Stop, Collaborate and Listen: How Social Listening Can Help You Achieve Online Success

Stop, Collaborate and Listen: How Social Listening Can Help You Achieve Online Success

Wesley Mathew
24 June 2019

Big data – the buzzword everyone loves to hate because it conveys so much yet most of us just skim over the surface of the data available, despite this offering key insights into our customers that’s invaluable to effective customer relationships.

Then there’s the whole new kettle of digital fish that is social data.

Social Media Today has kicked off the month saying that even if you’re constantly active on social media, or your brand is consistently engaged in social media marketing, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest trends and consumers’ usage shifts – which you really need to know in order to align your strategy accordingly.

Making better business decisions based on Social Data

More than that, with customer experience top of everyone’s mind, a particular focus on your audience’s user habits and changes, as well as of trends and broader marketing shifts, mean that your brand’s social media marketing approach is more responsive and effective overall, reaching your consumers in a way that’s the least distracting, which means you’re deriving the best possible value from your investment of time and ad spend.

But, as with anything, that means putting people in place with the skills and knowhow to do so effectively, as well as the ability to learn as times change and new ways of work emerge.

Social media’s only been a core focus for the past decade or so, yet for savvy businesses it can’t be ignored, as that’s where your audience spends the bulk of its downtime – often second-screening; scrolling through feeds while also watching TV, commuting or working.

What do Social Listening and Social Selling Have in Common?

This social media second life (sorry, Second Life) is the reason social selling and social listening are two of the top social media marketing trends for the year.

Social listening is of huge importance here, as you can tap into what your current and potential consumers are saying about not just your brand but also your competitors and category overall – it’s like a secret spy hole, right into their hopes and dreams.

Even better? 90% of consumers already reach out to brands and retailers directly on social media, taking out some of the guess work, but on the flipside, 78% of people complaining to brands via Twitter expect a response within the hour. Heaven forbid something goes wrong at the other wide of the world or over the weekend if your social media accounts are only monitored during “business hours!”

Source: Social Media Today

That’s why Melissa Attree, creative director of Ogilvy Cape Town and one of the country’s top content marketing minds, mentioned that great tactical work relies on a switched-on community manager, using social listening tools.

Many companies have access to extensive databases that they just don’t use effectively. Don’t fall into that trap. Think of creative ways to share your brand information with consumers. There’s a plethora of fancy tech out there, but email is still one of the most powerful digital tools in the marketer’s arsenal, to share information both ways.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. In fact, there’s expected to be a 31% growth in social listening tools this year, and using social media listening for lead generation as well as social selling is expected to snowball as a result.

How closely are you listening?

Teen Tag Team: Hollister, AwesomenessTV and Social Data in Action

We’re already seeing case studies of the success of implementing a social data strategy in your overall marketing umbrella, with MediaPost reporting that Viacom is putting social data to good use in adjusting content for branded series on its AwesomenessTV platform for teen apparel brand, Hollister.

Just three years ago, the brand owned by Abercrombie & Fitch was struggling not just with raining awareness among those slippery millennial consumers but also in zipping up affinity with them.

Cue AwesomenessTV pushing mobile-first branded entertainment on its YouTube channels, closely monitoring comments from viewers and making adjustments to the content.

What followed was the success story of any marketer’s dream, with Hollister launching two fast-paced, reality TV-like competitions: Carpe Challenge: Miami presented by Hollister and The Carpe Life, presented by Hollister. Each featured real teens in 12-episode series, each 12-minutes max – that’s considered long-form today, and while everyone on screen is dressed in the brand, that’s where the product push ends.

Chief Marketer comments that the short-form docu-series, “follows junior and senior high school students as they wend through the school year and spend the summer traveling and playing music.” Songs and music videos inspired by the episodes were also available to stream on Spotify.

This approach perfectly matches the GenZ content concept of zooming in on real people, in real-time, with the brand rolling back real reactions into the content cycle.

The Proof is in the Pedal Pushers

They’re not just watching the show, they’re relating to it, reacting to it, and thus giving a hint of the direction they’d like to see it go.

Think with Google adds that seven in 10 teens spend more than three hours a day watching mobile video, with two in three teens make purchases online – more than half of those on their phones.

With 4.6 million YouTube subscribers and 21 million views of the two series so far, resulting in 85 million minutes of content and purchase intent rising by double digit percentages, that’s social data in action.

youtube and millennials - the power of social media listening

That’s just when the going’s good and consumers are loving your brand. Imagine if the tides turned – same figures, but with digital venom behind them. Just follow a trending hashtag when a brand faces a PR crisis and you’ll see why Hoorah Digital says, “Whether you’re a startup or a multinational, it’s vital that you conduct regular digital audits. This will enable you to answer questions such as:

  • Are you getting the most out of your paid and organic search efforts?
  • Is your website performing as well as it could be? (Google rewards websites that load faster and perform well on mobile)
  • Do you have a social listening strategy in place?
  • Are you analysing the competition and their tactics?”

The Beauty of Social Data: Automated Analysis

You won’t need to spend your weekends analysing the data, as Research Live reports a whopping 68% of respondents spend their every waking moment focused on data analysis, as “social media analysis remains siloed within organisations.”

That un-coordinated approach to social intelligence or social data means lack of cohesion of activities, duplication of tasks, and poor understanding of just what insights to take forward and act on, fast. Or any action being taken at all. Imagine those reams of data flooding by, only to be put into lengthy presentations that are updated quarterly. “Our consumers don’t seem to like this aspect of our product” will be the only insight that’s followed through in each report, when instead that specific touchpoint could be honed as and when it’s flagged as an issue, using real consumers’ insights.

Just think of what your brand could do with those insights, if you had the time to analyse them as they rolled in.

If you need help with any aspect of understanding, analysis or supercharging your company’s social data, you’re at the right place. This free, handy online guide explains why you’re missing out if social data isn’t part of your current marketing strategy (sorry dinosaur brands), as well as the social media 101 of where and how your target market chooses to engage with your content.

Click here to download the free eBook, spend some time exploring how to use social data to address these challenges and better yet, how to use social insights to create a killer content marketing strategy, year after year. Content marketing strategy, sorted!

Meltwater Africa eBook - How to Use Social Data to Create a Killer Content Marketing Strategy