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Picture this: You ask a retail employee for help finding a new laptop. Then, the employee either ignores you, or they confidently direct you to the refrigerator section of the store. 

How frustrated would you feel? 

Say you went into a store to report a problem with a recent purchase. Then, none of the staff even look at you or, even worse, an employee simply shrugs and carries on with what he was doing before.

Imagine how angry you’d feel.

Angry child

It’s probably safe to say that you’d never do business with either of these stores again.

It might be easy to say that you’d never treat your customers this way. But, this is exactly what you’re doing to your target audience if you’re not engaging in social listening.

What’s Social Listening?

Social listening is a 2-step process that involves: 1) monitoring your social media platforms for any conversations related to your brand and 2) making changes accordingly.

Practicing social listening means that your business:

  • Successfully directs potential customers to products and services they need if they mention a keyword on social media relevant to your business. 
  • Addresses concerns whenever a customer posts a complaint on social media about anything your brand produces, from a post to a product.
  • Makes appropriate changes when your target audience mentions something on social media that your brand’s competitors are doing better than you.

As you can see, social listening doesn’t just involve becoming aware of a consumer’s needs. You also need to do something about it. 

This is what sets it apart from social monitoring, which only requires gathering data and becoming aware of information from consumers. It doesn’t necessarily mean doing anything with this information.

Why is Social Listening Important for Your Social Media Strategy?

Think of the scenarios mentioned at the beginning of this post. In both situations, it’s clear the employees aren’t listening to and acting upon what you have to say. This is what makes them so infuriating.

By using social listening, you can avoid frustrating your target audience while also expanding your reach and boosting your brand loyalty.

Here are 6 reasons why your business should be practicing social listening in 2020:

1. Social listening increases engagement

Social listening is a great way to engage with your target audience. If you’re not responding to their comments, both positive and negative, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with them.

A study found, when people received a response from a brand after reaching out to them on Twitter, their preference for that brand over others that didn’t respond increased almost 3x higher.

Consumers who’re able to communicate with a brand using social media are far more likely to engage with that brand in the future.

By listening to and responding to what your audience is saying, you make your brand seem more relatable and trustworthy.

2. Social listening helps you improve your business

Imagine growing up thinking that you have an incredible singing voice. Then, when you try out for a singing group in college, you learn you actually sound terrible. 

singing badly because you're not social listening

If you had only known sooner, all of the years that you subjected your friends to awful karaoke nights and bonfire songs could’ve been avoided. You could’ve spent time getting singing lessons or learning another talent instead.

Social listening helps businesses avoid making this mistake by pinpointing specific areas where your business can improve. 91% of unhappy consumers stop interacting with a brand and never return. 

While they might not complete a survey or tell you directly what caused them to leave, they might write about their experience or tell their friends on social media. In fact, 96% of people who talk about a brand online, do not actually follow the brand’s account on social media. 

Social listening can help you figure out why consumers might leave your brand. This gives you an opportunity to do something about it before it is too late.

With social listening, you’re notified every time someone mentions something about your brand on social media. If someone says your customer service is not up to par or that your brand is lacking in a specific area, you’ll be able to use this information to improve your brand right away.

3. Social listening helps customers feel heard

If you want to prevent losing your audience, you need to show your audience that you care. 1 way is to make sure your customers feel heard.  You need to address any feedback they provide right away.

I'm social listening

This is especially important when it comes to retaining customers. When customers know that their favorite brand values their feedback, they’re more likely to trust and do repeat business with that brand. 

In contrast, 68% of consumers stop engaging with brands that they feel do not care about them.

It can be up to 25x more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. It’s crucial for businesses to use social listening in order to improve and help their customers.

4. Social listening helps you keep up with industry trends

Through social listening, you’ll not only get updates about your brand, but you’ll also get updates when people use industry-related keywords.

This’ll give you the opportunity to see new trends and learn about influencers within your industry. It also lets you find new content ideas, as well as see what industry leaders are doing to expand their reach.

Social media content is one of the top content marketing tools that businesses use to share information with their target audience. If you want to stay on top of what’s working for leaders in your industry, use social listening. Monitor the content they post online and change your content accordingly.

5. Your competitors are using social listening

If you’re not ready to jump aboard the social listening train, then you’re putting your brand behind the countless other brands that’re already using this tool as a part of their social marketing strategy.

83% of people who use Twitter for customer service say that the brand they reached out to was able to address and fix their concerns. If you want to remain competitive, you need to be able to help customers who contact you on social media.

Social listening is essential to growing your brand in 2020. If you want to boost engagement, improve your business, and keep up with your competitors, you need to use this tool as part of your brand’s social media strategy.

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Shaina Weisinger


Shaina Weisinger is the founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns your content into unlimited videos and images. Shaina is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content they already have. Shaina loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius.