Social Listening By Brands: Why Is It So Important?

Wondering why social listening by brands is important?

Well, let’s start with a story…

In June of 2021 an HBO intern sent out a teste email to every current and old customer of it’s HBO Max Streaming service:

This was to say the least, embarrassing and the sentiment on social media was quite negative originally stating that HBO Max had no clue what they were doing:

Ouch! And look at this one:

HBO Max obviously saw and measured the only social sentiment. Then they struck back with a brilliant response:

And that shows the power of leveraging social listening to manage your brand.

American Airlines

American Airlines once thanked one of its flyers for calling it ‘the largest sh…iest Airline in the world’.

The tweet was actually in auto-response but AA got into real trouble for this. Within a few minutes, hundreds of people started trolling it massively. 

Soon, this became global news, warning other brands to take their social media activities more seriously. 

Another example

During Hurricane Sandy, Clothing chain American Apparel tweeted that it is offering a 20% discount to people who are living in the affected states. 

As expected, twitterati found it insensitive and irrational because this tweet came at a time when a lot of people had lost their lives and most others were in need of help.

Instead of sympathizing with people and motivating them to stay strong during this hard time, what American Apparel did was to offer a discount 🙁  

The brand landed into a major PR crisis.  

The Dell blog fiasco

This is a pretty old example but worth mentioning here to understand why it is important to listen to conversations about a brand.

In 2005, a person named Jeff Jarvis started a blog titled Dell Hell. Apparently, he did so because he was extremely dissatisfied with Dell’s customer service.

His blog picked traction overnight and, soon, he was all over the media, including the Business Week and New York Times. 

Dell set an example by working hard on building a strong, prompt, and user-friendly customer support team. It never distanced from social media.

Rather, it became one of the top corporations that understood what social listening is and started using it to stay in touch with its social media listeners.  

Social media backlashes have become pretty

From your nearby burger joint to huge companies like Dell and Adidas; everyone gets trolled socially. 

What matters is how soon and how well you handle the trolls. Social media listening can help you with this plus do a lot more too!

Social media monitoring vs social listening

Social media monitoring only helps track your brand’s mentions but social media listening helps you get a detailed analysis of your audiences social media (and other digital) activities.

It helps you:

  • Understand sentiment
  • Alerts you to spikes in certain types of conversations
  • Understand your audience better so you can craft content that interests them.
  • Connect with your buyers
  • Identify leads
  • Identify trends
  • Stay ahead of your competition. 

If you still are not sure what is the difference between social media monitoring and social media listening, this article will clear your confusion. 

Why is it important to listen to conversations about your brand? 

Social media listening can identify those crises that social media monitoring alone isn’t capable of.

It is shocking to know that more than: 95% of unhappy buyers will share their bad experience with at least 15 of their friends.

Those friends could be offline but there are high chances that your unhappy buyers will use social media to complain about you.

And, when they do so, they may not directly post on your social media handle or may not use the right handle to tag you. 

How do you find out those interactions? 

Leverage Social Listening tools to find mentions where you are not directly tagged

The functions of social listening tools include identifying those conversations where you aren’t being tagged or tagged incorrectly i.e. with a wrong name.

It helps fix the loopholes associated with social media monitoring, thereby helping you provide better social media customer services. 

More than 70% of brands that listen social media have agreed that their social listening efforts have been effective for their business.

So, social media listening is worth it, even for small businesses that do not have much scope there.

You must listen to social media if you want to retain your customers 

As per a Forbes report, 68% of buyers leave a brand because they felt unheard and unacknowledged

Surprisingly, only 14% of buyers leave a brand due to faulty products or services! 

Social listening helps you manager the customer relationship

So, it is obvious that even if your product/service is the best of its kind, your customers can still leave you unless you listen to them.

No matter how irrational or ignorable their complaint is, make sure you attend to each of them and apologize whenever required. 

Apologizing works

You might not like the idea of apologizing to everyone and for everything, especially on social platforms but that’s what your buyers like.

A study by Nottingham School of Economics has concluded that:

45% of customers will withdraw their negative feedback once you apologize even if you don’t fix their issues totally.

Only 23% of them would want some kind of compensation for it. 

Apologizing to your unsatisfied buyers is worth it because:

online reputation management experts claim that retaining a customer is easier and 7 times more economical than finding new customers. 

Social listening also increases customer advocacy

This part is so important that we have a whole article dedicated to it: How Can Social Media Listening Increase Customer Advocacy.

If you are hard-pressed for time and don’t want to read the whole blog, here is a quick brief on how social listening can improve your customer advocacy.  

Listening makes customers feel special

When you listen to your buyers (or even prospects), you make them feel special, validated, and understood.

All of us have, at some point, felt overwhelmed and delighted when we were socially as well as personally approached by a brand upon complaining. 

As per psychology experts, hearing helps instill a deep sense of trust.

Gain trust

So, brands using social listening optimally will soon start gaining their buyers’ trust.

When your buyers will start trusting you, they will start recommending you, and even defending you during a crisis.

They will become more forgiving towards you and might just ignore a few issues.

Develop Brand Advocates

They will prefer doing all future business with you because they know that you will be there to address their issues when needed. Soon, they will become your BRAND ADVOCATES. 

You need brand advocates to grow your sales, because more than 90% of buyers trust recommendations from people they know, including the people in their online circle. 

Lead generation 

Social listening by brands is also important because it helps identify the discussions related to your products/services. 

Social media monitoring doesn’t do that. It just helps track your brand’s mentions.

But, brands that are using modern social media listening will also be able to track other keywords relevant to their business

Finding a lead

Say, you are a VPN provider.

You can use social listening tools to find out those discussions where people are looking for recommendations for the best VPN service provider, affordable VPN service provider, VPN provider for small businesses, etc.

These people are your potential leads.

You can approach them with your proposal or maybe a free trial or some type of discount.

They might just get interested in you and respond to your message. And then, it all depends on how you take it forward. 

Finding unhappy customers of your competitor

Another reason why it is important to listen to conversations about a brand is to track the unhappy customers of your competitors and approach them with a better quality product or service at a better price. 

Let’s consider the above example again.

You can track the mentions of your competitors and filter out the negative discussions. Those who are talking negatively, are clearly unsatisfied customers and definitely your prospects.

You can approach them with an offer. If your competitor isn’t a social media listener, they might just feel like doing business with you instead because you are a better listener!

Now that you know what social media listening is and why it is important to listen to conversations about a brand, let’s understand how to do it.

The most obvious way is to use the right tool. 

Social media listening tools to use

The difference between social monitoring and social media listening makes it obvious that social media monitoring tools have a very limited scope.

You need to invest in specialized social listening tools. 

Expensive Enterprise Social listening tools have flooded the internet in the past few years due to their excessive demand.

Almost all of them serve their purpose but you obviously want something that offers maximum benefits without having you pay a ridiculous price for it.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through each of them and thoroughly study their plans. We have already done that for you and have come up with this curated list of 20 best social listening tools

Notifier is the best affordable social listening tool 

As mentioned in that blog, our tool Notifier is definitely one of the best social listening tools and obviously the cheapest tool that social media listeners can rely on for instant and unlimited alerts.

Other tools ask you to buy their premium plan for that. 

Near instant and unlimited alerts/mentions

Wondering if instant alerts really make any difference? 


Social listening by brands is important because it lets you identify the conversations that could ignite a major crisis.

It also helps you identify the lead and approach him/her before your competitors do it.

Both of these need to be identified and addressed instantly, or else you will miss the opportunity.

So, it absolutely makes sense to opt for a social listening tool that provides you instant and unlimited alerts.  

Advanced Boolean searches to filter our irrelevant results

Notifier also offers Boolean searches, whole word searches, and string searches to provide you with the most accurate results, thereby saving your time and effort.

Mobile friendly

It is the only affordable tool (as per our knowledge) that has a mobile-friendly website, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere and anytime.

Access to your data

Plus, you can even download your data for free! Try that with any other social listening tool and you will be shocked to see how much they charge you for data downloads. 

Want to know more about why we claim that Notifier is the best affordable social listening tool? Read this blog. 

Wrap up 

We hope this blog explains why it is important to listen to conversations about a brand and convinces you to try social listening.

If you are interested, we recommend you to take up Notifier’s 7-day free trial. A trial will help you understand how it works and what it can do for you. 

Also, do not hesitate to try other tools too.  We are sure you will find ours better. 

But, in case you don’t, please share your issues and suggestions with us. 

We will get them addressed in order to make Notifier the best social listening tool you have ever used!