Are social media monitoring and listening the same thing? These terms, which are similar in meaning, are often confused with each other or used interchangeably. In the following article, we explain the main differences between them. Read on to find out more.

Social media listening vs. social media monitoring – table of contents:

  1. Social media monitoring
  2. Social media listening
  3. Social media monitoring vs. social media listening
  4. Summary

Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring involves keeping track of all mentions of a brand that appear on social media, allowing you to respond appropriately. You can monitor your brand name and common misspellings, your product names and common misspellings, as well as mentions of your main competitor.

In social media monitoring:

  • there is positive or negative interaction with the customer (one-to-one contact),
  • a response is provided in the shortest possible time (according to the customers’ needs),
  • the brand achieves short-term goals (providing the best possible customer service),
  • activities are mainly performed manually (using notifications offered by social media).
social media monitoring

Social media monitoring is therefore an essential way to take care of customers by providing them with excellent service – no matter which communication channel they use. It should be treated as a cornerstone for companies, especially since the cost of retaining an already interested audience or existing customer is significantly lower than acquiring a new one.

Social media listening

Social media listening involves the collection and analysis of data acquired in customer interactions with a brand in order to make better marketing and business decisions in the future. Information about a company, competitors or industry obtained from audiences and customers is the starting point for creating future campaigns and planning brand communication strategies.

In social media listening:

  • a comprehensive picture of how customers perceive the brand is created,
  • it may take several weeks or months to realize the goal,
  • the brand independently undertakes actions that will have an impact on all audiences,
  • the brand pursues long-term goals (e.g.,increasing awareness, reaching a larger target audience, building a competitive advantage),
  • activities are usually undertaken using special analytical tools.

Social media monitoring vs. social media listening

Are social media monitoring and listening the same thing? The latter process uses data acquired in the former process – thus, it should be said that social media monitoring is conducted on a micro scale, while social media listening works on the macro scale. Moreover, social media listening cannot function without social media monitoring, since it is the mentions and individual interactions found on a daily basis that make up the picture that a brand can interpret.


When communicating on social media, don’t just monitor what individual audiences are saying about your brand. Collect all interactions – both positive and negative – and try to see a pattern in them. Recipients approve of your eco-friendly approach? Reinforce this to further increase your brand recognition and customer base. Every once in a while, users point out problems in deliveries? Look for a solution to eliminate the problem altogether. Social media monitoring and listening will work for the good of your business.

Read also: What is social listening?

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Author: Laura Green

There’s probably no social media channel or tactic that Laura doesn’t feel confident about. Whether it’s jumping on the latest TikTok trend, launching a Pinterest campaign, or live-streaming on YouTube - this Social Media Ninja has done it all.