What Social Listening Is and Why You Should Care About It

Hilary Corna
5 min readJun 2, 2021

We live in a world where almost half of the population expresses their opinions on social media. As of July 2020, there are almost 4 billion active social media users. If you’re in business, taking time to listen to what people say or share about your brand can make a huge difference in how you’ll succeed.

Social listening is monitoring what people are saying about your organization, brand, product, or people online. This information is helpful in developing specific marketing strategies to get your product or service to your ideal customers.

Listening to what people say online also gives you helpful information on how to improve your product or service. But social listening does not end in gleaning information; it also involves responding to them.

Social Listening vs Viewing Your Social Media

On the surface, it may seem that social listening and looking at your social media are one and the same, but they’re not.

Social listening can be summarized in two steps.

First, tracking social media platforms for mentions and conversations related to your business. Other than monitoring mentions about your brand, products or services, you should also track mentions about your competitors as well as keywords related to your business.

Second, analyzing the information to look for opportunities to take action. This could be as simple as responding to a satisfied customer or responding to an inquiry. It could also mean something more significant like addressing a potential PR crisis before it escalates.

Monitoring your social media is different from social listening because monitoring only involves looking and collecting data about metrics such as brand mentions, competitor mentions, relevant hashtags and industry trends. It is ideal for monitoring your ROI or A/B testing campaigns.

Additionally, social listening is an intentional act. You’re taking the time to absorb information/data, process it and figure out what it means for your business, employees and customers alike.

The process of social listening starts when you act in response to data you gather from tracking social media…

Hilary Corna

CEO | Founder of The Human Way | Bestselling Author | New book #UNprofessional out 9/21 | Host of the UNprofessional podcast | As seen in Forbes, Fortune, WSJ