Social Media Listening Planner

How to listen and what to listen for on social media

Good social media listening skills are crucial whether you are planning a social media campaign or feel there might be a crisis brewing online.

But what do you need to listen to and for, and how do you capture easily capture the key information?

Our social media listening planner is designed to help you to quickly note down the details you need.


Firstly, define your audience, who do you need to listen to?  Try to make this as specific as possible, or segment into multiple audiences.


Then think about where you might expect to find your audience. Hootsuite/We Are Social publish a detailed report each year which gives a country by country breakdown of where different age groups spend their time online.  In the UK Ofcom publish detailed information and Pew Research do a similar job in the US. Go wider than the main social media channels. There are also forums, comment sections, local and niche sites and channels.

Risks and issues

When you are doing your research, keep in mind any bias these channels and communities have.  Make sure your results aren’t skewed by your own account and search history. Where possible use independent search tools.

Data and research

There are wide range of tools that can help you with insight into issues and conversations. Google Analytics, Google Trends, Google Search Console and AnswerThePublic are all useful.


Write down all the keywords and search strings that you think will be most useful. Remember to include misspellings, acronyms and commonly used names and well as official names.

Download our social media listening template.

Looking for more support?

We help organisations understand where their audiences are, how to listen to them and how to put that listening into action. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

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