At last month’s Social Media Week London event, marketing agility was the topic of a panel moderated by NetBase VP EMEA, Michael (MJ) Paradiso. How to Use Real-Time Social Media Insights to Improve Your Marketing Agility offered a revealing discussion with heavy-hitting social media managers from top brands:
- Rema Gouyez Benallal, Group Digital Content Manager, L’Oréal UKI
- Thomas Curwen, Global Analytics Manager, Huawei
- Charlie Marples, Social Media Insights Manager, Lloyds Banking Group
- Manideepa Paul, Social Media Insights Manager, Lloyds Banking Group
Here are 5 powerful takeaways you can put into practice for your own brand.
1. Silos and Reporting Backwards Are Out
As MJ, NetBase VP EMEA, reminded everyone, the shift we’re seeing is away from silos and toward integration across the organization. Though historical data still has its place, real-time data is now the key to agility. And agility is crucial to responding to consumer demands.
Those demands are greater than ever, centered around an emotionally engaging aspirational experience from brands. Luckily there’s more data available at faster speeds – if brands just put it to work.
Something to remember now: It’s not about whether you can get to the insights, it’s about how quickly you can get to and apply them. All while retaining a human element to your strategy. It’s possible, but not all tools are built alike – so be forward-thinking as you shop around.
Accuracy and completeness of data are paramount.
2. Specificity Wins the Day
Influencer marketing is a huge component in industries like Beauty, where seeing a product in use is what sells it to the masses. But understanding how to use influencers depends on understanding exactly what their followers are responding to, according to Rema Gouyez Benallal, Group Digital Content Manager, L’Oréal UKI.
“There’s so much room to understand the comments around influencers, but NetBase enables us to look at comments to understand sentiment and whether people are excited to see the influencer wearing our mascara versus being excited to show off her new nose ring.”
These distinctions enable brands to adjust tactics to make the most of their influencer impact.
3. Understanding Consumer Concerns Lets You Highlight Your Strengths
The panelists shared use cases illustrating how social analytics insights have directly impacted their brands. Thomas Curwen, Global Analytics Manager, Huawei talked about their goal of promoting their strengths, and the need to understand consumer conversation to increase brand awareness smartly.
For example, with regard to mobile phones, there’s a lot of negativity around handset battery life with their competitors. Huawei used this information to create events highlighting the long life of their phones’ batteries. They set up charging stations where their phones were the chargers – a great way to answer a consumer need while showcasing a key feature of their product.
4. Use Cases Inspire Executive Buy-in
Senior leadership buy-in is important – but that doesn’t make it easy to attain. Getting social respected as a data source requires the same approach as all brand endeavors – understanding your target audience, in this case, managers and executives.
“Finance people are infamously risk-averse,” shared Charlie Marples, Social Media Insights Manager, Lloyds Banking Group. That makes assessing the impact of risk events, or pre-empting them altogether, very attractive to the higher-ups at Lloyds Banking Group. They use triggered alerts to avoid escalations of negative sentiment, which has improved confidence of social data.
Adds Manideepa Paul, Social Media Insights Manager, Lloyds Banking Group . “It helps when you can validate hypotheses that come up in traditional media – like a TV ad, for example.” When social data proves or disproves the hypothesis, its value becomes clear. This is why it’s so crucial to look at all data holistically, versus social data in isolation.
5. Integration and Agility Are a Process
Real-time social listening is invaluable in identifying gaps in brand strategy and campaigns, explained Rema Gouyez Benallal, Group Digital Content Manager, L’Oréal UKI. With a new product launch, for instance, you may have assets ready and deployed, but social listening the next day reveals that consumers don’t understand how to use the product, or aren’t connecting to certain elements of it.
Agility depends on access to these real-time insights so you can create content to fill in the gaps of knowledge. But you’ve got to identify the gaps in your system as well.
“You have to give your teams the right tools and equipment, and access to the right people to be agile and create that content. It’s all test and learn, and you don’t know you’re missing that piece until you get the feedback from the team saying, ‘This is great information, but I don’t have access to a photographer or camera or studio to be able to do those things.’”
Once you uncover such potential weaknesses and create solutions, you’ll be able to react quickly when social insights demand action.
Be Part of the Cultural Shift
As MJ, NetBase VP EMEA, wrapped up, he noted that looking at data in real-time, as opposed to after the fact, is a cultural shift – one some brands are still on the fence about.
But the brands in the know are sold – and they’re worth listening to, especially if they’re your competitors! As Rema Gouyez Benallal, Group Digital Content Manager, L’Oréal UKI. put it, it’s about shedding light where there wasn’t any before. What brand doesn’t want that?