4 Case Studies of Brands that Discovered the Wonders of Social Listening - Social Media Explorer
4 Case Studies of Brands that Discovered the Wonders of Social Listening
4 Case Studies of Brands that Discovered the Wonders of Social Listening

Businesses in every Industry overwhelmingly appreciate the benefits of social media. However, the majority of businesses that rely on social media marketing fail to adequately monitor customer engagement and references to their brand. Although 90% of companies feel that social media is a major part of their marketing strategy, only 41% monitor social media discussions closely. 

Many marketers are still skeptical about the benefits of social media monitoring. We have compiled a list of case studies that should quell any doubts about the benefits of social media monitoring. Some of the most impressive case studies on social media monitoring are listed below. 


Barkley is a major financial institution in the United Kingdom. In 2012, the bank released a new mobile banking application. 

Barkley was optimistic that customers would be pleased with the wide array of features the application provided. However, they still decided to monitor social media discussions about the new app. They quickly discovered that customers raised a major complaint that they never even thought of while developing it. Customers were disappointed that the app was not available to anybody under the age of 18, even though some Barclay customers were minors. They decided to make the app available to 16 and 17-year-old customers as well, which improved the sentiment around the brand. 

Barclay needed to drill down with their data to discover this complaint. When they monitored the activity on social media, they saw that only about 5% of all brand mentions were negative. Many organizations would have been complacent after seeing that the majority of customers had a positive impression. However, Barkley recognize the benefits of using social media monitoring tools to take a more nuanced look at their data. They probably recognized that negative impressions are much more likely to be shared than positive ones, so even a small number of negative views needed to be addressed. 

American Automobile Association 

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a nonprofit auto insurance organization that primarily specializes in emergency roadside assistance. AAA discovered that many of their customers were making comments and raising complaints through social media instead of calling the company directly. Since these discussions were typically made through public social media posts or forums, they had a clear impact on other customers perception of the brand. 

AAA decided to start monitoring social media discussions about their services. They started looking at Twitter mentions and reviewing approximately 6,500 social media posts every month to get a better perception of customer sentiment. 

AAA setup daily alerts for their brand mentions and used the most reliable social media monitoring tools available. They were able to both identify specific pieces of content, as well as the amount of website traffic that content received. This helped them get an idea of the types of customer comments that generated the most visibility.

The insurance company used this information to prioritize the inquiries that they responded to online. Instead of prioritizing responses based on the type of complaints that customers made, they focused on the content that was getting the most visibility. The goal was to show other customers reading those social media posts that AAA was committed to solving their challenges. 

AAA admits that it was difficult to accurately estimate the exact impact this strategy had on overall brand approval. However, many metrics clearly showed that customer sentiment improved considerably. 


Dell has been a technology innovator for the past 35 years. In addition to disrupting the computer industry and evaporating IBM’s monopoly on the PC market, Dell has also been a pioneer in social media marketing. They started social media marketing back in 2006, which was only a year after Facebook was launched. 

Although Dell has had a solid social media marketing strategy for over a decade, they didn’t prioritize their social monitoring strategy until later on. Dell began using several social media monitoring tools, as well as their own internal analytics to get a pulse on customer sentiments. 

Dell’s social media monitoring strategy played a key role in the development of its “Idea Storm” project. Idea Storm was developed to help train employees to better serve customers. One of the most important objectives was to help connect employees to the right channel to engage with specific customers with certain issues. In order to accomplish this, Dell needed to first understand customer preferences for engaging with the company. They created a social media monitoring strategy to determine how customers felt about various engagement mediums. 


Social media monitoring can be very helpful for companies that need to understand customer impressions about their overall approach to doing business. However, sometimes a social media monitoring campaign can be necessary to get insights about a one-time event, especially if the company is breaking from its traditional approach. 

Kmart is a prime example of a company that successfully used social media monitoring to test a strategy that deviated from its normal brand guidelines. Kmart is known for being one of the more conservative retailers in North America. They decided to change things up a couple of years ago by creating a viral YouTube video. The video involved subjects claiming that they needed to “ship their pants.”

As you can imagine, the phrase could be perceived as profanity to the casual listener. Kmart played on this by having other actors pretend to be initially shocked by the proclamation until the original subject repeated themselves. 

Kmart got a lot of publicity for this approach. The video received 13 million views. However, the goal was to determine whether the video had a positive or negative impact on the brand before proceeding with similar marketing tactics. 

The retailer developed a social monitoring campaign to figure out how customers felt about the video. The general perception was positive, so Kmart decided to continue with it.

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About the Author

Ryan Kh
Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. He is the founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like social Media, branding, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow his latest tweets on Twitter: @ryankhgb.

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