If you are involved with a business, and more specifically, the social media aspect of that business, you should be aware of social listening. What is social listening? From the name itself, you may just think it’s tuning into conversation on Twitter or Facebook. Social listening is when you have a specific business question, for example, what are the unmet needs of sneaker wearers in the U.S? Then, the business would use the correct platforms to pose the question and find the true answer. Those conversations come through social media, websites, blogs, forums and reviews. Any online source is helpful.

Social listening occurs when a business tries to answer their question using the unsolicited conversations. This means that the conversation is already happening between people who have bought sneakers, are looking to buy sneakers and so forth. The business is simply tapping into the conversation in order to provide insights about the unmet needs, opportunities and more.

Listen on Twitter, on Instagram, Facebook and even inside the platform. You can listen through locations, through hashtags, keywords and more. Do a geolocated search. Just by taking a little bit of time out and listening to the streams, hashtags and other indicators, you will amplify your brand equity and make sure that your tapping on enough shoulders to be heard.

Whether you’re launching a campaign, rebranding your business or simply looking for a better read on your customers, how do you know if it will resonate with your source? There are a myriad of ways to do so. There are polls, user surveys and more. The only challenge here is whether you are receiving the candid reactions and truths? Enter the world’s largest and accessible focus group, social media. Lots of effort will go into reaching the people you want to reach. What you may not realize is that these people are giving you vital information about themselves as people as well as consumers every single day through their social media.

Social listening allows you to cast a wide net to find and analyze conversations for powerful, qualitative insights. Not only does that info help inform a smarter social media strategy, it positively affects everything from marketing and public relations to product design. Social listening allows you discover monthly trends to understand context as well as analyze large volumes of social conversations to extract powerful insights. You can learn what people are talking about, how they feel about it, who they’re listening to and so much more. See and respond what people say with social listening and then zoom out to understand how they feel. Watch how what you discover transforms your business.