Social Listening or Social Media Listening is one of the quantitative methods of data collection. In this method, all the conversations that take place on the Internet about products, services, brands, companies, or individuals are evaluated and reviewed. Conversations transmitted over the Internet generate large amounts of unstructured data. Monitoring online customer support forums, and activity on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to collect opinions and encourage customers to comment on new product features and vote on their interests, are ways to use the Internet for information and insights. Various platforms such as Radian6, Netbase, Synthesio, and Brandwatch collect data from social networks.
Social listening or social media listening helps brands to understand the conversations surrounding their brand and product or service, which helps identify brand awareness and improve the brand’s products and services. Also, this method is used in campaign analysis by receiving feedback from successfully executed campaigns, competitive analysis of competitors’ performance through conversations on social media, monitoring events by observing the audience’s reaction to a specific issue, and following industry Useful trends through hashtags. whit using Social Listening, brands can change their behavior based on audience feedback. For example, if feedback is negative about a particular marketing campaign, the brand can change its current campaign to fix the problem or use the information received to create successful campaigns in the future. In general, this method is a good scale to measure the emotions and real reactions of the audience and respond to these reactions with a marketing strategy that affects the emotions of customers.
Social Media Listening Process:
This process is done in three steps:
- Monitoring: involves monitoring multiple social media channels to pay attention to brand names, topics, competitors, products, and keywords. This process can be done manually by daily and frequent checking of social networks or through automatic process tools.
- Analysis: In this step, the data obtained through monitoring is analyzed to identify customer preferences and patterns, and trends.
- Reaction: Finally, the brand can have a reaction on a small level, such as communicating online with the customer, or a reaction on a larger level, such as changing the brand strategy.
despite all the positive points mentioned, this method also has limitations:
- Data quality problem: In this method, a large amount of data is generated, and searching for this large data is time-consuming because not all available information will be relevant and suitable for use. Such as the similarity of the brand name Apple and the apple fruit, which search about this brand may result in unrelated data about the apple fruit. On the other hand, the views on social networks will not be representative of the brand’s entire customers because they are only specific users on these platforms. Another important point is that the data of this method does not always reflect the real thoughts and beliefs of people and people may project about themselves.
- Crowdedness of social platforms: it is difficult to find the desired data in the crowded space of social networks, and data that are not related to the desired goals may be included in the output of the research, so one must dive into a lot of data to get the final result. achieved
- Inability of tools to understand emotions: these tools do not have the ability to recognize sarcasm, irony, and quip in conversations, which may take data contrary to its true meaning.
- Online conversations are changing: posts and statuses that were made public in the past are now presented as direct messages, etc., and tools will not be able to access them.
- The difficulty of operationalizing data: Social Media Listening tools only produce data, and it will be difficult to analyze and operationalize this data.