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What is Active Engagement or Social Listening?

Welcome to The Social Lab! This blog will not only help you navigate your personal social media, but also investigate marketing trends and examples of great social media work. Do you have something we should talk about? Make sure to send us an email or contact us on social media.

Today in The Social Lab, we are going to discuss what Active Engagement / Social Listening is and how it can benefit your company or personal brand.

Ever wonder how you can engage with potential fans on Twitter or Instagram, when you don't know who they are? One way to find customers or to increase your audience is to listen to what other people are posting on social media. is a horror movie review site that has a particular audience it wants to target. They know that individuals that love scary movies are more than likely going to be interested in their website. Instead of simply posting material and hoping this audience sees their content, they instead want to actively seek out their desired audience. Here is how they do it on Twitter and Instagram.


Save Horror will regularly utilize Twitter's search bar to find individuals who post on topics that relate to their website. For example, Save Horror typed "scary movies" into the Twitter search bar and then monitored what people were posting. Check out the figure below to see how they then engaged with an individual that they felt would be interested in their company.

Save Horror

Save Horror found a great opportunity to respond to this individual and help them out. By listening and engaging, Save Horror began a conversation with the potential fan (below), which resulted in @RobynnXO following Save Horror's Twitter account.

Save Horror

Sometimes a potential fan won't necessarily ask a question that you can answer, but they will say something relevant that you can like or retweet, which increases your chances of them interacting with you in the future. Many companies will actively engage and monitor potential fans for hours every day. While the work is tedious, it will result in the purest form of social media engagement that will result in improved organic performance. Social media is a two way street, which means that companies and individuals alike should interact in order to mutually benefit each other.

With Twitter's Advanced Search capabilities, you can further target the exact audience you want to listen to. For example, you could target people using specific hashtags that are located in a specific area. Pretty amazing!


How can you actively listen to and engage with potential fans on Instagram? All you have to do is type a specific hashtag in the search bar, which will then show you the most popular or the most recent posts that used that hashtag. Save Horror will regularly search horror, to then interact with people that post with that hashtag. Many times they will like a post, but they may also comment or even share a post that they feel is very relevant to their current audience.

How can you increase your chances of receiving a follow or like back? Interacting with posts that are already very popular will result in your interaction being lost to the chaos. Instead, sort posts by time and you can engage with individuals that just posted something, which will increase your chances of being seen.


Wondering where Facebook is? Because of the separation between personal and business Facebook pages, it makes it very difficult for a business page to actively engage with a personal Facebook. What you can do is remember to always respond to whoever comments on your posts and like posts by other business pages.

Because of the built in relationship between audience and business on Twitter and Instagram, it is now easier than ever to reach out to potential fans and interact with them on a more personal level. No matter what though, always remember to your desired audiences best interests at heart. Giving horror movie recommendations makes sense for Save Horror, since they write movie reviews. A food and travel magazine giving horror movie advice could seem spammy and off topic. Just remember to always remember your audience, what they want, and the voice your company should have.

Do you agree with our strategy? How do you listen to your current and future fans? Comment below or email us right away!

The Socii Project team

Social Media Marketing


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