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Importance of Social Media Listening Tools

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One of the most important roles of Social Media Management is staying tuned to the conversation around your brand and in your brand segment. This mainly constitutes the listening part of Online Reputation Management, and has a plethora of tools and services available on various levels of depth and pricing.

In order to recognize the importance of social media listening tools in a better manner, it is first necessary to understand what exactly is social media. There are many people that think social media is only restricted to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. However, it is the entire web where the focus is on the people that are creating the content who also seem to be the consumers. This blog basically focuses on the first step of ORM (Online Reputation Management), which is listening. ORM means managing what people are talking and thinking about you and your brand identity online and figuring out how you can handle and respond to that specifically.

The main challenge that comes to listening can be classified into 5 particular aspects. These are:

  • Who – This mainly constitutes the people that are talking about you as a brand, as the products that you are trying to market or the person that you are trying to portray.
  • What – Focuses on things that people are talking about? For example, what is the topic of discussion for these people once you have clearly identified those that influence you or those that might be relevant to your product? Here you need to understand, what they are really interested in?
  • Where – This includes the platform that you are using to engage with your customers. The kind of conversations will vary depending upon the medium that they are listening to.
  • When – Along with ‘where you are talking’, ‘when you are having the discussion’ is also necessary to take care of. Micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and various others are more relevant around events. Therefore, if you want to listen to the reception of a particular event, then the ‘when’ becomes quite critical especially on real time platforms.
  • Why – This question can vary, as an individual usually might be interested in listening when they don’t have an online presence or when they are starting with a brand that is not digitally active. This situation might even prevail when you are given with the ownership to handle your presence or conversations.

Tools to Monitor and Measure on Social Media

  • Google Alerts – This is one of the simplest and easily available tools. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. Enter a search query you wish to monitor and you will see a preview of the type of results you’ll receive. For example, 42inception delivers digital marketing workshops; we choose multiple such alerts around digital marketing workshops in India to keep a track of the content or the buzz that is being generated online and what Google sees on a day to day basis. Therefore, this prevents us to search this on a regular basis online and we can simply get updates in our inbox.


  • Google Analytics – This is not so as much as social media as generic web listening tool. When you use Google Analytics integrated with your website, it helps you to get a list of the people that visit your website. It mainly focuses on who, when and where questions that we discussed earlier.
  • Klout – It is a service independent of Facebook, Twitter and all other social mediums. Basically, it is a site that gives you authority ranking. It uses an algorithm through which it reads all your tweets and Facebook posts after you have authorised it and does a comparison of how you are sharing a particular content with all the other users on that particular medium.


  • TweetReach – What is really interesting is the conversation that happens in digital space where we have a lot of measurability as opposed to the traditional media. When you look up at the Indian readership survey, we usually assume that it could have reached so many people. However, on Twitter or Facebook you can actually get a fair idea on the number of people that viewed your post or tweet. Tweet Reach is a website that tells you who are talking about it, how many people saw it and who those people were.
  • socialmention – It is another relevant tool that allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.


Here are some of the questions that were answered by Nikhil Verma during the webinar, ‘Importance of Social Media Listening Tools.’

Q:  How these listening tools are relevant to bigger brands? How can start-ups and smaller brands leverage it?

A: All the tools that have been discussed are either available for free such as Google Analytics or might cost you $500 a month like Radian6. However, the challenge here is:

First of all, you need to know, ‘who are the particular people that you are talking about?’ Initially it is important to identify the kind of conversation and once you are done with this on a very simple level and have identified what the scope of people is, it will assist you to determine how you can operationalize it. For a very large brand vs. start up, the details of this thing will vary.

Bigger brands will simply manage it with larger team or outsource it to an agency which might use detailed tools. However, a smaller firm with a limited number of people can manage it all using these free tools as long as they create their marketing policy around the main challenge. As long as you know what you are trying to get out of all of this, if you defined your so called ROI very well, this would help you to achieve whatever you are targeting at.

Q: Which of the social media tools can be used for creating a Buzz in market and reaching out to target customers?

A: When you have identified your particular audience, you can see what they are really talking about. Therefore, the challenge here is not in terms of software, but using the listening tools to identify your audience better. If you want to create a buzz around your product, your main aim here is identifying who your target audiences are and figuring out what they are really talking about. When you become a participant as a brand in that conversation, you are automatically identifying with them for something which is not exactly a sales pitch. There your credibility and interaction level becomes more relevant. Giving you a relevancy for the buzz, you can generate a body of product following this particular thing.

Q: Is there any software which can present a single dashboard showing the outputs of all the tools that you have spoken about?

A: When we use tools like Radian6 and socialmention, their main offering is their particular dashboard. Alterian will give you a single dashboard like Google Analytics, which combines your searches across all of these platforms and lets you customize how you want to view this particular data. But most of these particular things are paid software. You can give a go ahead to Sprout Social and undertake a free trial version, which will give you a better understanding of the entire scenario. It will give you a single dashboard that consists of demographics, interactions, conversations and influential people all together.

  • Digital-Marketing

  • There is 1 comment

    • 6 years ago

      Kapil Nakra   /   Reply

      Great session! Good coverage.

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