Social Listening for Beginners: Understanding Your Customers on Social Media

Learn how to listen to your audience like a pro on social media.

Shannon Jade
6 minutes read

Worldwide, over 50% of marketers rely on social listening to understand changing consumer markets. A robust social listening strategy can greatly impact your overall social media marketing approach!

By understanding social media listening and learning how to use it correctly, you can improve your ability to reach and serve your target audience. Over time, this can help you build your brand and see tangible results from your social media strategy.

For many business owners, the concept of social listening can feel intimidating. What does social media listening really mean, and how can you make it work for your business in a rapidly changing online world?

At Plann, we have the answers you need. Consider this your beginner’s guide to all things social listening!



What is Social Listening?

Social listening provides a way to keep track of your social media presence. Using social listening tools, you can closely monitor online mentions of your brand and your competitors, as well as any keywords that relate to your offer or niche.

What is Social Listening?

At its core, social listening is designed to support real-time brand tracking across a variety of social channels.

You can use social listening tools to gain insights into how people talk about your brand and to notice changes in brand sentiment when they occur. This can help you better understand your consumers and their needs, driving improvements for your customer service team.

When used effectively, social listening can help you more comprehensively evaluate consumer pain points and refine the solutions you offer. You can even use social listening data to keep track of industry trends that could impact your brand in the future. This gives you the power to do what’s best for your business while always staying up to date with what’s new.

What’s the difference between social listening and social monitoring?

Social listening and social monitoring are similar processes. The key difference is that social listening is proactive, while social media monitoring tends to be reactive.

While social listening tools provide a thorough overview of all customer conversations that involve your brand and its products and competitors, social monitoring is less holistic. Instead of offering a big-picture overview, social monitoring focuses on specific keywords and brand mentions in isolation, which can be limiting in terms of recognizing patterns or shifts. One tool that will allow you to both social listen and social monitor is Mention. Mention is a brand management tool which allows individuals and businesses to track online mentions of their brand, products, or keywords across various social media platforms, blogs, forums, and news sites. It provides real-time monitoring of online conversations and enables users to analyze and engage with their audience effectively.

How Social Listening Can Help You

Social listening tools can provide many powerful benefits as part of a broader social media strategy or even your brand strategy at large.

Whether you’re a content creator, a personal brand, or a small business, a well-developed social listening strategy can help you gain a deeper insight into your audience, their needs and how you can best serve them.

Using social listening tools, you can develop strong customer personas based on relevant conversations and data-driven sentiment analysis. This can help you efficiently respond to negative reviews while maintaining positive relationships with your most loyal customers.

Social listening can also help you make the most of valuable insights to quickly identify emerging trends and get on board! You’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to producing digital content that aligns directly with audience interests. Hello, deeper impact and tailored marketing campaigns!

Choosing Platforms to Monitor

If you want social listening to work for you, you need to be strategic about where you focus your brand monitoring time and energy.

The best approach is to choose social media platforms that are popular among your target demographic. Ask yourself which social media sites your customers are most active on, and adopt monitoring tools for these placements first. You can always expand your focus later on!

Begin with the most popular social platforms. Try monitoring social media mentions across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Over time, you can add social listening for other platforms, from Reddit to TikTok. You can even set up notifications for Google mentions!

When you think cleverly about the social platforms you actively monitor, you can plan for the most useful results from your social listening efforts. Employed effectively, social listening can easily be part of a broader marketing strategy that centers around consumer behaviors and uses these to inform decision-making.

Tracking Your Brand

Ready to set up social listening? Good social media listening tools allow you to set up alerts that will notify you when your brand, products, or industry are mentioned online.

Tracking Your Brand

Monitoring social media channels in this way can help you see both positive and negative comments about your brand and allow you to proactively join these conversations. This can reduce response times, helping you adopt a robust customer experience strategy that resolves problems fast.

Most social listening programs allow you to track sentiment in addition to volume. This means that you can easily identify when something has changed in the way people talk about your business. If you’re facing an influx of negative sentiment social posts, you can act quickly to prevent the problem from blowing out of control.

Analyzing Data

Sadly, tracking data alone isn’t enough to help you achieve your business goals. You need to analyze social data and turn information into action.

Social listening provides you with access to actionable insights that you can use to take the next step toward brand success. Look for opportunities to dig deeper and understand your audience more clearly. Search online conversations for patterns on customer preferences and behavior.

Analyzing social data can go beyond simply improving your market knowledge. It can help you establish systems that respond to demand in your industry and that help you provide the best possible service for your customers.

Effective data analysis helps you engage well with social conversations and even produce marketing campaigns that speak directly and meaningfully to your audience. Social media monitoring tools can put you on track to deliver best customer service and to create a brand that truly understands the community it serves.

Ready to build an engaged community on social media?

With these new insights around social listening up your sleeve, its time to double-down on your social media efforts.

Ready to take the stress and guesswork out of your social media strategy? Sign up for a 7-day free trial of Plann Pro and gain access to the tools, resources and support you need to succeed.

From done-for-you caption starters to thousands of high-performing hashtags along with powerful social media analytics, keep your brand top of mind with Plann’s all in one social media suite.


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