How to listen smarter using your social media analytics

Published August 05, 2021·Written by Halle Dang, Lucia Manetti

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Social media is a whole different world. Find the different meanings of commonly used terms, gain the value of social listening, and learn how to use social media analytics to listen smarter. Alternatively, learn more from our new Social solution page!


Imagine running your own taco stand (and who wouldn’t want to do so?). While preparing the guacamole, you hear two customers discussing your menu options near the food truck.

“The Mama Mia is off the chain here,” someone says. “Especially with their original chipotle sauce.”

“Yeah, love it,” another reply. “But not sure if it’s worth coming here often. Other stands taste just as good but are cheaper.”

Then you begin to wonder if everyone else felt that way about your business.

You may start by asking family, friends, truck neighbors, scouring online reviews about your brand, and you may also ask your regular customers. That’s when you really start to hear and listen. You eventually change your attitude and behavior to do something about the taco prices because of this.

Before you know it, more customers are lining up outside your food truck because of your (active) social listening skills. Based on their need for quality and affordable tacos, your brand resonates more with local foodies.

The Value of Social Listening: Stop Guessing and Shouting and Just Listen

Nowadays, social media is where most of your customers are and is just a boisterous place. It’s hard enough to hear, but active listening is a must. Why? Let’s break it down with some important figures:

Source: We Are Social and HootSuite Digital 2021 Global Overview Report

Recap: Brief Glossary of Common Social Media Terms 

A proliferation of new social media terms has appeared since the phenomenon emerged in the early 2000s, many of which are used interchangeably by professionals today. 

We must distinguish between common terms thrown around because their functionalities and classification differ. For example, some terms can be used to describe an act/practice, while others to describe a social media tool. 

Below is a short glossary of terms used when talking about social media:

  • Social media monitoring: Informs you on the ‘what’; monitoring mentions or specific phrases, words, brand names on social media.
  • Social media listening: Informs you on the ‘why’ and goes deeper or extends beyond just social media; the practice of actively listening to your audience to better understand the context. You’re also seeking a specific word, brand name, phrase. Indeed, social networks are the main sources for social listening tools to collect data from, but the analysis goes beyond social media channels. It can include customer-brand conversations found on blogs, feedback sites, news, community forums, articles, article comments, and anywhere on the web. Software that claims to be a “social media listening tool” helps professionals identify key trends and discover customer sentiment towards your products, services, competitors, influencers, etc. Real-time data and extensive, in-depth historical records are accessible.
  • Social media management: Primarily focuses on engaging with customers while monitoring owned and earned social media to maintain brand image and build brand awareness. It also means allowing your social media management software to connect with your own social channels to help monitor social media analytics.
  • Social media analytics: The ability to gather and find meaning in data gathered from social channels to support business decisions — and measure the performance of actions based on those decisions through social media. Such analytics tools help measure basic metrics regarding social media – mentions, impressions, retweets, etc.
  • Social media intelligence: The practice of combining qualitative and quantitative methods to aggregate piles of conversations. Researchers want to deeply understand how consumers think, behave, feel, and talk about certain topics of interest. Very research-based.

Do’s and Don’ts: How to Listen Smarter Using Your Social Media Analytics

Don’t respond to every social media post

Customers use social media to get a response from a company, but responding to every post may not be the best way.

According to a Gartner research director, Jenny Sussin, “Deciding to, or not to, respond, regardless of your business objectives will impact the customer experience. It is critical that IT leaders supporting customer experience initiatives work with the business to support the operational feasibility of responding to social media posts and address customer experience repercussions with business leaders.”

Don’t listen to just your customers or competitors

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, listen to us when we say smart social listening goes beyond your customers. It’s also about the world they live in and their experiences with your brand. 

So, listen to your competitors, the competitors’ followers, review sites, critics, partners, etc. Listen intently to events around prospects on non-competing forums.

Do try to understand your audience’s language

When creating content for advertisements and landing pages, speaking the audience’s language is important.

Due to this, you demonstrate that you understand their common thought process. Therefore, you can better communicate with them.

When you analyze social posts containing your target keywords, you might notice your audience members:

As you study posts that use your tracked keywords, you may notice that members of your market:

  • Describe concepts in a specific way
  • Use alternative words or synonyms to explain things (secondary keywords)
  • Create simple, complex, or anywhere-in-between sentences
  • Integrate the findings into your content without sacrificing clarity

Do try to look for customer feedback

It is possible to gain insights into customer feedback by tracking the names of your brand and products across social networks.

With terms such as “dislike” and “love,” you can locate reviews, complaints, and endorsements. Use the positive comments on your website as testimonials, and retweet or post positive comments as often as possible.

Listen Smarter Using a Sophisticated + Unified VoC Analytics Tool

Make an impact on your customer service strategy by combining social media and Wonderflow. Take the voice of the customer (VoC), explore the “why” behind customer behaviors, and share understandable insights with your team. 

Filter through the social media noise and mess to extract meaningful insights, crossing data from different feedback sources and social media management platforms. 

For more information, check out our newly launched Social Media Solution page.

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