Empower my brand
Empower my brand

Which Brands are using Social Media Listening Centers and Why?

The social media analytics industry is expected to grow from a USD 3.6 billion industry in 2020 to a USD 15.6 billion industry by 2025. And with more brands embracing the use of tools like social listening, it is easy to see why the industry is growing. From big brands to small, everyone seems to be monitoring online conversations via social media listening centers. Here we take a look at some of the best examples of brands using social media listening centers. 

Using Social Media Listening Centers

What are Social Media Listening Centers?

Social media listening centers are departments within your organization that tap into the data available online. Managers usually have access to screens full of visually analyzed data representing the performance of the brand. Monitoring social media conversations allows companies to trace all performance issues, engage with customers, and derive actionable insights. 

How does Social Media Listening Empower your Brand?

A social media listening command center helps every member of an organization to understand complex data more easily. This helps the entire organization in a way. If people are unhappy with the customer service of your brand, the insights allow the concerned employee to know the exact issue. The effect of data represented visually can have a profound effect on every working arm of the organization. 

Apart from being a microscope to the area of improvement for your brand, it also helps to pry on your competitors, analyze market trends, etc. 

Which Brands are using Social Media Listening Centers?

We have thus far spoken highly of social media listening. So which brands are already using them? Here’s a look at how 4 well-known brands have been using social listening command centers. 

Wells Fargo 

This massive financial services company invested in a social media listening center and has been reaping the benefits since 2014. The main motive for the company was to be able to tackle the explosive volume of social media posts and reviews coming in every day. 

CMSWire reports that Wells Fargo has a team of five dozen dedicated staff monitoring its social listening dashboards. Monitoring all social media interactions is really important for Wells Fargo which is why each post is thoroughly revised by a team. In addition to the regular mentions, the team pays close attention to conversations about topics like debt. 


Intel’s social media center of excellence has been up and running since 2009. Like Wells Fargo, Intel too needed this tool to manage the massive volume of social media conversations. After all, the brand has over 10 million followers across its Facebook pages. 

As a company serving in the B2B market, Intel’s approach to social media has been different. Rather than measuring metrics such as “likes and views”, they use the platform to gather information. Intel’s social media strategy team uses social listening to extract insights from their campaigns like quizzes, polls, challenges et cetera. Most of the information for new product development or improvement comes from these audience members. 


Pepsico’s brand Gatorade is well known for its flashy advertisements. Well, this brand too relies heavily on consumer insights to inform their marketing decisions. We spoke at length about how Gatorade uses social media listening centers on a day-to-day basis in one of our previous blog posts. Give it a read here

Southwest Airlines

Another popular brand that takes social listening and consumer service extremely seriously is Southwest Airlines. Southwest airlines has equipped itself with a glass-enclosed social listening room which is the heart of their social media operations. Every mention, every conversation is tracked and the team gets real-time alerts. Here’s how Southwest Airlines has been able to leverage the tool to its fullest potential. 

The list of brands using social media listening centers does not end here. Brands like Vodafone India, American Airlines, Dell have all joined the club to reap the benefits. If you want to start it and give it a spin, you can take Auris for a ride

Can Social Listening Help the Oil and Gas Industry?

If there’s one industry that is always under public scrutiny, it is the oil and gas industry. This industry has faced a lot of criticism over the past. And this criticism is often picked up by media and NGOs, turning it into a major threat for the oil and gas companies. Blunders like oil spills, environmental disasters et cetera have often been amplified over the Internet and media. So there’s already some collateral damage that has been done. But can social listening help the oil and gas industry revive and maintain their reputation? 

Can Social Listening Help the Oil and Gas Industry

How does Social Listening help Oil and Gas Companies?

Social media platforms have become an all-important place for the public to vent out their opinions. Brands risk losing up to 22% of their business when prospects find negative reviews when researching their brand. Leveraging the information available on these platforms is the way to harness actionable insights. Let’s look at some of the oil companies to understand how social listening helps the oil and gas industry. 

Crisis Management

Crude oil and petroleum issues affect a lot of aspects of the running of our societies. It is also one of the most trending topics throughout the year because of growing environmental concerns. Oil spill incidents or even just fluctuations in the prices of crude oil can turn into crisis situations. And these can do some permanent damage to a brand’s reputation

It is critical to keep tracking online conversations even before the crisis comes up. This is essential in order to prevent any lasting damage to your brand’s reputation. A stringent social media monitoring and PR regimen can help prevent any massive harm to the brand image. Giant companies like Shell received over 900000 mentions for their oil drilling project in the Arctic. It soon escalated into a full-blown protest against the company. This example just reasserts the importance of social listening for crisis control

Shell drilling oil in Alaska
Image is taken from The Guardian

Reaction Time

When you are a brand within an industry tackling criticism at all times, you have to be able to respond quickly. This is a critical step within crisis management communication. The more time you spend before reacting to a negative mention, the more coverage it gains. BP p.l.c realized this the hard way during the Deepwater Horizon issue

Setting up alerts for negative mentions on the social listening tool your brand uses can help you get notified in real-time. Your PR communication team can then instantly spring into action to get your side of the story heard. 

Keep Track of Competitors, NGOs, and Industry Regulators 

In other industries, brands are mostly concerned with just their competitors. While that is essential for brands in the oil industry too, it is critical that you keep an eye on NGOs and industry regulators as well. 

NGOs and journalists are the influencers directly linked to your industry. A tailored message for such influencers will help you bring your side of the story to the audience members in a more believable way. In order to plan an effective communication strategy for this, you need to know the influencers working within your industry. Social listening is one of the best-suited tools for influencer outreach. Knowing about the advocates within the industry (ranking from highly influential to low) and gauging their interests helps you interact and pitch better. 

It is quite a task trying to manage an oil and gas business while holding the fort against constant criticism. In the end, what matters is how your crisis communication was perceived by the public. And social listening tools can help the oil and gas industry build an effective communication strategy. Social intelligence helps the whole industry be aware of any approaching difficult posts and issues raised by different interest groups. 

Is Your Social Media Strategy Working?

Trying to craft a social media strategy from the bottom up can get intimidating. There are a lot of factors to be taken care of. Moreover, formulating a social media marketing strategy does not stop with the mere conceptualization. As a marketer, you’ll have to follow it through to implementation up until you see desirable results. But this task is not too difficult, especially when you have the support of automation tools. There are ways to formulate and track your social media strategy to ensure it works out well for your brand. 

Social Media Strategy

Why is a Social Media Strategy Important?

More than 3 billion people use social media. And an average user spends around 6 hours 30 minutes on the internet per day. A third of that is spent on social media. So if you do not have a strong social media strategy in place you will not be able to compete for long and be profitable. 

Some marketers may say they have a social media strategy in place so it’s not a worry. However, how well is your strategy succeeding? According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 6% of B2C marketers feel that the metrics they are using works excellently to track the progress of their marketing goals. Although 85% of marketers are using analytics tools, yet almost half of them do not know if their social media strategy is working. 

How to Design a Successful Social Media Strategy?

In order for you to see the desired results, your social media strategy has to work. Here’s a guide explaining in simple steps how to establish a working social media marketing strategy. 

Step 1: Set your Goals 

You obviously need a clear picture of your goals to set your strategy around it. To put it more easily, if your goal is to increase visibility, you will start by brainstorming promotional posts. 

A practical approach to setting goals is to employ the S.M.A.R.T way. Your goals need to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant, and
  • Time-bound

Step 2: Know your Audience

The next important step on your list is to know your target audience. Find out everything about them. Because if you don’t research well, you won’t know what they really want/like to see on social media. If you are hoping to use social media as a vehicle to promote and grow your business, it is critical for you to know your audience. Many social intelligence tools allow marketers to study the demographics of their target audience. They include metrics such as:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Gender
  • Time spent on social media and posts etc. 

Your followers are real people. Studying these facts about them will help your brand understand the different buyer personas and advertise better. 

Step 3: Competitor Analysis

If you are having a hard time figuring out your social media strategy, try getting inspired. Chances are your competitors are already on social media and have a strategy in place. Competitive analysis helps you understand what’s working best for your competitors. Since your target audiences are the same, a similar strategy can be of help to you too. 

Social listening is one way to keep an eye on your competitors. The tool helps you run searches of your competitor’s name, hashtags, etc. Once you know what they are doing online and what people are saying, you can start formulating your strategy. 

Step 4: Plan and Implement your Content

This step is pretty self-explanatory. Once you have your goals set, collect data about your target audience and your competitors. Look into what’s trending in your industry. Use the data and plan out your content with the creative team. 

At this stage, various social media management tools come in handy. You might want to use tools like a social media content calendar or a scheduling tool. If you are planning campaigns, social listening tools can be of help. Marketing automation tools help implement your marketing ideas more easily. Here’s a list of tools you can use

Step 5: Social Media Auditing and Improvements 

You will perhaps have to make a few tweaks to your original plan to attain a successful strategy that works for your brand. Every time you implement a strategy and launch a campaign on a specific platform you are essentially running an experiment. Test it out and take note of the results. When you start tracking the data, you have a better picture of things like:

  • Which platform is driving the maximum traffic?
  • Which posts receive the highest engagement?
  • What time of the day should you post?
  • How responsive is your target market to your brand?  Etc. 

You will need to keep a constant track of all the metrics affecting your social media strategy. The digital space is constantly changing and what works today might become obsolete tomorrow. Ensure that your brand is evolving with the technology surrounding it.

What are Social Media Mentions?

When you are creating a social media strategy for your brand and implementing it, the idea is to gain visibility. While doing this, you also need to keep a check on how your audience is responding to you. A successful social media strategy would get your audience to engage with you and your content. And this buzz around your brand on social media is what is known as social media mentions. 

Social media mentions

Social Media Mentions

Simply put, social media mentions include any statement/comment of your brand on social media. Every time a social media user is talking about you over networking platforms you receive a social media mention. 

Users may sometimes tag your official brand page while mentioning you or they might forget to tag you. Social media mentions include mentions from both categories. So even if you don’t get notified by say Facebook when someone mentions you (because they forgot to tag), it is still a social media mention. 

Why is Social Media Mentions Important?

The word-of-mouth mentions spread at a phenomenal rate on the online space. It is thus essential for a brand to be aware of everything being said about it. Tracking social media mentions is one way to do that. This helps you track not only the mentions which tag your brand but also those that don’t. 

The reason why monitoring social media mentions is important is simple. When people are talking about your brand online, they are essentially spreading the word about your brand. If these comments are positive, you might gain new customers and increase your revenues. However, if negative word-of-mouth keeps spreading, you are risking your online reputation. This makes it essential for you to keep tracking all mentions so you can take action immediately every time there is a negative comment or review. 

How to Tackle Social Media Mentions?

As a marketer, you might already understand the important role of social media mentions. Perhaps you are looking for ways to track these mentions and also ways to respond to them. Owing to the fact that there are millions of active social media users, it can get difficult to track every mention manually. Social media monitoring and other AI tools have been catering to this very need of marketers. However, just being able to see the responses of your customers on a dashboard won’t help unless you can respond to them too.

There may be many reasons why your customers are mentioning your brand. If you are using a social listening platform, dive a little deeper into the trending topics, and derive insights. 

Product Posts

Some customers may simply have been excited to use your product for the first time and hence shared a snapshot of their experience. People often tag brands to interact with them online. And this is really good for your brand. This is user-generated content. Respond to these posts and make your customers feel acknowledged. By simply liking or retweeting the post, you can make your customers feel valued. 3 out of 5 shoppers feel that user-generated content is viewed as more interesting than brand-generated content. 


According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, respondents who had a bad experience with a brand were 50% more likely to share the experience on social media. And generally, these are the mentions that any brand receives the most. This category includes people trying to suggest changes (feedback) or sharing their bad experiences. 

Monitoring feedback, suggestions, and reviews helps you prevent a crisis scenario with your online reputation. Listening to your customer’s needs also goes a long way in improving your customer service. Make sure you acknowledge their comments and reviews. This helps them know you are listening and paying heed to their comments. When a customer shares a bad experience, apologize immediately, and then try to rectify the situation as much as possible.


Sometimes your customer might just need your help and not know where to reach out to you at. A lot of social media users reach out to brands for support via social media platforms these days. In fact, some companies have a dedicated team to handle such social media mentions separately. And that’s the right move, if not a team, a marketer should always respond to a customer looking for support. This is an important part of the customer service experience you are providing. 

Tracking your social media mentions can also be delightful at times. Consumers sometimes even shower praise for brands. Your brand could share some of these stories as testimonials and it could become one of your most powerful organic marketing tools.

Social Listening Best Practices

When brands want to know more about their customers these days, it is easy for them to get the information. Thanks to social media and social listening, brands can now tune in to a global stream of online chatter. Customers are on these platforms talking about their experiences and sharing reviews. Social listening helps marketers track these mentions and derive actionable insights. Social listening tools can be a great help, but without proper guidance, you could be disappointed with the tool. Hence, here are some social listening best practices that will help you get the most out of your social listening tool. 

Social Listening best practices

What is Social Listening?

If you chose to read this article, you probably already know what social listening is. If however, you don’t, social listening refers to the activity of collecting and analyzing data collected from digital sources, of all the online mentions and conversations related to your brand or industry. 

Marketers have been using this tool to help with daily operational decision-making. The tool helps with almost all business activities:

Social Listening Best Practices

An incorrect approach to social listening will not yield the best results. Here’s how you implement the features the best way. 

The Right Keyword

This advice may seem redundant but setting up the right keywords for your search makes a remarkable difference. Customers often face difficulty at this stage when most of the words of their keyword seed list aren’t viable. 

The best keywords to set up the first time on your social listening platform are your brand name, your brand hashtag, your company’s product name, and so on. However, while setting this up most people commit typos. This will produce incorrect results. The other things to avoid while setting up your keywords:

  • Do not use long phrases
  • Do not use generic keywords (Like apple is the name of a fruit and a company)

Monitor your Industry News 

It is equally important for any business to keep up with what’s going on in their industry. Social listening to keywords relevant to your industry basically provides you with business intelligence. You would otherwise spend dollars upon dollars to gather such intel. Monitoring industry keywords helps you keep track of all the: 

  • New trends 
  • New product ranges 
  • New players (competitors) 
  • Trending Events

Keeping an eye on all of these helps you determine any pain points that your customers might be facing. When you address these pain points yourself, it helps you identify market opportunities. Also, keeping track of the trends helps you to spot any emerging crisis situations or threats in the future. 

Set up Alerts 

You don’t really have to be stuck to the dashboard to be able to manage your social listening platform. One of the ways to never miss an update is to enable alerts. The tool sends you an alert or notification every time there’s a negative mention. Another alert you may set up your tool for is when there’s a sudden spike in social media mentions. Alerts help you to take immediate action and make the best of the situation at hand. This could be to address a crisis situation or to engage with audience members over a viral post. 

Social Listening is meant to inform you about your audience members. Hence, one of the most important social listening best practice tips is to reach out to your audience and respond to the mentions. Hope these practices help you get the best out of your social listening tool. 

Why Should you Conduct Competitor Analysis?

Competitor analysis as a strategy is nothing new. Our ancestors had to do it before they went to fight battles. And even today as companies continue to fight over market shares, this strategy keeps being applied. The only difference between the two is that in modern times we fight without shedding blood and we use sophisticated tools to help us conduct competitor analysis. 

Competitor Analysis

Why Conduct a Competitor Analysis?

This is essentially an act of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Competitor analysis helps you get a better understanding of your own standing in the market and might provide a distinct advantage over others. The better you understand your competitors, the better are your chances of being a market leader.  Competitor analysis gives you a complete idea of what needs to be improved in which area. While analyzing your competitor’s performance, you are identifying:

  • Market gaps.
  • The keywords they rank for. 
  • Sites which link back to your competitors
  • Their approach to SEO
  • Their top-selling products/services 
  • Reasons why the products/services sell most
  • The standard at which their operations are run
  • The strategies they adopt for marketing and selling

So how does competitor analysis help with all of these? Let us expand on that. 

Know Your Competitors

We think you already have a fair idea of your competitors if you have read this article up to this point. If not, we can quickly browse through some definitions before we move on to the how and why. 

Direct Competitors (Primary)

These are the brands directly competing with you. This means they are selling the same product and services like you to the same audience and maybe even based at the same location. 

Indirect Competitors (Secondary)

Indirect competitors are the brands offering the same or similar products to the same audience. But they are serving a different need. 

Tertiary Competitors

Tertiary competitors are brands offering products or services that are in the same category but not the same. It is important to study these competitors as well in case they launch the same product or service in the future. 

One of the ways you can find out who your competitors are by using tracking tools. Enter your industry keywords and the popular names and relevant businesses pop up. 

How does Competitor Analysis Help?

Asking some questions about your competitors and tracking the data for these will help you analyze your business as compared to your competitors. 

1. What Products/Services are your Competitors Offering?

This is the very basic part of competitor analysis. Make an effort to know the products/services your competitors are offering. The quality of their products, the price point, purchase volumes et cetera. Getting a sense of how their business operates is a good place to start. 

2. Analyze their Sales Tactics

Sometimes you’d find you lost one of your own customers to a competitor. And this might not be because they offer a better version of the product. It might just be that they have a better marketing and sales strategy. Take a look at their sales process. What channels are they selling their products on? Are they partnering with others for the sales process? How are their salespeople pitching? 

You could find most of this information online in their annual report. You could also use your CRM tool and reach out to the customer you lost and try to understand what made them switch. 

3. Competitor Analysis helps with Content Strategy

If you’ve been following marketing trends, you know content is king. Especially if you are in the B2B industry, content marketing is a prime tool for you. Competitor analysis can be of great help for your content strategy. To begin with, take a look at the type of content they produce and the frequency of it. Also, keep a check on how their posts perform. 

The idea is to get a sense of the type of content that is working for them. If their blogs/guides/whitepapers are being shared and read extensively, you need to study their strategy. If it’s failing, you would know what not to write about. Also, with the analysis, you would know if they have missed talking about some product or feature. You can start talking about it and educating the audience. 

Competitor analysis tools also allow you to track your competitor’s performance. You can study metrics like their backlinks, the traffic they get et cetera. This helps you to study their SEO and hence create your own strategy. What themes to focus on? Which keywords to use? All of that!

4. Social Media Performance 

Social media is one of the most important platforms for companies nowadays. There are brands that have built their entire customer base via social media platforms. Hence it goes without saying that studying your competitor’s social media success is important for your success. Understanding what they are doing will help you formulate your own social media strategy. 

Your competitor’s engagement rates tell you about their social media presence and brand visibility. If their engagement levels are high, track the public sentiment around their brand name. Social listening and sentiment analysis tools can help you gauge these metrics. Social media analytics help you track your competitor’s SOV, SOE, engagement levels et cetera. Taking note of your competitor’s actions help you to avoid their mistakes and mimic their strong moves. 

Overall, a properly conducted competitor analysis gives you a well-rounded understanding of the market players. When all of these metrics come together, you get a view of all the business operations. You will know if you are lagging behind your competitors or are ahead of them. Hopefully, this guide has helped answer the question of why we need to conduct competitive analysis!

Social Listening for Human Resources

The social listening tool is often positioned as a marketing tool for businesses. However, it is more of a business tool that is useful to all the arms of your organization. Social listening essentially allows you to track mentions of any keyword. It is upon you to decide what you want to use it for. You could track your brand mentions or updates about your favorite songwriter. You could also choose to track your brand mentions to get insights into the functioning of all your departments. Here’s how you could use social listening for human resources. 

Social Listening for Human Resources

How Social Listening Helps with Human Resource Functions?

Social listening, when used for marketing, aids myriad marketing functions. Similarly, for HR, social listening can assist with most activities. These may include :

  • Headhunting, 
  • Employer branding, 
  • Profiling, and
  • Competitor analysis. 

And before you ask me how, let me expand. 

Social Listening for Head Hunting

Headhunting for candidates isn’t an easy task. This is especially true for industries with a high attrition rate. The HR team is constantly on the lookout for ideal candidates. Recruiting candidates that aren’t right for your company can be an expensive affair. You invest in recruiting, training them only to lose them in a few weeks or months. 

With social listening, looking for candidates with specific qualifications becomes easy. It works a little like a boolean search. Say you are an IT recruiter and you are looking for someone proficient in JAVA. Feed-in the keyword “Skilled in JAVA” or similar keywords and run a search across mentions from platforms like LinkedIn. You can use social listening tools to run these searches across recruitment sites like LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Monster.com et cetera. With social listening, you can also add filters like language and location if you have a specific requirement for those too. This helps you find candidates with the exact specificity without you having to do much manual work. You can use the saved time to scrutinize the CVs and pick out the best candidates. 

Social Listening for Employer Branding

If you thought branding was exclusively a marketer’s job you’re wrong. In order to attract worthy candidates, you need to attract them to submit their resumes. If a candidate doesn’t see a compelling reason to join your company they might not send in their resume. You need to have a strong employer branding in order to get the best candidates. 

Social listening tools are the best to support your online reputation management function. This tool helps both your PR and HR team. PR can work with the mentions from customers. While HR deals with the comments posted by employees or potential candidates. A typical social listening tool allows you to read into the sentiments your employees profess online. They might not tag the official page, but a social listening tool will still be able to track the brand name across platforms. If you are looking to build a positive employer brand on the Internet, you will have to be careful about what your employees discuss in the office environment. Take notice of these pain points, reach out to your employees, and try to solve these pain points. Your employees can also boost your brand online. 

Social Listening for Profiling and Competitor Analysis

Talking of branding, we know how consumers check reviews online before buying products. The presence of platforms like Glassdoor is proof that your potential employees are also customers in a way. They check online reviews about your company before applying. On the other hand, companies also check candidates’ information on sites like LinkedIn

While checking a candidate’s social media profiles is a typical approach, you could take the help of social listening. Social listening tools help set up search queries. And with a search query, you can instantly view a candidate’s social media profiles. It also turns up the articles or blog posts written by them and other resources that belong to them. However, social listening tools can only track information that is public, so you may still need a detailed resume from the candidate. This profiling system can help you determine if the candidate offers the right fit for you. 

In conclusion, social listening for human resources is one of the many uses of this tool. Social listening helps streamline the operations of other departments too. The idea is simple – tap into the data that your customers are providing, derive insights and start acting.