So what does adding the word social do to their meanings?
The act of social monitoring is when you recognise and react to brand mentions on social media.
This could be answering queries through a customer service representative, interacting with consumers on social media through a social media manager, or taking note of pain points your customers usually experience with your product. Social media monitoring is more of a reactive approach. Pringles is a brand that engages in this, by regularly responding to consumer queries and feedback on social media sites such as Twitter:
The act of social listening, on the other hand, is when you gather data from and extract insights around:
(a) Organic brand mentions
(b) Organic industry mentions
(c) People organically sharing an opinion about your product or your industry/ competitors
With social listening, you do not necessarily have to react by personally responding to these mentions. Instead, you proactively try to find learning points from the myriad of data you’re gathering. You also look at data from a much broader perspective compared to social monitoring. Some examples include trend-spotting, pattern recognition, and consumer insights, which can then be translated into better marketing & content strategies.
In essence, social monitoring is a subset of the broader social listening process – the former as a goal of enhancing engagement with their current consumers, while the latter is an analytical effort to make more informed decisions & strategies for the brand moving forward.
Should I Monitor or Listen?
It’s important to note that there is no “better” option between social listening and social monitoring. While your business may have long-term goals such as establishing a strong brand image, achieving this also requires meeting short-term goals such as maintaining positive brand sentiments through continued customer satisfaction.
Social monitoring is great for staying on top of customer questions, complaints, or feedback, but social listening looks at the bigger picture and can provide insights into your consumers and competitors that you may not have been looking for.
If you’d like to find out which technique (or both) is best suited for your brand, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.