Be careful what you say online - you never know who could be listening. 

Today, this couldn't ring truer.

Since more and more brands are engaging in the act of social media listening, it'll come as no surprise that what you say online could be taken quite literally.

This method of 'digital eavesdropping' is a clever tool that can help you uncover trends, actionable insights and pain points that go on to shape your content offering, product development and marketing strategies. 

Social listening gives brands the power to create, organise and deliver exactly what their audiences are asking for, based on conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, happening on social channels. 

This goes beyond the act of simply tracking engagement, views and mentions. 

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Remember the Pepsi/Kendall Jenner scandal? A fine example of social listening. Pepsi were quick to pull their ad, based on riled customers and their negative responses - across pretty much all social media platforms. Perhaps a one-off, isolated comment could be dismissed, but when it becomes an overwhelming trend, a brand can use this to determine their customers' expectations and manage them in accordance. 

If you want to get listening, Facebook - now with over 1.13 billion daily active users - is a good place to start. 

Let's not forget social media giant, Twitter, with 313 million monthly active users. 

And, if that wasn't enough, did you know that almost a third of all internet users are using Youtube?

Simply put, these are numbers that can't be ignored. That's why it's more important than ever to have a firm ear placed on the wall of those conversations involving your brand, your competitors, and your industry. You can track these using social media management tools such as Hubspot, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social

Happy ear-wiggin'!