Stop Shooting in the Dark – How Social Listening Perfects Your Aim

Carol Feigenbaum |
 03/17/16 |
3 min read


When shooting an arrow, you’re aiming for the bull’s-eye: a small specific area worth more points than the areas surrounding it. When marketing to consumers, you should be doing the same thing with your messaging. And if the message is your arrow, then social listening is your bow. Here’s how to use it to ensure your aim is true.

Define your audience

Targeting consumers before you’ve defined your audience is like using “Fire! Ready? Aim!” as your strategy at the shooting range – a big mess dependent on luck over skill. And applying social smartly takes skill.

Might you win over some suburban moms by mentioning wine, or some teenage girls by mentioning boy bands? Of course – but assuming every person in a given demographic group all want the same thing is dangerous.

First of all, consumers want to be treated as individuals – not stereotypes within a demographic. Secondly, narrowing your audience to only those you assume are members is short-sighted. There are exceptions to every demographic – and you want to find them.

You do that by using social listening to find commonalities in social conversations. You want to know:

  1. Who’s talking about your brand
  2. Who’s talking about your competitors
  3. Who’s talking about any of the same things THOSE people are talking about

Point three is where you’ll find your exceptions – people who don’t fall within that initial demographic group, but are in line with your audience in other ways. From there you can define micro-segments to target. But don’t fire yet. You still have to aim…

Get to know them

This is where psychographics come into play. Beyond the broad age/gender/location info that demographics offer, psychographics offer dimensional insights about consumers: their attitudes and tastes, and what drives their behavior. Who and what do they love, hate, want, need? What are they obsessed with or passionate about? From personal life, to work life, to causes they care about – you want to know.

Emotions are the driving force behind social posts, so you want to understand what consumers are feeling – and how intensely. This is this only way you’ll be able to connect with them authentically. That is, if you can understand what they’re saying.

Because their posts are emotion-driven, consumers use slanguage and emojis to do much of the talking. If your brand doesn’t speak these languages, you’ll be in trouble. But with a slanguage tracker that can decode emojis, you’ll have the keys to the castle.

Then, once you know what consumers are feeling, you can identify feel-alike, want-alike and buy-alike micro-segments based on shared interests and emotions. And now you can create messaging that will have real impact and create genuine engagement.

Fire away!

With a clearly-defined audience, and the knowledge of what ignites their passion, you can offer individualized messaging that comes across as authentic instead of as a sales pitch. Consumers have too many options to settle for in-your-face marketing tactics, and they know it. They want brands to work a little to woo them.

But that work isn’t nearly as mysterious as it seems. When you use social media listening to gather real-time social insights, you’ll easily be able to hit your target squarely every time.

Want to see how our social listening tools help you hit your marketing bull’s-eye? Reach out to schedule a demo!

Image from Yun Huang Yong

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