Hallmark. Budweiser. State Farm. These brands are nothing alike, but they’ve got one huge thing in common: Emotion. Whether it’s a nostalgic moment inspired by a keepsake ornament, the harrowing journey of a lost puppy, or the hilarity of an old man playing keep-away with a dollar bill at the end of a fishing pole, all three brands hit consumers right in the feelz with their commercials.

Sentiment sells, but not just on TV. Brands need to inject emotion into their social interactions if they want to make an impact with consumers. How do they do that? By using social listening to uncover what makes social users feel – and want to share – emotions.

Measuring how you measure up

For brands to know how to proceed, it helps to know where they’re at with consumers – how their brand is perceived, and the emotions it elicits. NetBase assesses Net Sentiment (what consumers are feeling) and Brand Passion (the intensity of those feelings) to give brands an idea of whether consumers like or love, dislike or even hate them.

Knowing how consumers feel gives brands the option to turn negative opinions around with stellar customer service and outreach – or to create brand advocates from their biggest fans on social.

But there’s even more that brands can do to take this emotional quest deeper. Because it’s not just knowing where consumers stand with their own brand that matters. Knowing how consumers feel about competitors is just as valuable.

Digging deep in social to get a complete picture

But brands can go still further. Understanding the conversations about your brand on social is great, but if you really want to connect with consumers, you need to know what else they’re talking about as well.

Let’s use the Budweiser Best Buds commercials from the past two Super Bowls as an example. In general, there’s nothing about drinking beer that screams “cute puppy” is there? No, but if deep social listening revealed Budweiser’s audience talking about puppies on social, of course they’d use that information.

That’s just an example, but it’s the kind of big picture thinking brands need to incorporate if they want to stand out with consumers. Because what consumers want – and frankly expect – nowadays is a personal, human approach by brands. Pushy sales tactics and gimmicky promotins just don’t fly anymore.

What DOES fly is anything that can inspire laughter, tears, rage, eye-rolling, etc. If brands want to know which emotion to tap, they’ve got to pay attention to their audience on social. Only the brands that listen hard enough will have all the deep customer understanding to stay ahead of the competition.

How well do you know your consumers in social? Learn how leading brands are tapping into social audiences by embracing the new normal in marketing.

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