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Social media is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for small businesses. You can market new products online, sell through Instagram, use it for customer serviceand even listen to customers’ opinions.

With social media listening, you can reach the right people at the right time with the right content.

People often confuse social media monitoring with social listening, and vice versa. While they are similar, they aren’t the same. Taylor Kincaid, social media director at Online Optimism, says social media monitoring is responding to comments and questions on your social media profiles.

Think of social media monitoring as something you do daily, i.e., monitoring notifications to answer comments and questions. Social media listening, however, is a macro view of what people are saying online.

“Social media listening and social media monitoring offers brands two distinct use cases,” said Rachael Samuels, social media manager at Sprout Social. “We often say, ‘Monitoring sees the trees; listening views the forest.'”

Social listening provides a broader view of industry trends and customer sentiment that may have a direct or indirect impact on a brand, said Samuels.

“It captures trends and brand opportunities that may have otherwise been overlooked … and, therefore, gets left out of the greater brand strategy,” she said.