Social listening: it leads to engagement, but do I like it?

Social listening is a cornerstone of many brand's social media strategies, but what is it like to be on receiving end?

Social listening: it leads to engagement, but do I like it?

One of the key cornerstones of advice about using social media that gets rolled out to brands, whether B2B or B2C, is:


Simple, effective – using resources like Twitter search and finding out what your potential customers are saying about topics related to a brand’s industry. And then creating content around the chatter or even directly replying to what potential customers are saying – these tactics are rolled out again and again.

We’ve recommended social listening.

Leading figures in social media marketing have said to do it.

But what about when it happens to you?

I said a thing

Like my bio, below, says – I’m quite involved in podcasting. This means that I do Tweet about podcasting on a semi-regular basis. My Twitter profile is public.

Libsyn are one of the most well-known podcast hosting providers. As a company that appears to understand social media best practice for brands, they happened upon the following Tweet I made on Tuesday:

And cross posted it to their Facebook page and Twitter:


I know they found the Tweet through social listening practices, either search or lists, because we don’t follow each other.

How do I feel about this?

It does feel a bit like they “used” my content. After all, they achieved the most engagement on Facebook, but due to using my Twitter username and not directly linking to anything of mine I saw no benefit from this engagement.

And as someone who is in a purchasing position for Libsyn’s podcasting services, they’ve not convinced me, personally, that I’d want to consider using them in the near future, due to that lack of linking. But points for taking the middle ground in the Facebook discussion.

Lessons for brands

If you’re going to use social listening practices to help boost engagement, here are three things brands should keep in mind:

  • Always directly acknowledge your social sources
  • Monitor debates that kick-off from your engagement
  • Stay on the middle ground

My favourite comment to come out of all this? Chris Squyres saying, “the one thing that drives listeners is content.” Word.

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