If a customer walks up and asks you a question or pays you a compliment, would you ignore them? Of course not.

That’s typically not how we respond to any kind of positive reinforcement. The same mentality should apply to conversations happening about your brand online.

Being proactive about social monitoring and social listening is more important now than ever. 59% of Americans who use social media say that social customer service has made it easier to resolve customer complaints, and 28% of Americans who have a social media account would rather interact with a brand on social media rather than visiting the physical location.

Differences between social monitoring and social listening

To benefit from social monitoring and social listening, you need to know the difference between the two. To simplify the explanations, social monitoring is more reactive, and social listening is more proactive. To further explain:

Social monitoring

Social media monitoring is more about responding to those reaching out to you for customer service inquiries, brand questions, opinions, and thoughts. Typically, these inquiries come in the form of the following:

  •         Messages, DMs, and/or comments directly to you
  •         Tweets with @ tags to your brand
  •         Being mentioned in a branded hashtag
  •         Reviews on social platforms

Social listening

Social media listening is when you listen for specific keywords that pertain to your brand. Social listening identifies your brand mentions in misspellings, hashtags, and instances where they might not have @ tagged you.

Social listening gives your brand the opportunity to join the conversation that’s happening about you! 

Benefits of social monitoring and social listening

When you’re in tune with who’s talking about your brand online, the obvious benefit is the opportunity to build connections and relationships with your current and future audience.

The fact is, there just isn’t enough time in a day to sift through all the mentions you may be missing across multiple social channels, blogs, and forums.

That’s right – social monitoring and listening extends off traditional social media channels.

An underutilized benefit to social listening is the ability to do further research on competitors and influencers. Listening to certain keywords helps you identify chances to connect with an influencer. Listening also helps you and your team brainstorm fresh, new campaign ideas.

Social monitoring and social listening tools

There are social listening tools for any marketer’s budget. Here are a few that we suggest:

NuviOne of the OGs of social listening, Nuvi is an SaaS tool that listens for certain topics and mentions that are of importance to you.

MentionSimilar to Nuvi, Mention allows for real-time monitoring of what’s happening with your brand online. You can search for your brand basically anywhere on the web.

Buffer ReplyBuffer Reply is the perfect compliment to any business that’s heavily focused on social media customer service.

HubSpotOften thought of as the social media jack of all trades, Hubspot not only has social listening and monitoring potential, but they can also help you optimize your content to be the most effective across each platform.

If the professional tools aren’t in your budget, you can set up a completely free RSS feed to help you monitor keywords! They don’t have as many options as the professional software offers, but the free option might be suitable depending on how much monitoring you need.

Someone must monitor the tools

Automation and social listening tools are a social media marketer’s dream. With that said, you can still monitor and listen, but keeping the conversation going is a whole different game.

Having a dedicated social media manager can help you organize, grow, and engage across all channels. 

In order to fully take advantage of everything social media has to offer, you need someone that is knowledgeable about your business and how to market it on social media. The tools only work if someone is following through on the back end!