Are people talking about your brand? Top 5 Elements of Online Listening
Social media, once a platform to connect with friends, has now transformed the way we connect with brands. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow consumers to express their opinions online while opening doors for them to expand their interests. Marketers use these social media platforms to understand consumer preferences to see if people are interested or even talking about their brand. Here are the top five elements you as a marketer can measure to understand what people are saying online about your brand.
Volume measures how much people are talking about your brand. Marketers use free or paid tools to examine the different times of the day, days of the week, weeks of the year, people are talking about their brands the most. This can help them determine when people are talking about their brand the most and on what platform. Understanding when people are talking about certain brands can help marketers predict their future demand and can even predict future sales.
2. Valence (Sentiment)
Valence, also known as sentiment, measures if people are talking about your brand in a good or bad way. Different tools measure this by using specific algorithms that read what people are saying and classify the buzz into positive or negative categories. There are a few limitations to this measurement. For example, the tools used to measure valence are not perfect and cannot measure sarcasm, so certain brands may have lower sentiment scores due to the wording of people’s posts.
Intensity measures how repetitively people are talking about your brand, while advocacy measures if people are simply mentioning it or are they recommending it. The more passionate the posts, the stronger they will be. Social mentions on blogs can be extremely influential, as many consumers look up to opinion leaders and trust what they are saying. By having opinion leaders post about and recommend your brand, you could expand your brands reach and encourage others to drive positive discussions about your brand. It is important to understand how your brand is being mentioned now in order to find places it needs to improve.
4. Market Research
By conducting market research, you can understand what consumers like and dislike about your brand, what they like about your current products, and what features they want in the future. To find this information, you can read reviews of your products as well as competitor’s products on sites like Amazon, Yelp, and even YouTube. You can also search for online communities and discussions about your products through topic-specific sites. Lastly, you can understand the consumer behavior of your target market by researching how typical users of your brand behave. This includes monitoring their social media accounts (Facebook page likes, Tweets at celebrities, Instagram accounts they follow) to understand their demographics, interests, purchase behaviors, and other characteristics alike.
5. Customer Language
Look at the actual words consumers use to describe your brand, product, service, or even entire industry. Understanding the slang do they use to describe your brand can help you better market towards your target in the future through familiar language. It can help solve their current or future problems with the brand as well as spark their interest in other products or features your brand offers. Another important way understanding their language can help a business grow is that it will help describe who the consumer is: who they are, what their pains and fears are, what are their hopes and dreams, and what obstacles are in their paths. By understanding the language your consumers use, your brand can relate to the consumer and address the problems they have.
You may be wondering, “which types of businesses should be on social media?” The answer is everyone. If you don’t already have social media incorporated in your business model, don’t fear because there are tons of options out there for you! Check out which of these following platforms may be best for your brand. There are numerous resources marketers use to listen to their consumers online. To get started today, here are some common tools used by marketers to help measure the 5 elements of online listening.
- Google Alerts: https://google.com/alerts
- TalkWalker Alerts: http://www.talkwalker.com/alerts
- Google Trends: https://www.google.com/trends/
- Hootsuite: http://hootesuite.com/
- TweetReach: http://tweetreach.com
Lindsay Root is a senior studying Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She plans on pursuing a career in digital marketing and brand strategy after she graduates. Connect with her today on LinkedIn.