Seven Questions on Social Listening

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

social listening

Seven Questions with Jeanette Russell on Social Listening

Jeanette Russell is the Marketing Director for, a tool we feature in our list of top campaign tools. will help you make sure you get the right message across to the right list segment through social listening. connects with most major CRMS as well. 

1. What is social listening?

Social listening is the process of monitoring digital channels to understand the conversations around relevant topics so you can better engage those people driving those discussions. The ability to translate these chirps into engagement opportunities means increased exposure for your organization.

2. Why is social listening important?

Social listening is more powerful than ever because it can be matched with specific data. This means it provides context to your campaigns and your people. For example, it’s possible to monitor how key stakeholders such as donors, activists, alumni, etc. talk about the issues that surround your work. What communications director wouldn’t want to know how their supporters talk about them online?

3. Who can I reach?

We recommend listening to people in your CRM or email list since you’ve already invested in these folks, who are your most engaged supporters. Listening works best when you focus on a narrow audience who you have the ability to engage by email or social. By connecting your existing data with social listening, you'll have context, and focus on the terms being monitored.

4. What is the coolest thing about it?

Social listening is a tactic is worth caring about because it allows nonprofits to engage their base in the moment when their issue is top of mind. Think about how hard you work to get folks to take action on email. Why not be ready for them on social when they actually talk or share content about your issues?

5. Do I really need a separate platform to do it?

The reason integrates with leading nonprofit CRM’s is because they don’t offer robust social listening features. That said, another option is to use tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to monitor what people outside your CRM are saying about key terms and hashtags.

6. How much does it cost? starts at $315/month, which includes a discount for nonprofits. Check out our pricing page for details and sign up for a demo to see how it could work for your organization.

7. What are the drawbacks?

To make social listening actionable, it’s key to 1) work on issues people talk about on social and 2) having calls to action. If you don’t work on an issue that people tend to talk about on social, it’s a bit more challenging to make listening actionable. Instead, your strategy will lean on listening to inform your content strategy and ride the wave of trending terms in your database. The other problem we see is the social media manager not having calls to action to send when key search terms are mentioned, which is more a function of organizational structure and priorities.

Bonus Questions:

8. When would you use it?

Advocacy is one of the best uses of social listening. For example, American Rivers had a staggering 24% petition completion rate for a recent campaign when they combined social listening with marketing automation. Each time a supporter mentioned “Grand Canyon” on Twitter or Facebook, that person was placed into a segmented email group and received an automated email asking them to sign their petition within 24 hours of the mention.

9. How do I learn more?

Download our guide, Your People Are Talking, Are You Listening. The best way to see how can leverage social listening for your organization is to request a demo. We’d love to show you how to make social listening actionable for your campaign!

Looking for advocacy and political campaign tools? check out our searchable list of top campaign tools list: