How Social Listening Differs from Social Intelligence? ...

How Social Listening Differs from Social Intelligence?

Do you know the difference between social intelligence and social listening? Are they the same thing? People often confuse these two data analytics tools in social media monitoring. Social intelligence and social listening are concepts that people use interchangeably, but that is very different.

Social listening is listening to react, whereas social intelligence is gathering information about our audience to improve our business. To get a better idea of what they mean and how they can benefit us, we will understand their difference, how they work, and what they are.

Explaining Social Listening

Social listening is listening to conversations about our brand on social media. It’s a way to monitor what our customers are saying about us on social media. Moreover, it can be an important part of understanding how people think about us. In addition, Social media listening gives businesses insight into what people are talking about their business.

social listening solution allows companies to collect data from these platforms to use it for their own purposes. It can be used to provide better customer service, track brand mentions, or improve advertising campaigns.

Social listening is gathering information about our audience’s online behavior to understand their preferences in a better way. It includes monitoring posts on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter for patterns in content (e.g., likes or shares) and analyzing trends through studies conducted by third parties such as Google Trends.

Read Also – 13 Tips To Improve Your Social Listening Strategy

Explaining Social Intelligence

Social Intelligence is a broad term that encompasses several different skills. It is the ability to understand and perceive social information, as well as the ability to use this information in making sound decisions.

“Social intelligence is the unique ability to recognize and respond appropriately to social cues.” The term was coined by Howard Gardner, an educator at Harvard University’s Center for Human Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has studied self-control since the 1970s. His research found that there are six types of cognitive abilities: linguistic fluency (reading), logical reasoning (thinking), spatial visualization (drawing), musicality/rhythm perception, composure, synchrony (listening), and interpersonal communication skills. “They are all linked back together through commonalities shared among each other within one individual’s life cycle throughout childhood and adulthood.”

Social intelligence involves using human insights from experts on how people interact with technology through apps and websites. This helps businesses understand how they can create more engaging experiences for customers and users who may be using these technologies daily.

4 Key Differences Between Social Listening And Social Intelligence

Let us have a look at some of the major differences between social intelligence and social listening.

1. Definition

Social listening is the act of collecting, analyzing, and making sense of social media data. Social media is the ability to understand and use information from social media in real time.

The main difference between these two terms is that social media listening involves gathering information about our customers’ behavior on social networks. In contrast, social intelligence refers to understanding what people say about our brand online or offline (for example, on blogs and forums).

2. Benefits

Using a social media listening tool is an excellent way to stay updated with what our customers are saying about our brand. It is also a great way to understand their needs and wants, which can help us create better products or services.

Social intelligence, on the other hand, involves looking at what people say about themselves; in simple terms, it deals with self-perception. It also analyzes how they perceive others in their social networks, also known as social cognition. This type of research gives brands insight into why people do what they do, whether online or offline.

3. Purpose

The difference between social listening and social intelligence is that one is a tool to understand the conversation. At the same time, the other is a tool to understand people. Both have their purpose but are different in nature and application.

A social media listening tool can help us understand what our audience wants, how they feel about specific topics, how much value they place on our brand or product, etc. Still, it does not give us any insight into why someone would want a particular thing from us and not want something else. It also does not help us to gauge the barriers that are preventing them from purchasing our product or service at all costs (e.g., price).

Social intelligence helps businesses identify their target market by understanding their needs better than anyone else. Only then can we create products and services that are based on those needs rather than simply guessing based on assumptions made by others before us.

4. Scope

Social listening is a broad term that refers to conversations on social media. The concept is simple: we want to know what people say about our brand and its products.

Objectives of social listening tools are-

  • Monitor social media for mentions of our brand, competitors, and our industry
  • Identify influencers in our space that can help expand the reach of our content
  • Monitor and respond to negative comments from customers and fans

Social intelligence, on the other hand, is more specific and refers only to what people say about our brand or product. This can include complaints or praise and feedback from fans or customers that may affect how they feel about our company’s offerings.

Objectives of Social Intelligence are-

  • Identify and evaluate the social media platforms that are right for our business.
  • Create engaging content on those platforms that will increase traffic to our site and keep people coming back.
  • Be able to use analytics tools to track which types of content work best, how often they’re viewed, and whether we are gaining or losing followers over time.


Social listening is a powerful tool that can help us understand our customers better, but social intelligence can help us be more successful. The difference between the two is simple: social listening helps us learn about our customers by following them on social media and other platforms. On the other hand, social intelligence helps us make decisions based on this knowledge to drive business growth and optimize customer relationships.

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