Social listening strategy isn’t just a marketing initiative: this business intelligence can inform business decisions across the organization

Social listening strategy is something we usually discuss with regards to social media marketing: the most obvious use case for social media monitoring is listening for what your customers are saying about your brand in the moment, and brand reputation falls pretty squarely in the marketing department.

There are plenty of examples as to how social listening strategy can assist in the traditional marketing C’s (Company, Customer, Competition).  Those examples and a host of tips, tricks and practical examples can be found in our most recent (and free!) social listening guide: “Listen Up!  The Definitive Guide to Social Listening for Smarter Business.”

However, marketing isn’t the only department that can benefit from a solid social listening strategy.

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Social media monitoring can service most initiatives that might have once required focus groups, consumer research or polls, with the advantage of being real-time.  With that in mind, there are several business scenarios outside marketing in which getting a quick read on your reputation is a good idea.


Customer Service | Social Listening Strategy

As @ComcastCares has shown us, Twitter and Facebook can be used very effectively as customer service channels.  After all, a social media customer service program is simply monitoring taken one step further to focused, channel-specific engagement.

TIP: Set expectations with your customers on your social channels.  Something as simple as a note in your Twitter bio that says “We respond to tweets within 24 hours, M-F” will help you set expectations about response time.


Human Resources | Social Listening Strategy

Corporate reputation sites like Glassdoor tend to cater to the detractor and, with static content, they don’t tell the whole story.

  • What are your current employees saying about you?
  • What are your ex-employees saying about you?
  • What are your prospects saying about you?
  • Who are the main influencers or detractors?


Investor Relations | Social Listening Strategy

Hey, investors are people too – and people talk.  Frame your brand name searches with filters specific to investor relations: terms like “IPO” and “stock price” and “shares” and “Q4 earnings call” will turn a general brand sentiment search into a social media effort that your CFO can support.

  • Are your shareholders happy?
  • Did that Q3 earnings call go well?
  • Are your talking points being heard?
  • What are the thematic trends around your brand among industry analysts?
  • What are folks saying about your IPO?
  • Who are the main influencers or detractors?


Products & Services | Social Listening Strategy

Listening to your customers before you launch a new product or service is a great way to find out what they think before you’ve spent a fortune on R&D.  It’s also a way to spot industry trends that can lead to a new product idea.

  • What sort of positioning will resonate for a new product?
  • Is chatter around your brand and product more prevalent on one channel, as opposed to another?  Perhaps Twitter is better than LinkedIn or Facebook for spreading the word.
  • Is there a target community out there that might be good for a pilot program?
  • Are there any key influencers you might engage?
  • Are you seeing any sort of geographical trends that might lead to a new market?  A good social media monitoring tools breaks down chatter geographically


If you’re looking to learn more about social listening strategy and how you can use social media monitoring to make more informed business decisions, check out our free social media monitoring guide.

Social Listening Strategy in Action: Urban Planning for the Olympics

Meltwater has a client in the form of a British municipality, who used the Buzz social monitoring tool to listen to their constituents during the Olympics in order to determine whether there were any logistical issues that needed attention.  As they listened, they discovered that people were having trouble getting to the viewing spots for the torch running: the park-and-ride lots were full and the bus lines were very long.  The municipality dispatched extra buses and were able to then engage via Twitter to let people know where and when the buses were coming, and to offer parking alternatives.

Cool, right?

As this example shows, social listening is a key business intelligence effort that can inform decisions across an organization.  Any time you want to know what people are saying about… well, anything… social media monitoring is a great way to find out.

Hey, did I mention that I just wrote a comprehensive social listening guide?  Click on the lovely yellow cover up there to the right, and you can download it for free.