Have you ever needed to get actionable answers to complex business questions, but don’t have the resources for a focus group or other method of intensive market research? Do you ever find yourself in need of data-driven insights? You may be overlooking a massive, untapped resource at your fingertips.
Social Listening is a term that has quite recently begun to make its rounds in various industries, including Pharmaceutical, Telecom, Retail, as well as Food and Beverage. There is increasing recognition of its importance the world over. So, what is “Social Listening”? And why is it so important right now?
Why Social Monitoring is not enough
It’s very likely your company already has something like Social Monitoring set up, which is a great place to start. Social Monitoring is considered the tip of the iceberg, in which brand teams evaluate the performance of their social content and, in some cases, serve as a consumer response function. And while it is a critical piece of the puzzle, it shouldn’t be considered a complete solution. Paying attention to your own content exclusively can leave out equally important data sources, which could leave your brand and products open to risk.
What is Social Listening?
Very simply, Social Listening is the practice of collecting, aggregating, and analyzing social media conversations across multiple online platforms. But it can be so much more. Engaging with brands online has become widely expected by most consumers and one of the easiest ways to do this is through a brand’s owned social channels, like Twitter or Facebook. Social Listening also enables you to see what people are discussing outside of your owned social channels; so, what is being discussed organically on platforms you don’t control, like blogs and forums and news articles. This organic data is essential, as not having it could be a blind spot for brands who are unaware of what those conversations entail. Missing out on these critical posts could mean being unprepared for a viral event or future-crisis originating on a public site like Twitter, or a semi-private platform like TikTok. Social Listening can detect these posts, and deliver actionable insights based on that data.
Once you have the home front covered you can increase the scope of your listening to include any competitors in your field. Social Listening of your competitors will identify their strengths and weaknesses as perceived by their own customers, as well pinpoint differentiating factors between your brands and theirs, which will inform marketing and strategy initiatives going forward. Similarly, another useful strategy is to look at your industry as a whole. By illuminating the conversation surrounding a given industry, Social Listening allows brands to situate themselves in the context of the broader industry narrative. Competitor and Industry Listening will deliver critical insights about online events which are out of your control and could potentially impact your brand or reputation.
Data culled from Social Listening is made up of unsolicited mentions from users across the internet. This means that the data is free from the biases and other issues which plague traditional market research methodologies. Users freely offer up their opinions, experiences, ideas, thoughts, and so much more. It’s a very rich source of data, dense with useful information which can be vital to your day-to-day operations.
Examples of business questions Social Listening can help solve
Once your comprehensive Social Listening is set up, you can start interrogating the data for insights that will inform your business decisions at every level, from manufacturing to marketing:
- What are the determining factors in your customers’ decision to buy your products, or your competitor’s products?
- What are the overall consumer perceptions of your brand, and how does that relate to their perceptions of your competitors, or to your industry at large?
- What are the unmet needs of your customer base? How can you evolve your strategy to close those gaps?
- Who makes up your customer base, where do they live, what else do they care about?
- Can identifying your consumers’ other interests help you more effectively market your brand?
- Have you worked with social media influencers in the past, how effective and authentic was that campaign? Are you interested in working with influencers in the future, but are unsure of where to start?
- What is your team doing well, and how can you best expand on and amplify those successful strategies?
- What sort of terminology does your consumer base use, and how can you speak to them in their own language?
These questions represent a fraction of some of the complex business questions Anexinet analysts can help you answer with Social Listening.
Anexinet’s Social Listening analysts have a breadth and depth of expertise across multiple industries, including Pharmaceutical, Telecommunications, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Food and Beverage. Our analyst team has over three decades of combined experience, delivering custom reports, alerts, and actionable insights in any cadence or format a client prefers. Working with our Social Listening team provides you with access to the most important aspects of consumer conversations on social platforms, without any of the noise, so that you can continue to develop comprehensive data-driven strategies that resonate with your consumer.
Want to learn more about how you can gain business insights through a proactive social listening program? Check out our Social Listening as a Service.