Social Listening Captures Consumer ‘Me to We’ Mindshift

Carol Feigenbaum |
 09/09/20 |
5 min read

social listening me to we mindshift

Consumers are calling brands to action, and there has been a significant cultural shift from “I’ language to “we,” and with it, a social solidarity with brands matching their values. Many brands have learned to listen to this seismic shift using social listening. And capturing exceptional competitive intelligence.

We will these explore valuable insights, including:

  • Social platforms/media as a key component to “We’re all in this together” and why brands need to pay attention
  • Brands following where their consumers lead and adapting to reconnect with them

And we’ve uncovered some interesting stats, such as:

  • 4 in 10 Americans said they felt lonelier than ever during this pandemic
  • 66% of consumers say that transparency is the most attractive quality a brand can have

We’re All In This Together – Or Are We?

It could be said that prior to the pandemic, we were very disconnected from one another. And now, due to weeks of self-isolation, technology has been the savior to connect us. And it’s playing an active part in pushing a “me to we” mind shift in our collective conversation and how we view the world.

A common managerial technique, building the idea of there’s no ‘I’ in team, it’s a shift that the world needed to adopt to progress, and one that companies needed to stay current.

It’s no secret that consumers have felt isolated. In April 4 in 10 Americans said they felt lonelier than ever. So, now is an opportune moment for brands to connect if they hope to stay in consumers’ line of view. Using competitive intelligence can offer a winning edge.

Shifting Conversations Tracked Over Time

Over the past year, “we’re all in this together” has garnered quite a lot of attention and most notably, “we aren’t all in this together,” as seen by our conversation clusters below. And this speaks to the disconnect people have felt and the very different realities many face:


For an in depth look at how this conversation has changed, a timeline view is optimal for capturing detailed insights.

For instance, we can see individual articles about this new collective thought starting at the beginning of October 2019, through to our present day:


Continuing the message of together, we see it shift and reveal that not everyone is sharing this sentiment. Below are 2 articles – the one from March has a unified message, the more current article from July points out a shift.


So, what happened? Social listening helps us understand why the narrative is shifting, offering valuable consumer intelligence.

Finding Sentiment Fluctuations

Our metrics shows a fluctuation in conversation. As expected, in March we see a large spike and then it starts to even out until July, where we see a sizable dip in sentiment.


Investigating further using social listening,  a post that is directly related to this fall in positive sentiment explains that the “me to we” conversation is tiring.


And there are others, such as Pat Sajak, sympathizing with those who aren’t feeling the togetherness. This post received 22K retweets and 87K likes. A valid point for brands to consider as they reconnect with consumers.


It could be that “We’re all in this together” is starting to sound like an empty platitude to consumers, which has observant companies listening and creating a crisis response by using competitive intelligence and social listening to help guide their footsteps carefully.

Brands Recognizing Me to We Disconnect

There are different ways this new normal affects consumers depending on where they fall in the social strata. And brands that are laser focused on where their specific consumers land are making the best choices.

Together on TikTok

69% of TikTok’s users are made up of Generation Z. And they are perhaps the most diverse generation yet, heavily aware of environmental, political, and socio-economic problems that society faces. Due to this, they also support companies who they feel have a positive impact on the world.

And MAC Cosmetics fits.

MAC currently has 48K+ followers on TikTok. Connecting with consumers is something they do well.

But instead of saying a lot, MAC is showing. All Ages, All Races, All Genders, an inclusive message that leaves no one in the dark.

And unlike a lot of companies making big “we’re in this together” posts that could come across as disingenuous, MAC keeps it simple letting their actions do the talking, which offers an air of transparency. We see 66% of consumers say that this is the most attractive quality a brand can have.


And perhaps they used consumer intelligence to help guide them. Comparing demographics using social listening between MAC and TikTok, we can see they have a lot of the same aged fanbase – making sense for them to make TikTok their home.


Using less language and more inclusive imagery is working well for MAC due to the age demographic seen here, but it may not work for another brand who is trying to reach a different set of consumers.

Some are exploring spaces they wouldn’t have thought of even three years ago.…

The New Advertising Frontier – Gaming

Unlike many industries, gaming has prospered with revenues projected to reach $159.3 billion this year. And it could be said that it has brought many people together during this time, and perhaps is one of the shining examples of “me to we.”

And gaming is its own social platform as consumers can talk, trade items and battle one another, making it great place to advertise.

Recently an odd brand entered the gaming arena to spread it’s “better together” campaign, Getty Museum made all its art collection available within the game Animal Crossing. Focused around creating an alternate world, players can have a Monet hanging in their kitchen, or a Picasso printed on their characters clothing.


Gamers Seek Connections Too

Perhaps Getty’s decision was made to stay in visitors’ line of sight, or to promote camaraderie? Our competitive intelligence will help shine a light.

When we look at gaming fan’s professions, Creative Arts is the largest segment.


And their largest interests aside from Gaming and Sports are all creative fields as well, Anime and Comics, Fashion, Arts & Crafts and Technology.


For Getty Museum, this decision must have been a no brainer if they used social listening to help them make their advertising decisions. Where they blended in seamlessly in the gaming industry due to similar consumers, it may have not worked as well with other static advertisement spaces.

Using a bit more consumer intelligence, our Word Cloud unveils consumer feelings about gaming over the past month – with Love, Great and Thank. And an emoji house – perhaps a nod to games for capturing consumer’s hearts and bringing people together while staying home.


Navigating consumer emotions is fickle business. A message that’s viewed as good one minute, may garner negative press that completely shifts its meaning the next. It’s critical that brands have the right competitive intelligence to monitor these emotions and know how to react accordingly – and quickly. Be sure to reach out for a demo and we can help you get started!

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