Introduction to Social Listening Strategy Process Checklist:

A social listening strategy gives brands an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations about them on social media - Hootsuite

People are talking about you. All the time. 

They’re asking for your help, complaining about you, confessing their love for you and divulging their disgust in you.

Social media has made it possible for the entire world to share their opinion of you. 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, Snapchat.. the list of social media channels and platforms is endless. You, as a business, need to be 'listening' for any comments made about your business on these platforms and responding to each one.   

Why? 

“One of the quickest ways to destroy any goodwill or positive mindshare that you have with your network is to not respond to their social media comments” - Dustin Brohm, HW

Think about it this way. If someone made a comment about your business that you didn’t see, you would fail to respond or acknowledge it. An honest mistake on your part, but to the rest of the world, it looks like you’re ignoring that person. That you don’t care. That their opinion doesn’t matter. 

This paints you in a bad light and in this uber-competitive world, we know how fickle today's consumer is. You can go from flavor of the month to the scrapheap in seconds.  All because you missed a comment!

So, I guess the question is, how do you monitor, watch and listen to all the many different social media platforms, without losing your sanity?

You need a social listening strategy. 

This template will allow you to set up notifications so that each time you are mentioned on any social media platform you receive an email.

It will also allow you to store the comments, analyze them, share them on other platforms and respond to them. 

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Record checklist details

Use the form fields below to record any useful information about this checklist.

In the field below, select the person that will approve the pre-writing tasks and the final social listening strategy.

Pre-Writing Tasks:

Gather market data

Research and gather data on what the industry best practices are for social listening. 

This may be research your company has collected itself, or third party data which has either been bought or was already in the public sphere. 

Third-party research should always be considered carefully:

  • What was the methodology used in the research?
  • Who paid for the research?
  • How did this report access the information it presents?

Use the upload field to provide evidence of your research.

Perform a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis will help you define the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats which apply to the social listening strategy. 

If you want to read more about how to run an effective SWOT analysis, read this post: SWOT Analysis Template: What, How, & Why?

To run your SWOT analysis, you can use this Process Street template: SWOT Analysis Template

Upload your SWOT analysis below.

Determine resources

The number of social media conversations happening at any given time is massive. People are talking about everything and anything online. 

You need to 'listen' to all these conversations, on the vast number of online platforms, and gather meaningful insights and data out of them.

You need to make the most out of conversations that happen about your brand and industry so you can improve a wide range of processes including business operations, product updates, and advertising approaches.

There are probably many sites you would like to monitor and many keywords, mentions, and interactions you need to capture and analyze, but you need the right resources to do this. 

Brainstorm and answer the following questions to see what may or may not be feasible:

  • Will you use social listening tools, such as Hootsuite, Mention, or Google alerts to monitor and capture key mentions and interactions?
  • Will you use Zapier automations to monitor notify, collect and store key mentions and interactions?
  • Will you outsource the monitoring, collection, and analysis of all mentions and key interactions? 

Provide some high-level notes in the form field below.

List your organizational goals

What are the goals of the organization?

All marketing efforts should be in-line with the organizational goals. Think about where the company is heading and how this social listening strategy can help the company get there.

Use the form field below to document your primary goals.

Establish the goals of the social listening strategy

Using the information gathered within this section (tasks 4 - 7), outline the key goals for this social listening strategy in the field below. 

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Gather market data
    Will be submitted
  • Perform a SWOT analysis
    Will be submitted
  • Determine resources
    Will be submitted
  • List your organizational goals
    Will be submitted
  • Establish the goals of the social listening strategy
    Will be submitted

Preparing Your Strategy:

Confirm budget and goals

To recap, the primary organizational goals are: 

{{form.Organizational_goals}}

The goals for this strategy are:
{{form.What_are_the_main_goals_for_this_strategy?}}

The approved social listening strategy budget is: {{form.What_is_the_social_listening_strategy_budget?}}

Confirm your approach

Based on information gathered in the previous section, confirm how you plan to monitor, collect and analyze key mentions and interactions online. 

Confirm which review management software you will be using

Select the review management software you plan to use to monitor all keyword mentions and interactions from the dropdown list below.

Establish the benefits of using this software

Provide the reasons for choosing {{form.Which_review_management_software_will_you_use_to_monitor_online_mentions_and_interactions?}} to monitor all mentions and interactions. 

Establish your listening requirements

To set up custom made automation's to monitor your key mentions, first list the keywords you want to listen for and the sites you want to monitor. 

Set up email notifications

Set up integrations between the platforms you want to monitor and your email provider.

This is so you can keep track of the mentions and interactions involving your business. Whenever your business is mentioned on a platform, you will receive an email notification.

You can use the following links to some pre-made Zaps or follow the instructions below to set up your integrations. 

Facebook
Automatically receive an email when your Facebook page receives a notification/post. 
Click here to set up the integration

Instagram 
Automatically receive an email when someone posts on your Instagram. 
Click here to set up the integration. 

Twitter
Automatically receive an email when someone mentions your keywords on Twitter. 
Click here to set up the integration.

Pinterest
Automatically receive an email when someone saves one of your pins on Pinterest.
Click here to set up the integration.  

Reddit
Automatically receive an email when someone mentions you on Reddit.
Click here to set up the integration. 

How to set up the integrations

1. Log in to your Zapier account. If you don't have an account, you can sign up for free here.

2. Search for and select the platform you want to monitor (eg. Facebook Pages). See the below screenshots. 

3. Search for and select the email provider you want to use that will receive the notifications (eg. Gmail). See the below screenshots. 

4. Choose the action that will trigger the email notification (Eg. when someone posts on Facebook, send an email). See the below screenshot.

5. Click on 'Use Zap".

6. Select the account of the platform you are wanting to monitor (eg. Facebook) and customize the details you want to see. See the below screenshots. 

7. Test the Zap to make sure the right information is pulling through from the right platform account. 

8. Select the email account of the email provider you are using to receive notifications. See the below screenshot. 

9. Customize the email notification you are wanting to receive. See the below screenshot. 

10. Test the Zap to make sure the right information is pulling through into the email.

11. Turn the Zap on and start receiving email notifications for all your key mentions and interactions. 

Create a database to collect & store mentions

The next step, when using automation as your social listening strategy, is to create a database to store all the mentions/interactions from the sites you wish to monitor. This will enable you to analyze all the mentions you receive in one central place.

Top Tip: Use Google sheets as your database - it's free and simple to set up.

See below for some guidelines on how to set up your worksheets to collect and store the mentions you receive. 


1. Set up your Google sheet so that there is a separate worksheet for each of the sites you are monitoring: 

{{form.List_the_sites_you_want_to_monitor_here:_2}}

2. Within each worksheet, create the following columns:

 - Customer name
 - Mention/interaction
 - Link 
 - Category
 - Is it a positive/negative mention/interaction
 - Is it an FAQ?
 - Is it an issue?
 - Are they a key social media customer?

Set up integrations between Zapier and your database

The next step, when using automation for your social listening activity, is to set up a Zapier integration so that your database will automatically update whenever your business receives a mention/interaction. 

Follow the instructions at the bottom of this task to set up the Zapier integrations between the platforms you are monitoring and your chosen database.

If you are using Google sheets as your database, you can use the following links, to some pre-made Zaps, to set up the integrations between the platforms you are monitoring and your Google sheet. 

Facebook
Automatically update your Google sheet when your Facebook page receives a notification/post. 
Click here to set up the integration

Instagram 
Automatically update your Google sheet when someone posts on your Instagram. 
Click here to set up the integration. 

Twitter
Automatically update your Google sheet when someone mentions you on Twitter. 
Click here to set up the integration.

Pinterest
Automatically update your Google sheet when someone saves one of your pins on Pinterest.
Click here to set up the integration.  

Reddit
Automatically update your Google sheet when someone mentions you on Reddit.
Click here to set up the integration. 

How to set up the integrations

1. Log in to your Zapier account. If you don't have an account, you can sign up for free here.

2. Search for and select the platform you want to monitor (eg. Facebook Pages). 

3. Search for and select the database software you want to use to store all the mentions/interactions (eg. Google sheets). 

4. Select the triggers (Eg. When a new comment has been posted on the Facebook page, a new row is created in the Google sheet). See the below screenshot for an example: 

5. Select the account of the platform you are wanting to monitor (eg. Facebook) and the page you are monitoring. See the below screenshot. 

6. Test the Zap to make sure the right information is pulling through, into your database, from the right platform. 

7. Select the right account of the database you are using to collect the mentions/interactions.  See the below screenshot. 

8. Select the information you are wanting to pull through into your database. See the below screenshot. 

9. Test the Zap to make sure the right information is pulling through into the database.

10. Turn the Zap on and start collecting key mentions and interactions from online platforms in one central place.

Outline how you will analyze mentions

The final step in creating custom automations for social listening is how you plan to categorize and analyze the keyword mentions you receive within your database.

As an example, you could assign one of the below categories to each of the mentions/interactions: 

  • Brand health
  • Industry insights 
  • Competitors 
  • Campaign
  • Event 
  • Other

Then, answer ''Yes/No'' the following questions for each mention/interaction: 

  • Is it a positive or a negative mention? 
  • Is it a frequently asked question? 
  • Is it an issue?
  • Are they a key social media customers? 

Analyzing and categorizing your keyword mentions will help you reach the strategic goals you have set.

Confirm which company you are outsourcing to

Confirm in the field below who you are outsourcing the social listening strategy to, and explain the reasons why you have chosen to outsource this activity. 

Set up a purchase order workflow

Set up a purchase order workflow or use this checklist to create an automated process to manage the purchase order workflow between your company and {{form.What_is_the_name_of_the_company_are_you_outsourcing_to?}}.

You might also want to think about creating a Service Level Agreement to manage the output the company is providing you. 

Fill in the company's details inthe fields below, so you have them on record. 

Writing the Strategy:

Create a template for your strategy

Develop a template for your social listening strategy.

You can read here about how to construct your document template: The Straightforward Guide to Product Strategy (With Templates)

The following tasks will outline what information should be included in your strategy document. 

Outline the strategy vision

The objective of this section is to determine the goals and purpose of the new social listening strategy.

In this section, include the information gathered in the pre-writing tasks. 

  • Third-party insights
  • Competitor analysis 
  • SWOT analysis
  • Organizational goals 
  • Strategy goals
  • Budget 

Confirm the set-up activities

The objective of this section is to confirm the strategic approach and outline any set-up activity 

The approach you have decided to take to monitor, collect, analyze and respond to all social mentions is: {{form.How_will_you_approach_the_social_listening_process?}}

Confirm what set-up activity is needed for the strategy you have chosen eg. set up email notifications for mentions / set-up a PO workflow

Define the key stages of social listening

The objective of this section is to define what the key stages of social listening are. 

Define the key stages of your social listening strategy. 

1. Monitor the following sites 

  • 1
    Facebook
  • 2
    Twitter
  • 3
    Instagram
  • 4
    Reddit

2. Listen for the following keyword mentions

3. Reply to all mentions 

Define the processes needed to support the strategy

The objective of this section is to list the processes within the company that you need to have in place to fulfill the social listening strategy.

Establish if more budget is needed

The objective of this section is to establish if you need further resources and budget to fulfill this strategy.

Improving the Strategy:

Upload the strategy documentation

Once you have incorporated the information from the above tasks into your strategy template, upload the finished social listening strategy documentation so you can send this for feedback and then approval. 

Send the strategy to the marketing team

Email the social listening strategy document to the team to get their feedback. 

Work through the revisions

Take the feedback from your team and use it to improve your social listening strategy.

Use the form field below to provide a high-level overview of what changes you have applied to the first draft.

Upload the final social listening strategy

Upload the revised social listening strategy so you can send it for approval. 

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Upload the final social listening strategy
    Will be submitted

Create a strategy summary

Prepare a summary document that can be used to inform the wider organization of your strategy.

Use the form fields below.

Implementing the Strategy:

Present the social listening strategy

Present the social listening strategy to other key decision-makers within the organization.

Gaining approval of the other leaders is the first step to ensuring all departments are pushing in the same direction. 

Distribute the strategy

Make sure to send the summary document of the social listening strategy to everyone in the company.

Keeping everyone informed of high-level decision making helps to foster a sense of community and ownership within an organization. It helps workers understand how their efforts contribute to broader company goals.

Meet with the relevant departments or teams

Take the time to go around the organization to meet with the teams who will play a role in the implementation of the new strategy. 

You can explain to them what they need to do to help make the strategy successful, while also listening to any concerns which they may have. 

This can help you better prepare for tackling obstacles before they arise, and it will likely result in greater buy-in from the teams. 

Continuously Improving:

Establish process for continuous improvement

Assist with creating processes within the company to ensure the social listening strategy is implemented fully.

Create and upload a continuous improvement plan to monitor the strategy in the field below.  

Regularly assess the strategy

It's recommended that you run this process every quarter to assess, improve and revitalize your social listening strategy. 

Use the dynamic due dates feature to automatically set the date of the next review. 

Sources:

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