The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Social Listening

Swati Baruah

February 26, 202412 min read

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Facebook is an indispensable tool for businesses to connect with their audiences. It offers them a unique opportunity to promote their offerings and build strong customer relationships. But just having a Facebook presence isn't enough to enjoy the true benefits of this platform.  

Let’s say you manage the online presence of a popular brand. You keep the business quite active on Facebook — regular posts, new product launches, behind-the-scenes footage and promotional ads. You also respond to customers' queries and messages. 

But at some point, you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of mentions and feedback the company receives. You find it increasingly challenging to fully understand both how customers perceive the brand and their overall experience of it.  

Moreover, with increasing competition, you understand the importance of capturing these insights to understand where competitors fall short. 

That's where Facebook social listening comes in. 

Here, we will explore the various aspects of Facebook social listening, its importance, the best implementation methods, some examples to take inspiration from and practical tips on how to do it right. 

Let's dive right into it.

Table of Contents

What is Facebook social listening? 

Facebook social listening is the practice of monitoring social media data like comments, recommendations, direct messages and brand mentions, analyzing customer sentiments behind these conversations and finding trends in them.

The goal is to know the customers’ mindset and take steps to construct a better marketing campaign backed by analysis of passively compiled data.  

It goes beyond simply scrolling through a feed or responding to individual messages. It is about sifting through vast amounts of data efficiently to uncover recurring themes and informing relevant departments to address common issues and optimize strategies, enhancing customer experience

4 ways businesses can harness Facebook social listening 

With roughly 3 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become an integral part of our daily lives. Users spend an average of 34 minutes on the platform each day, contributing to a staggering flow of activity — around 510,000 comments and 293,000 status updates every minute

For brands, not leveraging this data means missing out on a hoard of valuable customer insights. Facebook social listening lets you find what customers are saying about your brand and act on those insights before they say it.

This allows you to: 

1. Better engage with the audience 

Facebook listening helps brands improve customer engagement and convey the brand’s message effectively.  

For example, a customer drops a comment or feedback on one of your promotional posts. Responding to these publicly and empathetically builds your brand’s social media perception positively.  

Starbucks does an excellent job of using Facebook to connect with its customers and build relationships. They often respond to customer comments with personalized messages.   

Here is an example of Starbucks explaining to an inquisitive customer how to make their cold brew, garnering an appreciative message from the customer. 

A friendly exchange between Starbucks and an inquisitive customer on Facebook

This also helps brands engage with their millennial market, who are more digitally connected than any other generation before them and are ready to spend more as well.  

2. Generate new leads 

Nearly 41% of consumers use social media to discover new products and services. Brands can use Facebook social listening to identify potential leads who are expressing interest in their products or services. 

For example, a shoe brand might identify a potential customer who is commenting on a friend's post about how much they love their new sneakers. The brand reaches out to the lead with a personalized message offering them a discount on their next purchase. The lead is happy with the personalized message and takes advantage of the discount.  

3. Keep an eye on competitors' brand perception 

Audience analysis isn't the only thing you can do with Facebook social listening. You can also get useful insights into your competitors’ strategies. You will find answers to questions like: 

  • Are your competitors rolling out new products? 

  • Are they navigating through PR hiccups? 

  • How are people talking about them? 

Keeping tabs on their real-time activities provides a window of opportunity to unearth new possibilities, discover pitfalls to avoid, recognize gaps in your offerings and carve out your distinct place in the market. 

4. Identify problem areas in your offering 

By actively monitoring real-time Facebook conversations around your product or services, you can detect and manage potential crises early. You can effectively address negative feedback or misinformation, protecting your brand's reputation. 

Furthermore, you will get a wealth of insights into what is working and what isn't working for your customer. This can be a goldmine for your product teams. By understanding customer pain points, product teams can work on refining an existing offering or adding a new feature to resolve the issue. This can even pave the way for a new product idea to address unmet needs.

How to implement the right Facebook social listening strategy

Crafting an effective Facebook listening strategy can be a complex endeavor. Facebook data is vast. Social media trends are ever evolving, therefore, identifying and prioritizing key insights, integrating social listening into business processes and measuring the impact of social listening can get challenging. 

But if you follow a set number of steps, it will be a lot easier. You begin with understanding your goals. Then you move on to setting up a powerful listening tool and finally gather and use the data to get results. 

Let's investigate each step in detail. 

1. Determining business goals 

We already saw statistics on how users post hundreds of thousands of comments, status updates and photos every minute on Facebook. That is a lot of data.  

To get useful insights out of them, you need to define what you would like to accomplish with your Facebook social listening efforts. Identifying these goals will help you align your strategies with the social data you gather. 

For example, if your goal is to increase the customer lifetime value (CLV), you need to track conversations of customers who are already using your products or services. 

If your goal is to improve your existing brand image, there's no need to pay too much attention to what people are saying about your competition. Sure, you can note competitor mentions but focus on your main objective. Use social listening to spot the grievances that are affecting your brand image and help relevant teams resolve them effectively. 

2. Identifying the right personas and relevant keywords 

For effective social listening, clearly define who (personas) and what (keywords) you are listening to. 

A persona helps you identify which social media users you should focus on and which conversations to listen in on. Start by researching your customer in-depth and discovering the demographic and psychographic commonalities. For example, age, area, job position, hobbies and interests. Then, once you implement your social listening strategy, use the findings to refine and segment these personas

 On the other hand, keywords help you focus on the right things. These keywords may include your brand name, your products' names, industry trends, brand hashtags, etc.  

3. Getting the right Facebook social listening tool for your business 

Manually unpacking insights from petabytes of data spread across Facebook is virtually impossible—without significant help.  You need a powerful Facebook social listening tool that can convert raw data to usable insights to learn what customers want and where competitors fall short. Social listening tools should be able to: 

  • Scan conversations across geographies to identify influential audiences and key market trends to capitalize on 

  • Route engageable messages to the right teams so they can connect with customers at the right time 

  • Detect crises or anomalies in online activity at the earliest stages and alert teams immediately 

Try Sprinklr’s AI-powered social listening tool and tap into 500 million conversations per day to learn what your customers want so that you can improve their experience at every touchpoint.

4. Gathering insights and turning them into informed action 

Not all data points qualify as insights—they must be new, unforeseen and relevant to your business. Insights can range from audience demographics such as gender or age to more nuanced indicators of how they feel or interact with the brand. These insights will help you create social media campaigns that the audience can relate to.  

Moreover, creating daily, weekly or monthly social listening reports and sharing them with relevant teams can help convert insights into action. You can also set KPIs to gauge the performance of such Facebook social listening efforts. This will help you monitor the impact it has on the growth of your business.  

Read More: Social Media Insights: How to Drive Value from Social Data 

Top benefits of Facebook social listening 

Investing in a robust Facebook social listening strategy has become essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant.  

Here are 4 benefits of an effective Facebook social listening strategy: 

1. Identify customer sentiments 

Social listening enables businesses to scan vast amounts of data across Facebook to identify common pain points and frustrations. 

For instance, if customers of an email automation tool are repeatedly expressing their frustration with an incessant bug, the sentiment behind these conversations will be overwhelmingly negative. By understanding this sentiment, the company can prioritize bug fixes and release software updates. 

On the other hand, they notice customers appreciating the prompt customer support. By staying aware of such positive sentiment surrounding your brand, businesses can identify areas where they are excelling and reinforce those strengths. 

2. Debug customer complaints 

With so many users and brands on Facebook today, many customers expect brands to respond quickly to their queries and grievances. If you can respond fast to assistance requests, your customers will appreciate it. 

Facebook social listening helps you address customer grievances timely. If social sentiment is down, the brand can look for possible reasons and take corrective actions before things get out of hand. 

Check out how Wix uses Facebook social listening to help customers who need assistance. 

A customer's conversation with Wix regarding a billing-related enquiry on Facebook

The customer commented on a Facebook reel reporting some unjustified Wix charges. Wix replied the same day with a non-robotic response, letting them know they could contact the billing team and work with them to sort out the issue. 

3. Improve the ROI and relatability of existing campaigns 

Facebook social listening enables a brand to understand the pulse of customers and optimize campaigns so that they garner favorable responses. This can significantly enhance the ROI and relatability of existing campaigns by providing invaluable insights into customer sentiments and preferences. 

For instance, consider a cosmetics brand monitoring Facebook discussions. Social listening reveals a growing trend where customers express enthusiasm for eco-friendly packaging. 

Armed with this insight, the brand adjusts its ongoing campaign to highlight its commitment to sustainability. The result? A surge in positive engagement and customer resonance, ultimately leading to increased sales and brand loyalty. 

4. Keep up with upcoming trends to plan campaigns 

Facebook social listening helps brands understand how much a product or a service is required based on the conversations around a new product launch. This way they can stay ahead of upcoming trends and plan campaigns effectively. 

Consider a tech company monitoring discussions about the latest gadgets. Facebook data reveals a surge in conversations about foldable smartphones. 

Recognizing this emerging trend, the company swiftly plans a campaign around the anticipated launch of its own foldable device. By aligning their product launch with the current buzz, they capture the attention of tech enthusiasts, generating heightened anticipation and demand. 

3 examples of Facebook social listening 

While discussing the benefits of Facebook social listening, we broke down how Starbucks and Wix have adopted social listening for Facebook to engage with their audience in meaningful ways. 

Here are three more examples that throw light on how global enterprises leverage social listening to elevate their businesses: 

Samsung 

Samsung employs social listening to find out why customers are dissatisfied with its competitors. Upon the launch of the Galaxy S9, Samsung strategically released videos humorously highlighting the Galaxy's superiority over the Apple iPhone X, addressing common complaints such as the lack of a fingerprint sensor. 

This listening strategy allowed Samsung to understand customer needs, steering their campaign effectively. 

Wendy's 

Wendy's has emerged as a social media powerhouse, not only by engaging with their customers but also by strategically monitoring their competitors' online presence. 

By analyzing competitor social media campaigns, customer reviews and industry trends, Wendy's identifies opportunities to differentiate their brand and capitalize on competitive weaknesses. 

For instance, with frequent customer comments about McDonald's frozen beef in burgers, Wendy's quickly seized the opportunity to highlight that they always use fresh, "never frozen" beef! 

Burt’s Bees 

Burt’s Bees utilizes social listening for product development. When the brand noticed a growing online buzz around the demand for face masks in the beauty industry, they delved into social media conversations.  

They conducted competitor research through social listening and strategically aligned their product research with customer discussions. By understanding the unique preferences and concerns expressed by users of competitor products, they successfully crafted a line of face masks that addressed these specific needs. 

This proactive use of social listening not only kept Burt's Bees ahead of market trends but also ensured their new products seamlessly resonated with customer expectations. 

Track and manage social conversations with Sprinklr 

Insights from social media platforms can guide businesses on their journey to social media success. But there is a chance of being overwhelmed with the abundance of data. So, it's important to have a structured approach to extract actionable and valuable insights. 

Sprinklr's AI-powered social listening tool can help your business sift through mountains of unstructured data. It can effortlessly uncover insights from billions of data points that Facebook generates and consolidate everything into well-structured reports, empowering teams to make smarter business decisions. 

With customized dashboards, your team can access and analyze data on a massive scale, understanding trends and customer sentiments. 

Sprinklr can help you identify the top phrases used by customers on social media

Its smart insights and sentiment analysis capabilities can help your brand uncover the true narrative behind customer voices and help you gain a deeper understanding of trends and potential crises. 

Sprinklr's sentiment analysis capability gives you all the details you need to gauge how customers perceive your brand or its offerings

Sprinklr has an 8-layered AI-powered architecture that effortlessly handles diverse data types, including chat transcripts, customer surveys and sales data, providing a comprehensive view of your brand. 

Visual representation of Sprinklr-s 8-layered AI-powered architecture

Sprinklr also enables seamless collaboration with external partners by exporting insights through advanced export APIs, with which you can create impressive presentations and displays for public or private sharing.  

Sprinklr allows you to create stunning presentations of your reports and share them with relevant stakeholders

In a nutshell, Sprinklr's social listening tool not only streamlines the process of analyzing massive data sets but also provides rich insights that empower you and your team to make smarter business decisions, fostering a deeper understanding of customer sentiments and trends across various digital channels.  

Final thoughts 

When it comes to social media, there is a fallacy — marketers usually assume that the primary goal should be making viral content that gets shared all over the world. But social media can help brands get so much more. 

By listening to your consumers — and getting to know them better, you can gain that much-needed competitive edge that drives meaningful outcomes in the dynamic world of social media marketing. 

To conclude, here is a simple checklist from Forbes that can help you: 

  • If it is a complaint, investigate. 

  • If it is a compliment, say thank you. 

  • If you hear something smart, say that it is smart. 

  • If someone requests for something, ask yourself “Is this an opportunity?”

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