What Does “Social Media Listening and Analytics” Actually Mean?

Lance Concannon Lance Concannon, Marketing Director, Europe

Do you really know what “social media listening” means? If you’re like most marketers, you probably have at least some idea what it’s about (something to do with collecting brand mentions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, right?) but you’ve probably never given much thought to the literal definition. Along the same lines, you might not have a deep understanding of what “social media analytics” really means, although it probably has something to do with measuring “likes” on Facebook.

Every marketer should have at least a basic understanding of what social media listening and analytics are, and have some idea of why they matter. Armed with this knowledge, you can use both of these fundamental social marketing concepts to improve your reach, connect with customers, and increase your revenue. In this post, we’re going to give you a crash course on these key social marketing concepts.

Let’s start with social media listening. You already know that the internet, including social media, is an incomprehensibly large collection of data. If an average person were to spend all day actively searching for all the latest mentions of your brand name on every social media platform, blog, forum, and comment section, they would only see a tiny fraction of what’s actually out there. This means that it’s easy to miss opportunities to reach new customers or to connect with existing ones, even when those customers are raving about how much they love your brand.

Compared to people, computers are mind-bogglingly good at looking through huge amounts of data very quickly. That’s why social media listening solutions are so useful. They can essentially scan the entire internet, all day, every day, looking for brand mentions, keywords, or even mentions of a rival brand. They make it easy to find new conversations, and to follow existing ones. For an enterprising marketer, social listening tools are like radars for sales opportunities.

While social media listening tools are great at finding brand mentions and conversations, they can’t actually do much with that data once they’ve located it. If you want to see how Twitter mentions of a given brand name have changed over time, you need something that can find, store, and analyze historical data. In other words, you need a social media analytics solution.

Social media analytics are especially important for brands that see a high volume of social media mentions. To turn tens of thousands of Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and other online brand mentions into something coherent and actionable, you need a tool that can extrapolate big-picture details. If there’s a sudden negative change in brand sentiment, for instance, a great social analytics tool will draw your attention to it, allowing you to respond before the situation gets any worse.

Individually, these tools are fairly limited. If you want real results, you need a digital marketing solution designed to maximize your social media listening and analytics research. It’s easy to see why these two tools are so effective when combined. They both leverage real customer opinion and brand sentiment to deliver a deep and comprehensive level of customer insight. When used correctly, social media listening and analytics tools allow brands and companies of any size to make intelligent, informed business decisions that can have an immediate impact on everything from conversion rates to customer retention. And now you know why.

Want to see what the industry leading social media listening and analytics platform can do for you? Request a demo today!