Listen to the Social Web

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain what social listening is.
  • Describe use cases for how Social Studio Engage works with the social web.


Your customers are talking—and they have a lot to tell you—but are you listening?

Are you really listening?

Two people are standing next to each other, but one person isn’t listening to what the other is saying.

Stephen R. Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes that people are often not really listening. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” The unfortunate part is, when we fail to really listen to our customers, our friends, or even our loved ones, we lose the opportunity to learn something new, to change something important, or even to grow a deeper relationship.

Social listening is the practice of gathering feedback from your customers and analyzing that information. It’s an opportunity to identify themes, collect data, and prepare for meaningful conversations. When you’re trying to build relevant messages or provide high-level service, you need to consider the feedback customers are providing on social media.

OK, so now you’re listening. But what are you hearing? What are you doing with that data?

Two people are standing next to each other and are engaged in conversation.

With Marketing Cloud Social Studio, you can go beyond other tools that simply listen to customers. With this tool, you can monitor your competition to gain insights and intel, find leads and opportunities to grow, and analyze your industry for trends. 

In this module, we explore how you can use Social Studio to capture and analyze data about your company from the social web. You learn about dashboards for a summarized overview of your social accounts, and learn how to use workbenches for a deeper, customized view of that data. Finally, you can learn about helpful reports for this data.

Social Studio Analyze interface showing an example dashboard.

Who Needs to Listen?

It’s easy to think that listening to conversations on social media is just a job for a marketing or customer service department. But truthfully, what goes on across social channels can bring greater benefits to the company as a whole when you don’t limit it to one department. 

Here are a few examples of how social data is important to the entire business.

  • Sales: Discover account insights and manage social leads.
  • Customer Service: Manage service and support cases, and crisis situations.
  • Marketing: Gain social consumer insights, analytics, and campaigns.
  • Community Management: Connect with social media influencers and build relationships with users who are familiar with your industry.
  • Data Analysis: Mine conversations for key data points, and track new topics, tones, or changes of any kind.
  • Upper-Level Management: Make decisions that are in line with up-to-the-minute trends.

Social media feedback is constant and in real time. Use the immediacy of this communication to your advantage—proactively messaging to strengthen your brand. As you build your social listening capabilities, consider these benefits. 

Actionable Listening

So much of the talk on social media isn’t actionable—meaning it’s irrelevant to your brand. A well-designed listening strategy lets you identify the resonant material, then respond quickly and appropriately to the sentiment or tone of the post. Don’t forget—users shape your brand. You can only guide them. Identifying actionable communication and messaging quickly can help turn industry influencers into advocates for your brand. 

Time of Crisis Management

Social media listening particularly pays off during times of crisis. How you manage rampant negative feedback, an embarrassing news story, or any other brand-damaging event is a defining moment for your company. Do you have the right system in place to handle it quickly and appropriately?

Social Listening in Action

What are some ways you can use social listening? There are a lot of use cases for how social listening can benefit your organization. Here are a few to consider.

Social Customer Service
Monitor conversations about your brand that could invite action on your part.
Lead Generation
Review complaints about your competitors or conversations about your brand that can prompt a sales representative to follow up.
Crisis Management
See keywords and spikes in conversations that can indicate a crisis.
Twitter Advertising
Create a topic profile for a specific subject and turn that into a Twitter Tailored Audience.
Brand, Competitive, and Industry Monitoring
Explore conversations about your brand, competitors, and industry.
Content Strategy for Publishing
Monitor industry conversations to inform your content strategy.
Research and Development
Make brand decisions based on social conversations concerning a certain topic.
Campaign and Event Monitoring
Review keywords and conversations about your campaign or event.

Check out this video for a quick overview of Social Studio.

In the next unit, we dive deeper into Marketing Cloud Social Studio to explore dashboards.