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Social Listening

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What is social listening?

Social listening can be challenging because you can do this through paid tools. You do this through observation. This involves going on Twitter or going on to Google, and actually searching for your keywords, and identifying roughly how regularly they’re being used, and what are the types of ways they’re being used.


So, what are those common keywords? Why are they being used to discuss your brand, your product, or your service? So we can actually confirm that the keywords that we want to use in a campaign are actually being used by the consumer. And that’s very important because sometimes we talk about products in a way that actually the consumer doesn’t talk about them. You want to start to slowly kind of speak like your consumer so that they feel like you’re approachable. And are there additional keywords that consumers are using that you haven’t yet considered?

Others things to consider

Are there hashtags that they’re using to talk about the specific products or services that you offer? Can you identify trends in the subject matter that, and how they’re talking? What’s the language that they’re using? And with those hashtags, if you’re an international brand, are there things that one country uses versus another? You need to actually understand the different kind of colloquialisms between the different channels in the different nationalities.

And then, can you gain any customer insights from the challenges that they’re experiencing? What you can learn a lot from is how your consumer is having a conversation with your competitors, because you can see how your competitor is dealing with, you can see what the challenges are, but what you’ll really learn from is how they engage with you. If somebody has a problem, that’s a problem, you fix it. If ten people have the same problem, you need to then address it. What is the way to address it, and how actually can you use social listening to learn from that?


So what we’re going to look at now is some of the tools that are available for social listening. The best and the free one is observation, using your own eyes, using your own keywords. But in addition to that, you can use paid resources. There’s Radian6, there’s Crimson Hexagon, Tagboard, and Hootsuite, which is a free resource that you can use, but there are paid elements to it. Social Mention is another. If you are willing to invest in the use of social listening, Brandwatch is good for the large organizations. It is one of the social listening tools with a wizard. So you put in one keyword, it’ll start to learn what are the keywords around it. You put in your brand name, and it’ll start to learn what are the keywords being used around your brand. You can very quickly build what are called topic profiles and actually have results very fast where some of them you can’t go into historical data and you need to build the keywords very individually with coding language, which can be a challenge.

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Matt Mooney

Head of Digital Strategy @ DDFH&B

  • Head of Digital Strategy @ DDFH&B
  • 8+ years working with brands in social media, content and digital strategy
  • Expertise in developing integrated digital strategy
  • Experience with local and global brands in the US and Irish markets
  • Five time winner of ‘Social Media Agency of the Year‘, 2013-2017

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    Strategy and Planning
    Matt Mooney
    Skills Expert

    This module teaches you how to create an all-encompassing social media marketing strategy. It starts by providing best practices for planning and conducting research into your strategy, and covers topics such as owned research, accessed research, desk research, audience research, competitor research, and social listening. You learn how to set measurable objectives and KPIs for your strategy, and how to analyze and track your activities. Finally, you learn how to build and execute your strategy, and how to measure its impact and performance.