January is a great time for taking stock of where your business or brand is – and where it’s going. What are the must-dos brand marketers should focus on? We put our new Instant Search tool to work to demonstrate a few tactics worth applying.

Take social audiences’ temperatures

The first thing you need to know is what social users are talking about, and this time of year there are a few easy guesses to point your social media listening tools toward – the inauguration, the Golden Globes, the upcoming Super Bowl, and where folks are at with their annual New Year Resolutions. We searched this last topic for insights, with a slant toward “business” and “priorities,” and found there was a good deal of chatter happening – more than 8 million mentions in more than 7 million posts:

summary metrics

Not surprisingly, the conversation spiked on January 1, with lots of positive emotion. By January 2, however, there was a lot of negative emotion in the mix. What does that tell you? All that gung-ho attitude turns to a bit of doubt for a moment – but then we see some positive spikes again for the next two Mondays. Mondays are “reset” days for many, so it makes sense there’d be a rise in positive feelings of resolve on that day.

Insights on this topic are obviously great for brands in the nutrition and fitness realm, but that doesn’t mean other brands can’t make use of it. It’s about connecting with consumers, and can’t we all relate to how tough it can be to keep New Year Resolutions from even a business standpoint? And it’s worth celebrating when we’re victorious – or helping niche clients BE victorious. Some easy conversation starters right there – and a great way to engage new audiences and make them feel known.

Feel your way

Understanding the emotional component in your social media analytics is key to relating, of course. On January 2, marketers in the know would’ve posted motivational messages, while on Monday January 9 it made sense to congratulate those who’ve pushed through the first week of the year and were still on track.

Let’s look at Sentiment Driver Attributes to see what else crops up:

sentiment attributes

Along with terms like “year’s resolution,” “great start” and “win” are terms about the Golden Globes and business – on both the positive and negative ends of the spectrum.

The emotions themselves are a mixed bag:

sentiment emotions

The most negative emotion is pretty extreme – directed at the election results, perhaps – while the positive emotions are determined and celebratory.

The behaviors associated with these emotions provide more context. We can click on a specific word to view Sound Bites – associated social posts that give us more information on that word. Here’s what clicking on “listen to” reveals:

sentiment behaviors

There are lots of people listening to business podcasts and presentations, among other things. If you were thinking of starting a motivational podcast, here’s your audience. And even knowing that an audience exists for a podcast around your focus area is extremely valuable to know ahead of time. Drilling deeper, you can also sort out what specific concerns your potential audience has and address them, almost like a mindreader, straight out of the gate.

Clicking each term in the word cloud offers up these clues brands can use to decide where to focus their efforts as they go deeper. These results are just the beginning – a compass to help you navigate to a more specific route toward consumer engagement. You’ll do that by refining your topic analysis to uncover more detailed audience segments.

Find true north

But first you need to know where to direct your energy – and you might be surprised.

trending source types

You can see that hovering over the peak on January 9 shows the highest volumes of mentions coming from Twitter – but, perhaps unexpectedly, news outlets and blogs are the next highest, with Tumblr close behind. The lesson here is not assuming your audience doesn’t exist just because you don’t see them on the social network you use most. You’ve got to figure out where they are, and engage them there.

Make use of influencers and inspiration

It never hurts to have a little help figuring out how to use all these insights you’ve gleaned, and that’s where Top Authors and Popular Posts come in.

Top Authors point you in the direction of potential influencers – those getting a lot of engagement while talking about things that align with your brand messaging. Connect with these people and build relationships so they’ll talk you up to their audiences.

Meanwhile, if you need to jog your creativity, take a look at Popular Posts to see what kinds of messages are working well with the consumers you hope to attract.

shea tweet

Instant Search can give you the last month’s worth of data on any topic in just moments – with the option to go back farther with a little more time. From there you can fine-tune your analysis to unearth any number of insights to power your brand’s strategy for the rest of 2017.

Whatever you do, keep your approach authentic, human and personal – and make it about them – and you’ll have consumers on your side.

Want to delve into more detailed specifics to create individualized consumer segments? Ask us for a demo to learn how to use our suite of tools for amazingly accurate results!

Image from Geneva Vanderzeil apairandasparediy


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