News & Insights

Cultivating Connections: How Social Listening Shapes Authentic Relationships

On November 2, 2023, some of the SRB team attended the Mid-Atlantic MarCom Summit, the region's premier annual event for marketing, advertising, PR, communications and media professionals. We’re sharing key takeaways from the event including the importance of social listening and connecting with our audiences.  

Don't wait for a major launch or PR crisis to understand what your audiences are saying.  

In today's digital age. Proactive social listening and media monitoring are becoming indispensable tools for understanding audience sentiments and navigating the media landscape.  

Social listening provides real-time insights into audience perceptions and conversations by analyzing all social media mentions of your brand or service. Paired with media monitoring, it ensures a keen awareness of the broader media landscape, enabling us to gauge our brand's presence and perception in the public sphere. 

It's more than just understanding your communities' preferences; it's about really listening to their concerns and inquiries. 

With these real-time insights, we shape content strategies that authentically resonate with our communities. 

Understanding Audience Sentiments: The Core of Proactive Social Listening 

Proactive social listening, often referred to as social media intelligence, delves deep into online conversations. It's not just about knowing what people say; it's about understanding how they feel.  

By exploring sentiments about your organization, competitors and services, you gain valuable insights that steer your strategy. 

In this age where misinformation can spread rapidly, social listening acts as a shield. It allows us to identify inaccuracies swiftly, preserving the authenticity of our narrative.

By separating facts from fiction, we safeguard brand credibility.  

“For too long, we have defined culture as a shortcut for popularity. We study it through trendspotting research - what people are doing - but what's more important is why they're doing it. Cultural exploration is the search of meaning. The unconscious, subjective drivers that translate how we interact with the world.” 

-Marcus Collins 

 Beyond Data-Dashboards: Connecting Authentically 

However, social listening goes beyond these data-dashboards. It's about meeting our audience where they are.  

Engaging on platforms like Reddit, Facebook and LinkedIn, and immersing ourselves in discussions and relevant hashtags, offer valuable insights. Combining this virtual presence with face-to-face interactions, attending community events and hosting focus groups, helps us build relationships organically, one genuine connection at a time. 

Living Culture, Not Just Studying It 

A panel with Sensis reinforced a crucial lesson: lifestyle marketing is having a product align with the lifestyle your audiences want to lead. Taking it one step forward is to integrate the product into where your audience currently lives – affirming the product will be there at the right time and the right place. To truly embrace this approach, we must delve deep into communities, comprehend their habits, desires and aspirations.  

It's more than a strategy; it's a commitment to respect and integrate the essence of the community into your brand's narrative. 

At SRB, we believe in living culture, not merely studying it. Our team is immersed in the diverse neighborhoods we serve, especially in underrepresented communities like African American, Latino, Asian and LGBTQIA groups.  

Being a part of these communities guides us in creating meaningful connections and fostering genuine impact within the communities we serve. 

Further Reading:  

Why You Should Use Social Listening to Inform Content Strategy 

For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be 

Finding your Target Audience  

Defining Social Listening  

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