There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has people scrambling to make ends meet. Those in the financial services industry have to stay on their toes to develop ways forward that are fluid and accommodate day-to-day fluctuations. Our 2020 Financial Services Best Practices Guide helps you rapidly get to the heart of what consumers are saying, in real-time, to inform those decisions.

Great Results Start with a Solid Setup 

Creating a good analysis structure will pay dividends long-term, as it enables you to replicate successful search topics and themes. As you prepare to start any analysis, there are two important questions to ask:

  • What are the ‘must have’ questions we need answered?
  • Which themes are going to help me slice the data to reveal relevant insight?

For example, you need to know how the coronavirus is affecting people in your market and what their needs are. So, your search should be built with that angle in mind. There are multiple  examples that you can replicate in the guide, each creating a streamlined top-down approach to your next analysis.


You can explore purchase or investment behaviors, as they relate to your brand, your competitors or the coronavirus as a whole. Or you can explore conversation around the Federal Reserve and overarching COVID-19 issues and themes that apply to your larger category.

From there, you can perform any number of analyses. We’ll speak to a few in just a second.

And at the heart of each analysis though, we see trends.

Laser-focused Trend Watching

Trending terms are often blips on the radar, but they are excellent for exposing gaps in needs. These unmet needs are aired online – very often. And a focused dive into a given conversation will root out the fears, concerns, political leanings, etc. behind them. Whatever is relevant to better understanding your customer base, it is all available with the right analytics solution powering your search.

And right now, with folks knee deep in economic uncertainty, many have questions around their 401(k). If their income has dried up, many will naturally wonder whether they can/should use some of it to get through the rough patch.

Exploring date/time and follower/visitor search criteria, we can dial in on the precise segment we’d need to reach to offer these explanations to. We can also determine where to best find them.


Maintaining broad search terms, at least initially, is important. You don’t know what you don’t know and will uncover valuable conversations this way.

For example, if you were to just put in 401(k) as your primary term, you could miss all of the people that referred to it as a ‘retirement account.’ Fortunately, we offer lots of related terms to help power your searches in our ‘tuner,’ so you don’t miss out on important, related search options.


And the word clouds offer clues to help refine your search and get to the heart of very targeted consumer sentiment:


It’s also important to decipher those not-so-obvious clues that positive sentiment can offer when buried in a pile of negative posts. It’s amazing what you can find in a search that you’d think would be (and very well, may be) predominately negative. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of finding that ray of light in darkness, for sure.

From there, it’s time to narrow your search.

Narrowing the Topic and Hitting the Mark

Small business owners have their own specific concerns, of course. To find out what this segment is saying online, we have many options. Two include:

  • Term-based social listening surrounding “small business” and associated keywords.
  • Through audience-based analysis, focused on small business owners.

Industry ‘trade-speak’ will be important to include in your search criteria to perform the most comprehensive capture, as mentioned previously. Be sure to think about personal narrative and self-identification language as you work through targeting language. We detail this further in the best practices guide.

With this in place, you can then isolate meaningful conversations. One method includes isolating specific authors’ conversations for deeper exploration.

Isolating Authors’ Meaningful Conversation

After zeroing in on your target conversations, you can turn your ‘authors’ into a person-based topic or theme for deeper analysis. This is a smart way to dial in on specific social audience segments:


These searches – and many others we share in the best practices guide – are simple to deploy, and incredibly informative all around. And there are so many options available. Pinpointing relevant conversations quickly is really just a few clicks away. In these volatile times, consumers want their questions answered yesterday. Speed demands precision. And you need to spend less time searching, and more time engaging.

Be sure to read the best practices guide and set aside a few minutes to reach out for a targeted demo of your own!


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