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August 22, 2022 - By Jesse McCarl

3 Ways to Use Social Listening in Your Paid Social Media Strategy

If you’re using social media marketing for your business, you’ve probably heard of social listening. But you might not know how it can help you, especially with paid social media initiatives.

Social listening helps you gather information about your brand, competitors, and industry to deliver insights that give you insights to understand your audience. According to the State of Social Listening Report, 61% of businesses currently have a social listening plan in place and 82% view social listening as an important element in their strategy.

Social listening gives you tools to collect what’s being said, and then find out WHY. Those insights help you engage with your audience, develop paid ads that capture their imagination, and bring fresh content that answers the pain points for your target audience and your industry.

The insights social listening allows will help you launch campaigns that speak to what’s on the mind of your target audience and improve ROI.

Social Listening to Improve Inbound Marketing

Use social listening to improve your buyer’s persona and develop a more intuitive buyer’s journey.

The information can help you connect the dots between your SEO content and social media. The list can go on and on. Social listening is a productive way to improve your inbound marketing initiatives because your audience is literally telling you what they want you to cover. You’ll always be able to deliver valuable content that speaks to your audience. 

For example, if you’re a fashion business and you see people online discussing a specific fashion trend, you can use images in your paid ads that highlight that trend. The information you gather through social listening can immediately be used to mirror what your audience wants in your offerings.  

For your social media marketing, social listening provides a good tool to foster engagement. People follow brands that respond to them. They’re delighted when the brand “hears” their tweet or post and replies in their comments. It also gives you a good way to know when someone is unhappy so that you can respond immediately in a customer-care-centric way. 

3 Ways to Use Social Listening in Paid Social Media Campaigns

There are a lot of positive attributes of social listening, which is why we highly recommend it to our clients. Here are three ways to use it to improve your social media campaigns in paid advertising, specifically.

1. Find Influencers

One way to boost your paid social media campaigns is by enlisting fantastic influencers. People love getting recommendations from people they trust. The influencer market is expected to grow to $22.2 Billion by 2025 and more than half of marketers indicate that influencer marketing results in better-qualified leads.

Social listening can help you find these influencers, who already love your business and brand. This streamlines the process for you to identify the people in your industry that would make excellent influencers for you. There are several ways you can identify good influencers.

Mega-influencers, or people with a large number of followers, are not the only type of influencer. Sometimes you’ll find an influencer with a small following mentioning your brand in a positive way. Do a bit more research. They may have a small following on that platform. For instance, you might catch their mention on Twitter where they aren’t very active. But find that they have a large following on Instagram. 

Dig a little deeper when you see your brand mentioned in a positive way, because that person is already a fan. Another way to find influencers is by listening for your competitor’s names. You won’t want to contract with the same influencers. But you may find people mentioning your competitor in conversation but they aren’t working with them. Or, they may be criticizing something about their products that you do better. If they’re already talking about products or services you provide, they may be a good match.

2. Competitor Insights

Social listening lets you hear (and see) what your competitors are doing right. You can also easily see what’s not working for them. You’re in the same industry and your target audience will be similar. This information can help you tailor your ads to hit the mark where your competitors are missing. You can identify gaps and find where your positioning differs in a way that the audience will appreciate.

By measuring your share of voice, you can see where your brand is in the industry. Which of your competitors has a larger share of voice ( is mentioned more often)? Study those competitors to see what they’re doing differently, and how engaged their audience is. You’re not going to copy the competition, but you’re looking for ways that they resonate and how you can take advantage of topics or gaps in their content.

3. Giving Them What They Want

The bottom line of social listening is that you hear your audience. The insights you’ll gain can show you the common pain points your target audience has, and what they really want from your products or services.

Some examples of giving the audience what they want include making social and PR statements that align with the issues that matter most to your followers, using language or lingo that resonates, or even branding choices like a color palette . 

It highlights what you’re doing right, and what they’d love to see. This gives you the information you need to mirror what your customer is saying. To speak their language and offer them the engagement they want and deserve. It also shows you a broad view of the industry and your own niche. This information helps you target your paid ads in a more effective way.

Looking for Ways to Put Social Listening to Work for Your Brand?

If you’re looking for creative and innovative ways to use social listening to your advantage, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how Hawke Media can help your social soar.