Do you want to stay updated on what Twitter users say about your brand whenever it’s mentioned? Then, you need to put a solid social listening strategy in place.

Social listening is a marketing technique that allows you to track conversations and mentions easily on any social media platform, whether your brand is active on Twitter or Instagram, or anywhere else. 

💡 Read Social Listening Guide: Proven Hacks, Strategies, and Tools

In this article, we’ll cover the intricacies of how social listening works, from monitoring brand mentions to keyword and hashtag selection. Then, we’ll give you the tools to create and implement your social listening strategy specifically for Twitter.

What Is Social Listening for Twitter? 

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Social listening for Twitter involves actively monitoring and analyzing brand mentions and interactions to gain insights into how companies are seen publicly. To do this properly, marketers must carefully choose relevant keywords and hashtags and track them regularly on the Twitter platform. Keywords could include certain usernames, rival brands, their own products, or even trending topics in their industry. 

Tracking Twitter conversations in real-time is the best way to collect relevant data that’s valuable to your brand’s overall strategy, leading to an in-depth understanding of how your customer base is feeling. 

With the help of this data, you’ll be able to make choices that consider the perspectives and emotions of your customers.

Twitter Dashboard in Determ
Twitter dashboard in Determ showing topic visibility and top opinion leaders, and sentiment score

How Does Social Listening for Twitter Work? 

Effective social listening involves using tools and techniques and implementing strategies to monitor and interpret conversations and interactions that happen on Twitter. 

Here’s the typical process of implementing a social listening strategy for Twitter. 

Selecting Keywords and Hashtags

To begin with, you’ll want to identify relevant keywords and usernames that are relevant and/or related to your brand. Relevant keyword and hashtag collection, in fact, allows marketers to track and catalog relevant Twitter conversations, filtering out anything else.

Read 6 Ways To Master A Twitter Competitor Analysis For Marketing Success

setting up social listening for twitter

Collecting Keyword and Hashtag Data

Then, you’ll use social listening tools to collect real-time data from the platform. You will compile said data by monitoring the keywords and hashtags you’ve already collected during the selection process. You may choose to monitor anything from tweets to replies that include any chosen keyword. 

Tracking Customer Sentiment 

Certain tools provide sentiment analysis utilizing algorithms based on natural language processing (NLP) to ascertain a tweet’s positivity, negativity, or neutrality. This allows marketers to perceive how their user base feels about a brand topic, depending on the keyword analyzed. They can use this strategy to improve their customers’ sentiment.

Improving Reporting and Insights

Social listening tools offer many reporting options, including reports and dashboards, which instantly summarize data collected on Twitter. Regularly generating reports allows you to quickly pinpoint a shift in brand sentiment and how your engagement efforts on Twitter can sway the opinions of your customer base.

You can also refine your strategies depending on the insights from social listening by adapting the content you share and using up-to-date information directly from the mouths of customers.

Twitter dashboard in Determ
Twitter dashboard in Determ showing audience insights and interactions trend

What Are the Benefits of Implementing a Social Listening Strategy for Twitter? 

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Too often, marketers find themselves in an echo chamber. They may be passionate about their brand or product and see past their valued customers’ views. But what if a product or service they are sure is a hit, actually turns out to be quite the opposite? This misalignment can be easily bypassed with a social listening strategy. 

Listening to the emotions and opinions of a brand in real time can allow marketers to see past their own biases and identify both the positives and negatives of a brand strategy. They can use this sentiment to plan future marketing projects. For instance, opinions about industry news and updates could form the basis of a future marketing campaign. 

Monitoring negative feedback from customers on Twitter is useful, too. Marketers can use negative sentiment to identify issues with their brand image and create strategies to improve their products’ marketing, customer service, or company news.

How to Get Started With Social Listening: A Step-By-Step Guide 

Ready to understand your brand image from the point of view of your customer base? Here’s how to get started with social listening on Twitter. 

Set Clear and Attainable Goals

Before deciding what keywords you want to monitor, you first need to set clear goals and objectives. For instance: 

  • Monitoring brand mentions 
  • Tracking customer sentiment
  • Identifying trending topics 
  • Engaging with customers 
  • Tracking competitors
  • Managing a social media crisis
  • Analyzing product feedback

Choosing one easily attainable goal allows marketers to tailor their social listening strategies and gather suitable and relevant data from Twitter. For instance, if you want to monitor brand mentions, you may use your company name as a keyword. Whereas, if you’re interested in product feedback, you will search for your product name to see responses related to that particular offering. 

Choose a Social Listening Tool

Next, research SaaS applications that include your chosen features. Choosing a social listening tool requires careful consideration, as marketers must ensure their technology will help them meet their specific goals. Therefore, making a list of features that will improve their monitoring capabilities is essential. These may include: 

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Data visualization 
  • Influencer identification 
  • Reporting features

Prices can vary wildly for these tools, so determine a budget matching your needs. For instance, Determ is a user-friendly monitoring tool that tracks brand mentions, competitors, and market research all from one interface. 

Twitter dashboard in Determ
Twitter dashboard in Determ showing optimal post timings and most popular mentions on Twitter

Define Relevant Keywords and Hashtags

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Determining the keywords and hashtags you want to track will allow you to monitor the right conversations and gather valuable and relevant insights from Twitter. Amongst your team, begin to identify topics of interest and brainstorm keywords that relate to them. For instance, you could include: 

To obtain a full overview of how customers perceive your brand, include keyword variations that someone may use when writing a tweet. For instance, if you’re selling a facial moisturizer, you may use semantically related phrases like ‘skin moisturizer, ’ ‘facial cream,’ and ‘hydrating cream.’ 

Hashtags are also an excellent way to see what’s trending in your industry. Tap into ongoing conversations by analyzing popular hashtags as part of your social listening strategy. 

Monitor Conversations

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate social listening tool and listed your chosen keywords and hashtags, it’s time to monitor conversations. Start by creating search topics with your tool based on the keywords you’ve identified to help you gather relevant conversations. 

If you’re focusing on your brand perception and image, monitor the mentions of your brand name or product names. Your chosen social tool will do the rest by tracking how people talk about your brand. 

Finally, use filters within your social listening tool to organize and categorize highlighted conversations. You can typically filter by sentiment, location, and date to make your data more manageable. 

Some social listening tools will also allow you to carry out sentiment analysis. This determines whether conversations about your brand or product are positive, negative, or neutral. This can help you gauge customer perception and identify key areas to improve. 

Engage and Respond

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If you’re focusing on brand perception as part of your social listening strategy, it’s crucial to build positive relationships with your audience by responding to queries and mentions on Twitter. 

Start by focusing on conversations that require immediate attention, like customer inquiries or complaints. You should prioritize based on the sentiment of the conversation – while it makes sense to reply to positive comments about your brand or product, fixing customer complaints always takes precedence. 

Ensure you respond to all queries in a timely manner, within a few hours from the moment they were posted to Twitter. This will help customers to see your brand as trustworthy and reputable.

Want an extra, top tip? Opt for a social listening SaaS application that can complement your hybrid unified communications platforms, so you can quickly communicate and implement responses on your social media pages.  

Measure Results

Once you’ve chosen the right metric – which could include, for instance, mentions and reach, engagement, share of voice, and response time – analyze trends, activity spikes, or maybe even recurring topics of conversation. For instance, if one product gets far more mentions than others, monitor whether the sentiment is positive or negative, and analyze your current strategy to see what you’re doing right and where you can improve. 

Using social listening applications, generate regular reports that showcase your metrics, trends, and any insights you’ve uncovered. This will help you to assess your marketing strategy over time. 

Refine Your Strategy

Based on your analysis, adjust your social listening strategy as needed. If you notice certain content or topics generating more engagement, consider incorporating more of those into your social media strategy. 

This includes not only the type of content you share but also the content development process. By understanding what resonates with your audience through social listening, you can fine-tune your content creation approach, ensuring that your posts align with the interests and preferences of your followers.

There are two key ways in which you can use social listening to refine your marketing efforts. You can, for example, improve your lead generation. Consider using 8×8 auto-dialers to reach out to many potential leads quickly and make them aware of your product or service. 

In parallel, social listening can also help you to enhance customer engagement. By understanding the topics that resonate with your audience, you can create engaging content on both Twitter and your other channels, sparking discussions and encouraging social sharing. 

All this, in turn, can drive more traffic and increase your website’s visibility (to this effect, you’ll also want to ensure you use a high-value ai domain to solidify your site as legitimate and trustworthy). 

Improve Your Brand Perception With Social Listening

facebook sentiment analysis
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Using social listening techniques on Twitter allows your business to unlock powerful insights and marketing opportunities, helping you to protect and improve your brand image over time. 

With these tools and techniques, you can connect directly with your audience, swiftly responding to queries and acting on complaints before they escalate into a social media crisis.

What are you waiting for? Start building your social listening for Twitter strategy today! 

Written by Alwayne Powell, Director of International Digital Marketing, 8×8

Alwayne Powell is an experienced performance marketing leader with an extensive background in the digital space, working client and agency side to provide paid search, SEO and CRO solutions in the B2B and B2C sectors. They are the current Senior Digital Marketing Manager at leading communication platform provider 8×8. You can find them on LinkedIn

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