Stop Talking. It’s Time to Listen

Social listening is a key part of your day-to-day operations as a social media manager.
During a natural disaster, public health crisis, or emergency in your community, social listening is more important than ever.

As we know all too well, social media can become a busy town square full of information, both good and bad. As social media professionals and marketers, we have a part to play in spreading the right information. With thoughtful actions, we can do our part to turn an unruly gathering into a smooth-running information highway.

It’s our responsibility to evaluate how we are contributing to the public safety, health, and overall well-being of our communities. We want to make sure our people see news that’s important to them, receive the help they need, and that we don’t clutter the roads with unnecessary messages.

A social listening service (like SproutSocial) can help you understand and reach your audience, as well as measure your performance and roll out effective engagement strategies. If you don’t have an official service, you can still listen in and keep watch on your community, simply by being present or running searches for major keywords on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or NextDoor.

You might think of social listening as something you do to monitor your community’s response to your business, gauge their interests in various products, and understand their values. But social media listening involves much more than scanning for mentions of your brand across the social web.

Did you know social listening can…

  • Serve as an early warning system, helping you spot trends and monitor which tremors in your community might turn into earthquakes 
  • Determine the scope of the issue, so that you gain insight into how deeply a problem may impact your community
  • Guide you toward an appropriate response, because you are watching for and receiving the most up-to-date and important information
  • Help you respond quickly and thoughtfully to your community, so that you can rebuild and overcome together

Keeping these four aspects of social listening in mind, we can take in the big picture (which is very important during a crisis!) while also gaining a deeper understanding of how the issue affects our communities on a personal level.

How are you using social listening to engage—and most importantly help—your community?