What is social listening? Also known as social intelligence, if you want to maintain a level of awareness around your business, project or consultation, this is a critical skill.

Using software, you can see the conversations happening around your business on social media and pick up key insights that allow you to tackle objections head on, saving you time.

Social listening is different to Social media monitoring. Monitoring social media is observing and recording. This is the numbers – how many times your project was mentioned, the reach of your tweets, how many people have clicked on your newsletter, how many unfollows you got. Social listening is more sentiment-based, where was your project mentioned? What are they saying? What are their concerns?

But can’t you just wait until a stakeholder tweets you?

Probably not. According to Mention, 31% of company mentions on Twitter don’t include brand @handles which means you may miss relevant conversations.

A social listening tool picks up every mention of your brand on social media and pulls it all into one place, covering the web, social media channels and forums. Also, as a large part of public communication means talking to the media, social listening can help you find the journalists and media outlets that are covering in your area or around your consultation or project.

The aim of doing all this should ideally be to help not only see the conversations on social media, but to connect with your supporters, find the best channels to promote your communications on and gauge a level of interest in any given project.

You will also, of course, be listening to the views of detractors, which may spill into what is known as crises detection. If there is a huge conversation about your consultation or project happening at 10pm – how are you going to step in? Some platforms for social listening will actually text you if there is an online crisis happening, and if you are in the business of showing you go the extra mile to listen to stakeholders, this may be well worth investment.

There are a range of listening services, but you can do this yourself with tools like TweetDeck, Hootsuite or Google Alerts. However, you may still miss out on some conversations. 

Our favourite non-affiliated business to help support social listening is Awario, but there are other including  Brand24, YouScan, MentionAgora Pulse, Sprout Social, Hootsuite Insights, Brandwatch and BrandMentions.

Remember, if you are social listening, this is all deep and rich data that should live inside your stakeholder management software. Simply ‘knowing’ isn’t enough. By using Tractivity this can all be tied together, helping you gain a better picture of your stakeholders overall.