Countless conversations take place every day on social media. Every day, a billion people connect to Facebook, more than a half million tweets are published, and 95 million pictures are shared on Instagram. How can companies track and benefit from all these exchanges? Social listening allows brands to monitor social media and analyze all the information they contain, in order to learn from it.

“Social media listening” means to listen to conversations on the internet about a brand, a product or even an industry to identify trends that traditional marketing studies have not revealed yet. It also makes it easier to understand what’s the reputation of the company online, since it’s a natural way of checking the feedback of a service or a product. This practice meets several objectives: monitoring a brand’s e-reputation, creating a competitive analysis and analyzing trends, analyze consumers research or consumer insights research. It doesn’t just have to be for bad reviews, either, it can be very interesting to know who gives you compliments and what compliments you receive on social media. It can also serve to identify potential influencers with whom a brand could work with for future partnerships.

Thanks to new social media analytics tools, this monitoring can be automated and carried out in real time. The results are generally presented in the form of dashboards, which facilitates the analysis and discovery of strategic information.

Why is it necessary to do social listening?

As demonstrated in the graphic above social media exchanges are growing at an incredible rate. In 2019, 87,500 tweets and 347,222 Instagram photos were published per minute – and these numbers are increasing exponentially!

All these online exchanges leave their mark on the web, that companies can use to better understand their audience and identify social insights (consumer insights from social networks).

The word “insight” is the interpretation of an observation of a business consumer, its market, its competitors, etc. The result of this interpretation allows us to open a field of investigation and possible actions. Today, when we talk about insights, it is mainly about consumer insights. They seek to respond to a problem or obstacle that consumers find in their daily lives, to respond with a new product/service, or a new marketing positioning. They are based on the observation and analysis of social conversations about a brand, a need or an issue.

It has become common to say that social media monitoring replaces these good old market studies, based on focus groups and checkboxes.

Indeed, social listening has many advantages, it allows you to listen to a much wider panel than consumer meetings can ever equal, by probing the basis of several million people is constantly growing. It is also a much faster process, since the analysis can be done almost instantaneously and in real time, which allows more reactive responses.