Analyze Social Media Conversations

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you’ll be able to:

  • Define social listening.
  • Describe how to prioritize and categorize mentions of your brand.
  • Explore social networks where people may discuss your company.

Social Listening

Social media strategy is like participating in a business meeting or being a good friend; it all starts with listening. This unit helps you understand how companies listen and how to employ the most crucial element of a social media program: social listening.

Where Do People Talk About You?

The first step in the process is tuning your social antennae to the right channels. If you already have a list of places where people discuss your business, make sure you monitor them properly, using a social media monitoring tool. Remember that there are numerous options on social media where people can talk about you. Facebook pages, Twitter hashtags, and Instagram, for example, are all places where you can learn about the social sentiment toward your business.

More Than Facebook and Twitter

Major social networks are not the only communities on the web where people can talk about you. Enterprise social monitoring tools can help find discussions about your brand and uncover smaller sites that are not on your radar. Here are a few other places to look.

  • Blogs
  • YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and other popular social sites
  • Review sites
  • Social bookmarking sites
  • Comment sections on industry and trade publication websites

It Takes a Village

Whether you’ve got an engagement team of one person or two dozen, everyone in the company should be on alert for mentions, both positive and negative. Create a centralized reporting plan for employees. For example, have everyone email online brand mentions to one email, like This can give you more information and provide additional places for you to track mentions.

Find Your Brand and Industry Influencers

In every industry, there are people who have established themselves as influential contributors. They often have large social followings, publish blogs regularly, and speak at conferences. Create a list of these people and closely monitor what they say and how people respond. Because they talk to your customers and potential customers regularly, influencers are in a position to deliver authentic feedback on a consistent basis. Create a listening schedule (like a Google alert or a reminder for yourself) that includes their blog posts, Twitter chats, Facebook mentions, LinkedIn forums, and so on.

Creating a list of top experts and advocates on your corporate social handle makes it easy to share and follow those experts. For example, here is a list of our Salesforce MVPs you can follow on Twitter:

Photograph of our Salesforce MVPs some of our top social influencers for Salesforce

Don’t Drink Through a Firehose

Any number of topics can become part of your social media brand conversation, and information can flow into your stream in one large, unstructured mass. Assigning categories and manually (or automatically) moving content into categories in your social media monitoring tool provides a far better time reporting and understanding what people say about you. Keep your categories flexible to account for any changes you may need to make to your organizational structure.

Listening Reports Shape the Future

When you listen to dozens of sources across social media, you’re likely to find yourself sitting on a mountain of data. Creating solid reports is the only way you can extract useful information. Try putting together the following information.

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Total mentions
  • Active networks
  • Pain points

Ask data-related questions, such as, “Are mentions going up or down over time?” Or “Is positive sentiment increasing?” Doing this on a regular—weekly, biweekly, or monthly—basis helps present these insights to your team and shape current and future campaigns. Don’t let your organization disconnect from the way people perceive you in the marketplace.

Practice Sharing!

Ready to practice your social sharing techniques? Tweet about what you just learned!


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