March 25, 2022

How to Use Social Listening to Track and Manage Brand Sentiment


You know the importance of creating a buyer persona. You need to know your target audience well for a business in any industry to flourish. You also know that establishing a brand across all of your channels is the best way to build authority and trust in your brand. Additionally, identifying social media sites that your target audience participates in and engages with, helps you connect with them there. But how do you gauge what is trending with your audience, and how they feel about your brand right now? The answer: SOCIAL LISTENING.

What is Social Listening?

According to HubSpot,

“Social listening is the monitoring of your brand's social media channels for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand or discussions regarding specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, followed by an analysis to gain insights and act on those opportunities.”

Social listening is part of what makes social media so compelling to participants. It is an active way to respond to any topic and discuss it within a known forum. This can be a private invite-only group, an industry forum, or your feed on Instagram, open to the public.

What is the Difference Between Social Monitoring and Social Listening?

This is an important question because the terms are sometimes misused and used for each other. Social monitoring is what you are doing when you're running a marketing campaign. You monitor the responses to the campaign over time using metrics for specific keywords, conversions, and other factors. That allows you to tweak a campaign to get the most ROI.

Social listening is the process of listening to what people are saying about a brand over time to better understand those people (build a better buyer persona). This helps you know your target audience better and what they think about your brand. This data can help drive product innovation, customer service offerings and ultimately help you stand out above your competition.

How Social Listening Works

To track social listening cues, you use sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis goes beyond typical social media tracking. When tracking campaign results, you look at the number of engagements with a brand, how many likes, comments, or conversions.

Sentiment analysis looks at what people are saying about your brand. Instead of just measuring the number of comments, you listen to what the commenters are saying. How does your brand resonate with people who engage? What are their opinions?

If you haven’t used a social listening tool, we’d suggest checking out Talkwalker or NetBasedQuid. Both of these technologies will reveal the most common keywords used in social media channels when consumers are talking about your brand. They’ll also give you a positive vs negative sentiment score and allow you to track any historical changes.

Why Sentiment Analysis is Important

While according to the old adage, any attention is good attention, that isn't always true in marketing. While your social media likes and comments may spike, it isn't always for a good reason. Using sentiment analysis gives you the opportunity to respond to negative issues that come up. Social listening can help you:

  • Improve customer service by responding to problems
  • Learn about trends in your industry
  • Manage your brand reputation
  • Discover where your brand voice stands against competitors
  • Prospect for industry influencers
  • Recognize relevant leads

Want to Learn More?

At L7 Creative, we are here to help you build your brand identity. If you're interested in learning how to use sentiment analysis to improve your brand's reputation, drive product enhancements, optimize your social content strategy and more, contact us.