The Power of Transparently Sourced Social Insight

Niraj Sharma |
 11/21/19 |
5 min read

The Power of Transparently Sourced Social Insight

The power of capturing online insight is lost when brands do not have access to what’s informing it. Transparently sourced social insight is table stakes today, or it should be. Because if the accuracy of the insight gathered cannot be confirmed, it is of little value to brands. And can be pretty scary, actually.

Yet today, we see many analytics tools that slice and dice their data using black box methodology. This makes it impossible for brands to track insight back to the source, and requires brands to trust that the tool knows best.

Oftentimes, it does (know best) – and we’ll get to that a bit more in a second. But regardless of its capabilities and expected accuracy, without a way to track insight back to its origin, there’s no way to be sure. And there’s a lot of money riding on these results, as social analytics touches every part of a savvy organization’s strategic planning.

Social Insight Informing Every Part of an Organization

There’s a misperception that social analytics insight is only relevant to and used by the marketing team in an organization. In some companies this is the case, but leading brands have adopted social listening to support a variety of functions. They use it to understand the consumer journey and ways to create relevant touchpoints, for sure, but that’s just scratching the surface. Some other ways leading businesses and agencies use social analytics insight follow!

Consumer Experience Understanding & Planning

Every brand thinks they have the pulse on its audiences’ needs and wants – but do they really? What a business believes is happening from an in-house perspective is very different from what consumers are experiencing in their day-to-day interactions with a product or service. And creating experiences that resonate is a key differentiator in any vertical.

Also – customer care that doesn’t incorporate social listening is far from attentive. That’s something competitors are sure to pick up on.

customer care informed by social listening

Brand Health & Crises Avoidance

Keeping a brand’s reputation intact online is something that can take a good bit of effort, particularly when it inhabits the B2C realm. Consumers have lots of power thanks to social media, and they wield it.

customer service, satisfaction and experience stats

One way that brands maintain health and avoid crises involves influencer marketing, which is a bit of a misnomer. A relevant influencer does much more than promote, s/he is a brand advocate who truly has the pulse of a category. In the process of monitoring an influencers social channels, brands are alerted to hot topics that they would have missed otherwise.

monitoring an influencers social channels for transparent insight

They’re then able to make decisions in real-time, as they can track the volume of any conversation, as well as trending terms pushing to the forefront in any context . . .

top terms and emotions surfaced with transparent social insight

and deploy their influencers with targeted messaging to get out ahead of the conversation and redirect it. And that is just one of many avenues available. As the conversation around “sustainability” shows – the Fast Fashion crowd should be paying attention to growing discontent headed their way.

They should be considering social analytics for the next use case – innovating away from wasteful practices.

Ideation, Innovation & Product Launches

Research and development teams that are not aggressively monitoring online for new ideas will miss out on conversations that matter. And features that are indexing highly with target audiences.

Some of the best ideas have been sourced from online participation. Take Instagram’s founders, for example. They realized how important imagery was becoming online, and stripped their app bare to focus on that super important capability.

Or, how Hulu uses it to sort out which shows fit best with their subscribers:

Hulu sorts out which shows are the best fit with transparent social insight

Competitive Intelligence

Beyond sourcing ideas from this consumer insight, there’s a world of competitive intelligence available to brands online. They can see how well they’re doing against existing competitors, and even new competitors to be aware of.

Brands talked about in the sustainability conversation

These potential disruptors could capture an increasing share of voice and be easy to spot. Or they could be flying under the radar while resonating with a very niche, but important, audience segment you’ve been neglecting.

And that can be supported by predicting trends, of course.

Predicting Trends

New trends could cause a shift in the market, or even spawn a new category. Having a baseline to compare conversations against is important for this reason. Is online chatter increasing around a specific functionality that users really want?

And, most importantly, has there been a change in your brand’s Net Sentiment over time? If so – good or bad – what is behind it? That intel on its own can is extremely valuable.

posts and mentions over time

Understanding shifts in sentiment requires a compilation of insight from a variety of sources, of course, which is an area where the folks at BrandZ excel. They’ve been gathering consumer insight around brands for more than twenty years and creating brand valuations for fourteen.

BrandZ Valuations

The BrandZ™ brand valuation methodology “combines extensive and on-going consumer insights with rigorous financial analysis.” You can read about the process in-depth here, but for our purposes, it’s important to know that “a brand’s value is its ability to appeal to relevant customers and potential customers,” which is something sentiment analysis can certainly help flesh out.

By BrandZ standards, those that create the “greatest attraction power” are brands with these three characteristics:

  • Meaningful. In any category, these brands appeal more, generate greater “love” and meet the individual’s expectations and needs.
  • Different. These brands are unique in a positive way and “set the trends”, staying ahead of the curve for the benefit of the consumer.
  • Salient. They come spontaneously to mind as the brand of choice for key needs.

In a recent presentation during Kantar Talks 2019, Martin Guerrieria, Global BrandZ Research Director, shared insight around these valuations during his presentation, A Call to Arms for UK Brand Building:

Kantar Talks 2019, Martin Guerrieria, Global BrandZ Research Director, shared insight around these valuations during his presentation, A Call to Arms for UK Brand Building

We’ll leave you to watch it (and it’s really worth your time to do so) to explore the UK’s Top 75 Most Valuable Brands. But knowing that its research is comprised of insight from 3.7 million individuals and 165k brands across a range of categories in more than 50 markets world-wide should pique any brand’s interest.

Entirely Objective Brand Valuations

It’s able to bring fantastic context to help with brand building thanks to its entirely objective valuations.

“A BrandZ brand value is the absolute dollar quantification of the intangible asset of ‘brand’ that sits in the mind of the consumer and reflects changing consumer attitudes and behaviour,” shared Guerrieria during this presentation.

And, as Guerrieria shared recently with NetBase, BrandZ has begun to use aspects of search and social to help diagnose some of those sentiment shifts.

BrandZ deploys a robust 15-minute survey, asking carefully selected consumers a range of questions – and that survey data does the heavy lifting from a consumer standpoint. But as there’s been a proliferation of brands in certain categories, BrandZ is increasingly looking at ways to use search and social data as an indicator of brands to watch.

BrandZ monitors brands as they become increasingly high profile before they reach a large enough size to feature on a consumer survey.

Another example of usage is “if we have a particular brand improving in its brand value, or its brand equity, then search and social data can also provide additional context as a useful way of trying to understand why that might be.”

And it’s the why that a social analytics tool can masterfully sort out, assuming it aggregates data from a variety of structured and unstructured data sources.

Enter AI Studio

And not only that, but next generation AI-powered social analytics can help with brand awareness too. AI Studio automatically surfaces related themes, eliminating user bias and maintaining that objectivity that BrandZ bases its valuations on.

AI Studio's transparently sourced social insight surfaces related themes

Best of all? It’s all sourced in real-time and entirely transparent. Analysts can focus on what they do best, analyzing the research, while the AI surfaces relevant insight to power their work – relevant and easily verified insight. How amazing is that?

Reach out and we’ll show you what it can do to help you increase brand love online. And maybe one day you’ll merit inclusion on a BrandZ valuation!

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