Social listening is when brands track their social media profiles for conversations related to their business, whether directly mentioned or not. This monitoring is done by searching for business-related keywords, hashtags, or direct mentions and tags.
As a brand or business, social listening gives you the opportunity to reply to customers and develop a relationship, and get a general sense of what consumers think about you so you can create content they want to see.
If you’re hoping to create a social listening strategy or simply looking to improve upon your existing one, this post will give examples of notable brands using social listening to use as inspiration.
Companies With Great Social Listening Strategies
Sarah Lugor is a content creator, and she posted a video of herself wearing pimple patches from a beauty brand called Starface. She didn’t tag the company in the video, but, as the business pays attention to their target audience on social media, it found her content and reposted it to Instagram. With this example, Starface uses social listening to discover user-generated content that will give them valuable social proof. In the image below, the picture on the right is the original TikTok post, and the left is the TikTok reposted on Instagram.
Black Girl Sunscreen is a skin safety brand that focuses on communities often left out of conversations about sun safety. In the example below, Black Girl Sunscreen likely searched for keywords related to what it offers, discovered a Tweet from a potential lead, and quoted the Tweet to share it on its profile. This brand used social listening to find new leads and let them know that its business offerings can solve their needs.
Spectrum is an internet provider that queries business-specific keywords (specifically spectrum and outage) to find conversations that don’t directly tag their social accounts. For example, in the image below, a Spectrum customer tweeted that they were experiencing service interruptions, and the business replied ready to help.
Social listening doesn’t just have to be about replying and re-sharing content from your audience on your social channels. It can also involve listening to the conversations about your business and incorporating consumer sentiment and feedback into your marketing strategy.
In the video below, Netflix has used this strategy to create a video that teaches people how to make DIY socks for when they’re watching Netflix, as a direct response to the consumer trend and meme of “Netflix and chill.”
Social listening can be interacting with content that doesn’t directly mention your brand, but it can also be interacting with content that does because you’re paying attention to your channels and listening for mentions of your business.
The image below is an example from the HubSpot Twitter account, where a customer has expressed satisfaction with the customer service team, and the business has replied and expressed thanks.
Chipotle uses social listening to find content creators that they know are part of their target audience. In the example below, the business commented on a TikTok from popular creators The Cheeky Boys, challenging them to send a burrito into space. When the TikTok was posted, Chipotle shared it as user-generated content on Instagram.
Slack, a messaging platform, takes a humorous approach to social listening by leveraging a popular meme among social media users and plugging one of its products. The Facebook post below reads, “It could’ve been a huddle,” which is Slack’s twist on the trend “It could’ve been an email,” where employees say that they’ve spent time in meetings that could’ve just been an email.
This post is the company’s second most-liked post on the platform in the past month, demonstrating that they’ve accurately leveraged the trends discovered through social listening.
Make Social Listening Work for Your Business
As shown above, there are various ways businesses can leverage social listening, whether by latching on to current trends and making a business-related twist, replying to direct mentions, or searching for brand-relevant keywords.
Use these examples above to decide what works best for you and begin leveraging social listening in your marketing strategy.