Social Listening

  • 29 October 2021
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 3
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Especially for the people using Sprout Social Listening…

I’m very interested in knowing how you use the Sprout Social Listening. What sort of topics you have set up, how you fine tuned them etc, and what sort of outcomes you are getting.

Just FYI: I’m quite familiar with Sprout, we, quite extensively, use Publishing, Reports and InBox - we use tags and inbox rules etc and we’ve been using Sprout for more than ten years (2009 if I recall) And, although we are a small consultancy we work for some fairly large companies from Media to Insurance for whom we assist with social media management, moderation and forensics. We are beginning to see some possibilities for us using Listening.


Best answer by Laura Porcincula 2 November 2021, 23:47

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Userlevel 4
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Hi Brad,

I use listening extensively. First, I use it to quantify competitors activity by vertical, both in the arena of owned and earned traffic. I use this together with tagging our internal owned and earned media. Additionally, we use an application called SpyFu for monitoring sets of search term traffic over time, segmented again by vertical and (depending on the competitive product) by brand, in addition to our own web traffic which is measured using Google Analytics.

Seeing those independent factors as individual entities is very enlightening.  If the traffic spikes for one (but not all), I can more easily attribute the source of the spike to the company’ social traffic, where the spike was observed. If the topic itself is the spike - likely a set of search terms in addition to multiple competitors on social media, it becomes probable that the season or an external influencer is the source of the traffic.  Using these resources our advertising and social strategy is informed and updated.

While the setup is involved, the system I use is achievable with an investment of some time and experimentation. I am a one man band in that respect, so the learning curve was significant. With a team in place, this becomes far faster and more developed. The folks at Sprout have taught me a great deal about what the listening app can do if used properly. Without this tool and their help, I believe my company would be far less informed.

I hope this answers your question Brad.  You are welcome to ping me if  you want to know more.

Userlevel 7
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Hi Brad,

As a Sprout Social trainer I work with a lot of different customers new to Social Listening. I echo Bill’s use case as competitor analysis is one of the top 3 reasons people get started with Social Listening. The other two most popular reasons customers get started with Listening, is to understand what people are saying about their Brand, or gain insight into what people are talking about in their industry. 

Some will also use Social Listening to discover and join conversations, like a “surprise and delight” type situation. (Honestly not sure what it is called. :joy: ) Others will use it to discover new hashtags in their industry or space. And lastly, discovering influencers can be a lot easier using Social Listening. 

When our customers are first getting started, I like to ask them what goals they are hoping to achieve with their social over the next year? Social Listening can almost always help you by complementing your other efforts in your journey to achieve those goals. I like how Bill mentioned he is using owned and earned data, so comparing the Listening competitor report to the core Sprout Competitor report, to get the full picture.

One more thing, many agencies or consultants will use Listening to help inform their content strategy and understand an industry that is new to them while taking on newer clients.

I hope this helps!



Userlevel 3
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Thanks Laura,

Meredith here in Sydney has been quite helpful during our trial which is over now. 
I’m now just gathering as much information as I can to assist us with our decision making. 

Userlevel 1
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Hey @brad.keeling !  I hope you’ve gotten the hang of Social Listening by now, but if you’re still looking to learn, we just launched a new e-learning course on Social Listening.  Hope it’s helpful!