Your Social Listening Checklist by HootSuite

A great post from · by Kate Dunham

Imagine millions of people talking about you behind your back. While some of the talk is positive and some is negative, all of it could be useful to you. Imagine being able to use that feedback to improve. Too bad it’s all being said behind your back, right? Except it’s not. It’s right there in front of you—if you know where to look.

Every day there are millions of conversations happening in social media about anything and everything—including your company and brand. By now, most social media marketers know the importance of monitoring their brand or company name in social, but if you’re only listening to conversations about your brand name, then you’re missing out on a wealth of helpful information. Monitoring the right things can be the difference between a successful brand reputation and a crisis.

So where do you start? Here’s a checklist of what you should be monitoring in social media besides your brand name and why.

Your Company

What to monitor? 

  • Names of products or services without your brand or company name
  • Slogans
  • Campaigns or advertising efforts (branded hashtags, characters from advertisements, etc.)
  • Top players in your company
    • Your CEO
    • Founder(s)
    • Editors, Journalists, etc.
    • Anyone with a potential media following


  • Not everyone will use your brand name when talking about you—don’t miss out on important feedback and insights into what people think about your products and services
  • Brand awareness. Why are or aren’t people associating your product with your brand?
  • Evaluate effectiveness of marketing and advertising efforts. How is your messaging and positioning being received?
  • Issues management. Your brand isn’t the only thing that might elicit attention. Keep tabs on top players to stay ahead of any potential trending story.

The Competition

  • Brand and company name
  • Names of products or services without brand/company name
  • Slogans
  • Campaigns or advertising efforts (branded hashtags, characters from advertisements, etc.)
  • Your product or brand name with your competitor’s


  • Discover what topics are popular with your competitors’ (and your) target audience
  • Find potential real-time marketing opportunities. Check out how Sony found a big one by monitoring its competitor.
  • Shape future marketing strategy and campaigns
  • See where you stack up against the competition so you can adjust products or services

Your Industry

It’s important to understand what’s happening or what’s popular in the space you’re operating in. You can’t listen to everything being said in social, so pick the areas that are applicable to your brand.

  • Your industry (Are you a mascara brand? You should be listening to conversations around the beauty industry as a whole.)
  • Subcategories of your industry (focus on specific topics—like makeup rather than skincare)
  • Relevant industry events (you will want to follow the beauty trends of Fashion Week)


  • Strategic decision making for marketing, product/service improvements and more
  • Stay on top of market trends
  • Join the right conversations and stand out as a leader in your industry
  • Find people who are actively searching for your products/services
  • Find opportunities for real-time marketing


Take a look at HootSuite at – The perfect tool to monitor and manage all your social media channels.  We love it and always recommend to our clients.  One of those no brainer things to use!