Although 90% of companies feel that social media is a major part of their marketing strategy, only 41% monitor social media discussions closely (1). The case for social listening has constantly been proven, however, some companies continuously question the value of implementing social listening into their social media strategy, unconvinced that it makes a difference. Not only does it make a difference but integrating social listening data with survey and behavioral data to make significant business decisions is a game changing social media tactic for any brand. Using survey research is great but it is equally valuable for brands to keep their ear to the ground by monitoring and “listening” to the raw, unsolicited, and frequent feedback and general chatter from everyday people.
For example, global manufacturer Lycored surveyed 500 consumers across 3 countries to confirm that there was an increase in concern about Vitamin D deficiencies, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged period of quarantines. While this discovery could be considered a breakthrough, the fact is that by simply comparing social media chatter from Sep 2019 and Sep 2020 Lycored would have discovered the same 181% increase in concern through social listening research for a fraction of the research cost. Not only is social listening a more inexpensive option, researching via social listening also allows you to check in with your consumer at a much higher frequency (2).
My critique in this matter is not that social listening is the only research method that garners useful results. My argument is that there are appropriate times to apply different market research tools depending on the need and social listening should be considered by marketers more often. “The lesson is that you can’t take anything in isolation, it has to form part of a holistic view on data. As the Bella & Brava CEO said: ‘Nowadays it’s important to integrate digital and technology with classic analysis methods to be able to go one step further than the competition and provide support for entrepreneurial instincts.” (3). That said, when looking to get an indication of where trends are, consumer sentiments, or stay on top of issues, social media listening is supreme a tool and should always be included as a permanent best practice across all social media strategies. Use this tactic to listen to what users care about, understand how that overlaps with what the brand cares about and respond by bringing their cares to life.
- 4 Case Studies of Brands that Discovered the Wonders of Social Listening – https://socialmediaexplorer.com/content-sections/news-and-noise/4-case-studies-of-brands-that-discovered-the-wonders-of-social-listening/
- Reason #123 Why Social Listening Is Better Than Surveys – http://www.socialhose.io/en/blog/social-listening-is-better-than-surveys
- Social listening case studies – three brands who nailed it – https://oursocialtimes.com/social-listening-case-studies/
- Image – http://blog.clickdimensions.com/social-listening-brand-care/
- Gif – https://gfycat.com/cookedsparseflickertailsquirrel