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How to Leverage Social Listening Into Your Ad Campaigns

Brandon is an entrepreneur and a self-proclaimed digital marketing enthusiast. He enjoys writing about the latest marketing and tech trends.


We as marketers already know (or should know) that social listening is imperative to any social media marketing campaign. If done correctly, it can provide us with tremendous insight into our customers’ likes, dislikes, and overall attitudes about our products or services.

However, the question needs to be asked—how can we use this valuable information to improve our organization’s entire marketing funnel? If we can better understand our customers’ personas, we can improve all facets of our marketing strategy. This is especially crucial for our social media and PPC ad campaigns.

Social Listening vs. Social Monitoring

Before we delve into the specifics of social listening, it’s important that we define the term. According to Sprout, “social listening is the process of tracking conversations around specific topics, keywords, phrases, brands, or industries, and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences”. Rather than simply responding to mentions, messages, or comments, social listening gives marketers the ability to understand what is being said and discussed about their brands. In essence, it allows companies to see the whole picture rather than a small section of it.

This is huge, especially when it comes to creating ad copy and content that can reach and convert the right people.

Gathering the Data

Before we convert those customers with our amazing ad content, we need to know how to listen to them. There are many tools you can use to gather social listening data on customers, so make sure to do your research on what type of platform is best for you and your company.

Once you have decided what platform is best, you can now gather some significant insights for your brand.

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Some features you can utilize with social listening tools include:

  1. Real-time alerts: Get notified when certain keywords and phrases are used on blogs and social media platforms.
  2. Keep an eye on your competitors: See what your customer personas are saying about your competitors.
  3. Monitor your customer sentiment: Discover how many mentions, comments, and interactions were positive or negative.
  4. Gather insightful data: Some social listening platforms will give you demographics about the people who are talking about your brand online.

Use the Data for Your Ad Campaigns

Social listening is unique in that it gives you both quantitative data (age, sex, etc.) and qualitative data (i.e., a positive or negative post about your product). Knowing both the quantitative and qualitative data gives you a tremendous advantage when you create an ad campaign. Google Adwords and most social media ad platforms give you data regarding your personas, but it can be broad and not that specific. Combining your proprietary data with these ad platforms can give you the competitive upper hand because you can be more targeted in your advertising efforts.

For example, let’s say that you own a protein bar company. Your company’s mission statement is to make the best tasting protein bar on the market, and most of your ads have said something to that effect. Through social listening, your marketing team has discovered that bodybuilders have created a lot of buzz about your product on social media. They love your brand because it is low in carbohydrates but has a lot of protein. You can now use this information to create well-conceived and hyper-targeted ad campaigns that focus on your persona’s interests.

Ultimately, your customers are the product experts. They know what they like and dislike. Through social listening, you can discover their interests and create great ad copy that is relevant to them.

© 2019 Brandon Jarman

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