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5 Tips to Develop a Social Listening Strategy

5 tips to develop a social listening strategy


So, now that you’ve learned all of the benefits of what social listening has to offer, you’re ready to take your social media marketing to the next level. But where do you start? Here are five tips for getting started with your social listening strategy. 

1. Know your goals 

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what you’re aiming to achieve from your social listening strategy. Knowing your goals will help you figure out which social listening tool is right for you and will help give you a lens through which to analyze your data. 

Social listening is a powerful tool that can be utilized by more than just your content marketing team. Be sure to communicate with your other departments to understand their pain points. 

Some goals may include crisis and reputation management, competitive intelligence, lead generation, audience research, content creation, and product strategy. 

2. Pick the right tool for you. 

There is unlimited data scattered through the internet, nuggets of treasure. However, searching for those golden nuggets can be overwhelming, if not impossible, without the help of a social listening tool. Moreover, searching natively through social media platforms can also have its limitations. For example, users can’t search for account tags on most platforms, and mentions from years, months, or weeks ago are quickly buried on platforms like Twitter. 

Social listening tools help distill that data and organize it in a way that allows an analyst more time to focus on insights. Different listening tools have different strengths, which is why knowing your goals is critical. For example, some tools are better for community management, while others are better if you’re working on a report to build historical context for a product or campaign. 

Check out our free checklist and guide on selecting the right social listening tool for your brand.

3. Pick your competitors 

A significant component of social listening is competitive intelligence. Seeing what your competitors are doing right – and wrong – can give you valuable insights on crafting your content strategies, what products to invest in, and how to handle or avoid those crises altogether. 

In addition to companies that are your direct competitors, you can focus on companies that have similar products and services (such as restaurants in another city) or similar audience demographics (you may not be a language app, but DuoLingo knows how to connect with the TikTok generation on another level). 

If you’re starting, pick aspirational companies. How did they get from where your company is to where they are?


4. Come up with an engagement plan (finding your voice) 

Social listening allows you to tune into the flow of social conversations. Finding your brand’s voice is essential when engaging with current and potential customers, especially when those conversations are public. 

A standard operating procedure for crises in the comment section is critical. But, it’s also important to know what type of voice your company has. For example, do you prefer your company sounds like a serious professional or a sassy Gen Zer? Again, knowing your target audience should inform this decision.

5. Focus on actionable and achievable insights

An actionable insight is a conclusion or takeaway distilled from data that can be turned into an action or response. Ultimately, the goal of social listening is this: find the best insights that can be used to achieve your company’s goals. 

But, it is also important to know your brand’s bandwidth. Considering resources (time, money, bandwidth) is critical when building out your social listening strategy. Analyzing data for hours to chase down unimplementable insights or recommending things that are unachievable at the current moment is a waste of everyone’s time, so avoid doing this. 

About B3

At B3 Media Solutions, in addition to providing brands’ social listening and analytics reports, we train companies on how to set up their social listening program and select the right social listening tool for their needs. So if you’re looking for expert guidance, go to our website to learn more. 

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