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The Main Differences Between Social Listening and Social Monitoring


As a multi-location business, you must manage your online reputation. Part of online reputation management means having a thorough social listening and social monitoring strategy.


The terms “social listening” and “social monitoring” are often used interchangeably. However, they’re quite different. Knowing the differences between the two will help improve your online reputation management strategy.


What is Social Monitoring?


Social monitoring is the process of recognizing, tracking, and responding to individual brand mentions or engagements on review sites, social media, blogs, forums, and websites. You’re monitoring what consumers are saying online about your brand, products, or services.


Why Does Social Monitoring Matter?


You likely wouldn’t ignore an email or voicemail from a customer raising an issue. Replying to an online review or social media comment is just as important. 


Today, consumers tend to read 10 reviews before making a purchase decision. Of those who read reviews, 97 percent said they pay attention to the responses business owners and operators write.


Your multi-location business needs to monitor and respond to any online brand mentions because, more often than not, you’re doing one of the following:


  • Answering questions consumers have
  • Resolving issues or complaints
  • Building brand trust by thanking customers
  • Gathering critical data on ways you can improve your product, services, or customer experience


How to Improve Your Social Monitoring Strategy


For the most part, social monitoring is a reactive process — meaning that you’re responding to current and potential customers’ online comments or reviews. Since many brand mentions occur on social media platforms and online review sites, it’s important to have the right tools to track these mentions and responses. 


Here’s where SOCi can help. SOCi’s social media management solution allows you to create and publish social content across 100s and 1,000s of locations. Moreover, with SOCi’s social media management solution, you can easily quality control and respond to social media engagements with pre-saved templated responses across all of your locations.


For online reviews, SOCi Reviews tracks reviews and engagements across 20 major review sites. The reputation management software allows your local team to respond to reviews while giving your corporate team the ability to oversee the review response strategy.


What is Social Listening?


Social listening is broader than social monitoring. It’s the continual act of analyzing conversations and trends not just around your business or brand, but around competitors and the industry in general. 


Why Does Social Listening Matter?


Unlike social monitoring, which is reactive, social listening is proactive. Social listening is a 10,000-foot view of your brand’s digital storefront and provides insight into how consumers and experts are discussing your brand and business. A strong social listening strategy: 


  • Gathers data from social monitoring (brand mentions and interactions) and creates a general picture of how your brand is viewed by consumers
  • Allows businesses to build a long-term CX and marketing strategy to address customer complaints and product or service issues
  • Helps your business outpace competitors by knowing their shortcomings and better positioning your multi-location business to address these deficiencies. 


How to Improve Your Social Listening Strategy


If done correctly, your social listening strategy will impact your product and service updates, your customer experience journey, and your marketing and sales tactics. Social listening pools together a wealth of information and data about your offerings and customers. Multi-location businesses need the right tools to correctly analyze this data and execute a social listening strategy.



T-chart comparing social monitoring vs. social listening with a green background and white text


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