In Bull or Bear Market, Social Listening Makes All the Difference

11:48 am
October 25, 2022
cogent inCIghts
Social Intelligence
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In Bull or Bear Market, Social Listening Makes All the Difference

The amount of data generated by businesses today has grown by manifolds over the past few years. According to reports, close to 2.5 quintillions of data is generated daily. The companies that can effectively collect, process, and utilize this data are the ones that can create a difference in modern times. With consumers spending considerable time on social media and other digital platforms, it has become essential for brands to build social listening capabilities.

There are close to 4.62 billion people on social platforms. It is almost half of the global population. In other words, half of the global population is tweeting, posting, liking, sharing, live streaming, and tik-toking on these platforms. These people mostly share their milestones, experiences, beliefs, expectations, and targets.

With such a massive user base providing useful insights for a business, it is almost a crime to miss an opportunity to understand what they are saying.

According to a study, 65% of businesses use social listening for sales strategy, 48% for product development, 46% for content development, 44% for customer experience, 40% for competitive insight, and 32% for market research.

The study added that close to 60% of businesses are using social data every week.

What is Social Listening?

The social ecosystem has several data points that can be important for your business. However, it is important to understand these data points, what they say, and how they can impact various business functions like sales, pricing, product development, and marketing.

The moulding of these unstructured data points into actionable insights is done with the help of social listening. If utilized effectively, social listening can drive revenue, reduce costs and lower the overall risk in business operations.

Social listening is usually done with a specialized tool that can gather, process, and analyze the mountain of data from social platforms and bring forth actionable business insights. Social listening can be used in multiple departments in a business.

In simple words, it helps the business to have an ear on the ground to understand what consumers are talking about so that it can align the strategy accordingly.

Importance of Social Listening

Social listening differs from standard focus groups, surveys, and product reviews. Still, when these activities are combined with social listening, it has the potential to drive a better understanding of the audience, which helps to make better decisions. At the same time, since the social data comes from an unfiltered wider channel, it helps provide real-time market understanding. These activities also have an essential place in the marketing function.

Here are some reasons why social listening is important:

Wider Reach

Other activities, like surveys, focus groups, etc., enable you to capture only one segment of consumers. For instance, surveys would tell you what your existing consumers expect from the company, where it is going right, and where it falls short. However, social listening helps open doors to new audiences and can capture the sentiment of anyone on these social platforms. A brand can also track why consumers prefer the competition over them and can build a pool of insights for better understanding.

The use of social listening can help a brand speed up its market research activities with an opportunity to monitor feedback from various consumer groups and align strategy.

Compared to the costs involved in the other market research methods, social listening can provide more value at a fraction of the traditional costs.

Unfiltered Feedback

Most other communication and feedback channels have embedded direct or indirect filters. However, with social listening, you do not have any filters, as customers are openly sharing their thoughts.

It is one thing to address concerns in a post that went viral, and it is something else altogether to put in place a framework that can help you understand customer feedback regularly and take corrective steps.

This exercise can be replicated for other stakeholders like employees or investors. Several companies track investor and employee sentiment after earning calls and appraisal cycles. These steps help shape an organization's internal and external communication strategy.

Real-time Reaction

Almost all companies would want to know any issue with a just-launched product. Social listening and social media intelligence help you achieve that. As you can establish a baseline with social listening, any significant deviation from the baseline can put the team in action. With an active social listening framework, a business can fix issues rather than wait for the problems to get out of hand.

For instance, a cosmetics company could find out the reasons for the dropping moisturizer sales within a few days instead of months of research. While customers still loved the product, they hated the packaging. This feedback was quickly moved from the social media department to R&D, and the redesigned product was soon on the market.

How to Create an Actionable Social Media Listening Program?

Now that you understand that social listening can directly impact your revenue and profitability, it is time to know how you can create an actionable social listening program. Here are some steps that can help to get this plan off the ground quickly:

Follow a Proactive Approach

Social listening can be a double-edged sword if not understood correctly. It is better to ensure that it is an ongoing activity that helps a business to diffuse issues before they become too big. Limiting it as a crisis management tool will ensure that you are always fighting a fire. A robust social intelligence strategy can be a pillar in the business plan to deliver a superior customer experience and drive loyalty.

Having the right social listening framework is important to ensure you can get the desired results. For instance, rather than going back to the social listening tool once customer complaints have gone through the roof, it is better to rely on these tools to regularly monitor the conversations on social platforms around the brand. Be it a B2B or a B2C business.

A Fresh Approach to Data Analysis

A business needs to understand that data alone can't move mountains. However, it is a strategic enabler that can bring a meaningful change in business if aligned with the objectives of the other business functions. When undertaking social listening activities, data analysis must be looked at from a fresh perspective. Each social media platform has distinct advantages, so these should be built into the social listening framework for seamless functioning.

An organization needs to give the required importance to data analytics and get the team to figure out how data can be harnessed to improve the performance of each business function. For the social listening plan, in particular, it is important to understand the contours being set and how they will impact each business function.

Conclusion

Social listening can be a game-changer in the modern competitive business ecosystem. At the same time, it is important to understand that it can get overwhelming for a business very soon if not handled correctly.

As you need to have a basic groundwork ready with the shortlisted keywords around your brands, the competition, and the industry in general, the social listening results may not always be as per the expectations of the business. Therefore, it is better to follow an incremental approach and make additions as you get comfortable.

Apart from the usual factors, do consider the needs of the business and ensure that the solutions provided are aligned. As social listening strategy can speed up several business functions, it is critical to have the involved stakeholders on the same page regarding the objectives of the social listening strategy.

Once this information is sorted, you can get down to selecting the best social listening tool or service in the market.

You should check out Cogent Insights. It is one of the most advanced social listening services powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. With Cogent Insights on your side, you have a real chance to monetize customer feedback about the brand, industry, and competition.

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