The Next Wave of Social Analytics: Link Listening

The Next Wave of Social Analytics: Link Listening
By Robert Moore

I am a pretty good listener, if I do say so myself. A twenty-five plus year career as an entrepreneur and sales professional helped me develop, practice, and fine tune my listening skills. But my listening skills wouldn’t be what they are today without a passion for helping other professionals achieve their goals. I just love to listen to a client’s business objectives and help create their path to success.


Today I have the great fortune of making a living listening all day long – social listening that is. I am the co-Founder and co-creator of the SpiderQube Twitter “listening” platform. Spider is where I spend my days, and many of my nights, listening to the myriad of different conversations happening on Twitter in real-time.

I can listen to topical hashtags like #socialmedia, TV show tags like the #WalkingDead, or the hottest new trend like #meerkat. With Spider I can listen, analyze, and database those conversations for further investigation and activation. As a self-professed “data geek”, this is my professional nirvana.

One of my favorite Twitter listening techniques is what we call “Link Listening”: listening for Tweets containing a link from a specific site, like This powerful, yet underutilized, technique yields multiple benefits for individuals, businesses, or brands using content marketing to create leads, communicate ideas, or drive intent to purchase.

Link Listening Basics

Link Listening uses a Twitter search query looking for all the Tweets from a particular site, i.e.


You can also listen to an individual post, like this one from Forbes:


Social listening platforms, like ours, can link listen 24/7, capturing and storing all the Tweets and profiles containing links from specific sites. Don’t have or want to use a social listening platform? Take advantage of Twitter Search to find Tweets containing links from any site.

Give it a try now: enter in into the box (no http://) and voila! Twitter delivers all the people who recently shared content from LinkedIn. As a LinkedIn member and amplifier, you have instant commonality and connection: a great group to start networking with and engaging.

Harnessing The Power of Link Listening

Certain sources of content attract certain types of engagement personas. There are so many amazing content sites to tap into, it boggles the mind. Start by link listening to your favorite industry relevant sites. For example, if I want to identify and database public relations professionals, link listening to leading industry blog like SpinSucks is a winning strategy.

Want to network on Twitter with people sharing LinkedIn content? No problem. Looking for social media thought leaders? Link listen to Bryan Kramer to capture the most influential people on Twitter. Link listening can quickly reveal emerging readership trends, indicating if you’re zeroing in on your target personas. The people sharing content from a site are just a fraction of the site’s total audience. But those content sharers are the most valuable part of a site’s readership. They are the brand ambassadors and amplifiers, and link listening identifies exactly who these super fans are.

Let’s take it one step further and dig into the site’s readership. You can listen for people sharing a specific post from the site. These “micro-communities” of content sharers have their own “digital DNA.” The character of the micro-communities can be profoundly different from post to post, especially in general content sites with diverse audiences. I recently did a hangout with Bryan Kramer on the power of micro-communities.

What can you do with that audience intelligence, on a macro and micro level?

  • -Identify influencers sharing content and engage with them.
  • -Connect your most passionate advocates with each other to create community.
  • -Send content directly to your amplifiers based on what they’ve shared in the past.
  • -Capture and activate audiences sharing your client’s earned media posts on third party sites.

Example – Client Earned Media Post On


Those are just a few examples of how your or your client’s business can benefit from link listening. It’s a simple but powerful strategy you can put to work immediately.

Robert Moore is a co-founder of oneQube Technologies, home of SpiderQube, a powerful social listening and engagement platform. In addition to being a Link Listener, Robert is an expert in qualified lead generation and direct response methodologies. When not spending time with his family and singing Karaoke, Robert studies Twitter data for the secrets of the universe.