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Companies are using social listening tools primarily to enhance customer relations by monitoring customer requests, questions and concerns (86%), according to a report by Clutch that surveyed 300 users of social listening tools at companies with at least 100 employees. Utilizing these tools also helps them to keep tabs on the competition (77%) and to track brands and products (75%), per the report.

While these are common social listening objectives, there are some others that are relatively widely used, including monitoring industry and brand influencers (61%) and even company executives (44%).

In light of the results showing the main focus being on monitoring customers’ comments, it makes sense that the most commonly cited objectives for social listening are to improve customer service and reach new customers (21% share each). Respondents are also keen on staying ahead of the competition (15%) and managing their online reputation (14%).

While fostering relationships with existing and potential customers were viewed as primary benefits to social listening, the number one benefit was getting feedback to improve products (25% share of respondents). Closely following was new customer acquisition, cited as the top benefit by 24%, ahead of improved customer service (21%) as another primary advantage to tuning in online.

What sites do companies listen in on the most? Facebook (93%), mainly, followed by Twitter and Instagram (79% and 71%, respectively). Businesses are also tracking other platforms and sites – such as LinkedIn (53%), blogs (43%), and news sites (38%) – though to a lesser degree.

About the Data: Clutch surveyed 300 individuals who use a tool for social media listening/monitoring at medium to large companies in the US (100+ employees). Most respondents come from enterprises (500+ employees) and are manager level or higher. Three-quarters represented B2C companies and one-quarter represented B2B companies.

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