B2B Social Listening: 5 Best Practices in 2024 (+ Use Cases)

Bhavya Aggarwal

February 27, 202410 min read

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As a marketer or leader, imagine that you’re at a bustling business conference surrounded by potential clients and competitors. Everyone's talking, sharing ideas and discussing the next big thing in the industry. 

But instead of joining the conversation, you're sitting in a corner and not listening. Sounds like a missed opportunity to grow your business, right? That's precisely what ignoring social listening in the B2B world is like. 

The digital landscape is changing rapidly, with almost every other person talking about brands on social media each day. And this only makes the need to tune into digital conversations more critical than ever for businesses. 

This isn't just about staying in the loop; it's about tapping into a wealth of information that could transform your business strategy. 

That's why, today, we'll be exploring what it really means to listen on social media, why it's a game changer for B2B businesses and how to do it right. From understanding the nuances of online conversations to applying these insights for brand growth, we'll be covering all the essentials of B2B social listening. So, let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

What is social listening?  

Social listening is the process of tracking and analyzing conversations across social media platforms to gain insights into how your brand, products or industry are being perceived. It involves monitoring specific keywords, brand mentions, phrases and topics that are relevant to your business and then interpreting this data to make informed decisions. 

According to a recent survey, 61% of businesses are already implementing social listening systems. So, it's evident that understanding the social media landscape is vital if you want to stay competitive and responsive in today's fast-paced market. Social listening enables businesses to find the right opportunities to get involved in conversations, share content and offer industry insights, such as regulatory changes or technological advancements, to further nurture customer relationships. 

This growth is not just about quantity; it's also about the quality of insights gathered and the sophistication of the tools used for analysis. Let's understand this from the example of the automobile brand Nissan. 

When Nissan launched the Datsun in India, they used social listening to understand public sentiment about the car. They discovered that while people liked the size of the car's boot, they weren't fans of the interior. Although they couldn't change the car's design immediately, this insight was crucial for their marketing strategy, leading them to focus on deliberately promoting the boot size.  

Nissan promoting the Datsun-s boot size in a YouTube video

Source 

Learn More: What’s the difference between social monitoring and social listening? 

3 use cases of social listening for B2B companies 

Now that you understand what social listening is and how big brands use it for their growth, let’s look at the top three benefits of social listening for B2B companies. 

1. Impactful customer experiences that drive business growth 

Whether you’re part of a large corporation or a smaller enterprise, social listening is a pivotal solution if you want to amplify the customer experience you deliver. Here, the strategy is not just about hearing what customers say; it's about understanding and acting on their feedback to foster customer loyalty and drive growth. 

But how can you analyze those mountains of customer feedback at once?  

Well, one easy fix is using a modern, AI-powered social listening tool, like Sprinklr Insights, to tap into millions of daily conversations across multiple channels. Such tools can turn all that big, messy data into clear and helpful tips, and they give you a clear picture of customer sentiment (if it’s positive, negative or neutral).   

Sprinklr-s voice of customers dashboard showcasing positive and negative mentions, popular hashtags and top phrases

Read More: How to leverage social media for improved customer experience 

2. Proactive crisis management 

Social listening is a powerful tool for proactive social media crisis management, as shown by a popular soft-drink brand’s ad controversy back in 2017. This ad, which featured a renowned celebrity, was meant to promote unity, but it ended up offending many by appearing to make light of serious social issues.  

Through effective social listening, the brand found out about the situation, and it quickly pulled the ad and apologized to avert a full-blown crisis. This incident highlights the importance of managing crises effectively to protect brand reputation and maintain public trust. 

Effective crisis management is vital for brands because mishandling a crisis can hurt revenue and loyalty. With social listening, you can spot crises early, understand their causes and react promptly. This way, you can manage your brand’s reputation and lessen the negative business impact. 

Using a modern social listening tool, like Sprinklr Insights, can make a world of difference during red-alert situations. This tool uses AI to identify risks to a brand quickly, cutting down response times by up to 70%. It also alerts teams to unusual online activities, allowing fast action to prevent further damage.  

Sprinklr-s Smart Alerts Dashboard showcasing alerts on mentions, engagement and negative sentiment

3. Understanding customer needs 

Doubletake, a tennis and pickleball bag company, achieved a 191% increase in website conversions by adding clarity to its homepage, which its customers highly needed. 

They made it explicit that they were selling tennis and pickleball bags, which was previously unclear to website visitors. This simple change made their product offerings more understandable, significantly boosting their conversion rate. 

By listening to and understanding customer needs, businesses can make targeted changes that substantially impact their success. 

Sprinklr-s voice of customers dashboard showcasing top phrases from customers

5 B2B social listening best practices  

Social listening does get easy with modern tools but there are some ways to make the most of it. 

1. Stay on top of your competitors 

Keep a sharp eye on your rivals. Yes, this tactic is not just clever; it's essential in your B2B social listening journey. Your competitors can be an incredible source of insightful learning. Observing them can help you learn what works and what doesn't, and it can save you time in trial and error. 

Let's say you notice that your competitor is consistently highlighted on social media for their innovative use of augmented reality in product demonstrations. By tuning into this chatter, you can leverage these insights to enhance your tech presentations and positioning yourself as a forward-thinking leader in your industry. 

The advanced competitive insights and benchmarking feature of Sprinklr Social can make this job much more manageable. These tools run on AI to analyze what your top competing brands are doing across multiple social channels, giving you the scoop on best-in-class experiences. You can see their strategies, their content themes that resonate with your common audience and what's working for them to quickly adapt and outshine your competition.  

Sprinklr-s benchmarking dashboard showcasing a brand performance summary and benchmark activity performance

Deep Dive: Your social media competitor analysis guide  

2. Identify industry trends for growth opportunities 

Staying ahead in B2B is about catching the wave of social media trends at the right time. Understanding micro trends (like a sudden spike in interest for remote work tools), macro trends (such as the growing emphasis on sustainability in business) and mega trends (like AI digital transformation) can be pivotal. 

Imagine your B2B company leveraging the remote work trend by tailoring its marketing strategy to highlight its products' remote work capabilities, thereby gaining a competitive edge. Seems promising, right? 

A competitive benchmarking tool is invaluable here, too. By using its capabilities, you won’t just be tracking competitors but also identifying trends across social media. 

Such tools can pinpoint what's gaining traction, allowing you to tap into consumer interactions and even target fans of competitors who might be interested in what you offer. This proactive approach ensures you're keeping up and setting the pace in your industry. 

A Sprinklr dashboard displaying the top performing content of competitors and brand activity by time of day

Also Read: 4 ways to maximize social listening and propel your brand with trend analysis 

3. Discover and leverage influencers for enhanced B2B engagement 

Influencer marketing can be a great source of ROI in your marketing plan. You can use social listening to identify and collaborate with niche influencers, which can significantly amplify your brand's reach.  

For example, if you're a B2B tech firm, finding and partnering with a well-known industry blogger can bring your products to a broader yet targeted audience. 

A content marketing platform is pivotal in this strategy. Sprinklr Marketing, for example, helps boost campaign performance by up to 32% by helping you connect with content creators on a unified platform. This approach ensures consistent, high-quality content driven by real-time insights on performance and trends.  

Sprinklr-s Smart Content Intelligence dashboard displaying top content based on key objectives and customer journey stages

4. Resolve issues promptly to build customer loyalty 

Quick resolution transforms unhappy customers into loyal advocates. How do you feel when someone solves your concern unexpectedly fast? Good, right? Check out this example from Nike's dedicated Twitter support account. 

Nike Support responding to a customer who needs help with the Nike+ Training app

Source 

The support team quickly engaged Marc when he contacted Nike Support about not receiving workout reminders from the Nike+ Training app. It clarified his needs, confirmed the app's functionality and committed to relaying his feedback to Nike's product team. 

This immediate and transparent response exemplifies how B2B businesses can use social listening to resolve issues swiftly, turning a simple interaction into a chance to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to customer service. 

You can even incorporate a professional customer service ticketing system to streamline this process in your B2B strategy. Thanks to their omnichannel capabilities, these modern ticketing platforms boost your agents' productivity by efficiently organizing tickets from over 15 channels into one window. 

A customer agent responding to a customer query via Sprinklr

They allow for the quick assignment of internal tickets and suggest templated replies for routine queries, which significantly speeds up resolutions. By implementing such a system, your business can ensure that customer issues are addressed promptly and effectively, turning potential crises into opportunities for building loyalty and trust. 

5. Engage everywhere with a multichannel approach 

Your B2B brand should capitalize on every digital and social channel. It's not just about being present; it's about active listening. Take Hilton, a global hospitality leader, for example. 

It monitors and responds to customer feedback on social media, whether praise or complaints, ensuring no guest's voice goes unheard. Its strategy includes responding to guest issues within a formidable 12-hour window, even when the guest hasn't directly tagged them.  

Hilton Hotels promptly responding to a customer who-s thanking the company

Source 

You, too, can follow in this brand’s footsteps using a social listening tool. With the ability to listen across 30+ digital and social channels, these AI-powered tools bring millions of conversations into focus beyond your primary brand channels. 

They identify relevant discussions even when your brand isn't mentioned directly, opening doors to engage with customers and prospects alike. By filtering out the noise and routing actionable messages to the appropriate teams, your brand can connect with customers promptly and effectively, no matter where the conversation happens. 

This level of engagement is crucial for staying attuned to customer needs and maintaining a competitive edge in the digital landscape.  

The Sprinklr tool showcasing popular hashtags as well as negative and positive mentions

Final Thoughts 

For B2B businesses, social listening emerges as a compass that guides them through the digital landscape toward success. It gives brands the customer understanding they need to make informed decisions, engage effectively and adapt swiftly to the ever-changing market. 

One tool that brings you the AI-powered social listening capabilities you need to win as a B2B brand is Sprinklr Insights. It can help you turn unstructured data from 500 million daily conversations across 30+ modern channels into actionable insights to drive business growth. With it, you can better connect with your audience across all digital fronts, resolve issues quickly and stay ahead of competitors. The result? A more innovative and agile approach to business that saves time, cuts through the noise and focuses on what truly matters: building lasting customer relationships. So, give it a try today to take your social listening game to the next level. 

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