By Kate Minkner, Head of Social Insights
It’s true – we’re all ready to say goodbye to 2020. But as marketers, business owners and brand strategists, it’s essential we take a close look at how Covid-19 has created huge shifts in the digital landscape as we plan ahead. Understanding and adapting to changes in online consumer behavior can position brands for success in 2021, and at InterQ, we leverage in-depth social listening as one avenue to stay on the pulse of new trends, consumer motivations, and industry changes.
For example: the pandemic lockdowns pushed everyone at home, online. It’s likely your target audience has expanded to include an older generation embracing digital. Social listening can help you get to know them, and how to talk them (new audience insights).
Or, since more children are learning from home, suddenly people are juggling virtual school and work. Social listening can help identify new challenges your target audience is facing, or new opportunities this presents for your brand.
Online shopping and e-commerce now happen out of necessity, (as do ad spend budget cuts), and for many brands social media takes a front seat. Listening can ensure the online user experience is optimized and your media spend is efficient.
Remember, there’s a difference between social listening and social monitoring. Social monitoring is an ongoing action-reaction process, fully engaging with customers online in real-time. Social listening is a high-level look at online conversation. Listening opens a window into people’s honest thoughts, feelings and opinions – think of it like a really big focus group – providing valuable data that can inform marketing campaigns, refine content strategies, product innovation, gain a competitive advantage, find new audiences, improve overall customer experience…the list goes on. If it isn’t already, tapping into social conversations for consumer, industry and cultural insights should be influencing every aspect of your organization.
For many marketing professionals, social listening is now the market research starting point when developing marketing strategies and campaigns. Keeping your finger on the pulse of online conversation – whatever your area of focus – plays a key role in understanding the landscape or providing some direction before you dive further with focus groups and surveys.
If you want to know how you can use social listening to help your brand (or how it plays into your 2021 market research), give us a call.