The Power of Social Media Listening

May 7, 2024


In this series, we will show you how social media listening is one the hardest-working tools at a marketer’s disposal.

It’s amazing what brands can uncover when they put the power of social media listening to use. We have been providing this service for over a decade now, and the importance of social media listening in a marketer’s playbook has not diminished in the slightest. Its impact is equally felt among B2B and B2C companies alike in the home and building products industry.

When used consistently, the insights derived from social media listening can positively impact all aspects of a company by informing and improving marketing and communications, brand perception, brand loyalty, product development, customer service, market research, competitive advantage, employee, and investor relations, and yes, even sales.

Here are a few ways that clients have used dedicated social media listening.

Determine sentiment

Let’s start with the most obvious reason to have regular social media listening in place: to monitor how people feel about your product and company. From consistent listening to conversations that include keywords about your company, you can get ahead of potential issues and find out what people think about your products before or after purchase. We have even used these listening insights to help our clients create fun swag for trade shows.

But even more powerful is the ability to understand how your audience feels about topics outside of your products. For example, we used social media listening to drive our client’s approach to helping customers navigate the unknown of a global pandemic. The insights we uncovered were the foundation for messaging, new product development, and eventually, the company’s new global brand messaging strategy.

Identify a trend before it is a trend

It’s no secret that many, if not most architecture and design trends start in modern Europe and Asia before ever making a dent in American architecture. For companies that want insights on what the “next big thing” will be, use social media listening to look overseas.

While monitoring trends in commercial design for a client, we identified that biophilic design was one of the most dominant architectural trends overseas. We’ve kept our eyes on this trend as it has become increasingly important in the United States. Equipped with the insights we gathered from social media over the latter part of the decade, our client was steps ahead of the competition when it launched a new product line and marketing campaign centered around sustainable design.

social listening

Visual representation from social media posts about biophilic design

Learn what’s “out”


Speaking of trends, social media listening is also useful for identifying audience fatigue. Using visual listening tools, we can identify when a trend is becoming oversaturated. The indicators that an audience is tiring of something will always be present online before the conversation picks up steam—but social media listening is needed to help identify those inflection points.

I don’t know about you, but I’d like for my company to be aware that a trend is losing steam among my audience before investing resources into developing content or products around it.

social listening

Sample conversation from a large trend analysis on farmhouse style

Direct your messaging and tone


Listening can help your communications and marketing teams know how a message is likely to land. Think focus group, but less expensive and likely more expansive.

Competitive intelligence


Regular social media listening also helps you keep a broader eye on the competitive landscape: watching what is and isn’t working for the competition, how customers feel about them, and how your company stacks up against the landscape.

Understand your customers’ mindset


I’d argue that social media listening is the most powerful when companies use it to understand their audiences’ mindset. By analyzing topics outside of their “control” (i.e. your own product and brand), you can quickly get the competitive advantage and builder stronger customer relationships. Social media listening can tell you what else your customers care about, other factors impacting their daily lives, and uncover why they may not choose to do business with you.

Here are just a few questions we’ve helped clients answer through social media listening:

  • Are customers worried about project delays due to material scarcity?
  • Is this audience actively working on similar projects during this time of year?
  • What areas of the home are homeowners most willing to invest in?
  • Does the audience seem to care about this topic?
  • Does the audience struggle with work-life balance?
  • Is safety the important issue that we think it is?
  • How broad is this topic?
  • Does people based on the east coast talk about this topic more than those in the Midwest?

 Like with all aspects of social media, listening is both an art and a science. To reap its rewards, you’ll want a skilled team to apply experience and best practices using the right tools. We’ll cover more of the science aspects in our next post on the topic, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, reach out to us about what social media listening can do for you.

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