Not Getting Enough from Your Social Listening Tools? Change Your Perspective
Sergio Oliveri |
 06/24/16 |
3 min read



Though most brands and businesses are sold on the benefits of social intelligence, not all marketers are clear on how best to apply social listening tools. It’s less about numbers than it is about your audience – and understanding what drives their behavior on social media.

Our newest white paper, The Audience Perspective: How Innovation In Social Listening Ignites Marketing Success, by digital strategist Jason Falls, talks about why audience-centric marketing is so crucial.

One reason is that brands want more from social data – and rightly so. As social monitoring technology has progressed, the use cases for social media have expanded and accelerated well beyond consumer engagement and customer service.

What matters to brands now is gaining insights that foster customer acquisition, customer retention, and builds brand reputation and value – and an audience-centric approach is how to do that.

Why your audience should be center stage

Putting your audience at the center of your data isn’t an entirely new approach – it’s just easier to do now. With the release of our Audience 3D™ tool, instead of being limited to keyword searches, marketers get to ask better questions, like “What drives my customers to purchase?”, “What topics are my target audiences passionate about?”, and “What messages and opportunities appeal to customers versus prospects?”

These insights are far better than simply searching for your brand name on social to see how many mentions you have. When you know what your most loyal fans think as compared to non-fans, and what else they talk about and what makes them tick, you can appeal to them at an individualized level that’s more human, and less of a sales-pitch.

How are brands using audience-centric listening?

So are the old ways just kaput? Not necessarily. Taco Bell Manager of Social, Industry and Competitive Intelligence Mihir Miniwala says the quick serve Mexican chain uses social media intelligence not as a replacement for traditional research, but as a way to enhance such research. Adding unsolicited consumer feedback to the mix of insights garnered through more traditional methods makes it that much richer.

And Intel’s Director of Digital Analytics, Chuck Hemann, says Intel has made a point of using social audience marketing this year, in an effort to broaden the view of consumers beyond simple marketing personas, to understand how consumers engage with the brand.

Unlike marketing teams still using social listening tools simply to “count things,” this approach means opening your brand to entirely new audience segments, in addition to insights about customers and fans.

And these insights tie directly to the top three marketing KPIs in Deloitte’s annual CMO surveycustomer acquisition, customer retention, and brand value, as noted above. These KPIs offer the direct connection to revenue business leaders used to bemoan was missing.

Now the C-Suite can feel even more confident in making decisions knowing the data they’re receiving is far more detailed than in the past – and it’s all happening in real-time.

How can you apply this technique yourself?

To understand how to do this, and highlight results with real numbers, we can use Vespa as an example.

Vespa had two objectives: to acquire more customers, and to differentiate themselves as a transportation brand. They knew they needed to understand their audience better to do this, so they used NetBase to gather data on an audience of known Vespa owners.

In studying the content these customers consumed and shared, Vespa learned they were passionate about style, fashion, and design – and that these emotions inspired their Vespa purchases.

This was entirely different than anything Vespa had been promoting – so they used these insights to make changes not just to their marketing messages, but to their blog as a whole, turning it into a style “magazine.”


What they got in return was 50,000 visitors to the new online magazine, 2790 sales leads (45% of which were new to Vespa) and a 24% increase in volume of online conversations. These results were a direct result of the social data, and the company’s decision to market to the audience they had – not the audience they’d always presumed to have.

And that may be the biggest takeaway of the white paper – that social data alone is not enough, and advancing technology alone is not enough. Marketers and business leaders must understand how to use social media monitoring tools properly, and how to view data through the lens of their audience to actually benefit from it.

There’s much more to learn about both in the white paper The Audience Perspective: How Innovation In Social Listening Ignites Marketing Success, so download your copy now and put this new perspective to work for your brand.

Or reach out for a demo of audience marketing using the NetBase platform.

Image from Raúl González

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