Using Social Listening to Track Covid-19 Developments for Your Business

Lance Concannon Lance Concannon, Marketing Director, Europe

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All businesses are working hard to get through the Coronavirus pandemic as best they can.

Monitoring social media can help you stay informed about the latest developments in this crisis, from the global view right down to how it specifically affects your business, employees, and customers.

We have five tips for making sure you’re armed with all the information you need for your business to weather this storm:

Set Up the Right Search Queries

Millions of conversations about the pandemic are taking place online every day, so you’ll need to use Boolean search logic to make sure you’re focusing in on the ones which matter most to your organisation.

People are using different terms to discuss the situation, so make sure you’re covering all of the essential keywords, like: coronavirus, corona-virus, covid-19, covid19, pandemic, etc

That’s going to generate a lot of search results, so make sure you narrow it down by adding qualifying terms that will make the results more relevant to you. These could include geographical terms, like your country, region or town.

Or you could include your brand names, key industry terms, competitors, and anything that will limit the search results to just those that could be of specific relevance to your organization.

Identify Critical Insights with Dashboards

This is a global crisis, and it’s generating a huge volume of social data which is going to be impossible to sift through every day. Build dashboards that give you an at-a-glance overview of the big picture, so you can spot trends and patterns that might be worth drilling into – for example, if there’s an  increase of mentions of the virus alongside a competitor’s brand name, that’s something that you’d want to investigate.

Curate Lists of the Most Important Voices

At times like these it’s vital that we listen to the people who we trust the most; experts, leaders, people who can give us an honest, authoritative assessment of what’s happening. Use your social listening tool to create lists of these people’s social feeds, organised into appropriate categories (e.g. political leaders, medical experts, industry spokespeople) so it’s easier for you to find out what they’re saying as the crisis unfolds.

Don’t Miss a Thing – Use Notifications

The situation is evolving rapidly, with new significant new developments happening all the time. You need to make sure that you’re aware of anything that could impact your organization as soon as possible, and that’s where notifications can help.

Your social listening platform should enable you to set up notifications for various events, such as the volume of mentions passing a specific threshold, or a sudden increase in negative sentiment. These notifications will ensure that you’re able to react more quickly to a changing situation, by being alerted instantly instead of having to wait until the next time you check the dashboards to find out about big developments.

Use Reporting & Sharing Tools to Get Information to the Right People

All this information and insight isn’t going to be much use unless you can get it into the right hands. Set up daily automated reports, and make sure they’re distributed to all key stakeholders – your social listening platform should enable you to do this on autopilot, so you can be sure your team has the most up to date information without you having to manually send it to them every day.

At this stage it’s difficult to know how long this crisis will last and what the long term implications will be. Monitoring social media will ensure you understand how the issues are being discussed by the public, as well as what messages the authorities are pushing out; and being armed with this information can help you to steer you organization through whatever lies ahead.


Meltwater Social is trusted by global brands and agencies to provide robust social listening and analytics tools. If you’d like to see a demo of our platform click here.