How is Social Listening Different from Online Review Monitoring?

Frederik Hermann

3 min read Last Updated Apr 23, 2021

social listening vs review monitoring

You care about what people are saying about your business. Whether your business is mentioned on Facebook, Google, Twitter, or an industry-specific site like Healthgrades, knowing what the online universe is saying about you is important.

So important that you want to take steps to monitor all these mentions of your business, right? You’ve heard terms like social listening and review monitoring. They seem pretty similar. And well, they kind of are … and they kind of aren’t. First of all, let’s clear up this confusion by defining both.

What is social listening?

Social listening is monitoring your business’s social media channels for conversations about specific topics, words, phrases, businesses, brands, and industries. Also, social listening helps you leverage insights over time to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.

What is online review monitoring?

Review monitoring is monitoring what customers are saying about your business on online review sites such as Yellow Pages, social media like Facebook, and industry-specific sites like Zocdoc. Also, online review monitoring can enable you to proactively engage with your customers.

 online review monitoring vs social listening

How Social Listening and Review Monitoring Are Similar

Both of these tools help you improve customer experience by listening to what your customers have to say about your business. As a result, this practice helps you use this feedback to decide what:

  1. Your business should be doing more of based on the positive feedback
  2. You could be doing less of based on the critical feedback
  3. Products/services you could add to differentiate yourself from your competitors

 online review monitoring vs social listening

How Social Listening and Review Monitoring Are Different

  • Review monitoring collects every mention and interaction on review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yellow Pages. In contrast, social listening collects information across all of your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Also, social listening is finding trends after monitoring mentions of your business and related topics, words, and brands over time. Online review monitoring is being quickly made aware of an issue (via alerts) and solving that issue on the spot. Usually, this involves responding to a 1-star review immediately and addressing the grievance head-on.
  • Finally, online review monitoring helps you address the cause of an individual’s grievance in order to build customer loyalty. In contrast, social listening takes this to the next level by helping you find the root cause behind social conversations and implementing long-term strategy changes by analyzing the bigger picture behind all of the conversations.

Example: You receive a 2-star Google review. It states, “Delicious meal. Lovely waitress. But the chicken was a bit rough.” As a result, you respond to the customer review by giving them a free appetizer and a bottle of wine on their next visit. This is review monitoring.

In contrast, a month goes by, and you see a trend developing of complaints about the food only on days a specific chef is working. With this knowledge, you can go to that chef and make him aware of the problem. This is social listening.