Possibly right now, more than ever, social listening is an important aspect of your brand and reputation, and even your clients’ brand and reputation.

As the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns still continue to affect our day-to-day lives, businesses, nonprofits, schools, shopping, entertainment habits and more, people are turning online to engage with one another and discuss the happenings of the world.

As a result, the coronavirus is even changing how we view and discuss brands as some of our favorite stores and restaurants are closed, and we rely more and more on the service of grocery store workers who have become essential in our ability to manage the pandemic.

Just thinking about the possibility of monitoring thousands or hundreds of thousands of discussions during these unique times, may make you wish you had more eyes and more time to manage the load, but that’s where social listening can play a major, and helpful, role.

Utilizing social listening tools for various social media channels will not only save you time, it will also give you key insights and a greater understanding into how people view your brand and the overall health of your brand that goes far beyond traditional monitoring.

More than that, social listening can provide you with quantitative and qualitative data that highlights potential opportunities to increase your communications, expand your target audience, gain new followers, support your customers, identify areas of weakness or potential issues, and more.

For example, social listening can help you track key words that customers use when posting about your company on virtually every online platform – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tik Tok, blogs, discussion boards or any other form of online content. Those key words can be your brand’s name, or any words that are associated with your brand.

Based on the results, you can start incorporating those key words into your own communications outreach – social media posts, blogs, press releases and more – to help increase readership and engagement, or even successes in pitching media.

Going a little further, social listening can also help you identify top influencers who could be key partners with your organization in the future. Finding these individuals can be accomplished in a matter of moments with a social listening tool, but developing a partnership with them could be influential to your brand long-term.

Through social listening, you can also identify potential issues, or even crises, that may exist around your brand or your industry. Through the use of a listening tool, one can hone in on negative discussions or perceptions of your brand, and this can give you greater clarity on areas in which your brand is susceptible to damage. Knowing these potential risks can help you develop a plan to prevent, minimize, or manage currently unknown and potential crises.

Of course, there is still work involved when implementing and using a social listening platform – it won’t do everything and anything for you, but it will help you cut down the amount of time that is currently required through the traditional monitoring approach.

Depending on your own needs, there is a variety of social listening tools out there. Each one provides their own benefits, but a few recommended ones that could help shape the future of your outreach include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Keyhole, Hubspot and Mention.

Bob Brady
Bob Brady
Managing Director, Xenophon Strategies, Inc.
As a managing director at Xenophon Strategies, Bob Brady provides communications counsel and support for Airbus and other clients in Xenophon’s transportation practice. Mr. Brady’s responsibilities include media relations, social media, and crisis communications work, as well as developing proactive feature stories. Mr. Brady has worked with numerous national media outlets and successfully placed stories in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, NBC News, CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere. This is in addition to his work on numerous local and grassroots public relations campaigns for clients.

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