An older business woman with white hair leans forward as she listens intently to another younger woman as she explains something. Social listening is engagingly listening
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What’s the Big Deal with Social Listening?

Anyone who’s staying up on the business world has heard of social listening. Then you know social listening is fundamental to customer experience (CX) strategies today. After all, the best place to conduct ethnographic research is on social media- the place people are spending more and more time.

This image from BroadbandSearch is a graph showing the average time spent in a lifetime on seven things. The graph is on the right side and the bars extend to the right. The chart reads from top to bottom: Doing housework-1 year and 8 months, Socializing- 1 year and 11 months, Shopping- 2 years and 2 months, Eating and Drinking- 3 years and 7 months, Using Social media- 6 years and 8 months, watching tv- 8 years and 4 months, sleeping- 26 years and 5 months.
Photo Credit: BroadbandSearch

The amount of time people spend on social has steadily increased over the last decade, so it’s entirely feasible that the average time spent in a lifetime will only increase. Maybe it’ll surpass time spent watching tv. (watch out Disney, Netflix, and Amazon!)

Businesses and marketers need to be where the customers are if they hope to succeed. Many companies have strategies that implement digital marketing efforts across social and the Internet, but social listening refines them, allowing you to focus entirely on customer experience.

What is Social Listening?

You’ve probably heard of both social listening and social monitoring. While both include researching customer behavior on social media, they are fundamentally different in what they allow companies to do.

Social monitoring is solely data collection. You can gather customer behavior, competitors, and industry data on social media, then look back on patterns and create strategies accordingly.

Sounds great, right? Social monitoring allows you to be incredibly well informed, so your strategies should work. But they don’t always work. Why? Because you’re limiting yourself to a reactive strategy. Your industry, competitors, and- most importantly- your customers have already moved on.

Social listening heavily utilizes social monitoring, as historical data is important to strategy creations, but it raises the bar with real-time analysis

With social listening, you can literally see what your customers and competitors are doing right that second! 

“In general, it's important to come to these conclusions [with social listening analytics] because it promotes a customer-centric mindset in your company. Rather than making assumptions about what your customers want or need, you should hear exactly what they're saying. It's common for people to publicly share their opinions -- whether they be about the political state of our nation or about the latest meme -- so it's no surprise they do the same about the brands they interact with.”  - Hubspot

With social listening, you’ll be on top of industry trends. You’ll be more flexible. Most importantly, you’ll be proactive in leading your company toward success.

Why Social Listening?

Social listening grants companies the ability to gather unbiased ethnographic insights into their customers and market research about competitors and industries. Through this research, you can discover the “online mood” or social sentiment of your audience. This sentiment will direct your marketing, product development, and CS efforts as you focus on all-encompassing customer experience strategies.

Nuvi's bubble chart shows audience sentiment at a glance. You can analyze each mention, see patterns in the conversation, and inspect real-time data as the chart automatically updates. The bubble chart is filled with large and small bubbles in color blue (neutral), green (positive), and red (negative). The bubbles are arranged according to the time they were posted on social media. If a certain time has more info, the bubbles stack on top of each other.
Nuvi's Bubble chart displays audience sentiment at a glance. You can analyze each mention, see patterns in the conversation, and inspect real-time data as the chart automatically updates.

What does Social Listening Allow Me to do?

Social listening is a way for companies to stay in control. You’ll be able to have key insights into your audience that reveals a solid direction toward success. 

In short, social listening shows the way.

Engage with Customers

Each company’s audience will be slightly different, so each CX strategy will be as well. The only way to know what strategy/ies will work is to listen to and engage with customers in real-time. 

Through social listening, you can truly identify through which platforms your audience discuss your brand and industry. Once you’ve discovered that, you can engage with them in a manner that is (1) expected on that platform and (2) that promotes positive, consistent interactions. Social listening is not just about watching your audience through graphs and data on your computer, but about creating relationships. The more they get to know you, the more loyalty they will display.

 In fact, a study Nuvi performed showed that most companies that offer a great experience see an increase in the likelihood of their customer base showing loyalty-based behaviors from 15% to over 80%! That's a 4.5x increase!

This pie chart by Nuvi shows how companies can increase customers showing loyalty based behavior from 15% to 80% as a result of a good customer experience strategy. A slice of the pie (blue) that is roughly 20% of the pie as 15% in it. About two thirds of the chart is green. An arrow rounds the pie chart from 15% to the number 80% in the green section to illustrate the change. Part of the pie is blank to show there is always room to improve.
An increase of 65% in customer loyalty behavior is incredible!

One of the best ways to build loyalty is to stay involved in their conversations. Companies tend to hesitate to talk with customers directly on the Internet. Don’t hesitate. 83% of respondents in a study done by Social Sprout like when companies respond to questions and 68% like when brands join in conversations.

Providing a consistent positive customer experience on social media is one of the best ways to gain their loyalty and increase their likelihood of spending more on your company.

Market Analysis

The ability to not only collect data, but see the real-time results of campaigns- including your competitor’s- can greatly increase your ability to analyze your market. Know what your audience thinks of your campaigns or products, and what they do and don’t like about your competitors’. Use these insights to create campaigns that address customer concerns. (Even competitor’s customers’ concerns)

Additionally, discover industry trends and implement them so you can keep up, if not be ahead.

Four white dashboards with light grey heading bars are stacked on top of each other, two on top of another two. All four show a "word cloud" of words. The categories of the top two are Trending keywords and Trending phrases. The bottom two are Trending Negative Terms and Trending Positive Terms. These are words popular in a Samsung monitor over a 24 hour period. The words display in various bright colors and size to show variability and how much a term is discussed.
Nuvi's Language Analysis tool has many dashboards that pull and present data from your monitors. These are trending words and phrases dashboards. The size indicates how often that word or phrase is discussed in the monitor.

Let’s imagine you’re in the mobile phone industry. Above are trending keywords and phrases for the past 24 hours surrounding Samsung. While many of the keywords, phrases, and positive keywords suggest positive conversations around Samsung Galaxy, the negative terms all relate with the Coronavirus and how Foxconn, a major supplier of mobile phone components in China is nearly completely shut down in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Due to this, projections of phone production and sales this quarter have taken a nosedive across the industry.

Those in this industry might console customers with what will be offered in this first quarter, efforts they are making to help stop the spread of the virus, or possibly go about finding short term ways of getting what they need.

Adjust Strategies

Sometimes, for all the time you spend analyzing data, you can come to the wrong conclusion, or- and often more likely- your customers will somehow unanimously decide to do something completely unexpected.

With social listening, you’ll be able to immediately know when something isn’t going right and adapt. You’ll be able to quickly create content that addresses customer concerns or curbs a potential crisis.

A meme is of The Oracle from The Matrix. She is smiling and holding a toothpick or cigarette to her mouth. The words are split into two section: one at the top of the image, the second half is on the bottom. It reads What if I told you/ Exactly what you needed to hear.

Social listening allows you to see it all. Like any great oracle, you’ll be able to guide your company in the direction that will be the most beneficial to you and your customers.

Soft Selling

Customer’s want you to react, but they’re very weary of marketing. However, they do respond well to genuine, human interaction. After all, I would know because it's a human that is writing the words you're now reading. Hi, I'm Rebeka. It’s good to meet you. Okay, back to the article.

By engaging directly with customers, you can become a trusted friend. We all know how much friends can influence a potential customer’s buying decision.

This image from Nuvi's Customer Experience Guide explains customer's expectations. The title, in black, reads: Modern expectations to listen for. The list is bulleted with green circles that have a check box in them. There are seven bullets, four on the left and three on the right. They are as follows: Treat me like a human, Respond to me quickly, Be consistent across channels, Tell me what you stand for, Speak about my passions/pain, give me value for privacy data, reward me value for loyalty.

Identify Influencers

Speaking of friends, influencers are a big deal! Social listening allows you to identify key influencers that would love to help push your brand forward and that have already gained the trust of many of your customers and potential customers.

With social listening, you can see how much of an influence they really do have, the quality of their audience interactions, and monitor their efforts, so they don’t misrepresent your brand. Also, during times that require quick adaptation, influencers can help you spread the message quickly.

Three tall white dashboards with light grey headings stand in a row next to each other. Each has 10 influencers according to subject of the heading. The heading from left to right are: Most Reach, Most Spread, and Influencer Score.
Nuvi's dashboards can help you determine the value of current and possible influencers.

Social Listening Tools

The online world is vast. You’ll need help to listen, engage, manage, and analyze your online presence and your customers’ attitude toward your brand.


Nuvi’s all-encompassing suite allows you to listen to your audience, industry, and competitors, plan and publish strategies with easy team collaboration, engage with your customers, influencers, and advocates, and analyze the insights all in one intuitive, visually stunning platform.

Over the last 10 years, Nuvi has been providing companies with the means to listen to hundreds of online sources. Nuvi’s broad list of sources- including forums, blogs, videos, news sites, and review sites- enable companies to listen across the expanse of the online world in order to discover actionable insights. Boost your customer experience strategies with Nuvi’s social listening tools and raise your revenue by an average of 78% in three years!

A group of people sitting at conference table look at a screen of Nuvi's monitor page. The main feature of the image is the Nuvi's bubble chart.

Boost your customer experience strategies with Nuvi’s social listening tools and raise your revenue by an average of 78% in three years!

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