3 Ways to Leverage on Social Listening for (more) Effective Digital Marketing

As we usher in the Lunar New Year, it’s a good time for us to look back on the 2018’s highs and lows.

Did you achieve the targets and hit the digital marketing and KPI’s you set? If not, are you making the most out of the information you gathered about your consumers and achieving high engagement & association scores linked to your objectives?

Leveraging on social listening to understand consumer habits, benchmark and track conversations can do wonders and perfectly complement your marketing strategy.

Here’s how!

Identify Conversation Themes and Brand Associations

Maintaining brand image and driving positive associations requires a structured plan that is built on consumer insights and spotting opportunities from competitive tracking.

The digital marketing conversation

To do this effectively, we encourage our clients to dive into the conversations that netizens are having and focusing on the key category themes that your brand or competitors are mostly mentioned in. Identify common phrases and emotions to get an idea on what netizens associate your brand with. It could be an emotion or a consumption moment; You’ll be surprised at the type of chatter you can find on social media.

How you can make use of it

By identifying these common conversation themes, you can streamline and optimize your content calendars for various digital channels for an optimal digital marketing strategy. Work with your social media leads or brand ambassadors to map out your communication materials for campaigns that are in line with category conversations.  This allows you to strengthen your brand voice by sharing content linked to existing themes or topics of discussion that your audience is already engaging in.  . Showing your understanding of the key topics that consumers’ discuss and ask about, is important if you want engagement and traction online.

 

Spot popular channels to get targeted/effective reach

Marketing on all social media channels would probably get a lot of reach for your brand, but are you really reaching the audience that matters to you? Are your ad placements and reach numbers converting into leads fast enough? Are they the right channels that are inline with your consumer behavior? If they’re not, then probably you need to rethink about your digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing today

Why aren’t my reach numbers converting into leads?

Paid media can be a hefty investment so it’s important to target areas that have high traffic and an audience base that talks about relevant topics. For example, if you are marketing electronics to people aged between 21 and 25, then perhaps placing ads and banners on popular E-Commerce sites, might get you a higher click-through-rate as compared to placing it on search engine portals. Determine popular “hang outs” by looking into your consumer online habits (e.g. Do they leave reviews on sites or comment directly on brand ambassadors’ pages? If they are camera-lovers, do they visit Hardwarezone or Nikon Rumours?). You can then focus on these sites for paid media to effectively target your audience.

You might also need to consider the type of content, messaging and communication style per channel to create more relevant content. Think about the types of questions your audience is asking on these channels, the pain points they regularly share, and what types of thought-leadership and educational content you can create to drive organic traffic, or boost your paid media as well. Put out your ears to social listening.

 

Establish Engagement Level Norms during the Year: During Campaigns, and Quiet Periods

“We have to be Always-on!”

That’s something that many of us believe in, but what happens when you are “off ?” Getting traction during periods where your brand does not have a big launch or activation can be a challenge. Instead of aiming to achieve such high traction all the time, establish some engagement norms to identify a healthy traction range for your brand.

Social platforms and digital marketing

What do you mean by a healthy range for engagement?  

Identify the level of engagement that your brand and their biggest competitors typically garner on a weekly or monthly basis. Stay in tune with the online behaviour and patterns of your consumers. This average can serve as a benchmark as to how much traction your brand should be gathering. Deviating too far from it will be an alert for you to re-look your social media engagement strategies and identify opportunities to act. You can even take it one step further by identifying an upper and lower limit of engagement levels to see how much your engagement levels can afford to fluctuate.

Instead of aiming to achieve high traction all the time, establish some engagement norms.

The key takeaway is to understand your audience. Social media intelligence and social listening can tell you a lot on your key target market and provide insights into consumer behaviour. From brand awareness to brand associations, these are just some of the ways that you can make use of social listening to improve your digital marketing strategies. So the question is, have you been listening?

Handling a Social Media Crisis

Crisis is a word that all businesses fear. In the good old days – a crisis has to be managed by engaging traditional media and publications from an early onset to minimize the impact on the business’s brand and reputation. However, in today’s digital age – most crisis situations often rear their heads through social media. With the potential to go viral within minutes and attacks coming from sources worldwide, managers should rethink their crisis management strategies and whether their tools are adequate in dealing with them.

Monitoring and tracking social media crises can be a tricky business. Speed is key. By the time it takes to establish a plan and formulate a response, it would often have been too late; social media would have already blown the situation out of proportion. Crisis really tests the management of an organisation and co-ordination within the company. While many companies turn to communication and PR experts to offer insights, why not do it yourself? Circus Social has several tips to share on the 4 phases of managing a crisis.

Pre-Empting a Crisis

Businesses can proactively prepare for a crisis by monitoring specific keywords and discussions online. Particularly on social media, certain keywords would raise alarm bells. For a manufacturing firm, it could be ‘defect’, for a courier delivery service it would be ‘delay’. Regardless, being able to track and monitor the usage of such keywords in relation to your business is vital to stay a step ahead and give you sufficient time to react. This does not mean you have to get your staff to crawl the web 24/7. A smarter way would be to set up alerts that go straight to your inbox when thresholds on certain keyword usage have been reached.

Identify Sources & Channels

So a crisis has occurred, what next? Quick identification of the bearer of bad news is essential to decide the right course of action. While companies develop crisis roadmaps in handling crises, no two crises are the same and require tact in handling. For example, if the majority of your ‘bad press’ is being shared quickly on Twitter amongst influential users with large follower bases – you know you need to spread your holding messages and responses quickly and effectively through the same medium as well. Try and identify influential users (those with high Klout scores) so you can focus your efforts efficiently.

Find your top influencers with 20/Twenty and turn around a crisis!

The social sphere is extremely vast with a wide variety of posts. To get through the clutter, there are useful filters to find impactful and viral posts. Impact score of the post indicates the reach of the post (in terms of likes, shares, comments) and the traction score, indicates the virality. Filtering by impact helps you identify the posts that matter the most, both to the public and for your brand. Another useful tool would be an associative word cloud to help spot other related topics that might have been overlooked.Identify top topics and get to the root of whats being discussed. Take control of the crisis with 20/Twenty!

Taking Action

While some experts advocate not taking action and letting the social media storm die down as rapidly as it came, more often than not, it would be wise to acknowledge the issue. If an employee is accused of wrongdoing, or there has been any form of lapses in procedures, some form of accountability and acknowledgement of the issue will pacify the public. Better yet, inform them that investigations are ongoing. You could even win over new fans by providing timely and relevant information, turning a crisis into an opportunity.

Post-crisis remedy

Once traction of the negative post dies down, (hopefully) the worst is over. However, it is still important to be accountable to the public and your customers. At this stage, do release the results of your investigations and be sure to implement measures to prevent a repeat crisis. Also, analyse the traction of past posts and identify and thank fans who have been supportive. It would also be a good time to adjust alerts and thresholds based on what has been learned.

Hopefully, these tips will help any manager take charge of future crises on social media. Get in touch with us to know how 20/Twenty can be part of your crisis management solution.