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Any book you pick up on social media will reference “listening” as a first step to social strategy. Too often, social listening is relegated to the practice of monitoring social networks in order to respond in a timely manner. But social listening serves a much higher purpose for those willing to really dig in.

Room 214’s Director of Research & Strategy, Michael Kwolek, joined @JasonCormier (that’s me), to talk about the kind of social listening that provides insights and actions. Take a few minutes to watch the interview!

Kwolek knows social engagement. Beyond simply getting a count on conversations about any given keyword, you can leverage social listening to add digital profiles to audience personas — or even create personas from the ground up.

B2B brands, and younger brands with little online conversation (brand mentions) can benefit from an overall marketplace analysis that leverages social listening tools as a key component. The main idea is using social listening as part of an overall strategy, as opposed to a tactical approach via one conversation at a time.

Crimson Hexagon is referenced as the tool of choice for Kwolek since he can dig into all of the data at the post level: “I don’t really trust software that is analyzing the human conversation.” Some key takeaways from my chat with Kwolek:

The real value comes from understanding people.The human touch is what makes the difference in analysis, and the software is only as effective as the people using it.

Quantitative + qualitative is where meaningful insights come in.You can’t simply rely on the output of software. Understanding human nature, emotions, and trends paints the qualitative picture needed to get the most out of the data.

The future of social listening is on the visual side.To some degree, social listening will become less about the written word. When Twitter is becoming more visually driven, and platforms like Instagram are becoming more popular, it’s no wonder. RezF is a new platform Michael is working with. It analyses the data behind an image, and can track how it is shared online. This is bleeding-edge technology, and “we’re still trying to figure out exactly what we can do with these insights.”

  • Read This: “The Martian” by Andy Weir.
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  • Quote of the Week: “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” – Steven Covey.


Room 214 is a team of people dedicated to being remarkable. Focused on digital marketing since 2004, companies hire us to take their social and digital to the next level: from awareness and leads, to sales and advocacy. Join the conversation:, @Room_214,

Jason Cormier

Jason Cormier

As co-founding Partner of Room 214, Jason is dedicated to helping people and companies grow and innovate. He is a best-selling author of Transformative Digital Marketing, is on HubSpot's Global Partner Advisory Council and serves as a mentor for social entrepreneurs at Watson University. He believes in acting out of love instead of fear, connected leadership and open book management.