Whether you’re in PR or marketing, you can benefit from the insights that are waiting to be uncovered on social media. We’re talking about the insights that will help you create a more impactful content strategy, expand your influencer marketing opportunities, and build stronger audience understanding and connection—and that’s just a start! But first, you must know how to pick the right social listening service.
What is social listening?
A social listening service allows you to find the conversations happening on social media about your brand, product, spokespeople, services, or any other relevant topic, and—very importantly—analyze these conversations using engagement and sentiment metrics.
The difference between listening, monitoring, and management
There are several similar sounding terms out there: social listening, social media monitoring, and social media management. So, what’s the difference and which one do you need?
Social media monitoring tells you what was said about you and who said it. It’s based on keyword searches just like traditional monitoring of print, online, and broadcast. Many providers include social media subscriptions in their media monitoring platforms, but these subscriptions don’t offer the same level of insight or give you a social-first user experience.
Social media management allows you to schedule your own posts and monitor your channel activity.
If you want to gain intelligence that will help you improve your communications strategy, resonate with your audience, and conduct competitive and market research, then you need to pick a social listening service.
How to pick the right social listening service
If you’re wondering how to pick the right social listening service, here are the five things you should be looking at:
Ease of setup
You’ll want to invest in a service that you can get up and running as soon as possible—and hopefully without too much long-term assistance from the provider. Training sessions are an essential step of the setup process, but you also don’t want a service that requires the provider to arrange everything for you because of a complicated user experience. Which brings us to…
Ease of use
This is such an important consideration when picking your social listening service. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the platform and so you want something that is easy to navigate and straightforward to use thanks to an intuitive and clean layout.
You shouldn’t need to be a power user or have attended a master class to understand how your social listening service works. You also shouldn’t need to call on your provider every time you login (but if you do, they should be available). The service should be thoughtfully organized and designed for efficiency.
Quality of support
Hopefully, if ease of setup and ease of use are met, you won’t need to ask for support very often. But should the need arise, you want to make sure the provider is available when you need them, highly knowledgeable, and very importantly, pleasant to work with!
Quality of search results
Now this is huge, because what your service pulls in based on your search terms and keywords are what you’ll draw your insights from, so you want to make sure that those results are relevant.
When looking at this factor, there are two questions to consider:
- How easy is it to build targeted and relevant searches?
- Is the service searching the social platforms I need?
Of course, the social listening service must fall within your budget. However, you may want to consider investing in a tool that meets all the requirements above and is slightly more expensive, rather than settling for something that won’t serve you as well in the long run.
Agility Social Listening
We know you’ll do your own research, and we encourage you to do so, but as you look at what’s available, we hope your journey will bring you back to Agility. By using Agility’s social listening service, you can understand who your target audience is, what they care about, and how they behave before you put together your next campaign or launch your latest product. Book a free demo with our team today to see our easy to setup, easy to use social listening service.