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M3 Blog

The Art of Social Listening

Listening is the cornerstone to communication. Without a skilled and tuned ear, messages become misinterpreted and information is misunderstood.

In today’s digital age, the art of social listening is no exception.

Your brand’s reputation and competitive insights are among the many pieces of information you can glean through social listening. It’s a very important tool to have in your branding utility belt, and if you aren’t using it, you are missing out on key knowledge that can help drive the success of your business.


What is social listening?

Social listening is using social media to monitor and analyze:

  • Brand perception and audience sentiment
  • Trends
  • Competitors
  • Industry
  • Campaigns
  • Events
  • Keywords and topics
  • Pain points
  • Potential leads


Why should we do it?

You can use social listening to gain new insight into what people are saying about a brand, topic and even the customer service of a business. With that insight, you can analyze why they feel that way. You see, it’s more than just what they say, it’s understanding what drove them to that conclusion and why they feel a certain way about a brand or trend.

We use these findings to:

  • Create/identify proactive public relations ideas
  • Improve marketing and communication tactics
  • Control the conversation before the conversation controls us
  • Better understand analytics
  • Understand client perception, campaign performance and more when we don’t have access to analytics
  • Understand an audience’s demographics, wants, questions and concerns


How to do it

There are various software tools that agencies like M3 Group have to do the job, including SharpSpring and Cision. We use keywords in the software to pull news articles, trending topics, competitor coverage, profiles and more. This takes time, skill and the right techniques, which is why having an agency in your corner is important in this area. M3 Group has the access, the manpower and the know-how to get results through social listening.

But if you aren’t working with us yet, you aren’t completely out of luck. You can also conduct social listening manually. Google searches will show you how companies are appearing on the internet through reviews, message boards and more. Make sure you are aware of what your own social media fans and followers are saying about you. You can also keep an eye on your competitors’ social activities via Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If your brand targets a younger audience, you’ll also want to monitor Snapchat and TikTok.

The key is not just listening, it’s hearing — and making the necessary adjustments to drive your brand forward.

Want to know more? Contact us at