Marketers can garner a ton of data from social media listening — some people would argue it’s even too much! It can be daunting to try to sift through the noise, but with a little bit of calculated research, doing efficient social media listening can help marketers better understand brands, customers and the relationship between the two.
The biggest thing about social media listening is that it takes time. However, taking a few weeks to conduct a proper social media brand analysis is ultimately much cheaper than spending a significant amount of cash to conduct a focus group. This type of social media research also takes money, granted you’re working with large brands and need to use powerful social media listening tools such as those from Sysomos and Radian6. But, if you don’t want to pay for such tools, there are a variety of methods to help learn about users and how they interact and engage with social media content. The team at our Orlando marketing agency thinks you should try the following:
SET A GOAL
The most important and often overlooked aspect of social media listening is to determine a goal. “Get more Facebook likes” is not a goal; if that’s all you really wanted, there are plenty of places to buy them on the Internet. What would likely be a better goal for that brand would be to get more engagement, which for them would hopefully create more site traffic and ultimately more sales. The more specific this goal, the better the results of your social media listening survey will be.
RESEARCH THE BRAND
When conducting social media listening, a great place to start is by researching the brand through other sources. Checking Wikipedia, conducting informal research about the brand and closely reviewing the website helps understand the consistent viewpoints, and the dichotomy between the ways the brand describes itself, and what others say about the brand. If the brand has a brick-and-mortar location, visit it in person.
START WITH FACEBOOK
Then comes the fun part. Start by checking the brand’s Facebook page, and specifically, clicking on the box that says “likes,” which will take you to another page that will show you the brand’s activities in terms of mentions and new likes. It’ll also tell you which week was the brand’s most popular week, so you can look to that to see the kind of content that gets the best result. Also, if people are sharing photos and fan curated content, this might offer some insight into the types of marketing promotions you can run in the future.
Then, check Twitter to find out what types of things people are tweeting at the brand, and how the brand is responding. Take note of any patterns or canned responses for complaints, as this can be an area for improvement in social media strategy. Many times, brands are more active on Facebook, but have much stronger followings on Twitter, which can be a valuable insight in learning how to better leverage Twitter.
REVIEW OTHER SOCIAL CHANNELS
Finally, start looking to other social media networks: Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, and anything else that might offer some insight into how people are interacting with the brand. In a recent review, I found that one of my clients had a significant Instagram following, yet did very little to engage with them. I also found that another brand had a massive and engaged following on Pinterest, yet was doing little to leverage this in terms of campaigns, and encouraged them to experiment with ways to grow their following.
CREATE A CAMPAIGN
Once you have the baseline information, the next step is to take behaviors you’re already seeing and to leverage them in order to create a campaign or strategy. An active Instagram fan base might inspire a photo competition, while a heightened Pinterest strategy might lead to more of an interest in aspirational brand photography than previously used. But remember to keep your eyes set on the goal, as your strategy may differ if the goal is to increase site visitors than it would be to try to get more people to visit a stores’ physical location.
In any case, social media can be a valuable tool in helping you understand your brand. For more ways to use social media listening to learn more about your business, contact our uber-talented team today!