Psychosocial approach: Communication and social listening in polarised contexts
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Social listening

Social media listening is …

an intriguing practice that revolves around uncovering and actively engaging with online conversations. It entails immersing oneself in discussions centred on specific keywords, phrases, and events, truly connecting with the pulse of these digital dialogues.

Through attentive listening to these conversations, we gain invaluable insights into the patterns and trends that shape our online interactions.

When embarking on a social listening strategy, the initial step involves diligent monitoring. This critical phase encompasses capturing and analysing a wealth of information, including mentions, social shares, likes, word-of-mouth volume, sentiment analysis, retweets, and more. Embracing this comprehensive approach allows us to decipher meaningful patterns, track the sentiments driving discussions, carefully scrutinise individual comments, identify influential voices that sway opinions, and uncover the underlying themes that drive significant outcomes.

Social listening as tool of populists

In the realm of populist leadership, social listening takes on an entirely new dimension. It emerges as a potent tool that empowers these leaders to discern the pressing concerns that deeply resonate with their dedicated followers. Whether it is grappling with economic disparities, navigating the complexities of immigration, or unravelling the intricacies of national identity, they attentively listen to the concerns that matter most to their constituents. Moreover, social listening empowers these leaders to assess the impact of their messages and fine-tune them accordingly, guaranteeing that their words strike a harmonious note with their intended audience.

It’s important to recognize that social listening can also have a manipulative aspect. In the hands of populist leaders, it can be harnessed to create an echo effect, where their message reverberates and permeates the digital landscape. Through skillful utilisation of social listening, they can magnify their narrative while concurrently reducing the influence of individuals with varying viewpoints, potentially stifling the wealth of diverse thoughts essential for a flourishing and inclusive society.

Social listening
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