A Beginner's Guide to Social Listening

Have you ever thought about how big the internet actually is? Have you ever thought about how many relevant articles, posts, comments, reviews and opinions are written about you on the world wide web everyday?

And have you ever thought about how you won't even know about most of them?

What is social listening? - illustration

1. What is social listening?

1. What is social listening?

Simply put, social listening is a revolutionary tool for media monitoring and analysis. We collect every piece of online content that is in any way relevant for you (including you and your competitors' online presence). Based on the analysis of this content, we can give you useful insights into what the web thinks, all without actually having to read every text or mention concerning you. The say social listening is the future of media monitoring, except this is not the future anymore: this is happening here and now, at Neticle. It is all done completely automatically. Our artificial intelligence based system can analyse the texts with human precision, nearly in real-time. This means that you can see every new mention right after they’ve been published. But, again, you don’t need to read them, we will detect every important conclusion for you.

Let’s see an example!

Let’s say you are the social media manager of a widely popular brand. Your new product seems like a big hit on the market, and the management asks you to make a presentation about the online reputation of this new product. Well, you have two options in this case. You either start reading all the 3000 articles, posts and comments published about it and forget sleeping for a couple days, or you can be smarter than that. If you accept the help of Neticle, all you have to do is add the name of the product into the system, wait a couple hours, and get the necessary media analysis results shown on easy-to-understand graphs and charts. The Neticle dashboard will show you how many positive or negative texts is found, what the most connecting topics, names, brands, emotions or locations are and many more!

Even the social listening expression says itself: listen to your audience – because they listen to each other, too!

Today’s typical consumer doesn’t believe in advertisements or promotions but they really know the advance of the internet freedom. They listen to other people’s opinion as well as they are not afraid to publish theirs. It has always been clear that the most successful companies were the ones who let themselves be guided by the audience. And guess what: hearing what they want has never been easier in the era of social listening. Plus, knowing every relevant opinion will help you to always be one step ahead of your customers and to know what they want before they realized they want it. All you have to do is focus on campaign and strategy planning.

How social listening helps - illustration

2. How social listening helps

2. How social listening helps

New level of media monitoring

As we’ve already said: it saves you time and energy. Big amounts of text data take a long time to process, but with social listening this is no longer a problem. With the help of this new approach to media analysis, you can get the necessary insights without actually reading what has been written about you on the internet. We collect every mention and relevant piece of content about your brand, company, product, field or competitors. Thus, we present the analysis in an easy-to-understand way.

Another advantage of Neticle Media Intelligence is the intelligent question bar on our Dashboard. Usually every graph and chart of your analysis appears on this platform, but we know this amount of information can sometimes be confusing. This is why we thought it would be a good idea to make the whole process as easy as possible. And this is why we have applied a bar where you can type your questions in an informal way (e.g. Why was my campaign not successful?). It will show you the relevant results of the analysis. This is a very useful AI driven tool because you do not have to be an expert in analysis science in order to get every insight you need.

How is it all possible? Well, because our biggest goal was to make everything as simple as possible. We created the whole logic of the system on the principle that everything needs to focus on offering quick messages to our clients. For example, it takes only one graph for you to understand what website had the most negative comments in a specific day. It is really easy as it seems.

Campaign efficiency measurement - illustration

3. Campaign efficiency measurement

3. Campaign efficiency measurement

We are aware of the difficulties of measuring a campaigns success and efficiency. It is a common challenge among companies, so we try to make it as simple as possible. Customer and client satisfaction surveys might be useful, but we are sure you have already realized that they are just sometimes not enough. So here comes social listening to save us again! As the saying goes, texts on the internet are not written with pencil, but ink, therefore everything leaves a trace. The good news is: an automated monitoring and analysis service can find them all.

When it comes to campaign efficiency, it is useful to focus on the same seven fundamental questions from the planning stage. These questions are: “Who? What? Where? When? How much? How? Why?” talked about your campaign, and what the results have been compared to the expectations. Neticle’s automated social listening tool will give you all these answers in minutes, saving your precious time and effort.

Neticle’s system is based on keyword searching, so it finds the relevant content for you by looking for a given word or expression. Among other options, this can be the slogan of your campaign or the product your campaign promoted. Thus the system will find every text the given keyword has been mentioned in. The number of mentions will show many people engaged in any discussion around the campaign, and how many of the mentions were positive, negative or neutral. Furthermore, the distribution of mentions are shown based on where these mentions were published (news articles, social media sties, forums etc.). Besides all these options, you can also see the gender distribution of the mentions’ authors, and you can get to know the name of the opinion leaders, too. This way you can check whether the results are in sync with the predicted performance indicators.

More importantly, let’s emphasise it again: social listening is more than an ordinary monitoring service because you can detect way more about these mentions because of it. Here are some examples:

  • You can see how positive or negative the campaign’s reputation has been
  • What emotions could be discovered in these mentions
  • What other words or expressions were mentioned together with your campaign

This way you will know about every additional topic or feeling towards your campaign, and it will also show whether you managed to communicate the message of the campaign successfully. How many of the people said the new product was delicious, and how many of them said it was delicious, but the packaging could be better?

Thanks to automated social listening, not only quantitative but qualitative data is provided for you by Neticle. Hence, after we give you these results, you have no additional tasks when it comes to campaign monitoring and efficiency measuring. You can think about the next steps of your strategy right away!

Competitor analysis - illustration

4. Competitor analysis

4. Competitor analysis

Needless to say, social listening is not only useful for keeping an eye on our own reputation. You can monitor your competitors online presence and the opinion given about them, too. Let’s see how!

Never forget about your competitors!

This might sound obvious, but it is still important to emphasize. Monitoring your competitors is necessary because you will know instantly about the occuring scandals in the press regarding them. Besides, applying social listening to these companies or brands is useful because you can learn what communication strategies they use, so you can see what generates more engagement when it comes to your target audience. Plus, you can see the common mistakes they make, so you can avoid these errors without ruining your online reputation.

Follow them on social media!

Which platforms should you use based on the competitors' experience? How to talk to your customers on social media? Do they prefer professional or "cool" content? Save yourself from finding out all the answers by yourself! Thanks to social listening, you will see this data collected for you. You can see the best practices for every social media situation, so all you have to do is preparing and timing your killer campaigns. Check out all the frequently used expressions on your competitors' platforms, because there is a chance that you are going to succeed with the same buzzwords. Also, try not to forget about the negative comments on their feed, because you can learn what the audience doesn't like. On Neticle's impressive dashboard, we give you everything that helps you understand the preferences of your target group.

Don't forget about PR!

Social listening will show you your competitors' PR and CRS activities, too. You can see the analysis results of every press release, article or blog post written about them. Did the audience welcome the news about them? Was there any controversy? What kind of public image are they trying to build for themselves? It is a well-known fact that winning over the press is key, however hard that is. The good news is: while achieving an outstanding reputation used to be time-consuming and required lots of research and planning, now the necessary tools are basically served on a silver plate for you.

Recruit an alliance of followers!

Let's get back to the audience for a moment! They are not only important because they help you create target personas. No, they are also very important because the opinion leaders and the influencers are also among them. You can see who the biggest advocates are for your competitors, and you can try to win them over with your own brand or product. You can study their profile, so you will know how to get them to like you and share their opinion about you. This way you can speak to their followers and audience, too. Which is, in the are of influencers, sometimes can be more effective than a traditional television advertisement.

How Neticle works - illustration

5. How Neticle works

5. How Neticle works

We have developed our own searching methods to download all the publicly available articles, comments and posts from news sites, blogs, discussion websites, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and YouTube.

We monitor the web near real-time: we find new contents within 10-30 minutes.

Print, audio and audiovisual offline media contents are also available upon request.

We create keywords in order to find all the relevant content. This means we collect all the synonyms, spellings and regulations of your company, brand or product name.

We can model the keywords of competitors, campaign, topics or specific market research questions (e.g.: what are the fears of a mother with 2 children in connection with using digital devices?)

We analyse the hits automatically. Our system rate them between -3 and +3 based on the strenght of the polarity of the keyword. We named this opinion index.

The scores of the keyword are added up, so you can see the overall opinion and judgment of your keywords (e.g. how much people like Coca-Cola).

We can manage irony and double negations, too. We can also customize the algorithm if needed (e.g.: if the field or industry of a given keyword requires specific expressions to recognize in the contents).

This is how we have created our market leader algorithm which is able to analyse the texts near human-level precision.

If two people manually scores thousands of texts based on their sentiment, their opinion match at the maximum of 82% because of human subjectivity and others. Neticle’s algorithm performs above that generally.

Besides sentiment, we also recognize what the hits are about. Our algorithm automatically recognizes places, topics, persons and brand.

Our users get access to the visualized charts showing what topics came up in connection with their keyword, and what people thought about these topics regarding the keyword.

In this picture you can see how the 6th platform (which refers to online platform) was usually found in negative context, and it can be a negative effect on the customer satisfaction.

The Mention graph created by us shows what topics are frequent in connection with the relevant mentions, and how these are connected, and what other positive or negative opinions connect to them.

In this picture you can see that they had serious problems with their text message service.

The quantificationof the online opinions help us to follow the judgement of the keyword through time with our web opinion index.

If the web opinion index drops, that means that lots of negative opinions were published online about our keyword.

All of our visualized charts are interactive, you can drill down to see detailed data, so you can identify all the sources of the mentions which modify the opinion about your keyword.

Finally, if you're still reading this very long article, there is only one thing left to say: thank you! We know it's been a massive piece but we hope you found it useful.

Contact Us!

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Registered seat:
1213 Budapest, Vető str. 10.

Photo of Péter Szekeres
Péter Szekeres

Co-founder & CEO
[email protected]
+36 70 701 6488

Photo of Tamás Tóth
Marcell Tamás Tóth

Media Analysis Consultant
[email protected]
+36 30 779 4626

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Bernadett Kiss

Head of Marketing
[email protected]
+36 30 352 6707