A social listening tool is like a really good piece of art – the more you learn about it, the more it has to offer. For many people social listening applications are limited to brand monitoring only. They don’t even think of other ways to use a social listening tool. However, here at Awario, we are big proponents of using social listening creatively, which inspired us to create our social selling module which uses social listening to find sales prospects. I've written a fair share of articles which end on "Use social listening creatively", so now I'm finally doin' what I'm preachin'. In this article I'm going to give tangible advice on how to use a social listening tool in unusual ways.

But here’s the trick. To do more with a tool, you need to dedicate some time to learning it. Many of our users are busy people who don’t have time to explore Awario in all the details, and our goal is to make the learning process as seamless and easily available as possible.

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A while ago, we started a series in our Facebook Group called #WeeklyAwarioHack where we explore ways to use social listening creatively. There we share some tips and tricks you can follow to make your monitoring efforts more effective. The series got an overwhelmingly positive response so we’ve decided to collect all these posts in one article. We separated these social listening tips and hacks in three categories, and now you can read about them all in one place. So here’re the ways to improve your monitoring.

Exclude irrelevant mentions

Awario is a powerful listening tool and, as one of our users once said, “it might be too powerful”.

If you have a popular keyword you want to monitor, you need to pay attention to your settings to make sure that you don’t waste your mentions limit. This is relevant for other social listening tools as well: many of them have an even smaller number of mentions per plan available, so you need to take some time with your settings to get your money’s worth. Here are some tricks to make your monitoring more specific and your results more relevant.

Exclude retweets

Oftentimes you get a popular tweet mentioning your brand, and your feed gets littered by retweets. It’s distracting and annoying. So if you want to see only original tweets and don’t want to fill your timeline with retweets, here’s what you need to do:

Put

++"RT @"

in the Negative keyword section.

This way Awario will not look for any retweets and your analytics also won't involve any retweets.

Perfect competitor monitoring

Competitor monitoring is another popular use case for social listening. Depending on your goals, you might focus solely on getting the mentions which contain feedback on your competitors. The problem here is that you need to filter out the shares of your competitor’s content.

Oftentimes, most of the posts that mention a competitor are just shares of their content, so filtering out actual pieces of feedback can be a challenge. To filter out content shared on Twitter, try this:

Go to Boolean mode when creating your alert and put in:

("Competitor Brand Name" OR @CompetitorHandle)

AND NOT

link:"*" FROM Twitter

The AND NOT link:"*" bit will exclude all posts containing links to external resources, so you'll end up with an influx of questions and complaints customers are tweeting at and about your competitor!

SEO

SEO use cases are often overlooked when talking about social listening. People forget that apart from social monitoring, most social listening tools monitor the web as well. So what are some ways ti improve your SEO with Awario?

Social listening for link building

Link building is an important part of any SEO strategy: ask our Content Manager who regularly gets guest blogging requests. Sometimes people mention your brand without linking to your website. That’s a missed link building opportunity. But you can use Awario to find these linkless mentions and turn them into useful links.

All you need to do is go to Boolean search mode and put in the following query:

(+"your brand name")

AND NOT link:"your site"

FROM web,news-blogs

This way, you'll find news articles, blog posts, and all kinds of web pages that mention your brand but don't link to your site.

Find content stealers

Content stealing can hurt your SEO as much as your feelings. The Internet is a beautiful thing which gives you a plethora of opportunities, but authorship is not really respected in the world wide web. Luckily, you can use Awario to find people who’re stealing your content!

What you need to do is create an alert with an excerpt from your post (a few sentences will do) in quotes and select News/Blogs and Web as your data sources.

Since Awario allows you to fit a lot of keywords into your query, you can do several phrases focusing on your most popular content. This way you'll be able to find all the sneaky content stealers and protect your website.

Find opportunities for guest blogging

Apart from looking for your linkless mentions, you can use Awario to find guest blogging opportunities. You need to find platforms that are relevant to your brand and have a big audience, and social listening can help you with that. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

  1. First, make sure to pick a language you're interested in finding blog posts in (this will keep the results more relevant and help you avoid spending your monthly quota too fast).

  2. Under Sources, make sure you only tick News/Blogs.

  3. Narrow down the date range to 30 days (again, this will help save your quota).

  4. Give the tool a few hours to collect a substantial pull of results.

  5. Once you've got a few hundred mentions in your alert, make sure to group them by Authors and sort by Reach.

Voila! Export the results in CSV, and you should have a good list of platforms to do guest blogging and link building on.

Find brand ambassadors

Influencer marketing is a big trend in marketing right now. Nowadays the impact of micro-influencers is so powerful that they can make a product sold out just by tweeting about it. We all understand the importance of brand ambassadors, but how do we find the right people to collaborate with? There’re several creative ways to do it.

Find the fans of your content

Firstly, you can look for people who’re already fans of your content and see if you’d be interested in working with any of them. That means you need to find people who share your content.

If your blog belongs to a directory, you just need to add the following query in Boolean search mode:

link:"http://site.com/blog/*"

That means Awario will find any link which starts with this URL.

And of course, if you have a separate subdomain or domain, it's even easier - just put in

link:"blog.site.com" or link:"site.com"

That way you can find your potential brand ambassadors.

I hope that these trips and ticks will help you with your monitoring efforts. If you come up with some new ways to use Awario, share it in the comments! And, of course, to keep up with other #WeeklyAwarioHacks, join our official group on Facebook!