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A Guide to Social Media Listening for Your Business

Social media landscape is like a vast ocean with no set boundaries. There are as many talking points as there are number of people hooked on to these platforms daily. As such it is really important to keep track of what your audience, competitors, customers etc. are saying about your brand on social media platforms.

But how do you do it is the point. Social media listening is the key solution to this challenging problem. It gives access to an array of tools which makes it easy to pay attention to what people are saying about your product or service on social media space. This helps in taking corrective actions wherever and whenever required.

The following article outlines the importance of social listening and explains how your higher education institution can implement a social media listening strategy.

What is social listening?

Social listening is the process by which you can find what and where your customers are talking about your brand and then leveraging those conversations to discover opportunities for creating more engaging content for those audiences.

Today, 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they’re treated. By actively “listening” for mentions or discussions on various social media channels, you can avoid missing out on the opportunity to delight customers or collect valuable feedback.

Social listening vs. Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring is a process that simply gathers every social mention while listening is related to its analysis and reflection. Social media listening helps in spotting patterns and trends useful for drawing conclusions and inferences based on user engagement.

The key difference lies in the approach of the two. Monitoring is just listing of social media engagement occurrences, while listening recognizes and evaluates the most consequential parts.

Why should you have a Social Listening Strategy of your Higher Education institution in place?

Before beginning, ask yourself, what do you want to get out of social listening? There could be several reasons. But some of the prime goals of setting up a social listening strategy are mentioned below.

  1. To identify influencers
  2. Alternate channel for building customer care
  3. Tracking performance of a specific hashtag or phrase/keyword
  4. Generating leads by handling product/service related queries
  5. Attracting new customers
  6. Discovering popular platforms where your community hangs out
  7. Getting feedback on products/services

For all of these reasons and many more, social listening is something that the brand of your universities and institutions need to take seriously.

After clearly knowing the reasons, you may want to plan your strategy now. This takes you to the next level of deciding on the keywords and phrases you need to monitor. Social listening keywords can be based on your brand’s name, industry type, campaign phrases/keywords etc. etc.

Social listening tools

For practicing social listening you will require tools to streamline the process. Some of the useful tools that will guide you through the process are: Google Alerts, Quora, Twitter Advanced Search, Social Mention, Hootsuite, TweetReach, ViralHeat etc.

Social media listening is a useful tool for any university and institution. When integrated with your existing social media strategy, it can deeply enhance the impact of your efforts on social media. It can help you to stay ahead of your competitors by exploring new customer base, reaching out to more and more audience and addressing the most pressing needs of your customers on real-time.

It’s time to listen to the unknown voice you have been otherwise ignoring before somebody else could. Listen to your voice share on social media to improve institutional branding and engage with your target audience.

Swapnil Jain
Forward-thinking Visionary Entrepreneur with 16 years of successful experience. As a Founder and Director of FMA Digital, Swapnil helps academic institutions embrace the power of Digital Transformation and increase their ROI through digital strategies.