Social Media

7 Reasons Social Listening Matters in 2021

4 Mins read

In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide. 3.6 billion!

That’s a lot of people.

In fact, that’s almost half of the world’s population! It stands to reason, then, that listening to what people have to say on social media is an important strategy for any modern business. 

Experts project that by 2025, more than 4 billion people will be using social media.

Ready to get started?

What is social listening?

Social media is a fast-track pass straight into your customers’ thoughts. Listening to what people are saying about your brand should form the pillars of your social media marketing strategy.

There are valuable insights to be taken directly from social media than can inform your keyword research, improve your customer service and manage controversy. 

With more people using social media than ever, it’s important to understand how social listening works. As a result, we’ve compiled the 7 top reasons why social listening really matters in 2021. 

1 – Customer engagement using social listening

Social media platforms are the perfect place to engage with your customers.

Having a bit of fun every now-and-then is a brilliant way to humanise your brand. Reminding people that there’s someone behind the computer and that you’re listening is a fantastic way to build up your brand’s reputation.

Many brands will share memes that their community makes, or make some themselves. This is a great way to engage with your customers, relate to your audience and create something that sticks in their memory. If you’re lucky, they’ll get shared, too!

2 – Proactive problem solving

Social media is the ideal platform for addressing issues before they blow up. Many people will turn to platforms like Twitter to complain. It’s important that you’ve got the infrastructure in place to address these concerns before they have a chance to snowball into something that can damage your brand. 

Using the above as an example, Wendy’s addresses this problem in a timely fashion and reassures the customer that this issue will be rectified.

Things are going to go wrong, it’s inevitable. Using social listening to solve problems is a great, proactive way to preserve your brand’s reputation and keep your customers happy. Social media is fast becoming the preferred avenue for people to file complaints. Make sure that you’re available on as many platforms as possible to facilitate this!

3 – Using social listening for keyword research

Many social media platforms use hashtags as a way for users to find the content that they want to see. 

By searching for hashtags that relate to your business, you can unlock a great source of inspiration that can be applied to your social media strategy.

Following a hashtag will show you everything that users are posting about. This can provide useful ideas for what talking points that your brand should be covering. 

Not only this, but joining the conversation using hashtags is one of the best ways to throw your hat into the ring. Establishing yourself as an expert in your field is made much easier through savvy use of social media. 

4 – Drive sales with social media

You can also use social listening to drive sales!

While social media is a component of organic growth and bringing in sales over time, you can directly drive sales through your platforms. 

Take the above example. Not only does this answer the query from the customer (which is a big plus!), but it creates a call to action for anyone who sees the tweet. 

Bear in mind that when you answer a query on social media, you’re leaving that tweet out for others to see. People will see your tweets and can be driven to purchase. 

5 – Social listening tools

There are a variety of tools that will help you to enhance your social listening strategy.

Using tools will make analysing your social media data much easier, and can provide valuable insights when performing audience research. 

Use tools to improve your content strategies, build impactful brand relationships, save keywords and measure engagement.

6 – Using your social listening data

Social listening allows us to understand the bigger picture. 

Sprout Social Product Image of Listening Performance Sentiment Summary

Brands tend to focus listening around 5 types of information: brand health, industry insight, competitive analysis, campaign analysis and event monitoring.

Brand health

Assessing your brand’s health revolves around assessing public perception of your brand & your products.

Listen to what people are saying about your brand and make suitable adjustments.

Industry insight

Pre-empting industry trends is made easier with social listening. Analysing hashtags & discussions on social media will give you valuable insights on where your industry is moving. This gives you time to get ahead of the competition!

Competitive analysis

Check in on your competitors; you’ll learn a lot! 

Comparing your social media platforms with competitors’ will allow you to make the correct adjustments to your marketing strategies through the year. You can guarantee that they’ll be doing the same!

Campaign analysis

Going live with a campaign is nerve-wracking. Use your social media channels to gather insight into how your campaigns are performing!

Event monitoring

Using hashtags through your events allows you to intuitively monitor how successful your event was.  Social listening lets you check if the target message was communicated. 

7 – What industries can use social listening?

Simply put, everyone

Different content performs better on different platforms.

Analytical conversations and business content will perform better on LinkedIn & Twitter.

Visual content will perform best on Instagram.

Video content is best suited to YouTube or TikTok.

Of course, there’s always crossover when it comes to social media. Always take into consideration your demographics when planning a social media strategy, and make sure to have a presence on a wide variety of platforms.


Marketing is always evolving. Ensuring that social listening is a part of your strategy in 2021 is one of the keys to success!

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