Social listening is not eavesdropping, despite what it would seem. The technology has been around for awhile, and the buy-in is reaching significant points. So what is social listening? Social listening is the ability to capture consumer comments about products, brands, campaigns, corporations, and so forth. This knowledge of trends and opinions is valuable, very valuable.

This interesting topic was inspired by iMedia Connection’s article, “Common misconceptions about social listening.” As this technology advances, techniques continue to improve. Listening for key topics discussed around a brand or category is called semantic analysis (rather than sentiment analysis). For example, instead of listening for a specific food chain like McDonald’s, monitoring and understanding how consumers are talking about fast food in general can reveal advantageous data via social media.

So for those who still think social media is about connecting with friends and snooping on your ex-boyfriend, think again.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.