Get Your Social Listening Right

Get Your Social Listening Right
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

The massive proliferation of social media in recent years has changed marketers’ ability to understand their audiences, According to social media agency We Are Social.

Even with basic tools, it’s now possible to develop insights into people’s thoughts, motivations and behaviours in ways that were prohibitively difficult or expensive even 10 years ago.

Here’s how marketers can start taking advantage of these incredible opportunities.

What is social listening?

Social listening is the art and science of developing meaningful brand insights through the identification and analysis of relevant conversations in social media.

Listening is a powerful addition to a brand’s strategic toolkit, providing insights that can add value throughout the organisation. However, many marketers miss much of this potential value due to an egocentric approach to social media monitoring.

We need to get better at using social media to understand people, not just to monitor brand mentions or campaign metrics.

Listening to Learn

As Earl Nightingale astutely observed, “You can’t learn anything with your mouth open.”

However, many marketers see their role as the ‘talker’, sharing the brand’s message with the rest of the world. Sadly, this means they’re missing invaluable opportunities to learn.

We stand to gain much greater value – for ourselves as marketers, as well as for our colleagues across the rest of our organisations – if we also adopt the role of listeners, acting as the interface that enables outside feedback to permeate the business.

Slide15

It’s Not About You

When it comes to social media monitoring, it’s also important to distinguish between ‘selective hearing’ and active listening.

Most marketers use monitoring to assess the performance of their marketing, setting up tools to track mentions of their brand and product names.

This kind of listening is useful, of course, but it takes a very selfish view of the world; it’s akin to walking into a party and only joining conversations that are already about you.

More importantly, when it comes to product-related updates, barely one in ten mentions a specific brand.

In other words, if we’re only tracking brand names, we’re missing 90% of the potential value; we need to listen out for a broader range of conversations that will help us to gain richer insights into purchase moments, usage occasions, and subsequent emotions.

Big Data vs. Small Details

Conversations about brands and products are only a small subset of total social media activity.

Every day, people share billions of public posts across social media, and every one of these updates – no matter how innocuous – can offer valuable insights into people’s attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, and habits.

Even the much-maligned ‘photos of my lunch’ can reveal a wealth of new understanding: where people like to eat, the time of day they dine, who they lunch with, the kinds of food they like, how much they’re willing to spend…

What we learn depends on how carefully we choose to listen. 

The Discovery Engine

Once you adopt this more organic approach to listening, you’ll quickly discover that most people’s conversations aren’t about the areas your marketing focuses on.

Furthermore, you’ll start to realise that the things that matter to your audience aren’t always the things you expect. Because of this, social media offer unique opportunities to identify new products and services, as well as more efficient and effective ways to communicate with people.

If you think of search engines as a tool that helps us to answer the questions we already have, social media do something new, allowing us to identify the questions we didn’t even know we needed to answer.

Used correctly, social media listening is a ‘discovery engine’ that can help us redefine the way that we do business; as John Willshire puts it, social insights will allow us to: “Make things that people really want, instead of trying to make them want things you’ve already made”.

Getting Started

In order to get the most our of social listening, you need to build your activities around your brand’s objectives.

Start by asking some simple, strategic questions:

  1. In order to hit your targets, what do you need people to do differently compared to what they do today?
  2. Who do you most need to persuade in order to bring about this change in behaviour (remember that this may not be the buyer or end user of your brand)?
  3. Why aren’t people already doing what you want them to do? What do they think or believe today that we need to change? What are the barriers that stand between today and success?

Slide27

It’s likely that you won’t know all the real barriers to success yet, which is where social media listening comes in. Based on your objectives, spend some time crafting search queries that will help you to understand potential barriers in the context of people’s broader lives and behaviour.

Go beyond searching for brand names, to exploring the benefits you provide, and the problems or opportunities they address.

For example, if you’re Colgate, don’t just search for your own name, ‘Oral B’, or even ‘toothpaste’; instead, search for ‘toothache’, ‘bad breath’ or even ‘dentist’.

It’s easy to try this out for yourself – these free tools are a great place to start:

Finding Mentions vs Uncovering Value

Be sure to spend time actively reading and analysing what you find though; automated sentiment analysis and volume trends are interesting, but the real value lies in the specifics of what people say; where and when they say it, who they’re discussing the topic with, and what their potential motives for discussing it might be.

Read the conversations as a person who’s trying to empathise with a friend, not as a marketer who’s trying to sell stuff.

Even the most basic query should bring up some valuable insights if you ask yourself these questions about the conversations you find:

  1. Who is talking (i.e. who posted the update)?
  2. What are they (really) saying?
  3. Where are they saying it? [social platforms, as well as physical locations]
  4. When are they saying it? [time of day, as well as context, e.g. at the POS]
  5. Why are they saying it (what are their motivations)?
  6. Which elements have engaged other people (e.g. ‘likes’, comments, shares, etc.)?
  7. How might these conversations impact my brand (for better or worse)?

Slide59

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

It's the most wonderful time of the year for the worst kind of marketing. Is your brand guilty of producing crappy Christmas conte

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Study: Aussie Retailers Set To “Struggle” Over “Stagnate” Christmas
  • Marketing

Study: Aussie Retailers Set To “Struggle” Over “Stagnate” Christmas

According to IBISWorld, Christmas retail spending in Australia is expected to stagnate this December, falling by 0.2 per cent compared to the same time last year. While not all categories are impacted, IBISWorld is attributing the overall decline to lower discretionary incomes, negative consumer sentiment, and price discounting across the retail sector. “Overall, IBISWorld has observed early […]

Industry Diversity: It’s More Than Skin Deep
  • Opinion

Industry Diversity: It’s More Than Skin Deep

In his final column for the year, B&T’s favourite industry maverick and troublemaker, Robert Strohfeldt, turns his opinion pen to adland’s topic du jour – diversity. And, he says, it’s as much about the thinking as it is who you employ at your agency… There is an old (and wise) statement most people would have heard […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies
  • Media

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies

Family travel platform Bound Round has announced the launch of its first e-magazine to Australian consumers. Travel Bound is a family-focused, digital quarterly publication available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in-flight entertainment system, and is also available for consumer download via the Bound Round website. Bound Round founder and CEO Janeece Keller […]

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News
  • Media

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News

Do you like say "I only watch SBS" in an attempt to sound smarter than you are? Well, why not pretend to read this too?

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director
  • Marketing

Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director

Amazon Australia has appointed former Samsung Electronics chief marketing officer (CMO) Arno Lenior to lead its marketing division. Lenior worked as Samsung’s CMO for more than three years before departing in 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also held CEO roles at VR company Virtical and brand consultancy Blue Ocean Brands, and joined […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year
  • Marketing

News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year

News announces its annual Car Of The Year and it's not what you'd expect. Well, we certainly didn't expect it anyway.

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership
  • Marketing

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership

The Australian Open has partnered with iconic Australian clothing and lifestyle brand Country Road to supply the uniforms for next year’s tournament. Confirmed today as the official fashion lifestyle Partner of Australian Open 2018, one of Australia’s most loved brands will be worn by thousands of tournament staff at Melbourne Park in January. On-court officials including the chair and […]

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties
  • Media

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties

After 12 years with Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe has decided to step away from his hosting and reporting duties. O’Keefe will continue his full-time role as host of Seven’s quiz show The Chase Australia, as well as focus on other projects with the Network. “The ideal job is doing work you love with people you love,” O’Keefe […]

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences
  • Marketing

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences

Fast and effective support will be a competitive differentiator for companies looking to win over digitally transformed customers and employees, new research has revealed. According to a study by IDC and LogMeIn titled Support Services as a Competitive Differentiator, nearly 67 per cent of consumers said that customer satisfaction was more important than price when […]

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform
  • Advertising
  • Media

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has announced the appointment of Red Ant Design to build the out-oh-home (OOH) industry’s first automated proposal platform (APP). After an extensive global search and industry consultation, the decision to build the system in-house with a local Australian company was made. The APP will be built in an agile process, […]

Nick Ballard, Managing Director
Australia & New Zealand, BlisMedia
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Consumer Behaviour Analytics Tool For Maketers

Location data technology company Blis has launched an analytics tool that allows marketers to analyse consumer behaviour – from audience profiling, to exposure, to attribution – by capturing and activating mobile movement data. Smart Trends offers robust in-store consumer behavioural insights and in-store comparison of multiple location types and brands, allowing marketers to break down demographic, […]

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and WiTH Collective – part of Isobar Australia Group – has launched a social movement to protect it. The ‘Unite for the Reef’ campaign will put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of individuals united to pledge support for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.  Spearheaded […]

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations
  • Marketing

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations

The City of Sydney has unveiled the creative line-up for 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, including a new look and theme for Australia’s largest public event, conceived by experience agency Imagination. In its seventh year as the creative team behind the event, Imagination has set out to create a fresh, inspiring new theme and […]