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AUTHORS: Christoph Witte, Founder and Managing Director

Using social listening strategically

How do you find out what the world is saying about your company, brand, portfolio, or campaign? In social media channels and online news? By listening to them.

In health communication, we move in a highly competitive and heavily regulated environment. The ideal way to sound out the acceptance of a particular brand and its communication in the digital environment and to interpret what moves the target groups is through social listening. This reflects the way patients and their families talk about us. But how can social listening be designed in a way that is both efficient and value-adding?

Starting point = set your objectives


The key element of any planning process is the strategic objective. Is the aim to analyze the short-term success of a campaign or to optimize its social media presence? A specialist agency partner with experience in leading social listening platforms such as Brandwatch, NetBase Quid, Sprinklr or Talkwalker can help here. The next step is a kick-off meeting with all relevant parties in the marketing, digital and social media teams, who will shape the social listening concept together.






Campaign measurement


Ideally, the social listening should start at around the same time as the campaign and run for a good two to four months. Important terms and parameters are defined to create a basis for measurable results: these include the indication along with key words, brand name and competition. The success indicators can then be clearly defined: how is the message coming across, what is the range like, what does the share of voice tell us? At the end of the process, a comprehensive report shows the quantitative and qualitative success of the communication.






Content optimization


If the intention is to optimize the social media presence of a company or brand in the medium to long term, the plan should include a monitoring process lasting six to twelve months, which documents the performance of topics and channels. The outcome provides insights into such matters as which content appeals to the target group and what mood dominates within the target group. An intelligent evaluation of these insights makes it possible to adjust channels and platforms along the customer journey to suit the specific needs of the target groups, including country-specific measures.







When used strategically, social listening offers versatile opportunities to test communication in the virtual environment for resonance and acceptance. In the long term, intelligent social listening allows measures to be planned and directed in the best possible way for the target group.

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