So, you’ve probably heard the news that Facebook has a looming name change in the works. While the name itself won’t really matter to your consumer intelligence efforts outside of adding it to your ongoing analyses, what this change represents to consumers will matter. It could matter quite a bit, depending on how it’s positioned, in fact. Bringing all sorts of opportunities along with it. Let’s take a look!
Zuckerberg has hinted for some time now about becoming a “metaverse” company. That is a vague notion but does hint at expansion, which will impact how consumers embrace the company’s various platforms.
For now, consumers don’t seem to care too much about the name change as much as they cared about Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp going dark on October 4. Regardless, we’ll look at what to watch and what Facebook’s renaming means for brands’ consumer intelligence efforts:
We’ll break down our discussion by looking at the following:
- What’s a metaverse, exactly?
- What AR/VR capabilities mean for your brand
- Sentiment showing the way
Before we get off the starting line, though, here are a couple of company stats hot off the press:
- As of their latest earnings call for Q3 2021, Facebook has 2.91 billion monthly active users. Of those, 1.59 billion are mobile daily active users.
- In September 2021, 6% of Facebook’s traffic came out of the United States, followed by 7.1% generated in India.
And online sentiment is evolving throughout the day, as more consumers learn of the change and consider its many potential applications and implications!
With that, let’s dive into some of the things your brand needs to consider regarding consumer intelligence as the most prominent social media conglomerate looks to spread its wings even wider.
What’s a Metaverse?
The term metaverse was first coined by author Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash released in 1992. The prefix “meta” means beyond, and “verse” is a play on the stem of universe. The term metaverse describes a future form of the internet formed by 3D virtual spaces linked together to create a cohesive virtual universe.
The metaverse seems to be where the global digital transformation is taking us. And just like our vast universe is made up of far-flung physical worlds and entities, the metaverse is composed of digital worlds that make up the whole. Games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox already exhibit traits of individual digital worlds that could be seen as subway stops within the metaverse.
Whatever Facebook names their umbrella, the digital realm of social media is already heading in the direction of the metaverse. And with robust investment into AR/VR, the company might just become the Grand Central Station within it. In some sense, they already are, but change is afoot – and with that comes the inevitable change in consumer behavior. And that’s why social listening will be a key element for brands that stay on the cusp of emerging trends – and the metaverse will soon dominate those trends.
What AR/VR Means to Your Brand
Whether you use them or not, AR/VR is closer to consumers than ever before. While we’ve all seen the cutesy, sometimes cringy augmented reality bunny ears on friends and acquaintances through Snapchat and Instagram. And we saw the impact that Pokémon Go created with consumers in 2016 by overlaying digital aspects onto a boring street corner.
But that was obviously a taste of what’s to come. And if you’re doing your social listening and market intelligence homework, then you shouldn’t be surprised here at all.
Augmented reality is everywhere with social media apps, but that’s just a taste of the future. According to Statista, VR headset shipments are on pace to grow at nearly 29% throughout 2021.
Virtual reality reared its head years ago but is now on the edge of the consumers’ thought process. And that’s because prices have dropped exponentially, making the Oculus Quest 2 an easy inroad for more VR customers than ever before.
So, where is the future going, and how do you insert your brand into the metaverse? It’s not just going to be ads as usual but an immersive approach that meets your consumers where they are hanging out. Depending on your audience, that might mean a simple, non-intrusive product placement like a Coke bottle placed on a nightstand during gameplay.
For others, it might be a banner ad in the lobby advertising 10 for $10 tacos. The future is upon us, and brands need consumer intelligence to tell them how their customers respond to changing times. Brands that are fleet of foot will be the ones winning the hearts of consumers in the metaverse.
So, that means your innovation and marketing need to be forward-thinking and always looking at how consumers are feeling towards new options. They’re obviously committed to social media, but what does that look like going forward? Consumer intelligence will be the deciding factor between brands that push into the metaverse, and those that are left behind.
Sentiment Shows the Way
Consumers are used to shifting with our changing times at this point. New ideas and options are crossing their radar all the time. However, many brands still struggle with capturing the “voice of the customer” and keeping pace with those shifts.
That’s really no surprise because that voice exists across multiple platforms like social media, review sites, blogs, forums, survey, news sites, call center logs and comment sections of posts. There really isn’t a nice, neat data source that you can use to disseminate intel to inform your business strategy – not manually, at least.
Social listening tools aggregate your audience into a cohesive visualization that allows you to dig into different consumer subsets and buyer behaviors, helping you map out and move them along your path to purchase. Whether you want to know how they feel about your restaurant in Detroit or if your new VR headset is comfortable for hours-long gameplay, sentiment analysis powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is the solution.
Facebook’s impending name change is a cog in the wheel of digital transformation. Will your brand be represented in virtual worlds, or will you be hanging onto old marketing techniques? We saw how well that went for businesses that eschewed moving to “online” years ago. And today, the game is changing much quicker. Category leaders know that social listening is your best bet to uncover consumer intelligence and get ahead of consumer wants, while going beyond whatever it is your competitor is prepared to do.
Consumers leave it all out there on social media, and it’s up to you to pick it up and see how they are reacting to things. The metaverse will offer advanced options to create experiences that resonate and that direct consumers back to your brand.
Social listening and media analytics are the sure-fire ways to ensure your organization is an early adopter of whatever comes next. The digital transformation is far from over, so reach out for a demo, and we’ll get you locked into consumer intelligence, so your business stays on point!