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Social listening — the use of technology to understand when someone is talking about you online — is important to digital marketing efforts. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some of the facts.

When I surveyed over 11,000 consumers for my study on how people complain to brands using social media, I found that a staggering 328 of every 1,000 social complaints go unanswered. That is equivalent to almost 289 million unanswered social complaints per year when scaled up to the U.S. consumer population.

Whether for social customer care, staving off a PR crisis, identifying new opportunities, or understanding your brand’s reach, social listening is crucial in today’s digital marketing environment. It is part of the reason companies like KLM can leverage social to the tune of an extra $25 million per year in annual revenue.

But social listening isn’t as easy as you’d expect, and it further expands the disparate marketing technology stack being used by marketers every day. Martech needs simplification, not complication, if it is going to improve on its current, less-than-outstanding penetration.


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Today, Synthesio has announced a new partnership with one of the most prevalent social media management solutions available — Hootsuite — to help provide powerful social listening and intelligence capabilities within a tool that is already being used by over 10 million people.

The integration allows marketers to listen, analyze, strategically engage, and respond to customers seamlessly across all of their social platforms. The two solutions combined allow for a single social media management platform that combines the listening, analytics, and intelligence features of Synthesio with the publishing capabilities Hootsuite offers.

While the data suggests that social listening is important, it is fair to say that many companies still aren’t doing it. I wondered how this partnership might change that status quo and move a larger number of companies toward social listening practices.

“Most organizations start out with the basic search streams you see in Hootsuite today — @mentions, keywords, etc. — for a few different social networks, and Hootsuite, with well over 10 million users, clearly does a very good job with that,” Leah Pope, VP of global marketing for Synthesio, told me. “However, we talk to a lot of companies that realize that they’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg, and there’s a whole set of discussions and conversations out there that they’re missing — in different languages, on different platforms, on the web, about competitors, etc. This partnership will be a great way to introduce some of the power of social listening to these users that otherwise wouldn’t know about it.”

Basic social listening usually begins when a marketer searches for mentions of the company name, or the product they provide. Hootsuite already provides that capability, so what does Synthesio add to this functionality?

“The current capabilities are great if you want to find mentions that are specific to you or that are very basic, but if you want specific mentions that really matter to your brand, company, business, or agency, then you need to have a more in-depth search function that will help give you a complete picture,” Matthew Zito, VP of product at Synthesio, told me. “A large part of this is that Hootsuite only finds mentions on a limited number of social networks and languages, but with Synthesio you can pull in mentions from millions of different sources, so you can get a comprehensive view of discussions happening about your brand everywhere and in more than 90 languages.”

While that  level of social listening works, it won’t tell you when someone you care about — such as an active prospect or customer — is complaining about your service without mentioning you by name. Fortunately, Synthesio offers a solution there, too. It is able to pull in a list of users and track the things those users are saying on a given topic. While Synthesio has Salesforce integration — mostly for the creation of potential leads via social listening — it can monitor a user list using any data source or CRM.

For Synthesio, this new partnership with Hootsuite — which sees the breadth of its data appear in one stream within each tab on Hootsuite — is an effort to make social listening more of a mainstream affair for digital marketers.

“At Synthesio, we’ve focused our efforts at being the best-in-class social listening and analytics platform,” Zito said. “Our customers have consistently told us that they want to be able to take that data that we’ve surfaced and respond to it, or publish content based on that. Hootsuite has a massive presence and is easy to use, so with this integration it makes it easy for our users to build rich analytics in the Synthesio platform, then seamlessly stream that data to Hootsuite for social media teams to respond and engage with their users.”

Synthesio’s integration with Hootsuite is available today via the Hootsuite App Directory for select Synthesio customers, and will be available for everyone soon.

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