A guide to social listening for brands

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According to our guest author Nigel Choo, social listening generates customer insights that enable marketers to ask more pertinent and effective inquiries.

In 2022, social listening has become a more sophisticated activity, and its applications have expanded beyond the more well-known facets of brand protection and PR evaluation. Brands today have unmatched access to statistics covering customer discussions across print, TV, online, and social media with the proper social listening solution.

Leading brands are utilizing social data as a source of consumer and category insights to spark brand innovation and prepare for the future.

Our world has demonstrated the importance of the borderless Internet as a means of sending crucial information, permitting contactless orders and deliveries, as well as facilitating amusement over the COVID pandemic period, under various degrees of lockdown. Consumers have demonstrated how online and social media have assisted in accelerating the spread of consumer trends as they have become more hyperconnected.

One such subject that saw significant growth over the last year was the category of plant-based foods, with at least 870k “plant-based”-related results recorded throughout online chats in the Asia Pacific area.

We were able to pinpoint an early West-to-East movement of the debate around plant-based foods when it was mapped across geographical regions. But what would have been a one-way exchange of information is now a really interesting two-way conversation.

India’s indigenous, plant-based cultures now have a plethora of options to spread over the world through customers and independent advocates thanks to this digital “Silk Road” of travel trends. Consider the YouTube account @BeExtraVegant, which was started by physics Ph.D. candidate Anjali, whose vegan Indian recipes have gained a sizable online following.

Our ultimate goal is to use social listening to identify trends and linkages that indicate the consumer’s key “Why.” One of the three major “Why” topics for plant-based customers was their concern for animal welfare. This is consistent with a recent, broad consumer trend in which concerns have shifted from those of the “Me” to those of the “We.”

Social consciousness (even if it ends up being self-consciousness) has quickly entered the mix of factors influencing consumer buying decisions across categories in India and around the world.

But marketers must understand precisely how this social consciousness translates into consumer expectations for their businesses.

The benefit of using social listening to build a stronger relationship with your customers is that it turns into a continuous dialogue. The technologies that are currently available to marketers ensure that there is a method to query both internal and external consumer data, and even build significant correlations, for any business question.

Advanced social listening techniques produce consumer insights that help brands ask more insightful and critical questions, opening the door for the risk-taking and imagination that underpin innovative thinking for brands that are prepared for the future.

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