Many organizations with an online presence will recognize that it is essential to consistently practice social monitoring in order to build a solid reputation and following on their social media channels. Traditionally, social monitoring is considered a fairly straightforward process that entails keeping track of social media mentions and conversations surrounding your organization. While this practice is important, the best social media managers know that the buck doesn’t stop with social monitoring alone: it’s social listening that’ll really take your digital communications strategy to the next level.
Social listening is a two-part process that begins with the monitoring of your organization’s media channels for any stakeholder feedback, direct mentions of your organization, and discussions surrounding specific topics, keywords, and competitors related to your industry. The second step is where we conduct an analysis of the information and use the insights gained to act on emerging opportunities and trends.
The difference between social monitoring and social listening lies in the actionable responses you make to your social media strategy as informed by your analysis. Social listening asks you to dig deeper into your media monitoring and understand the root causes behind social conversations, then act on those opportunities.
As a non-profit organization, how can social listening impact your social media strategy?
Nonprofit Social Strategy
Firstly, consider the goal of any non-profit organization: being of service to others. All non-profits share the same strategy to enact social good for the benefit of the communities around them. Therefore, it is important to maintain a stakeholder-centric mindset to your organizational practices, and social listening does just that. Social listening dictates that rather than making assumptions about what your stakeholders want or need, you hear exactly what they are saying and respond accordingly.
Secondly, social listening prepares your organization to make thoughtful and informed responses to any criticism you or your industry might face. The mission of many non-profit organizations seek to address controversial themes or issues related to social justice. Maintaining a social media platform sometimes comes with the challenge of conflicting perspectives. Awareness of these types of comments is important, but what can really make an impact is using them as an opportunity to understand differing perspectives and then meet those perspectives with a thoughtful response.
Finally, by performing social listening you can create the kind of content your followers want by continuously shifting your strategy to fit current trends. What are your peers and competitors doing, and how do their audiences respond in return? What is the current social or political climate like in your sector, and how can you create content inspired by these trends that provide value to your audience?
By consistently practicing social listening, your organization will level up their online presence and better serve your audience with the right content at the right moment!