In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we talk about social listening and how you can leverage social channels to generate engaging content.

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Now that you’ve got all your social media programs in place and are watching your @mentions and comments – replying when appropriate – you may think you’ve done all you can. Not so. The next step is to master the art of listening. When it comes to social media, listening is even more important than talking. After all, how can you possibly know what your prospects want or need if you don’t listen to what they have to say?


Social listening is the practice of tracking online conversations which are formed around specific phrases, words or brands and then creating untapped opportunities for that particular audience.

Think of this. Because 70% of buying decisions are based on how a customer thinks he or she is treated, it’s crucial that you are as quick as is humanly possible when mentions or discussions about your brand, service or product happen. This is the magical time when you can engage with someone in your audience and offer him or her something special – whether that be your expertise about a problem discussed or maybe even something more tangible – like a gift or discount.

And, it most certainly is the perfect opportunity to delight someone who may be expressing some sort of dissatisfaction with one of your competitors.

Imagine this: You’re walking briskly down the hall at work and quickly round the corner. There you catch a couple of your colleagues standing around the water cooler talking about you. Now, isn’t that an enlightening moment?

That’s exactly what social listening is. Capturing useful information that you might not have an opportunity to glean any other way and then using it to your advantage. It is a much more productive way to interact with your audience that simply watching for mentions.

Here’s what social listening can do for you:

1. It will help you discover where your community hangs out.

2. It will help you attract new customers.

3. It will help you identify and cultivate relationships with influencers and advocates.

4. It will help you to improve customer care.

5. It will help generate leads through problem solving.

6. It will help you get feedback on your products or services.

It’s easy to see how beneficial listening really is.


Now that I’ve convinced you of the importance of social listening, I’d like to tell you about a few free online tools to help facilitate the process. Check them out. And, with a little research, I know you’ll find quite a few more.

1. Google Alerts: is not one of the most popular Google tools but it is one of the most useful. As the name indicates, you set it up to alert you any time something is said about the topic you type into the search query.

2. Quora: is a site devoted to people asking and answering questions. If you search for your target market’s specific questions or needs, you will be better able to serve your community.

3. Twitter Advanced Search: is another little-known, but powerful tool that will enable you to search every single tweet that goes out every second of every day. Makes it easy to find satisfied and maybe not-so-satisfied customers.

4. Social Mention: is another power search tool that can help you monitor and analyze everything that is going on in the world of social media.

In order to use the tools mentioned, you’ll need other tools to help you create a keyword list. After all, you don’t want to waste your valuable time trying to create keywords by trial and error. You can really home in with these tools and others like them:

1. Keyword Tool: gives you ideas based on what people type into their Google browser search box.

2. Google Trends: shows how trends evolve and how you can compare those trends by analyzing search queries.

Let us know how these tools worked and about other tools you found to refine your social listening skills.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing.

Join us next time as we discuss how to develop your social media voice.