how social listening helps

How Social Listening helps Brands to make Consumer-oriented Business Decisions

 & Hisham Mohamed  & Mageshwari Singaravadivelou  & Ajo Shynie

Several brands are emerging in the global market every day, but how they can establish themselves in the minds of consumers and gain customer loyalty is still a challenge. Social listening analysis can help brands make consumer-oriented decisions.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers’ social media usage has increased considerably. Therefore, leading companies need to capitalize on social listening analysis to make data-driven decisions instead of intuitive decisions.

The 5 Ws of Social Listening

What is Social Listening?

Social listening is all about understanding the consumer mindset. Analyzing the available data from different social media sites to recognize the consumers’ needs, interests, and concerns helps the business leaders make the right decisions.

It taps into social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, social media users’ interactions with other users, and daily trends.

Why do brands need Social Listening?

Brands need to consider various factors, including awareness about the competitor, consumer opinion, and growth opportunities, and the following analyses help them to achieve it.

White space analysis – To identify growth opportunities

White space analysis enables the organization to spot the gaps between the products their customers have already purchased and the other products the firm sells. Identifying this gap is called “white space mapping”. We can find opportunities to cross-sell and upsell through this mapping technique.

  • Cross-selling is selling complementary products to the customers based on their purchased product.
  • Upselling is further selling relevant, additional products to the customers to support and evolve their current set of products.

White space analysis focuses on customers and is also used to closely observe competitors’ views, industries, and stakeholders. It helps to increase a company’s revenue growth.

This analysis is done manually through a platform like Salesforce, which collects and analyzes all the customers’ data.

The strategy used in White Space Analysis
  1. The first step to finding a white space opportunity is to know about your existing customers – What are their current investments in the company’s products? What products have the customers purchased previously?
  2. The next step is to offer the products to new customers instead of targeting existing customers.
  3. Take a survey from current customers on the products offered by your company.
  4. Work on new opportunities like directly reaching out to existing customers, setting up a meeting, and preparing the customers’ data to enter white space. Following this, create significant goods and services and finally, target the customers through marketing strategies.

Competitor analysis

Competitor analysis is used to find the company’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison with its competitors. The primary purpose of this analysis is to identify areas in which the business is better than competitors and vice versa. We can use white space opportunities to target customers better than the competitors. Competitor analysis can find where the competitors’ customers’ investment lies and then select the right product to cater to their needs.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for businesses on how to perform competitor analysis:

  1. Create a list of competitors by searching for your products on a search engine to find your competitor companies. You can also survey your existing customers about their alternative brand choices before deciding on your products. There are two major groups of competitors: direct competitors who sell similar products to the customers and indirect competitors who sell different products to the same customers.
  2. Create a competitor matrix/grid to compare your findings across competitors.
  3. Collect the competitors’ background information, including their website, social media pages, articles that have been published about their company, location, and size of the company.
  4. Collect all the competitors’ target customers’ information and construct new strategies to cover them.

Sentiment analysis – To obtain consumer opinion

Sentiment Analysis is used to review users’ opinions on any topic. For example, it checks whether a social media campaign gains or loses an audience. It is also used to identify all the existing customer issues for customer care and service-based businesses.

Who can use Social Listening?

Every business and brand could benefit from what their customers have to say.

Customer feedback, reviews, and discussions on products and services are invaluable to any brand. This information reflects the popularity of a brand and its performance. A business that ignores the negative sentiments of its customers is bound to fail at some point in time.

Handling negative sentiments and criticism is crucial for a business to fill experience gaps and show how they perceive their customers.

Hence, every brand with direct business with customers should be using social listening to improve and establish themselves in the market.

Where is Social Listening Analysis done?

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, and LinkedIn where hashtags, mentions, comments, likes, and shares can be used for analysis.

Video streaming sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion where likes, dislikes, and comments can be used to analyze the reach and likability of products.

When do we do Social Listening Analysis?

When a company is intending to launch a product, social listening analysis can be used to examine the product’s reach after launch, discover gaps between the company and customers, and it can be utilized in a variety of ways to improve the company’s growth.

Reputation Management

It’s critical to keep the brand’s reputation intact. Reputation can be established by determining what consumers think about a brand and what kind of view is shared on social media. Then, the brands should make judgments to stay in the market based on the findings.

Capture customers’ attention

Every brand will have its own official social media profiles and handles. Brands can launch numerous campaigns to raise brand awareness and improve brand equity in the minds of consumers by using social media sites. Furthermore, social listening analysis on the same threads (user answers, comments, and mentions) aids in the acquisition of the consumer’s interest in the brand, extra features, and product feedback. This will help the brands in maintaining long-term consistency across the industry.

Fix the experience gaps

It’s important to close the gap between customer and product experience. There could be various issues, such as delivery delays and product features, that are repeated. It would be best if you cooperated with teams inside your company to resolve the difficulties made by customers after discovering these issues.

Summary

To conclude, social listening analysis is the most practiced technique to gain insights about consumers to make sustainable business decisions. Social listening will give you a forthright response on every brand in real-time, which is better than the opinions gained from public surveys. Moreover, it is a cost-effective methodology that offers several benefits:

  • Brand health: Measuring the consumer perception of the brand or products.
  • Industry insights: Analyzing discussions or hashtags within an industry.
  • Opportunity analysis: Analyze the chance of making the product stand out in the market.
  • Competitive analysis: Analyze a competing brand or product.
  • Campaign analysis: Learn how the audience responds to the campaign.
  • Event monitoring: Monitor audience response to a conference or event.

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