Social Listening: The New Tool Businesses Use to Win

Social listening is actively listening to social media conversations and using that information to inform your marketing strategy. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on what people are talking about and how they feel about different products or services.

It’s also great for businesses to get customer feedback to improve their products and services. Many companies use social listening tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Radian6. These tools allow you to monitor multiple social networks and see what people say across all channels.

Why is social listening important for your business?

Like we already said, social listening is a direct line to your customers, competitors, and the general flux of emotions and ideas around industries. Let’s look at some specific examples of this. 

Understanding how your campaigns are performing.

If more people are talking about your brand or services after a particular marketing effort, it’s a good sign that the campaign was successful. You can even use the feedback to tinker with your next campaign. 

Knowing your customer needs better.

There are many ways to collect information from your customers. You can use polls, analytics, and reviews, but nothing quite tops the observation of candid conversations on social media. It’s like you have a fly on the wall and get to hear all the juicy details – good and bad. 

Responding to customer feedback quickly and effectively.

Sometimes customer feedback goes unnoticed. You know the feeling that can stir – no one cares, or the company is too big to have concern for a measly single customer. Of course, you want to be able to respond to all feedback, but that can be difficult. By scraping social data, you can use keywords to identify where your attention needs to be to identify and respond to customer feedback. 

Generating new leads.

Using the same social listening method makes it easier to identify those who may have an interest in your business. You can find the conversation threads and social topics that resonate with your brand and join in. 

Locating influencers 

Influencers are the politicians of the marketing world. They even get endorsements – just like on capital hill! Find influencers who have a following of people related to your brand, product, or service and put yourself in front of thousands or millions of user profiles in no time. 

Preventing and managing problems.

You’re bound to run into challenges whenever you make decisions that propel you into uncharted territory. The best way to meet them is with an open mind. Allow social listening to do the work of that level of receptivity that points you in the right direction to meet the problems head first. This kind of proactive service is a rare and valuable quality of highly successful enterprises. 

Protecting brand reputation.

Brand reputation is important to guard online. Many imposters seek a quick profit from someone else’s work and customer base. To prevent this kind of thing from getting out of hand, you can monitor social media for any brand mentions and sort them out. 

Staying on top of the conversation.

Social listening can improve your marketing strategy by using the information it provides. For example, if people are talking about a new product or service, you can start creating content for that topic before the general public even knows what’s happening. This is especially useful when creating content for launch events like new products or services being released (also known as “pre-roll”). You want to have all of the information necessary to create great content ahead of time so that when people see this news, they will be excited and eager for more information about whatever it is they’re seeing.

How does social listening work?

The basic strategy for social listening begins with harvesting data from social platforms, parsing the information, and responding to it. Let’s take a closer look. 

social listening

Data harvesting

Getting data from social listening can take several forms. First, you can hire an API to collect data for you. Second, you may want to buy the data directly from a web scraping service. We will explore the third option. 

Analysis

After the data has been collected, it’s time to figure out what’s essential and irrelevant. This part can be a little tedious, but after careful consideration, the process becomes more and more automatic. Essentially, you can use automated programs to parse the data into a presentation of tables and charts. 

Response

Once you have the results, you need to make an informed decision. It’s time to act. It’s a great feeling knowing that you have taken the time to understand the situation and that your actions are coming from a place of cooperation. 

How can businesses start social listening?

It doesn’t matter if you are running an e-commerce business or a B2B company – there are many ways to use social listening to improve your marketing efforts. Here are some tips:

Use Social Media Monitoring Tools

There are loads of tools that will allow you to monitor all sorts of things, from Twitter mentions and Facebook posts to YouTube videos and blog comments. The best thing about these tools is they will alert you when something interesting happens in real-time. This means you won’t miss anything important online, which could give rise to new opportunities or problems. You can also set up alerts for keywords related to your brand name or products so that when those words appear in someone else’s post, it will trigger a warning – this is particularly useful if someone has hijacked one of your accounts!  

Use Social Media Analytics

Many analytics tools can help you understand what people are saying about your brand, products, and services. They will provide you with a wealth of information, from the number of mentions to the sentiment behind them. You can then use this data to make informed decisions about how best to engage with your customers online.

Monitor Your Competitors

If you’re running an e-commerce business, you must know what your competitors are up to stay one step ahead in marketing and product development. Monitoring their social media pages is an excellent way for you to keep tabs on their latest news and updates, as well as any changes they might be making in terms of pricing or promotions. This could give rise to new opportunities if they have made changes that affect sales – such as lowering prices or offering free shipping. 

Monitor Industry News 

If there’s any industry news going around at all times, chances are that it will also show up on social media sites! So monitoring this content regularly allows you to see what other brands and businesses are doing to remain competitive in the marketplace. For example, suppose a competitor announces some exciting new product release or promotion. In that case, this could mean that yours should follow suit too – after all, why whoever is the first to market a new product or service will be seen as the leader in that particular area.

Keep Up To Date With Social Media News 

One final way of keeping up with social media news and updates from other brands and businesses is by following relevant accounts on Twitter or Facebook. You can do this by searching for keywords related specifically to those types of pages (  ̶ such as “social media,” “marketing,” etc. You can also use the search bar at the top of this page to find relevant accounts.

What are social listening tools?

Social listening tools are the best way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry, and anyone can use them. These tools allow you to listen to conversations that are taking place on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. The information is 

then compiled into a report that tells you exactly who is talking about your company or product. 

You can simply use keyword research to do social listening. There are also social listening software services for hire. You need to use web scraping tools if you want the most comprehensive and automated social listening. 

social listening web scraping

Web scraping tools for social listening. 

Web scraping uses automated scripts to scan and collect specific data from web pages for analysis. Web scraping tools come in various forms and require various skill sets. You can use a web scraping API that does most of the work for most purposes. 

Using a web scraper, you can customize your search and scrape search engines, social media feeds, and platforms. 

For more information on choosing a web scraper for social listening, see our post on Free Web Scraping Tools. 

Proxies for web scraping. 

Proxies are necessary for any web scraping operation–especially on social platforms. Social media services are experienced when it comes to preventing automated activity. Because of this, they are quick to ban IPs that use web scraping tools. 

Proxies mask your IP and allow you to send requests from different IP addresses using proxy rotation. 

There are two kinds of proxies you can use for web scraping: residential proxies and data center proxies. 

Data center proxies

Datacenter proxies are faster but get banned more often because websites don’t trust them as much. This is because data center proxies are made on cloud servers for remote and automated activity. This can be a warning sign for possible hacking or DDOS attacks. 

Residential proxies

Residential proxies are issued by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to residential and mobile customers. For this reason, websites assume that a regular user is accessing their website. By combing these with proxy rotation, you can scrape and website or social platform without risking IP bans. 

IPBurger offers high-quality residential proxies. They come with an intuitive user dashboard that makes it easy to change locations and IP addresses. 

We source our IPs from millions of real users in every major location worldwide.

Check out our web scraping proxies that are custom to ensure fast, reliable social listening. 

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