Why you need social listening for your content strategy

Posted By Axonn on 13th December 2016

A well-researched content strategy is essential for success – and social listening can help.

Imagine this: you’re the marketing manager of a travel brand, your website has just been redesigned, your blog is looking beautiful and your social media channels are primed and ready. In short – you’re good to go. But what should your brand be blogging about?

In the past, marketers used to guess what their target audience would be interested in reading about and use these hunches to create editorial calendars. But at Axonn, we hate guessing when it comes to our clients’ content and campaigns, and we use social listening research to make sure we don’t have to.

Social listening works by tracking and analysing social media mentions of certain keywords and phrases. Each mention collected is then assigned a media type – blog, tweet, forum post etc – and a sentiment – positive, negative or neutral.

What does this have to do with content marketing strategy? Well – here are three examples where social listening can be invaluable.


You have some personas, but they were put together years ago and, to be honest, you have no idea whether they were properly researched. Here’s how social listening can help. Say your travel brand specialises in holidays to Dubai – your target audience will be people interested in travelling to this destination. If we conduct social listening and gather mentions of phrases like “thinking of booking a holiday in Dubai”, we can find out all sorts of demographic details about the people making these comments. We can find out what proportion are male or female, their ages and their location, down to city or town. So, if you find that most people interested in Dubai are female aged 45-55 living in Manchester, your editorial plan can already be much more focused – not to mention your Facebook ads targeting!


Now that you have an idea of your audience, you need to know their attitude towards your product. Why do these people want to go to Dubai? What appeals to them about the destination? Do they have any misconceptions about Dubai that you need to correct? Social listening provides concrete numbers and proof points around these topics. So, if 70 per cent of commenters say that they love the idea of a luxury holiday to Dubai, planning content and campaigns around the theme of luxury is a safe bet. Much better than guessing…

Brand Reputation

So you know who your audience is and what they think of your product, but what do they think of you? Using social listening to monitor positive and negative brand mentions is invaluable, especially in an industry such as travel where a negative review can be a deal breaker. Social listening will tell you what proportion of people think your customer service is bad, or that your products are too expensive. You can use this data to prioritise and fix each problem. You might also want to know how you’re doing compared to your competitors. Knowing how you fare in terms of volume of positive brand mentions compared to your competitors can be a great way to measure your marketing success.

Really, the best way to demonstrate the power of social listening is to see it in action. The festive season is upon us, so we’ve created this downloadable social listening report on this year’s Christmas adverts. If you’re curious about social listening, why not take a look? Happy reading!