Social Listening Success Secrets
Carol Feigenbaum |
 01/11/17 |
4 min read


All brands hope unlocking the mysteries of their target audience using social media listening will breed success – especially when some brands make it look so easy. What’s the special sauce the rock star brands use to maximize their social analytic efforts? We’re spilling their secrets!

2011 Weightlifting Junior nationals 2011

Image credit: Jamie Jamieson

1. They let their competitors do the heavy lifting

Competition is everywhere – and more intense than it’s ever been. This is especially true for brick and mortar stores trying to thrive against ecommerce giants like Amazon, and hot new options that offer a personalized experience, like Stitch Fix.

Savvy brands use social listening to monitor their competitors – and their customers – to gather perspective on:

  • What consumers love about their competitors – so they can provide it in their own way, and gain market share
  • What consumers hate about the competition – so they can offer a better customer experience with their own brand
  • What new trends are cropping up beyond their personal brand’s world, and in their category as a whole

Once you know what other brands are doing you can create messaging and strategies that set your brand apart in a competitive way. And you’ll avoid being surprised by market changes that could render your brand obsolete.

kitty love

Image credit: Ana Sofia Guerreirinho

2. They show consumers the love

The only way to get consumers to care about your campaigns is to make sure your marketing addresses things they care about. It sounds obvious, but too often brands assume they know what consumers care about instead of actually finding out directly from the source.

Social media offers an always-on resource full of exactly the information you need to speak to consumers’ passions – and that’s the key to connecting with them. Their social posts are full of everything they love, and everything they hate. Speak to those things in an authentic, human way and you become one of the things they love.

This level of personal connection is part of your customer experience – so don’t shrug it off. And remember to track the results of your campaigns in real-time to know where your audience stands in the moment. Then you can adjust any low-performing strategy while there’s still time to right the ship.

Image credit: Lemsipmatt

Image credit: Lemsipmatt

3. They prepare for the rain, even when skies are sunny

No one wants to think about a crisis happening, but if it does, being unprepared makes everything worse. The best way to ensure your brand’s survival at such times is to actively monitor conversations on social so you’ll know a crisis is brewing at the first signs of trouble.

The smartest brands keep an eye on industry-level issues like supply chain and labor relations, as well as negative sentiment at the customer level, as these can indicate situations in danger of erupting into much bigger deals.

Use your social media monitoring tools to be alerted to use of high-risk keywords and worrisome conversation volumes – and have a ready plan for dealing with potential crises, with all involved leaders aware of their roles.

Image credit: Ian Westcott

Image credit: Ian Westcott

4. They use every bit of intel at their disposal

There’s no single information source that will tell you everything about your target audience – thus social data isn’t a replacement for other sources of information, but rather a complement.

Focus groups, surveys, sales data, demographics, and psychographic data from social media all work together to create a comprehensive buyer persona – one you can leverage to gain unparalleled customer loyalty.

Use these insights to create a unique brand experience that delights your audience and makes them want to talk about you on social channels. Identify and reward your most devoted brand advocates and influencers and they’ll help you reach consumers wary of “marketing.”


Image credit: Morgan Sherwood

5. They take risks while protecting brand health

It doesn’t matter how long your brand has been in business, or how long you’ve been at the top of the food chain – any brand can fall from grace if they don’t continue to evolve to meet a changing marketplace.

At the same time, you can’t change so much you no longer resemble the brand your core customers know and love.

The best way to move forward is to use your audience listening and competitive analysis data to inform innovation of new products, updates in style, and any other levers that matter to your customers.

Experiment while keeping a close eye on brand health via your monitoring tools, expand your audience with targeted messaging for each important segment, and respond to consumer concerns promptly so customers always know they matter.

Mastering these success secrets will keep your brand thriving despite the challenges of the modern market – but don’t take our word for it. See them in action by checking out 5 brands applying these secrets to see exactly how to put them into practice. Consider it part of your competitive intelligence.

And for more on how to use NetBase’s social media listening tools to grow and protect your brand, reach out!


Image from Chris Greevebiester


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