What is social listening?
Social media research, or social listening, allows you to tap into the billions of conversations occurring across social media every day. By creating trackers/queries/searches, you can understand exactly how people are engaging with topics, brands, keywords and content online. You can then categorise, filter and visualise this information in the following ways:
- Subtopics – e.g. Across social media what topics do people care about when they talk about hair care?
- Time-line – how does the conversation change week by week, month by month and year by year?
- Time of day – when do people talk about different topics?
- Channels Identification – which social media channels or domains is the conversation living on?
- Audience understanding – does the conversation change by gender, age, interest, etc?
- Media – which images are people more likely to share?
- Locations – where is the conversation taking place and in which languages?
- Brand Reputation – what did people think about the most recent ad campaign or brand?
- Influencer Identification – which influencers match your chosen topic or brand
Why is social media data valuable?
When targeting a local market (eg. Japan), it is crucial to understand that territory through the audiences’ posts on social media. This understanding is rooted in the following core values.
- The data catchment is large: there are 3.2 billion individual, active social media users worldwide.
- The data is representative: 90.4% of ‘Millennials’, 77.5% of ‘Generation X’, and 48.2% of ‘Baby Boomers’ are active social media users (Emarketer, 2019).
- The data is unguarded and volunteered: Unlike surveys and focus groups, people can be brutally honest about brands and topics.
- You can test brand hypotheses or beliefs: E.g. If you believe that you should be targeting a specific persona online, then test it using social listening. Is this the right thing to do?
- You can discover unknown unknowns: Insights and discoveries that you can use to inform your marketing.
Building strategy and creating effective content
Meticulous planning is essential for taking your social media insights and turning them into effective content. The form of this strategy will depend upon the project at hand but when a plan is in place and a calendar set out, you will be ready to distribute.