The importance of social listening

User-Generated Content: risks and rewards
24th April 2017
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25th April 2017

How do you know people are talking about your brand online, and how to respond to them?

Clutch has surveyed 300 medium and large businesses that are currently using listening tools. They asked what them why they are listening, what they are listening to and the benefits it is bringing them.

Social listening is the process of monitoring specific terms, products and concepts across different social channels.

Improving relationships with their customers was the key objective of 42% of respondents.

The second most common reason for undertaking social listening is to improve their products, with 25% citing this.

24% are aiming to attract new customers and 21% want to improve their customer service.

As well as working towards these high-level objectives, some businesses found that social listening had other, unpredicted benefits:

  • 13% were able to monitor the performance of different content
  • 9% found it helped them with recruitment
  • 9% learned more about their competition

The vast majority of social listening is undertaken by monitoring customer requests, questions and concerns. 86% listen to all three of these kinds of customer communication.

While most social listening is concerned with Facebook (93%) and Twitter (79%), 71% also monitor Instagram, while YouTube (65%) and Reddit (27%) also feature heavily.

How to start listening

For those businesses who are considering investing in the tools they need to tune-in to what is being said about them online, Clutch have offered four takeaways from their survey:

1. Social listening can be tailored to the size of your business – smaller companies can track brand mentions will larger ones can monitor more complex sets of social data

2. The benefit comes from being proactive so be prepared to act on both positive and negative feedback

3. Instead of trying to spy on your competitors every move, try to keep abreast of emerging industry trends and be the first to capitalise

4. When I doubt about the effectiveness of content or a product, start with what people have said about it


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