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Beginners Guide to Social Media Listening

Social media is a massive part of our lives. We use it to keep in touch with friends, find information on the latest news and blog posts, and even purchase products. But how many of us know what social media listening is? Social Media Listening is defined as “monitoring conversations about your brand or industry across social channels.” Companies need to understand what people are saying about them online because it impacts their reputation! 

Social Media Monitoring vs. Social Media Listening

The major difference between social media monitoring and social listening is that monitoring is more focused on collecting information, and listening is more focused on reacting to the collected information. This is why it’s important to monitor your industry but focus most of your energy on listening. For Example, “Social Media Monitoring is like watching the news – You’re monitoring conversations that are already happening. Social Media Listening is like listening to your customers, prospects, and influencers tell you what they think of you; their desires, dreams, and needs.” Follow these tips for beginners on how to get started with social media listening.

1. Identify Your Goals

Social media is about connecting with others online, so the first step of social listening is to figure out why you want to be doing it. If your goal is brand awareness, you will see higher engagement numbers through increased interaction among followers on different channels. A good example of this would be Redbull, which has gained major popularity through social media, mainly because of its innovative and exciting campaigns.

2. Find The Right Tool to use

There are tons of different media listening tools that allow you to monitor brand mentions on the internet. The first step is choosing what channels you want to listen to to- post about brands on Twitter, watch videos on YouTube, read reviews of your product on Yelp, or check what people are saying about your site’s functionality with Google analytics. Depending on your company’s goals and resources, you can choose to listen in on all or just some of these channels. These tools also track keywords and hashtags, so you can see what words people use most frequently when they talk about your brand.

3. Choose Your keywords and hashtags

Once you’ve chosen the channels you want to listen in on, it’s time to choose the keywords and hashtags that will correlate with your brand. An example of this would be #cokecanpong, a game you can play at bars that involves throwing ping pong balls into cups of Coke set up like in beer pong. Coca-Cola has Twitter and Instagram accounts with over 4 million followers for marketing campaigns and contests. If they wanted to promote the game, they would probably use this particular hashtag when tweeting about it to their fans.

4. Respond in Real-time

Once you’ve found what people are saying about your brand through social listening, it’s time to respond! You can’t just ignore what they say, especially if it’s negative. The best way to start this process is by thanking someone for complimenting and addressing their concern publicly in a genuine way. This encourages others to chime in and address the issue with their comments, and it allows you to maintain a positive reputation on social media.


Social listening can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re just getting started. Be sure to set goals for yourself and choose the right tool before diving into all of this information! Some other important factors to think about are how much time you have available every day, what channels you want to listen in on, and whether or not you’re willing to pay for a premium tool. 

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