Even before the events of 2020, understanding what your consumers wanted was crucial to any brand, as consumer needs and wants have always been a moving target. The effects of the pandemic have further altered consumer behavior, making it all the more volatile, and your enterprise can’t afford to let any social listening opportunity pass you by.
As we see below, news and blog conversations about “social listening for the enterprise” spiked just ahead of the November elections. These conversations have been consistently increasing since, and for good reason. Companies are recognizing the need for this technology and are exploring it with an urgency as they seek to outpace competitors.
It makes sense. Having social listening intel inform your actions from start to finish saves valuable time and resources. In this article, we’ll go over how social listening can optimize marketing efforts and cover:
- The many ways enterprise level listening pays for itself
- Why companies relying on consumer analytics are winning market share
- Why social media monitoring cannot be a ‘one off’ activity
Consumer data analytics helps an enterprise outperform their competitors on KPIs, and the consumer analytics market is expected to reach USD $10.2 billion by 2025 as a result. It’s definitely a trend with staying power, if nothing else. Why do brands think they need it? Let’s find out.
Enterprise Level Listening – Brands Need It
Getting straight to the point, any enterprise that utilizes social listening is more likely to outperform their competitors on KPIs. And that applies to profit, sales, ideation and ROI. Results vary, of course, as not all social listening tools are created equal.
A common use case for social listening is around trend identification, but the true power behind it is largely underestimated. Having a tool that can tease out what is trending is great – but the ability to whittle it down to the details is where the magic lives. And this means a Boolean search option is a must for your social listening tool. And the ability to choose the specific channels you want included helps a ton too.
Fine tuning initial results, sometimes referred to as “disambiguation” gives your analyst the option to include/exclude terms and hashtags and is critical in helping narrow down results. And a quick list of connected keywords offers a helpful assist when it comes to casting a wide net in your social analytics search.
Once done, the enterprise has endless options for working with the data. It can create a variety of dashboards that offer competitor analysis, brand benchmarking, influencer identification, news vs social conversation comparisons, consumer journey mapping, brand health monitoring, crisis management and more. And customizing the time period of a search allows companies to dig back to compare past metrics to ones as recent as the past hour. All of it easily exported to PDF or Excel for proprietary data dives or stakeholder reporting:
And companies want this intel in real time. This is important, as consumers are increasingly impatient, with 37% globally expecting a response from businesses within the same day. Setting alerts empowers brands to respond quickly. And yes, a robust social listening tool offers that too.
Social Listening Moves Companies to the Front of the Line
There are 4.2 billion social media users globally and 4.15 billion on social media via mobile device, so social listening is indispensable when it comes time to stand out, monitor share of voice or eavesdrop on competitors. And how else does an enterprise truly understand consumers and what makes them tick? You can be certain your assumptions are off, all around, if they form the basis of your consumer/category understanding. Consumers dislike assumptions, FYI. As we can see below, consumers express extreme emotions about your assumptions – none of them encouraging. None of them feelings you’d want associated with your company, and consumers are quick to post when they feel misunderstood.
Social listening uncovers what consumers like, don’t like, how they feel about a certain product or influencer – and even comparisons between brands. Where do your brand strengths and challenges really lie? This is intel that takes enterprise insight well beyond surveys. Companies can explore consumer segments or individual metrics around post reach, engagements and sentiment. And they can find it by searching terms, hashtags, emojis, imagery or industry-specific language.
You’ll no longer wonder which content resonates – target consumers will tell you, and they’ll act as brand ambassadors for you, with a small bit of personalized attention sent their way. And you’ll be able to do this with audiences at scale, thanks to psychographic intel you’ll uncover as part of your social listening activities.
The name of game is being proactive instead of reactive. It’s the best way to ensure brand health and to obtain a competitive advantage by knowing so much more about consumer, emerging trends and other key intel first. And having first mover advantage is a definite plus as well.
Staying Competitive Requires Social Listening
The consumer analytics market is expected to reach $10.2 billion US by 2025. It’s a data-informed world out there and your enterprise needs to be part of it.
Monitoring consumer behavior over time and identifying patterns in consumer conversations is important, as is having a baseline to quickly measure these patterns and conversations against. Does that spike represent an emerging trend? Has that complaint begun to travel via retweets and such? Should you take action around either? Social media listening helps you quickly distinguish between noise and news you need to pay attention to, offering relevant insight to take those immediate actions when needed and to hang back and monitor the situation when that’s the correct course.
It’s really the only way to be consistently proactive and make informed, strategic decisions when it comes to brand health. Otherwise, as many dangerous and potentially out of business companies have done before you, your team is spot checking for potential issues/trends and missing a lot. Neglecting this intel is catching up with companies at an alarming rate. And then you have to consider if your competitors are missing these opportunities as well, or winning market share away from you. Do you want to assume they aren’t? You may want to refer back to your consumers on that one, and reach out for a demo!