Years ago, only a few social channels really mattered to brands—three, maybe five at most. Brands want to be where consumers spend most of their time, after all, and the options back then were slim. Likewise, there were only a couple of handles to pay attention to, and there really wasn’t a need to have real-time intelligence on your competitors’ social media activities—not yet. Overall, the ecosystem for posting content, as well as the number of brands actively participating online, was significantly smaller.
This has all radically changed, though, and it’s time to adapt.
Today, brands find themselves struggling to monitor several brand, product, and influencer handles on a multitude of different channels, aka “distributed assets”. They’re monitoring all of their competitors’ social profiles too. And that’s not all, as the bar is continuously being raised.
Companies not only need to monitor many places at once right now but also prepare for many more generative AI-powered consumer-capturing content sites muddying the social field. In short, they must track various accounts at once to stay informed, with post counts that will grow exponentially.
Monitoring Many Places at Once
It’s fairly easy to manage your digital assets across various social media networks, assuming you have one of each. And there are many tools available to help businesses of all sizes manage 50 social media channels if they want to. However, it gets more complicated as the scope increases, and without the right tool, it’s impossible.
Think of a brand like Nike. They have the official brand channel, and they also have different sub brands, product categories, and lines that need individual channels. Then they have sponsored athletes (brand ambassadors) with their own channels. And they have at least five competitors to watch, with possibly just as many channels for each. To stay on top of the game, this leading athletic apparel company needs to monitor hundreds or even thousands of channels simultaneously. This is an arduous task for any marketing team, from merely a promotional standpoint, and says nothing of the financial, security, and reputational risks that brands are exposed to with every channel.
But monitoring these various channels and profiles doesn’t have to be risky or difficult with Rival IQ.
Making the Most of Every Available Asset
With a social media audience that is spread across a multitude of platforms, staying continuously informed is a must.
With Rival IQ, you can adopt a new way of approaching social intelligence to not only free your team from the limitations and risks of managing hundreds or thousands of accounts, but also uncover opportunities through its different use cases, a handful of which include:
- Improving content marketing and capturing product insight
- Measuring and comparing the performance of digital assets at scale
- Managing brand message across thousands of channels
- Standardizing marketing practices among separate marketing arms
- Identifying M&A targets and/or partnership opportunities
- Monitoring public affairs
Capturing Product Insight for Real-time Analysis
Understanding the response to different brand products helps the business meet consumer demands and identify new opportunities. And you’ll want to quickly identify which content types drive the most product engagement and growth and compare this intel against hundreds or thousands of other offerings.
And how do specific content types correlate with product preference? It all makes a big difference.
To illustrate, imagine a quick-service restaurant chain with franchises across multiple locations adds a new item to the menu. By monitoring the item’s reception across all of its locations, the brand can measure product performance, control how it’s being promoted by each restaurant, and share insights gathered at different locations to improve the entire chain’s performance. Or, as seen in our purely illustrative example below*, a chain could monitor the social channel engagement rate at various locations across the world:
This will tie into its strategy for content marketing.
Improving Content Marketing
Content marketing success depends on creating relevant messaging and reaching the target audience at the right time. You’ll need data-driven insight to optimize advertising that drives the most engagement per channel. This includes the content format, subject matter, how your hashtags are performing and which you should be using, and much more, including:
- How is my organic content performing across different channels?
- How is owned content performing in total and specific locations?
- How are employees engaging with customers during an impending product launch?
- Who are the influencers, and which brands are they working with?
And you can identify competitor mistakes, as well as gaps in marketing and advertising, to explain their performance—and beat them at their own game.
Mind the Gap
For instance, a media entertainment company has many social channels and influencer profiles that are crucial to day-to-day operations; these include radio, events, and personalities. The questions they’ll uncover answers to include:
- How can we drive the most engagement across each channel to improve concert or festival attendance?
- Which topics resonate most with our audience at this time of the year?
- Which competing events or broadcasts are experiencing top engagement—and why?
And monitoring these channels in real-time will reveal the content types to create, the channels to publish on, and the times to publish. And it will clarify which influencers to partner with in the future to skyrocket these offers. Some options an entertainment brand may consider—and monitor—could be:
- Are quizzes, trivia, and how-to’s driving more engagement than interviews?
- Does content featuring hip hop artists drive the most engagement within video games? Which ones?
- Should content be published between 12 – 2 PM EST on Tuesdays to garner the highest engagement?
And are there peripheral brands or competitors that we should consider acquiring?
Identifying M&A Targets and/or Partnership Opportunities
When scouting for potential partners, mergers, or acquisitions, a lot could go unnoticed—things that may come back later to haunt the brand. But with a complete view of the landscape, you can compare brands, products, and companies at the market level and make an intelligence-driven decision.
Rival IQ helps you conduct large-scale deal sourcing to see who is growing rapidly or outperforming in their sector. You can see how overall market trends impact engagement across entire product categories and industries to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your potential partners.
For example, in the cosmetics industry, competition is fierce. Evaluating a company’s true reach is challenging with vanity metrics offering a surface appearance that may conceal what lies beneath. With a multitude of key players participating online and new challengers emerging daily, accurately gauging the growth and success of these contenders is critical. And this is especially true when considering potential partners or acquisitions.
Success on social media is a leading indicator of consumer interest and figures prominently in these negotiations, so betting the business on less than accurate intel is ill advised. Below, we can see cosmetic companies’ posts about an “it” ingredient, niacinamide, along with follower engagement. Paula’s Choice is resonating with its audience and competitors should want to know why:
Before moving forward with a partnership or acquisition though, it’s important to take time to monitor public opinion through the lens of existing relationships and any other potential challenges. These things could impact your company’s perception and negatively affect brand health.
Comprehensive Monitoring for Brand Health
Today, organizations have to factor in public opinion when making strategic decisions because consumer decisions are also driven by the opinions of peers. A comprehensive monitoring of social media can tell you about the important political topics being discussed and the influencers and key opinion leaders backing them.
Further, it helps you stay on top of potential public relations issues or regulatory reforms impacting your industry.
The cosmetics companies from the previous example may decide on the top picks for partnerships based on their consumer engagement, but they need to dig deeper to understand issues that could significantly impact their public perception after the merger or acquisition.
- Are there any problematic posts or positions taken on social media?
- Who are the brand influencers and are they controversial?
- Is there alignment on diversity, equity, the environment or any other concepts that are key to your company’s mission?
Knowing what is happening ahead of time is always preferable to unwelcome surprises, and surprises are inevitable unless you’re consistently monitoring a company’s entire digital portfolio.
This ensures you’re never in the dark about the direction you need to take to accomplish your marketing and revenue goals. To learn more about how Rival IQ can help you monitor the many social channels and profiles relevant to your business, reach out for a demo today.