In the Age of You, social consumers expect to be treated like individuals, not data. Using social media sentiment analysis, your brand can take a consumer-centric approach to guiding the consumer decision journey – and here’s how:

Getting to know each other with social media listening

Dating sites understand that successful matches go beyond age, gender and location. They use complex algorithms to correlate likes, dislikes, and plans for the future between users. As a marketer, it’s your job to do the same. Demographic targeting may narrow the field, but it takes more for consumers to fall in love with your brand.

You’ve got to use social listening tools to reveal psychographic insights in real-time, so you can understand the emotions, buying behaviors and aspirations of consumers. This is what our Audience3DTM tool does, by leveraging Twitter’s Audience API.

Over 500 million tweets are sent each day, so there’s a LOT of data to mine here. Using social media sentiment analysis to divide your audience into micro-segments lets you guide them through the consumer decision journey with much more precision. But first let’s break down what that journey is.

From awareness to action, a consumer’s tale

There are four steps to the consumer decision journey:

  1. Awareness – they know who you are, they’ve like your page, or posts
  2. Interest – they’re sharing your posts, and possibly browsing your site
  3. Desire – they’re talking about you on social, expressing their needs
  4. Action – they’re buying, and sharing their satisfaction (or lack thereof) on social

Each of these steps is important, but the one where you really have power is the third – desire. Because social is – by definition – driven by social exchanges between users, consumer desires come into play frequently. But the key here? It’s not all about your brand.

Of course you want to know which products or campaigns have consumers excited – and why – but the best insights come from exploring what’s said beyond your brand being mentioned. The sharing of these desires – what they want to eat, to own, to watch, to do – give you common ground to relate to them as people first, at an emotional level.

And you can’t just care about positive emotions. Negative emotions, and what negative consumer behaviors (like “boycott” or “won’t buy”), consumers are broadcasting matter too. Especially when you delve into the reasons behind them.

Moving away from one-size-fits-all

This level of understanding means brands can personalize their marketing approach – which consumers now expect. Here’s an example:

Zenni Optical, an eyewear brand, used behavior data from NetBase to create a personalized quiz that guided consumers through the decision journey, from the “I need new glasses” stage to the “I need glasses that look like this” stage of things. Over 30,000 people entered their email address in just a few months, allowing Zenni to then send them personalized emails suggesting products that might appeal to them.

This worked for the brand in two ways: it showed consumers they cared enough to understand them, fostering trust, while also providing tailored advice to help them decide. The Zenni campaign’s ROI was 9655%.

Going “personal” is an approach not dissimilar to a modernized take on the tried-and-tested method of creating audience personas. The problem with audience personas is that – to an extent – they’re fictionalized.

We imagine that twenty-something male hipsters will like craft beer, but who really knows?

And they take time to create. What if craft beer is just a passing fad, over by the time you’ve put your strategy in motion?

Social data is available in real-time, so you know not only that it’s accurate, but that it’s accurate right NOW.

Planning for now and beyond

People change, and trends change even faster. Even holiday marketing must rely on current insights. Last year’s Christmas must-have won’t be relevant this season. Last Valentine’s Day didn’t coincide with the mid-season premiere of hit AMC series “The Walking Dead” – but this year it did. And the show, wisely, didn’t ignore that fact.

This is the advantage of working with real-time social data – the ability to capitalize on whatever’s happening in the social realm. And with personal insights to inform personalized messaging, you can successfully guide consumers through the decision journey to choosing your brand above all others.

Ready to get started? Reach out for a live demo of A3D to discover how your brand can guide consumers through the decision journey.

Image from Satya Murthy


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