4 Tips for Brands to Master Social Listening and Build a Competitive Advantage


In a digital world where information flows seamlessly across the globe, and the chatter in the social media realm is so loud, you want to be the brand that listens, observes, and takes calculated action. There is much to be gained by distancing yourself from the noise and the clutter on social media and actually observing this microcosm from a standpoint that allows you to collect, collate, and organize the chatter surrounding your brand.

Rather than blindly pushing advertisements and posts in the general direction of your audience members, you want to be the brand that leverages the social media buzz to create actionable steps that will set it apart from the competition. Here are the four tips to help you achieve just that.

Identify the reasons for social listening

There are many reasons why you might want to tune in to the conversations on relevant social media networks, but the end goal is always the same – to gain data that will help you develop a competitive advantage in an area of your niche. Some of the reasons why you might want to listen to social chatter surrounding your brand, and competitors, are:

  • Find and reach out to the most prospective brand advocates.
  • Research the industry and competition to create new products and services.
  • Analyze the prevailing trends that shape consumers’ opinions, and identify emerging trends.
  • Research and identify customers’ relationships with your competitors.
  • Discover opportunities to set your products, services, and brand apart.
  • Monitor the performance of your marketing and advertising campaigns in real time.
  • Gain a more in-depth perspective of your customers’ opinions regarding your brand.

Learn how to monitor the heartbeat of the social world

Every platform has an integrated tool, or analytics page, that helps a business track its performance, engagement, and other KPIs relevant to the social media in question. But those insights are not enough to generate detailed reports or give you the in-depth knowledge that will set your brand apart. Because every other business is using the same tools.

The key to developing a stronger social media analytics strategy is to arm yourself with complementary tools and software that will make all of the conversations surrounding your brand in the media visible in real time. This will not only allow you to act quickly and with unmatched precision, but will also go a long way in establishing growth plans, helping you formulate effective risk mitigation protocols, and much more. Once you have the insights, it’s time to turn them into actionable reports.

Find ways to turn insights into actionable steps

The media monitoring solution you choose to integrate into your processes should also come with comprehensive reporting features to minimize your involvement in the reporting phase and deliver to you the end product instead. You can, of course, choose to go the old-fashioned way and create reports manually, but that method leaves plenty of room for error.

In a world where every customer matters and brand reputations can be shattered easily, it’s imperative that you minimize errors as much as possible. Use an automated tool to generate reports quickly without wasting resources such as time, money, and employees, and then simply organize the findings into steps. Be sure to prioritize them so that you ensure the effectiveness of every new tactic you implement.

Learn how to communicate efficiently and effectively

And lastly, understand that to be successful in the social media realm, you need to identify the most effective ways to convey your message to the public. Some insights will allow you to better optimize your ads or tailor your content to appeal more to your followers, but when it comes to interacting with your customers, things tend to get a bit more complicated.

Your brand needs to have a unique identity that will resonate with your audience, and it needs to be consistent in the way it communicates with them on every channel. The insights you’ve obtained should not only help you define and adapt your identity and tone of voice, but also help you identify the best ways to handle sensitive issues, resolve disputes, answer negative comments, and more.

Social listening is a science and an artform that is rapidly gaining in popularity nowadays, as experienced business leaders are recognizing the need to pause, take a step back, and monitor the chatter to gain the insights that might open the door to long-term success. Use these tips to implement a social media strategy and capitalize on the most lucrative asset in existence – information.