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Social Listening for B2B Organization

Seema Karve
September 29, 2020


With the advent of new disruptive technologies, organizations are finding new ways to reach their audience. It is the age of the digital world where business operations are fast moving to online mode. Several online/social media platforms are becoming predominant for people to raise their opinions, concerns and even becoming the most sort after marketing medium for companies to enable sales. Online platforms and social media are also picking up the pace for talking about the latest trends, social & economic issues, technology advancements etc. Google has practically become synonymous with the word ‘search’ where you can find any kind of information. And this opens a new form of gathering insights for organizations, termed as Social Listening.

Social Listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations or references about your brand that keeps you aware of the bigger picture. Gathering data regarding your mentions on online platforms can lead to a treasure trove of insight so that you can make actionable market decisions. It can also help to improve an existing product or can be used to gather data on customer interests for new product introduction. However, there is a significant difference between the products in a B2B market vs the B2C. As a result, the goals, strategies and content of social listening differ between B2B and B2C.

B2B Social ListeningB2C Social Listening
ObjectiveHelps in predicting risks, identify technology trends that can change the business modelsHelps mainly to understand end customer demands
Medium for finding dataSocial media for feedbacks, brand image, negative comments.Social media for customer interests, competition analysis.
ComplexityDifficult to monitor social media because it is not about people conversations.Easier to listen and monitor social media
Data availabilityThe volume of conversations is comparatively lowThe volume of conversations is comparatively high
FocusFocus on brand development and lead generation, threats to business due to changing global scenarios.Focus on traffic sales, awareness and end-customer demand.
Analysis of dataThe analysis is more about customer testimonials, buyers’ insights and brand image & business threats/trends.Sentiment analysis and audience insights matter the most
End-UserEnd-user sharing feedback/complaints is usually another organizationEnd-user is a single person
Social PlatformsG2Crowd, CompareCamp, LinkedIn, QuoraFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Social listening scenarios for New Product Development (NPD)

New Product development cycles last for months. A product concept that is right for the market now may become outdated by the time the product has been developed and approved. It is required to spot early trends and signals to improvise products or create products to fit the market for future launch. It is also important to understand the customers demand. The major scenarios which can be tracked using social listening for products in a B2B are as below:

  1. Complaints and Issues with the brand
    • Monitoring social media for any negative review for any of the products or services
    • Proactively responding to the negative reviews or feedbacks
    • Quora is amongst the few websites where a customer can write a review about the product or service and the brand can respond to the query.
    • G2 Crowd and CompareCamp are B2B review sites which can help in analysing audience reviews and generating a report to understand the issues or complaints in the brand
  2. Competitor analysis
    • Analysis of any new products or services they are launching
    • Study how the competitors interact with customers
    • Digging into competitor websites to know their approach, new technology they might be using etc.
    • LinkedIn and Twitter can be used to get insights about the competitors
  3. Conversations in special niche areas to know where to concentrate
    • Monitoring the social media especially in the organization-specific segments to get an idea about what is new in these segments
    • Identify the new technologies in this space and analyse how they can be used
  4. Customer demands to get more leads for business
    • Listen to real-time what is being said about the business and product
    • Understand whether the product is being well received or are there any improvements required
    • Monitoring sites like Quora and LinkedIn which have the customers asking questions. Answering them promptly with satisfying replies can help in lead generation. G2Crowd and CompareComp provide Customer reviews which can be analysed to get any new leads.
  5. Monitoring Industry events
    • All the industry events in the segments should be tracked.
    • Any introduction to new technology, new interest areas etc should be tracked from such events


Social Listening Strategies that make sense for your brands:

  1. Select smart goals
    • It is very important to identify what the end goal of social Listening is. When you know the goal, it helps you to chalk a plan and identify tools, networks etc to get desired results from social listening.
  2. Select priority networks
    • There is a lot of noise on social media. Hence it is necessary to focus on places where there are important conversations.
  3. Do not neglect secondary social conversations
    • It is quite possible that you might not be looking at places where conversations about your business take place.
  4. Listen beyond the brand name
    • It is necessary to monitor products or industry-specific keywords related to your business. This will help you to get a clue on what content your competition is creating.
  5. Taking Advantage of social listening tools
    • There are a few tools which can help you monitor critical conversations and deliver in-depth analytics. Few of the tools which are available are:
      1. Awario
      2. Agora Pulse
      3. Sprout Social
      4. Keyhole
      5. Mention

Social Intelligence

Further to Social listening is the concept of Social Intelligence, taking data analysis to a next level. A great deal of further information and intelligence can be mined from conversations on social media. Social Intelligence along with social listening can help businesses in identifying market trends, performing competition analysis, market risks etc. Social Intelligence can help predict threats to businesses due to changing global scenarios and can help in identifying and taking the right preventive measures in cases like regional disruptions, fears of possible recession etc.

One of the major benefits of having Social Intelligence along with Social listening is to handle the situation during a global crisis like a pandemic, war, recession etc. One can get an early warning to a developing crisis, which can help in determining the scale of the problem and help in getting an idea about how to deal with this situation to remain relevant in the market.

Benefits of Social Listening along with Social Intelligence

  • Increased customer loyalty and customer connect
  • Increased sales
  • Improved brand image
  • Ability to stay Agile with new customer demands
  • Ability to stay up to date with new trends/business threats/competition

This note has been co-authored by Rucha Ghosh.