Twitter Social Listening Guide 101

Wouldn’t it be great if you could gather all your audience in a room and collect a first-person account of what they like, need, prefer, and expect from brands? With social listening, you can (well, at least virtually).

However, each social media platform is different. So, you must customize your social listening strategy to get an accurate pulse on the audience. 

With over 335.7 million monthly active users worldwide, Twitter is one of the favorite marketing platforms among brands. That’s why creating a social listening plan tailor-made for Twitteratis should be a priority. 

In this Twitter social listening guide, you’ll learn to detect your audience’s favorite trends, engagement patterns, and their perception of your brand. 

But first-

Why do you need a Twitter social listening guide?

Here are some benefits of creating a Twitter social listening guide:

1. Customer insights

As a micro-blogging platform, Twitter is ideal for opinionated individuals to express their views. The users here are socially aware and don’t sugarcoat their feelings, whether it’s political issues or brands.

Being a community-based platform, Twitter audiences collectively engage with trend-based content they like and relate to. 

That’s why expanding your social listening program here can get you the most honest and accurate insights into your target audience’s sentiments around your brand and industry. Such data uncovers actionable ways to improve your products, their positioning, and overall social media marketing strategies. 

With social listening, you can identify trends your audience loves and hop on the bandwagon to maximize reach. 

For example, hopping on the viral “Area 51” trend, Bud Light launched a special edition of their beer and marketed it on Twitter. 

2. Brand reputation management 

As a brand, you can’t make everyone happy. However, keeping track of positive and negative comments around your business is essential to mitigate potential reputation crises.

With proper Twitter social listening strategies, you can monitor the unabashed opinions of your customers. This can drive your attention to previously unnoticed issues and reduce them before they escalate and harm your brand.

Twitter monitoring tools can get you real-time updates on brand mentions and let you jump in and respond to praises and criticisms promptly. Such direct engagement with the customers gives your business a transparent and authentic brand image.

Plus, you get to resolve issues, apologize when necessary, and turn even the harshest critics into admirers.

For example, McDonald’s runs an elaborate Twitter listening program and makes it a point to respond to negative tweets promptly to resolve customer issues. 

3. Competitor analysis

Twitter earned a whopping $1.08 billion in ad revenue in 2022. So, it’s evident that brands aren’t shying away from amplifying their marketing efforts on the microblogging site. Chances are, your competitors are also one of those businesses.

So, if you don’t have a customized Twitter social listening guide, you may miss out on valuable competitor insights. 

Social listening on Twitter can uncover what your audience thinks about other brands in your industry. It lets you identify their weakness, detect market gaps, and improve your services and positioning accordingly. 

Plus, regular competitor analysis on Twitter shows your competitor’s successes and failures and lets you avoid similar pitfalls. 

Twitter social listening guide

Now that the benefits of Twitter social listening are clear, another question remains. How exactly do you craft a listening guide that keeps every audience activity under careful monitoring? 

Here are some simple steps to help you get started: 

1. Identify goals for Twitter listening

Before putting any strategy to work, you must clarify what you want to achieve through it. That’s how you will know what you are looking for and where to find it. 

Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals. Some common objectives you should include in your social listening guide for Twitter include: 

  • Collecting feedback: Monitor brand mentions, reviews, and conversations to see what customers feel about your products and service. Identify keywords to track conversations better.
  • Enhancing customer experience: Set up alerts for specific keywords, hashtags, and brand mentions to track customer complaints and queries. 
  • Competitor analysis:  Track the conversations around the top brands in your industry.
  • Increase lead generation: Track trending topics, keywords, and hashtags. This lets you tap into the right crowd, adjust your messaging to join the conversation and stay relevant enough to attract leads consistently.

Audit your current Twitter marketing strategy and compare it against your business goals. Identify gaps and loopholes and note down objectives that address each of them. You must also identify relevant KPIs to see whether your efforts are heading toward the goal. This will show you where your Twitter listening should focus. 

2. Choose a Twitter listening tool

Once you understand your goals, it’s time to choose reliable Twitter monitoring tools. While there are multiple options available, you must opt for one that’s scalable enough to accommodate your growing campaigning needs. 

For basic social listening on Twitter, the microblogging platform offers advanced search functions. Here, you can filter tweets by language, location, profiles, dates, and more.

However, for holistic Twitter insights, you need a more comprehensive solution, like Keyhole. 

Our social listening features keep tabs on the most viral trends in your industry, track relevant hashtags, keywords, and their engagement, and monitor your competitors. 

3. Search for specific keywords

But with millions of Tweets going live every day, how do you pinpoint conversations that are relevant to your brand and industry? For that, you must identify the right keywords and hashtags. This drowns social media’s overwhelming noise and keeps you focused on what’s important. 

You can search each keyword manually on Twitter and scan through the conversations happening. But the most efficient way here is to set triggers for your selected keywords and hashtags in Twitter listening tools like Keyhole.

Let’s say you want to monitor the #LikeAGirl campaign to see what Twitterati is saying about it. Here is how you can search for the keyword on Keyhole: 

  • Log in to your Keyhole account, go to the #Listening and Campaigns tab, and click the orange Add New Tracker button.
  • You will be redirected to the above page. Add your desired keywords, hashtags, and brand names, and click the Add Tracker button.
  • Select Twitter on the above page and click the Create Tracker button.
  • In just a few seconds, Keyhole will scan Twitter for every keyword-relevant conversation and present you with a visually stunning report like the above. 
  • You can also select your desired dates on the reports and access historical Twitter listening data on your chosen keywords. 

4. Analyze your reports

After setting up the Twitter social listening trackers, you can start identifying engagement trends, top conversations, and trends around your selected topics and brands. 

Keyhole creates a graphical representation of the keyword’s engagement metrics and uncovers top posts and the most influential profiles around those conversations. 

For example, the tracker we created dug out the most popular conversations around the Always’s LikeAGirl campaign. The report also pointed out the most influential users for the hashtag. 

You also get comprehensive visuals on metrics like sentiments, locations, post types, and top devices. 

Want to analyze the trending topics around your keywords? Keyhole’s QuickTrends feature can help you here. 

For example, we set a QuickTrends tracker for CocaCola, and the platform generated the above report. 

Keyhole also identified the trending topics around Coca-Cola, influential users, and top posts. 

Check out all these insights and see whether these metrics support your Twitter marketing goals. Change the dates on the report to access historical data and measure how your audience’s responses to your campaigns and chosen topics changed over time.

You can also use our competitor analytics feature to stay on top of your contenders’ activities on Twitter.

6. Respond to brand mentions

You must prioritize prompt responses to Tweets addressing your brand to make the best out of your Twitter social listening. 

Addressing a customer’s positive or negative opinion shows you in a favorable light. So, set trackers for brand mentions, and every time you get a notification, respond to the tweet.

Promptly acknowledge compliments with on-brand replies. Monitor negative feedback and offer customer service channels for them to reach out with their issue. And yes, don’t be defensive. Instead, acknowledge your mistake and extend a helping hand.

You should also join in conversations that don’t necessarily mention your brand but are still relevant to your business. Adding valuable insights to such threads shows your expertise in the field and creates brand awareness. 

How to act on Twitter social listening data

Now that you have a detailed Twitter social listening guide and reports to lead your way, here are steps to leverage them:

1. Update your products

Find product-specific customer feedback in the top posts section, and pay attention to the sentiment analysis insights in the report. Examine the data and find the most common trends in customer feedback tweets. Here are some questions you need to answer: 

  • Does a big chunk of feedback point to a specific product feature? 
  • What feature requests do you receive most frequently? 
  • What pain points are your target audience currently facing?

Based on these insights, start introducing new product features and update your current services accordingly. Such proactive and data-driven actions keep your brand in tune with customer preferences. 

2. Determine the best trends

Not all trends you find are ideal for marketing your business because they may not be relevant to your services or simply don’t align with your brand image. 

You don’t want to look outdated. So what can you do to be accurate with your trendjacking efforts? Analyze each trend’s engagement rate in your Twitter listening reports carefully and see whether it still holds the same appeal for your audience. 

One clear indication of a trend’s popularity is the number of people talking about it. Measure how many of those users fit your buyer’s profile and select trends accordingly. 

3. Make actionable changes in your content strategy 

After identifying the right trends and topics for your brand, create campaigns around these topics. However, ensure that your brand’s individuality shines through. This allows you to stand out and build recognition while riding on the popular wave. 

You must also identify pain points your content strategy missed out on. Examine competitors and see which of their campaigns are getting good engagement. You can analyze your previous campaign’s social listening data, see what went wrong, and apply the learnings in your upcoming Twitter marketing efforts. 

4. Identify influencers

Your social listening report also shows the most influential users. Examine these profiles and their reach in your target audience, and make sure that their overall Twitter presence aligns with your brand image. 

Want to simplify the process even more? Use Keyhole’s influencer tracking feature and find the best Twitter profiles to partner with.    

What’s next?

By now you must have grasped the nitty gritty of Twitter social listening. So, here is some additional advice — your listening campaigns should be regular and diligent. Customer preferences change rapidly, and without real-time insights, you may fall behind. 

Looks quite overwhelming, doesn’t it? The right Twitter monitoring tool like Keyhole can make the whole process feel like a breeze.  

From real-time updates on your audience’s sentiments to automated publishing and scheduling, our platform offers end-to-end solutions for all your social media marketing needs. 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial and put your Twitter social listening to work today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Twitter social listening?

Twitter social listening is the practice of monitoring conversations and analyzing data on Twitter to gain valuable insights about your brand, competitors, and industry trends.

2. How does Twitter social listening benefit businesses?

Twitter social listening helps businesses understand customer opinions and preferences, track brand reputation, measure the success of marketing campaigns, identify new sales opportunities, and stay updated on industry trends.

3. How can I use Twitter social listening effectively?

To use Twitter social listening effectively, define your goals and keywords to monitor, track relevant hashtags and mentions, analyze sentiment and engagement metrics, and leverage the insights to make data-driven decisions and engage with your audience proactively.

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