December 02, 2015 / by Katie Gaab

Social media makes up a large portion of modern marketing strategies, but 63 percent of marketers don’t plug in the most important piece to finish the puzzle.

Social media listening provides your brand with new ideas and a multitude of opportunities to build towards what your brand hopes to become. By sorting through and understanding key data, social listening tools help brands pinpoint sentiment and feedback in real time.

But before you open your ears, you have to know which conversations to tune into in order to zone out the rest of the noise. To drive results, here are five audiences your brand should pay specific attention to:


People often head to social media to ask the masses for opinions on purchase decisions, and your brand should be there to speak up and persuade decisions. Prospects don’t all have the same needs and social media channels don’t all provide the same amount of engagement potential. Use Social Signals, like retweeting a prospective customer’s tweet or liking their LinkedIn post, to pop up on prospects’ radar without coming off as a digital cold call.



Most customers take to social media to bring attention to their negative experiences. Show you care by responding quickly and with a solution. Take note of what customers are saying to improve your service or product. Online feedback is the fast-track to building a better version of your brand. Whether you listen to complaints using free Google alerts or comprehensive listening software, you should look for mentions of your brand as well as keywords that describe your services.


With the Internet’s ability to easily connect customers to services on the opposite side of the globe, businesses have had to reevaluate who they consider to be a competitor. Fortunately, social media provides a free glance at what strategies and tactics those competitors are using. By crawling competitors’ channels, brands can not only learn how to apply successful tactics to their own strategies, but also capitalize on competitors’ weaknesses and reel in prospective customers.

Want more tips on how to stay ahead of the competition? Get all of Jeff Bullas’ listening advice today!




Traditional authority has been stripped away, because today, anyone can build a solid social media following and influence the Web with their posts. By establishing a trust-based relationship with an influencer, your brand can work towards building more brand awareness and a stronger reputation, reaching more audiences and getting the word out about efforts quicker. Depending on your brand’s budget, timeframe and business plan, you have three options to choose from: celebrity, niche and citizen influencers.


Many brands are hesitant to let employees speak up on social media, but restricting these organic brand advocates closes the door to many opportunities. Quality customer service is appreciated and talked about on social media. Keep an eye out for good deeds your employees are doing that you otherwise may not have known about. Shed light on what your employees are doing, acknowledge milestones like company anniversaries or birthdays and engage with employees to demonstrate your brand’s transparent culture.


Images: -Salvaje-Gayle NicholsonDavid Spinks (Creative Commons)

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.