Find out what customers and industry experts are saying about your brand; discover specific pain points of your target customers; identify leads; monitor your competitors and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns; anticipate industry trends and potential growth areas; mitigate crises before they become unmanageable – these insights and benefits only scratch the surface of what B2B companies stand to gain from social listening.

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

In this short article, we’ll look at the latest trends in B2B companies – social listening. Read on to learn more about social listening, why you need to do it, and how best to do it.

What Is B2B Social Listening?

With tools that monitor and analyze conversations across social media platforms, B2B companies gather insights into what people are saying about their brand, product, and service (as well as monitoring industry trends and keeping an eye on their competitors). By monitoring social media sites, B2B companies get contextualized data within an emotional resonance. This gives social listening a level of sophistication and power that surveys and website analytics simply cannot aspire to.

Read Top 7 B2B Marketing Tools to Use in 2024

What Is the Difference Between Monitoring and Listening?

The difference between “monitoring” and “listening” is a question of depth and purpose. As opposed to monitoring social media sites, social listening aims for a more profound investigation. Additionally, the purpose behind social listening is quite different. Whereas social monitoring is often employed to assess the performance of a punctual campaign, social listening strives to extract actionable data that will lead to change, innovation, and a refinement of business practices (both internal and external).

Read Social Listening Vs. Social Monitoring

What Is the Goal of Social Listening?

The goal of social listening is to understand the emotional resonance or sentiment the brand has on the public. From this understanding, social listening should inform the company about what kind of marketing strategies to develop and what kind of adjustments need to be made in terms of their product and service.

Social listening is also concerned with the mood or sentiment the company brand evokes in the public. Furthermore, HR professionals use social listening to gain insights into the candidate’s experience and the workplace culture. Data collected from social listening should then be used to generate employee engagement ideas to motivate your team based on this feedback.

Importance of Social Listening

In today’s digital age, there’s always a conversation happening online. Social listening is not just about tracking mentions—it’s about genuinely grasping the pulse of what people are discussing and how they feel. Let’s back that up its importance with some numbers:

  • 3.6 billion individuals are currently on social media, and this figure is expected to climb even more in the upcoming years. (Statistica
  • 54% of people use social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex)
  • Over 1 million people tweet about their customer experience, with a whopping 80% of those tweets being negative. (Reputation Refinery)

Why Your B2B Company Needs Social Listening

Social Listening provides B2B companies with a vast array of benefits. Let’s look closer at a few of the main benefits of social listening.


No B2B company suffers from “too many customers.” Instead, B2B companies must constantly search for new ways to grow, expand their reach, and attract new customers. Social listening can be implemented as an effective lead-generation technique.

It allows you to gain access to conversations among potential customers about their pain points, purchase criteria, decision-making process, and what arguments are persuasive as opposed to those that aren’t.

Social listening is also an effective tool for identifying the pain points of your existing and potential customers. Even if you have set up official channels for your customers to voice their complaints, it is not uncommon for consumers to take to social media to let their frustrations be heard. This is particularly common in review platforms (which are obligatory in any serious social listening campaign) such as TrustPilot and Capterra. 

Identify the keywords your target customers use to find the solutions they seek. Use social listening tools to identify the questions your customers are asking. Get your marketing and sales teams in on the action. Knowing the questions ahead of time is always a great way to increase your chances of providing a satisfying response.

Read 10 Steps to Manage Negative Online Reviews


A comprehensive B2B social listening campaign requires more than just your company and brand. By listening to mentions and conversations featuring your competitors, you can gain valuable insights that will inform all the departments in your company, from marketing and sales to finance and HR.

  • Understand what appeals to customers in your market in a much faster way than trial and error. Gain insights into what aspects of your competitors’ business models are proving the most successful and are resonating with their customers. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and when it comes to imitating successful business models, it also makes good business sense.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others instead of making or repeating them. You and your competitors are, to a large extent, fighting for the same customers. So, listen to what your competitors’ customers are saying. Identify potential problem areas before you subject them to your customers. These dissatisfied customers also offer a strong potential for lead generation. Get your marketing and outreach teams involved in these conversations to take full advantage of the opportunities.
Competitive share of voice, chart from b2b social listening tool
Competitive share of voice comparison chart; source: Determ

Brand Reputation

In today’s digital era, brand reputation whispers to the customer multiple things. Thus, it is key to manage and shape the perception of a brand in online spaces. When B2B companies actively engage in social listening, they gain invaluable insights into your customer’s pain points and needs. By proactively addressing concerns, recognizing positive feedback, and adapting to customer sentiment, you can demonstrate that you value your consumer opinion and position yourself as a responsive and customer-oriented business. 

Brand’s senetiment over time, with visible spikes of negative brand mentions; source: Determ

Get involved in the conversation

The conversations on social media that center around your brand, your industry, and the types of products or services you provide will go a long way toward shaping your brand reputation in the hearts and minds of your customer base. You want to avoid being a bystander in this critical evolution.

Instead, participate in the conversations your social listening tools alert you to by: 

  • Responding promptly: This will reinforce the notion of professionalism and attentiveness – two critical aspects of a brand’s reputation.
  • Responding to complaints with empathy: A complaint about your product or service could have, as its source, a misunderstanding or inappropriate use by your customer. It’s not necessarily your company’s fault. However, no consumer wants to hear that. However, it’s also important to note that the complaint expresses disappointment or frustration and should not be taken lightly. This should be systematically the first thing addressed in all comments or responses to a customer complaint. If your brand is associated with empathy and understanding, that’s a massive win for your reputation.
  • Promoting positive comments and testimonials: Likes, comments, and shares are how social media platform algorithms push specific posts to the forefront instead of others deemed “less popular.” You can play a role in determining which comments and conversations make a more significant viral impact. 
  • Evangelizing your customers: Inviting and encouraging your customers to talk about your brand and your product or service is a great way to generate new leads, customer loyalty, and brand recognition, or, for instance, creating a brand ambassador program or offering social rewards. Lean into the “social” part of social listening. Get the community talking and sharing.

Read B2B Brand Tracking: How To Measure What Matters

Industry Insights

To leverage growth opportunities, businesses must comprehend the various industry trends and their effects on brand image. These are: 

  • Microtrends: Usually, these are short-term. However, they can generate a lot of hype because they are generally brief. Although they are valuable for engaging customers at the moment, they won’t significantly affect a firm’s long-term business strategy. For instance, the #ShareACoke Coca-Cola Twitter campaign resulted in 600,000 user-generated posts that led to an impressive 30% increase in brand mentions and, ultimately, a 10% rise in Coca-Cola sales. Although it was successful at the time, this Twitter hashtag was short-lived. 
  • Macro trends: These have long-lasting implications on a business and its industry. Full comprehension and adapting to these trends can drive brand growth and give a firm a competitive advantage. For example, Adidas commitment to producing shoes from recycled ocean plastics is not just tapping into a temporary trend but addressing a larger global concern. This sustainability mission sets the stage for its brand identity and market position for the future.
  • Megatrends: These trends have a global impact that extends their impacts well beyond a firm’s specific industry. Incorporating these trends into a long-term strategy can ensure a business’s competitive advantage within the ever-changing business environment. Take Tesla, for example, who emphasized sustainability and electric vehicles in their long-term strategy. They revolutionized the automotive industry and played a crucial role in driving global awareness of cleaner and more sustainable transportation options. This has helped Tesla achieve continuous success and relevance in the ever-evolving automotive industry. 

Best Practices for Social Listening

You are probably already monitoring social media posts where your company is tagged. Although this is a crucial practice, it is not enough. With the help of media monitoring software, you can achieve much more. Here is how: 

  • Choose the sources (social media platforms) you want to track. Start with a broad pool of options and let the monitoring tools and analytics help you focus your efforts where they will likely pay off the most.
  • Monitor beyond your DMs and tagged posts. Most of the valuable, actionable insights you stand to gain from social listening will fall outside of these parameters.
  • Monitor for variations in the spelling of your company.
  • Monitor for mentions of the head of your company and any other public representative (spokesperson, mascot, endorsements, etc.)

Set up keyword searches that target your brand or your industry at large. Monitoring beyond your brand can bring the added benefit of comparing your performance with your competitors.


Make use of AI-generated analysis and reporting. Top social listening tools can summarize the content and recommend actions to take.

Dive deep into the analysis of language and tone to gain insights into the emotional resonance your brand is creating. Social listening differentiates itself from other data-collection practices by seeking insights into how your customers, employees, and investors feel about your brand. 

Take action. Integrate social listening into all company processes, from recruitment and training to marketing and product and service promotion, to name a few. Social listening is effective at gathering and analyzing crucial data. But that data only benefits your company if it informs your decisions and actions.

Monitor the effectiveness of improvements and initiatives taken. Social listening should not be an infrequent action but a continual, integrated component of your marketing strategy and campaigns. Attitudes change, moods shift, and perceptions waver. Social listening should be used regularly to keep abreast of fluctuations in how your brand resonates with consumers and employees.

The Bottom Line

What are customers saying about your brand? Are they talking about your competitors (good or bad)? What questions are they asking? What frustrations or problems are they concerned about? More importantly, how do they feel about these aspects, which will ultimately determine whether your company succeeds or fails? This is what social listening seeks to answer. With the right tools and adherence to best practices, social listening can provide insights to help your B2B company attract more customers and turn them into loyal ambassadors for your brand.

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