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Social listening is the process of monitoring and analyzing online conversations about your brand, products, competitors, industry, and customers.
It helps you understand what people are saying about your business, how they feel about it, and what their buying intent and expectations are.
This process can help you identify new opportunities, generate leads, improve customer satisfaction, and increase brand awareness.

But social listening is not just about collecting data. It also requires interpreting and acting on the insights you gain from the online chatter.
To do this effectively, you need to know the social listening terms and concepts related to social listening.
That’s why we wanted to share with you this glossary, a comprehensive list of the most relevant words and phrases you need to know to master social listening.

Social Listening Terms & Concepts

Brand mentions:

The online references to your brand name, products, or services. Brand mentions can be positive, negative, or neutral.
They can come from various sources, such as social media platforms, blogs, forums, review sites, news outlets, etc. Brand mentions are important indicators of your brand reputation, awareness, and sentiment.


The words or phrases that people use to search for information online.
It is crucial to define clear keywords to monitor, if you want to find relevant mentions.
You must be clear on your goal and what you are looking to track, either your brand, your industry, your competition, or specific topics or trends.
Spend some time identifying the keywords you want to track to maximize the ROI of social listening.

Sentiment analysis:

The process of determining the emotional tone and attitude of online conversations.
Sentiment analysis can help you measure the feelings and opinions of your customers, prospects.
It gives you instant access to the way people talk about your brand online, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
It can also help you to evaluate the global feeling about a competitor for instance.
Tools like offer a visual display to let you view sentiment analysis at a glance.

Buying Intent Signals:

Buying intent signals or Triggers are indicators in online conversations or behaviors that suggest a potential customer is considering making a purchase.
Someone mentioning your brand or your product in a positive way
A prospect asking in a community for a solution to the pain point you solve.
An unhappy customer of your competitor complaining about them.

These signals indicate that the person is aware of the problem you solve or that they already know the value you provide, they are already in search of a solution.
Therefore they are more likely to make a purchase, and you are more likely to strike a chord with them.

Competitor analysis:

The process of comparing your brand’s performance, strengths, weaknesses with those of your competitors. Competitive analysis can help you benchmark your brand, identify gaps and best practices, and gain a competitive edge in your market.
Through social listening, you can see how your competition is perceived online, how people speak about them, and get an edge to adapt your marketing actions.

Customer feedback:

The opinions, comments, suggestions, complaints, and praises that your customers share online about your brand, products, or services.
Customer feedback is a key asset to help you measure customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
It is also necessary to improve your products, services, and customer experience.

Customer feedback from social listening with buska

Mention notifications:

Configurable notifications in social listening tools that inform users of news mentions of their brand/keyword.
You can setup alerts one different channels (Mail, Slack, Discord…) .
This is particularly useful for Crisis Management, in case there is a sudden spike in negative mentions for example.

Online Reputation Management (ORM):

The practice of monitoring and influencing your brand’s reputation on the internet.
It often involves addressing negative or false content and promoting positive news or reviews.

Social listening tool:

Software or platforms that track and analyze online conversations and mentions related to specific keywords, topics, or brands.

Trending topics:

The topics that are popular and widely discussed online at a given time.
Trending topics can be related to current events, news, culture, entertainment, sports, etc.
They can help you stay updated on what’s happening in your industry and niche.
On Social Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, you can track trending hashtags which will give you indications on the popular and most engaging topics. You can leverage those to create timely and engaging content.

Engagement Rate:

It is the measure of how actively involved with your content your audience is.
It is crucial for evaluating the impact of social media campaigns and to measure the impact of your content.
You can shift your strategy to focus on the most engaging topics.

Brand Advocacy:

This is when customers or fans of a brand voluntarily promote the brand through word-of-mouth or on social media.
Brand advocacy is very effective to draw traffic and engagement, when it’s genuine, because the publicity of your brand comes from “real” users that are more trustworthy.

Social Reach:

It is an indicator of the total number of unique users who see your content on social media platforms.
Social Reach reveals the spread of your brand’s message across the web.
It is good for Top of the Funnel marketing (TOFU), but you should aim for high engagement and not focus solely on social reach.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs):

Influential figures within specific communities or industries who can sway public opinion or consumer behavior.

IRT Monitoring

In Real Time (IRT) monitoring is a feature to access keyword mentions in real time. This helps you engage quickly with your audience, your customers and always stay ahead of your competition in online discussions.
Social Listening tools like buska give can notify you as soon as someone mentions your brand online.

Viral Content:

Online content that achieves a high level of recognition and sharing, often quickly and widely, through social media and other web platforms.

Share of Voice (SoV):

A metric that measures the amount of the online conversation about a particular brand compared to its competitors.
It’s an indicator of brand visibility and popularity in social media.

Mention Volume:

The total number of times a brand or keyword is mentioned on social media within a given timeframe.
It’s a basic yet crucial metric in social listening.

Social Media Footprint:

This relates to the overall presence or visibility of a brand on social media platforms.
It is determined by its activity, engagements, and the size of its audience.

Conversation Mapping:

This is the process of tracking and analyzing the connections and pathways between various social media conversations related to a specific topic or brand.

Influence Scoring:

A method to evaluate and rank social media users based on their ability to influence others in their network, often used to identify potential brand ambassadors or influencers.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Analysis:

Although traditionally a customer loyalty metric, NPS can be assessed through social listening by analyzing customer feedback and sentiment to determine the likelihood of customers recommending a brand to others.


To sum up this journey through the “Social Listening Glossary,” it has become clear that mastering these terms and concepts is now key to leveraging social listening for business success.

Understanding our an audience speaks about your brand or industry is essential to get more qualitative interactions and targeted marketing.
Now you know, and you can apply many of these insights to your advantage and build a strong social listening strategy.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our Blog for more insights on Social Listening