The Difference Between Social Monitoring and Social Listening

Every social media brand owner has heard the terms social monitoring and social listening. At first glance you may think it’s two ways of saying the same thing. Like “to-may-to” / “to-mah-to,” or “po-tay-to” / “po-tah-toh.”

Well, George Gershwin was right; the two will never be one. Social monitoring and social listening are not the same thing at all. They’re both important, to be sure. But in order to get the most value out of your social strategy it’s imperative you understand how they differ.

Social monitoring

Think of social monitoring as a reactive activity. For example: a brand owner sees a comment, concern, or question on a social platform. They jump in and engage with the individual directly. In other words, the customer initiates a conversation, and the brand responds. Clearly, this is a good thing, and you should keep doing it. (If you’re not doing it, you should start.) It’s a powerful, and effective way to engage with your customers, fans, and prospects.

Conversely, social listening is proactive. It’s an ongoing, strategic exercise that involves actively listening to every brand mention across multiple social channels to look for trends, issues, and opportunities. Social listening can be the inspiration generator that drives innovation, or the digital canary in the coal mine that alerts you to minor problems before they become major catastrophes. 

Social monitoring looks at the trees, while social listening looks at the forest. And because the forest is so massively large, you’ll want to use AI to filter out the noise and find patterns and connections that lead to real insights.

You’ll be happy to learn that social listening is baked into all Sprinklr products. And social monitoring is a given. So whether you’re “po-tay-to” or “po-tah-toh,” Sprinklr’s got you covered.

For a deeper dive, check out this aptly-titled Sprinklr blog post: The Difference Between Social Monitoring and Social Listening.