Here, Zavy’s David Bowes explains how advertisers can use insights from social media to ensure their social and content strategies are fit for the road.
When we learn to drive, we’re taught how to “drive to the conditions”. Slow down when its raining, or when there’s ice on the roads, reduce your speed on gravel roads – especially when you can’t see what could be coming around the corner.
Broadly speaking, we drive to the conditions by doing research and adapting our approach accordingly. We check the weather report before heading off on a long drive, and might delay our departure to miss inclement weather. There’s now a whole area of tech based aorund helping drivers get a better idea of what could be around the corner, including machine learning algorithms using data from historic crashes and sensors to identify potentially hazardous areas or risky moments for drivers.
To maintain a healthy brand, marketers need to drive to the conditions too.
At Zavy, we’re often asked by social media managers, “why did this post go so well, and this post, which followed the same template, not achieve the same success?” – or, to put it another way, “what are the optimal conditions that will help us grow a healthy brand?”
We’ve all been in the position of having the best laid marketing campaigns go live, only to find that it just doesn’t work. Where what worked last year just isn’t having as much of an effect now. It’s frustrating – but these frustrations can be mitigated by taking our driving instructor’s advice and adapting to the conditions.
Like our driver, we can check the weather report, and conduct some market research before launching. We can look at other campaigns in our category and see how they’re succeeding (or not) in capturing the imagination of our customers. We can read the news or even look out the window to get an idea of what’s going on in the world outside that might affect our customers’ choices.
Finding the right tools
And of course, like our more high-tech drivers, we can also use technology to understand and predict the conditions that might impact our brand’s health. For many companies, this includes using a social media listening tool to understand the volume of mentions of their brand, and the overall sentiment of those mentions – whether they’re positive, negative, or neutral.
I think driving to the conditions should mean more than reflecting on basic social media metrics and overall sentiment. Instead, it should mean understanding the heart, soul and feel of engagement around your brand. It should mean being able to access real-time information about how people feel about your category, products, or services, as well as staying ahead of the stories that are driving conversation. That last part is important, because, like any driver on the road will tell you, some things are out of your control. You can’t control the weather, but you can see when a storm is coming and choose to delay your trip.
We use the Zavy score – the coming together of all social media engagement data, layered with sentiment insights – to understand your brands overall health, our Pulse dashboard to see it’s tragectory over time. We use our Map dashboard to identify the type of content that is sparking the highest quality engagement and sentiment for your brand (and your comptitors), so you can do more of the good stuff that people enjoy and less of the stuff that they don’t. And we use Radar, our social listening tool, to help you drive to the conditions.
It’s different to other social listening tools because it harnesses emotional analysis to identify not just how positively or negatively people feel about your brand (although it does that too), or a topic you care about – but how optimistic, angry, disgusted, or fearful people are feeling about it. This is matched with content insights so you can see exactly what piece of content is driving those emotions.
For example, if you search for the term “lockdown” in Radar, in Australia we can see that while fear and optimism are the most dominant emotions, anger and sadness have risen, , and fear spiked around the anti-lockdown protests.
Meanwhile, searching the same term across the ditch in New Zealand shows a wider gap between optimism and fear and the other emotions. Anger and sadness have stayed comparatively low – until this weekend, when feelings of anger spiked around an article about psychological resilience during lockdown.
How could marketers use this information to drive to the conditions?
Well, if the overarching emotion dominating conversation is fear, consider what your brand can do to help or mitigate fear. That could be by showing how your team is sticking to the rules and helping customers stay safe during lockdown, for example.
It could be by sharing content that makes people feel good – something nostalgic, looking back on happier times, or something that makes them laugh. Or… if people are feeling angry, perhaps now is the time to read the room and stay quiet while emotions are running high. Wait a few days and see if the storm blows over.
See how advanced social listening could help your brand
Zavy’s Radar analyses thousands of news stories, social posts and comments, to give you valuable insight into current conversations and sentiment online. It’s a simple way to ensure your social and content strategy are fit for the road.
You can can test-drive Radar free for two weeks – all you need to do is sign up here.
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