What is the Use of Social Listening in Business

The Use of Social Listening in BusinessUnlike other data collection methods for market research, social listening is not just about customer insights. Uncovering unique actionable insights is the reason why social listening is relevant to market research, however, there are many more use cases for various departments within an organisation.  

Here is an outline of 8 use cases with the first one (customer insights) also being applied across all the other 7:

  1. Customer Insights
    Asking questions in surveys and focus groups is no longer enough in order to uncover customer needs and wants so that organisations can stay relevant. Unsolicited posts on the web provide a different flavour of information, the value of which becomes exponential when integrated with tracking surveys and behaviour. 

  2. Advertising
    Positive customer testimonials on social media can be used both to strengthen advertising messages and also as “the reason to believe” when Unique Selling Proposition (USP) claims are made in Ads.

  3. Public Relations
    By discovering discussion drivers on social media, organisations can publish relevant content, increasing the probability that it will be propagated by customers themselves. They can control the narratives and they can create new ones that serve their performance goals.

  4. Customer Service
    Nowadays it is an expectation that customers are able to tweet a need or a complaint and receive a response from the organisation they are addressing within minutes. Public relations and customer service on social media are somehow interlinked. It is as important to appear to be tackling customer issues head on and transparently, as it is to actually fix them!

  5. Operations
    Fixing product or service issues communicated by customers on social media is critical from an operations and PR perspective. Multi-branch organisations in particular, can benefit from feedback on social media about individual branches. This use case may render mystery shopping obsolete.
  6. New Product development
    Customers tend to post about product features that they are not happy with or that they are missing. They also post about their pains, key information that can lead to innovation in order to address these pains.
  7. Board of Directors
    One of the things that are of interest to the board is Corporate Reputation,which can also be part of Public Relations. Social listening provides a unique opportunity to board level executives to keep their finger on the pulse of their customers in the most direct and efficient way.
  8. Risk Management
    A problem with a product or a service can easily be blown out of proportion on social media. Companies need to keep their ear to the ground and identify issues before they become real crises that will impact brand equity in a negative way.

In order for any and all the above use cases to be valid and useful for an organisation, it is an absolute pre-condition that the sentiment and semantic (topics) precision of the social listening solution used, is the highest it can be. As an example, if a social media monitoring tool feeds negative sentiment posts about a brand to its customer service team with only 50% precision, this means that the team will have to sift through all the posts to actually find the ones they should really respond to. This can be frustrating for the team, and it also means that the organisation will have to spend more time and resources in order to deal with customer service on Twitter or other social media platforms.

Over 80% sentiment precision and 85% topic precision is what is achievable – as already mentioned in previous articles in more detail – thus organisations do not and should not have to settle for less these days. Please do share your experiences with social listening tools if you have used them, either for the above use cases or others that are not mentioned here.


Walking the Talk

The Positive Effect of NegativitySince 2011, some of us have been telling everyone who is willing to listen, how important social listening and social analytics is for their business. It would of course be disingenuous not to do it for ourselves, so we did…

662,575 English posts were harvested about Market Research from Twitter, Blogs, Boards (Fora), Videos, and News, posted anywhere in the world between July 1st and December 31st 2015. 29 company names were included in the harvest query, along with some key terms....

Article no.5 of the Social Media Listening series by @DigitalMR_CEO is out on ESOMAR Research World Connect. Stay tuned for more.

A new marketing phenomenon: The Positive Effect of Negativity

The Positive Effect of Negativity"When we came across the Coca-Cola Superbowl ad paradox, we investigated and analysed it to death. We then started thinking about similar cases that may support our hypothesis i.e negativity brought out by a relative minority, under certain circumstances, may have a positive effect through awakening the majority.

What we discovered had actually happened was almost unbelievable, at least for it to have occurred organically..."

Article no.4 of the Social Media Listening series by @DigitalMR_CEO is out on ESOMAR Research World Connect. Stay tuned for more.

Why It’s Better To Be In Luxury Goods Than In Services

Sentiment on Social Media"Not all product categories are created equal when it comes to sentiment on social media; some enjoy the admiration of their customers, and some have to deal with their wrath on a constant basis.

We probably need to clarify at this point that when we say “Social Media”, we define it in its broadest possible meaning..." 

Here is the 3rd article of the Social Media Listening series, by @DigitalMR_CEO on ESOMAR Research World Connect. 

How To Check If Your Social Listening & Analytics Is Appropriate For Customer Insights

Social Listening and Analytics for Customer Insights"Before we start sharing real data and case studies from social listening, we thought it prudent to explain how this is properly done for market research purposes. The most important notion to be understood and accepted is that unlike the way DIY social media monitoring tools work, in order to achieve the required data accuracies that are of paramount importance for market research purposes, a 3-4 week human-led set-up phase is needed..." 

As promised, here is the second article by @DigitalMR_CEO on ESOMAR Research World Connect, and there's more to come!