms you want to track. 

What social media platform is most important to your brand?

Where does your ideal customer hangout?

Do you have an online community where all your customers share their experiences?

The more questions you ask, the more clear you get on what platforms you want to track. You can also start by looking at the social media usage demographic data. 

With this, you can know where your ideal target buyers are hanging out. 

Step 3: Pick a tool:

You may already know that social listening is almost not possible without a good social listening tool. 

You obviously can’t search for tweets with your brand name every day – it will suck up all your time. 

With the right tool, you can always know on time what people are saying about your brand or products online. 

Some of these tools are free to use while others are paid. Here are 5 social listening tools you can try today:

  • Uniclix
  • Twilerts
  • Buzzsumo
  • Mention
  • Keyhole
  • IFTTT

Uniclix: Yes, we’re been biased, Uniclix is our very own social media management tool and we genuinely think it’s a good fit for your brand for tracking brand mentions easily. 

Here’s how to go about this.

Uniclix account - twitter analytics

Step #1: Head over to UniclixApp.com and sign up for a free account.

Step 2: Confirm your account and add up your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

Step 3: Navigate through the streams tab. There, Uniclix allows you perform several brand tracks like keywords search, brand mentions and browse through streams.

To begin with, under the ‘search keywords’, click the Get started button below.

A pop up box will appear afterwards. Select your Twitter account then click on ‘Create Stream’. Afterwards, you can insert any words, phrases or hashtags you want to search or track.

On this page, you can see all tweets that match your search but here’s one thing I especially love about this feature.

Uniclix doesn’t only search for live tweets at the time you run the search; rather, it continually refreshes the stream to update it with newer tweets that match the search.

You can also add a new stream and also change how frequently your track streams are updated.

twitter analytics

It’s as easy as that. You can now start tracking what people say about your brand or your product(s).

Pricing: Free for now

MyTweetAlerts: MyTweetAlerts, just as you’ve guessed, helps you track mentions on twitter. I’ve used MyTweetAlerts sometime back and I can say it’s great and makes social listening on Twitter pretty easy. 

Out of the millions of tweets that go live on twitter every day, this application will easily help you track out any tweet that mentions your brand. 

With MyTweetAlerts l, you could also create custom alerts, manage all alerts on a dashboard, and receive real-time, daily or weekly email alerts of matched tweets. 

To sign up, head over to MyTweetAlerts.com then click on the “SIGN IN WITH TWITTER” button on the menu bar.

MyTweetAlerts

If you are already logged in to your twitter account, authorize MyTweetAlerts and you will be redirected to your MyTweetAlerts free account.

mytweetalerts

Now, the next thing you want to do is to setup your first Custom Tweet Alerts. This is also easy with just a few clicks. Here’s a short video walk-through on how to create a custom tweet alert;

Pricing: Free, $9.95 and enterprise (flexible pricing)

Buzzsumo: I love buzzsumo and I always recommend it for brands looking to grow their online presence. 

If you’ve heard about buzzsumo before now, then you’re probably wondering how brands use it for social listening. Why?

Because most brands use buzzsumo for influencer reach outs, blogger reach outs or to find popular content pieces and create something better.  More like Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique supporting tool 😉

Here’s how buzzsumo helps with social listening…

With buzzsumo, you can track what articles are written about your brand. This may include websites, blogs or simple web pages. 

With this tool, brands can search and get mentions in blog posts or any content online. Buzzsumo can help your brand:

  • With finding content pieces that mention your brand name within the content. 
  • Content pieces about your product or brand (e.g. Reviews)
  • With competitive analysis. What content pieces is your competition posting? Or what content (by your competitor) is gaining more shares and traffic. 

Mention: Mention is another super great social listening tool that has great features and is really popular also. In fact, Mention is one of the largest social listening tools out there and have been in existence for quite a while. 

Mention offers certain unique features like:

  • Brand monitoring 
  • Detailed competitive analysis 
  • Influencer marketing etc. 

Pricing: $99, $179, $299 and $499 per month.

Other great social listening tools to try:

Keyhole (for real time hashtag tracking)

IFTTT (for RSS tracking)

Step 4: Begin tracking and engaging

After selecting your preferred social listening tool, the next thing is to setup your social listening campaigns with different keywords. 

Tracking mentions is one thing but actually engaging and using these insights to grow your brand in another. 

For example, you could set out few minutes or maybe certain intervals daily, to check and reply to users tweets fast. 

Why’s this?

Well, users say they feel more connected to a brand of their tweet is replied to within an hour of sending that tweet. 

Users don’t just want replies but fast replies. Begin engaging with every user and build a strong customer to brand relationship every time!

Before you go…

We invite you to give Uniclix a try. It’s completely free for now and you can track brand mentions with this very tool. 

Sign up for a free account and let us know what you think – you can always reach us on Twitter via @Uniclix.

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