What is Social Listening?

By Norbert 2022.06.03.

If you want to have a better understanding on how your consumers see your brand, which factors drive them and what are their biggest pain points, you should definitely take Social Listening into consideration.

Social media plays such an important role in everyday life. Particularly nowadays when almost half of the human population is available online and interact with each other.

Some key players like Pepsi, Nivea or Netflix (just to mention a few) also started to see the value in these continuously growing methods so they started to listen to their audience.

What is Social Listening?

Social Listening is often referred to as Modern Market Research or online focus group interviews, with a good reason. Look at the internet as an alternative reality, communities or threads as focus groups, and the computer display as the one way mirror. Can you see the overlaps?

The only difference is that we, researchers, don’t take part nor intervene or interrupt conversations; we only listen.

Why is it rewarding?

Well, besides the cost and time effectiveness, you’re able to not just take a snapshot, but go back in time and analyze historical data too.

When should I use Social Listening?

Might be a commonplace, but literally anytime.

Imagine three scenarios:

1. You want to introduce a new product or a service to the market. Wouldn’t it be good if you saw how they are perceived by an online audience (maybe your target group)?

💡 With the help of Social Listening, you are able to catch general or specific perceptions of any given field. Plus, you can also see what people’s preferences are by listening to what they say about your competitors.

2. A campaign of yours ended. You can see the results in numbers, but you feel lost in the jungle of statistics. Let’s go back in time!

💡 Seeing what people thought of your promotion or media appearance can contain some invaluable information that might help you to develop in certain areas that your audience perceived as a deficiency. In another case, if you go back in time, you might detect a huge buzz that was generated organically, so with the help of the Trendline Analysis you’re able to see what exactly earned people’s attention.

3. While looking at reports, you see that something is off, which doesn’t come clearly from the measured performance. There has to be something hidden behind the numbers. What could it be?

💡 Sometimes it’s hard to quantify customer satisfaction. If you’d like to understand what makes your audience happy and pleased you have to examine what’s in their mind about that product or service. With the help of Social Listening you can see what people like or dislike about that product or service in general, and what drives or stops them to use or buy.

How does Social Listening work?

For a quick and easy understanding, let’s use space travel as an analogy.


As a first step, we do a keyword research in order to discover consumer vocabulary. We also glimpse into conversations at this stage.


After defining the major directions, we usually narrow to relevant fields in order to not to get lost in the universe of social media. Data cleansing plays a key role in this part.


Mixing Big Data Technologies with human intelligence helps us to see patterns that lead us to create and implement insights. A crucial part of research happens here including, but not limited to processes like creating personas, conversation clustering, trend line analysis and sentiment analysis.


Entering the final phase, the results of a Social Listening research give a clear vision of online consumer behavior and understands their needs and pain points. But whats next? Insights not just shed light to unseen relations, but also function as strategic recommendations. They will give you immediate action items or as a support of a research plan, its outcomes will definitely help you to see your hypothesis or research questions from another perspective.


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