Defining Social Listening: Recognizing an Emerging Dimension of Listening
Social listening occurs in a variety of mediated contexts, but it has yet to be clearly defined in the realm of communication and listening studies. This report explores social listening as a developing listening type extending from the existing taxonomy of listening, posits a definition of its meaning, evaluates its role in organizational and interpersonal communication, and discusses its value as an additional listening dimension. Based on a review and synthesis of literature across multiple fields of study, we describe social listening as a dimension of listening comprising a blend of purposes complementary to the existing appreciative, comprehensive, critical, discriminative, and therapeutic listening types discussed in Wolvin and Coakley’s (1993) listening taxonomy. As mediated communication continuously evolves within the communication landscape, the urgency to understand social listening will surely increase. With this in mind, we introduce and define social listening as an emerging type of listening and as a means of attaining interpersonal information and social intelligence that can empower relationships and influence the way we listen to and communicate with one another through increasingly popular mediated channels.
International Journal of Listening
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Stewart, & Arnold, C. L. (2018). Defining Social Listening: Recognizing an Emerging Dimension of Listening. International Journal of Listening, 32(2), 85–100. https://doi.org/10.1080/10904018.2017.1330656