What is Social Listening?

Social Listening is the process of understanding the online conversation about a company or brand, as well as its products and services.

Social listening tools can help companies gather and analyze customer data from a variety of social media and online review platforms in order to use the data to improve marketing, operational and business metrics.

Social media is no longer a platform where you can push farmed content to followers and expect them to be ecstatic to engage with you. Social listening allows you to understand what your customers are talking about, what they think, how they feel and what they need from your business. The trick is listening to what is being said in context. Getting context around what your followers are saying about you means being able to listen to them speak in real time, pair that data with information about the customers themselves and apply sentiment to it to make strategic business decisions.

This is where social listening comes into play. With the right tools, social listening will allow you to track the conversations around specific phrases, words, emojis and terms relevant to your business, and apply context to them in order to understand how people are speaking about your brand on social media.

When done right, this also allows you to be able to craft conversations and use tones that are most likely to resonate with them. It also empowers your team to make strategic decisions that will best benefit your company.

Why is Social Listening important?

Social listening can help you benchmark, use influencers and perfect the customer experience.

Social listening will allow your team to understand how you benchmark against your direct and indirect competitors. With this information at the ready, your insights team will be able to look beyond market-share to identify competitors and see where your business falls short in other areas of the business such as customer service, customer retention, reputation and other factors. You’ll also be able to see where you excel in your industry. Do you have the best product? Are you untouched when it comes to timely deliveries? Do you offer the most in terms of cost savings? Knowing where your company falls behind and knowing where you exceed customer expectations will further allow you to perfect the areas you’re already succeeding in and to build a plan around the areas that are in need of improvement.

Social listening will also help you to identify influencers in your industry. Why are these important?


1.)   Most consumers rely on social media to guide their decisions to move forward with the purchase of a product or service.

2.)   Consumers are more likely to trust peer reviews rather than advertisements.


You might be surprised at who the true influencers in your industry are. You might find that only a handful of people or sources influence the decisions that your consumers make. On the other hand, you might find that your influencers aren’t the individuals making the purchase.

By finding out who your true influencers are, you can use the tools to monitor how they talk about your brand, or what they’re saying about other brands similar to yours. Furthermore, you’ll be able to proactively anticipate the questions that people will have about your brand so that you can ensure you’re answering those questions through every medium you can, while also making accurate information accessible to influencers, whoever they may be.

Perfecting the customer experience is a likely outcome from social listening. You can use the data to drive strategic business changes. Changes might include messaging, product descriptions, product price, improvements to services and generally making it easier for people to do business with you. By listening on social media, you can uncover not only what customers think but why they think it. For example, maybe you rolled out a new promotion giving customers a discount, but your sales registers aren’t up to date in processing that promotion. Confused customers are likely to turn to social media to complain that your promotion is bogus, but this also gives you the chance to fix it before too many customers experience the problem. This sort of efficient feedback loop is supported by real-time social listening.

How Does Clarabridge Power Social Listening?

Clarabridge enables companies to listen to all social data sources, gathering and analyzing customer data from any social media source and any online review site, including Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor and, among many others. Clarabridge also integrates data from social CRM tools and social media monitoring software such as Sysomos, Radian6 and many more for a comprehensive view. With Clarabridge, literally no mention of your product or company is left behind. We find it all.

Clarabridge supports finding the real feedback through what could otherwise be viewed as noise. Then Clarabridge understands the context of the mentions, supports deep analytics across the data and ensures you can establish a rich social media engagement strategy.

Routing appropriate questions and responses to agents most likely to be able to assist customers ensures that customers are assisted and given appropriate information effectively and efficiently.

Categorization models most relevant to your business help you to bring context into how people may talk about your brand and business. As you use this, and the tools continue to track information, you’ll be able to better understand sentiment towards your company from the outside in. Often, businesses assess competitors by what they think they know about customers. The right tools will reverse engineer this so that your team is able to gather the information that you need to assess before making any decisions. For instance, a business may think that its influencers are parents, so it may just discern what parents are saying about it on social media. Categorization models would also bring to your attention the fact that schools, teachers and students are the main influencers, although they may not be the ones making the actual purchase decisions.

To have a real shot of success, your company should be able to monitor trends and consumer behavior in their natural habitat, which may very well be on social media. Listen to the conversations they’re having, understand the terms most associated with your business, and be aware of the hashtags used and other business accounts often mentioned with your brand.


Clarabridge helps manage your brand, bringing social intelligence seamlessly into your in-house social CRM systems, workflow engines, engagement applications and business intelligence tools. Through social listening, you can spot opportunities to fix negative experiences or capitalize on positive ones.

With the right social listening tools in place, you’ll be able to craft a winning social media strategy that is targeted enough to leverage the information uncovered in social listening, but agile enough to shift as you see consumer expectations and conversations evolve.

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