Social Listening: Understanding Sentiments and Trends

Social Listening Understanding Sentiments and Trends Bitvero Digital Marketing Company

“Most of the successful people are the ones who do more listening than talking.”

This quote by Bernard Baruch not only tells life’s reality but also fits best in the social image of the brand.

Internet, or, specifically, social media, is a place where people talk about almost everything, including products, services or brands as a whole.

In this scenario, if you carefully listen to what they are saying about you, your brand and most importantly, your customer service, you work hard to improve even further.

What is Social Listening?

By now, we got the idea that social listening means listening to what people say about a brand.

But let me tell you, it’s not just about keeping ears open but about opening the mind.

Or simply, it is about observations to understand the bigger picture.

Basically, it involves analysing and interpreting several aspects, connecting the dots and making informed decisions.

Various aspects to analyse while social listening include-

  • the overall sentiment of customers towards your brand,
  • knowing what people are buzzing about on the internet,
  • interpreting the trends,
  • and how is the competition doing.

Most people confuse social listening with social monitoring. However, they are different concepts- but closely related.

So let’s first understand the difference between them.

Social Media Listening Vs. Social Media Monitoring

Social monitoring involves keeping an eye on brand mentions you get across the internet. It has nothing to do with knowing the intent of those tags or mentions.

Rather, it is about knowing “how many times” people mentioned your brand name on various platforms without focusing on the “why” aspect.

On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, social listening is a broad term, digging into the whole scenario from competition and sentiment analysis to understand industry trends.


For example, if someone has mentioned your brand, you will have to know the “why” aspect instead of being happy that you got a mention or tag!

The reason is the user’s intent to mention it can be to criticise your band or your service rather than praise it.

So, in this situation, when you analyse the sentiment behind any mention, you are actively listening to the customer perspective of your brand.

Sentiment Analysis

By now, we know that sentiment analysis is an essential part of social listening.

But how to do that is still a question.

To understand that, we need to first look at a clear definition of sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis, also known as opinion mining, is the process that uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) techniques to analyse online written pieces and determine the emotional intent behind them.

Basically, it involves understanding the customer’s perception of your brand, which comes out in three forms: positive, negative, and neutral. 

Because people do not always love your brand; instead, your competitor gets an edge over you.

Or maybe any products or services you offer leave people frustrated.

Fortunately, the person liked your service or loves your brand.

Let’s better understand this with examples.

Positive- Just had an amazing experience with XYZ Website Design services.

Neutral- Exploring options for social media marketing services. We are looking for a company that understands our niche.

Negative- Had a terrible experience with XYZ Digital Marketing Agency. Communication was lacking, and the results were disappointing.

Note: Do not do these five things with your social media accounts

Social Listening Strategies

Use tools for listening.

Using social listening tools is very important. Sure, manually, you can get insight from individual social platforms. But to understand the bigger picture, you need to pull the information or mentions from the entire internet in one place.

That sounds impossible to do by a human. So,  social listening tools extract all the information easily in no time, covering almost all aspects, including-

  • online conversations,
  • track mentions of your brand,
  • competitors and
  • industry keywords,
  • and analyse sentiment in real time.

Some Social listening tools you can use are;

Know about- Social Advertising vs. Organic Engagement: Which is Better for Your Business

Identify Relevant Keywords and Hashtags

When you want to track information about any brand, keywords and hashtags related to them are what you need to make a list of first for effective social listening.

Identify Relevant Keywords and Hashtags in social listening Bitvero social media marketing company in India

These keywords, phrases, and hashtags work as the search criteria to know the overall scenario of that brand position.

For example,

  • what is the reach of the brand?
  • Who is mentioning?
  • What do Influencers say about a brand?
  • How is the competition performing?

Social listening Bitvero India social media marketing company

Note: Get to know about the Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Advertising.

Analyse Information from various sources

Social listening should not only take place on social media. Instead, gathering information from various sources gives you a deep understanding of overall brand perception.

By “other sources”, we mean places where people may be discussing your brand should not be left out while listening.

The sources can be videos, news outlets, forums, blogs, websites, podcasts, and review websites, to name a few!

For instance, if we want to get this information through Brand24, we can select the sources to filter out the data.

Analyse Information from various sources during social listening Bitvero India a digital marketing company

Interact with audience

Interacting with people discussing your brand or having a conversation relevant to your industry is an extremely crucial strategy of social listening.

By doing so, you not only get to know the customer’s intent behind tagging you but also show that you care for what they have to say.

This becomes even more important when you want to work on the negative sentiment of people for your brand.

For instance, you just filter out those comments with negative sentiments to respond promptly to ensure that their issues will be fixed soon.

However, even when sentiments seem positive or neutral rather than negative, you must still indulge in relevant conversations because this builds brand trust and relationships with people.

Go beyond direct mentions

There will be several instances where people do not directly or explicitly mention your brand. But still, the discussion is somehow relevant to your industry or impacts your brand.

This becomes even more important when you are about to launch a new product and want to know people’s interests or expectations about similar products or services.

But how to reach out to those inexplicit mentions is still the question.

Well, the solution is to utilise Boolean operators and advanced search queries to capture those relevant conversations.

Boolean operators in social listening mean combining or excluding specific keywords, phrases, or sentiments.

This allows you to refine and customise search queries for more accurate and targeted analysis of online conversations.

Like to combine different brands or products you use AND, OR, & NOT in your queries.

For example, your query may look like “Coffee OR Tea.

Similarly, you can just analyse sentiment associated with a product or brand using a query like “Nike AND (happy OR excited OR satisfied).”

As I did in the following image using Awario

This is how the tool presented all mentions related to my query.

Boolean operators in social listening Bitvero India a social media marketing company

Moreover, to exclude irrelevant queries, you can, for example, search like this: “Flipkart AND NOT (promotion OR discount OR sale).”

Looking for a social media marketing company to manage your social presence?

If yes, then Bitvero can help you. Whether you want us to conduct social media optimisation or handle your social campaigns through effective social media management our team can do all for you.

Do visit our office or call us on +91 901 276 4000.

A team of digital marketing professionals who know the Art of making customers fall in LOVE with your brand!

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