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If You’re Not Social Listening, You’re Social Shouting


As marketing consultants, we spend a lot of time helping big brands listen to their customers. We identify performance metrics to listen to our marketing campaigns. We identify lead generation KPIs to listen for businesses in search of solutions. The majority of marketing programs, in fact, are designed and deployed in an effort to say something, so we can listen to the response. Many of today’s modern marketing tactics, however, make it easy to create an echo chamber of fans, followers, and influencers. 

An online echo chamber can easily turn well-intentioned marketing and advertising campaigns into public relations nightmares (I’m looking at you Pepsi and that Kendall Jenner Superbowl commercial). Not as detrimental as a PR crisis, but only hearing fans and followers can significantly affect your business in a handful of other ways. A lack of product innovation, a decline in customer acquisition, a loss in market share … the list (and my heart) goes on. So how does a modern marketer avoid hearing an online echo chamber?

Social Studio for Social Marketing

Enter social listening. Salesforce’s Social Studio, a social media publishing, management, and reporting tool, lets you practice social listening and keeps you from simply social shouting.  Social listening lets you hear conversations happening across social channels about your brand, your industry, your event, or a trending topic. At Lev, we work with our clients to help them use Social Studio to listen to what customers, competitors, and consumers are saying online. 

For the last few years, it seems that many brands have moved away from producing organic content for their social channels in favor of driving revenue through advertising. Social Studio, however, empowers modern marketers by publishing, capturing, and understanding organic social performance as it relates back to overarching business goals. Collecting social data across platforms into one place makes it easy for brand ambassadors or marketing managers to identify trends and opportunities. Data-driven insights make it easy for marketers to be more strategic in leveraging organic social channels.

Social Listening Using Social Studio

Social listening is by no means a new concept for modern marketers. At Lev, we have witnessed social listening truly empower companies, especially during “these uncertain times.” Lev clients across industries are using Social Studio to listen for real-time feedback from their immediate fanbase and their industry counterparts. This constant exercise in social listening is helping our clients pivot their marketing strategies on a dime. This is helping marketers develop useful content for their fanbase, plan out appropriate messaging strategies, and make some strides in conducting or transforming their businesses today. 

For example, we offered recommendations to a client in the travel industry to provide customers with proactive communication and messaging. Using Social Studio, this client could use social listening and collect common questions being asked across social channels as the travel bans were being enacted. The marketing team could then develop messaging around these questions for their customer service teams. This consistent and proactive approach to meeting their customers’ concerns about their upcoming travel plans easily creates a memorable experience.  

A client in the banking industry asked Lev to offer guidance on leveraging Social Studio to monitor developments surrounding COVID-19. Using Social Studio’s Topic Profile functionality, Lev curated a view of social conversations occurring across social channels. The Topic Profiles captured conversations both customers and consumers are having about the coronavirus as it relates to banking. Staying attuned to these authentic conversations is helping our clients deliver social media content and communications that are appropriate and thoughtful during a pandemic.

Social Listening For Organic Social Strategy

It’s still too early to be waxing poetic about all the valuable marketing lessons COVID-19 has so forcefully taught us. But if you’re a marketer trying to stay afloat while uncertainty hangs over your head, just do your best to keep on swimming. Use any and all the tools at your disposal to offer reassurance, provide a welcome distraction, or simply acknowledge that you’re listening to those that are connected to you. We will continue to work together to get through this moment and collectively sigh in relief once it is over-ish. 

About the Author
Julia Gandy is a Strategic Consultant helping Lev clients take their existing marketing program and elevate it to the next Lev-el. A passionate writer, Julia studied Journalism in college. A brief stint as a reporter, Julia quickly realized she’s a better storyteller than a facts reporter. She went on to receive a Master’s degree in Public Communication. Julia has spent her career experimenting with digital marketing tactics and executing data-driven multi-channel campaigns. She is passionate about creating one-to-one online experiences to help deliver results for brands and businesses.