3 Effective Stages to Ensure High-Quality Consumer Insights Through Social Listening
With big data in abundance, one area most businesses are zero-ing on in their aim to increase growth is consumer data. According to a 2018 survey by Google, around 40% of marketers are using consumer research to drive decisions. And the importance of consumer insights cannot be understated.
In fact, the Customers 2020: A Progress Report by Walker found that:
- Customer experience will usurp product and price as a key brand differentiator
- 86% of buyers are likely to pay top dollar for a positive customer experience
With social media networks becoming more and more ubiquitous, there is a new treasure trove of data such as buyer demographics, purchasing behaviors, sentiment, and trending topics among your customers. Retrieving these data points will not only help to give your business an edge for product development, but also do well to secure customer retention.
To attain high-quality consumer insights, you simply need the right tools - and that is where social listening can come into play as a time-saving, cost-effective counterpart to traditional market research channels such as focus groups and customer surveys.
Social listening monitors everything social online. From here, you can build a deeper understanding of the consumer experience from the beginning to the end of their customer journey, thus guiding you to plug any gaps in unmet needs and wants.
In our webinar on Ensuring High Quality Consumer Insights, we shared that 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people in their network. Positive experiences and reviews are examples of high-quality insights you want to capture and share through a social listening platform.
Social media listening tools like Digimind can enable marketing and insights teams like yours to gain a clearer scope on your customers’ opinions and expectations towards you and your competitors. Here are the three key stages through which you can leverage social listening to gain high-quality, real-time insights which can help you boost your product development, customer experience, and more.
Bonus: Looking for something insightful to listen to during lunch hour? Catch our Webinar-On-Demand, Ensuring High-Quality Consumer Insights for more on these three key stages.
Stage 1: Detect Consumer Insights from Social Media
Before you launch your consumer insights project, start with the following questions: What do you want to find out from this project? What is your overall objective?
Beginning with the end in mind will help you define your project scope and what sources are relevant to monitor.
Keep It Lean and Clean
Depending on your objective – whether it’s to understand the cause behind customers’ negative experiences with your brand, or to detect gaps in your current offerings, it’s important to keep the scope of your social listening project as focused as possible. This will help you fish for data that is relevant to your objective, as opposed to a “spray and pray” method of casting a net and scraping for data that is meaningful.
Aim to keep data collection optimized by streamlining the sources you are monitoring. At the start of your data collection, expect to receive more data than what you actually need, as this is when you will determine what is really relevant to your objective.
- Gradually, you’d want to exclude topics that are dissociated from your query — commonly referred to as “noise” — by identifying online sources such as social media networks, blogs, and forums which can corroborate high-quality consumer insights.
- Manage your data consistency by using boolean logic to continually refine your data collection. Boolean works by inputting operators “Or,” “And,” and “Not” to define whether a query would result in either one of two values, true or false.
- For example, if you have run across opinions gathered about your competitors, you may want to exclude rival company labels from the query. The Boolean operator “Not” functions as a filter to exclude mentions in your sources that directly mention those competitors.
Keep these in mind to help you improve the consistency in your data collection when in high quantities, while resolving the challenges faced with accuracy and audit ability of data.
Keep It Organized
It’s important to remember that data collection is an ongoing process. Keeping your data well organized will make it easier for your team to work with it in the long run, and discover insights that may be beneficial to their project.
Here are some ways you can set up your social listening platform to enable users to locate relevant information with ease:
- Use classifiers and tags to associate data with different categories and sub-topics on your social listening platform
- Create customized dashboards to display select sets of data in an organized manner, to specific groups of users
- Automate reports and emails that highlight specific insights and trends that readers can delve deeper into
By automating, categorizing, and filtering data in this way, you can save your team the effort of decluttering data gathered for analysis.
Stage 2: Optimize Data Collected
Aim to get a holistic perspective of your consumers, by gathering and analyzing insights in support of benchmarking objectives, rather than viewing the data in isolation. This means stringing together a combination of other data points like user experience, purchase history, or search activity, to name a few. A collective view can lead to a more in-depth perspective on how you can apply these insights to different business fundamentals.
Using Consumer Insights to Optimize the Customer’s Journey
Consumer insights are pivotal if you want to be craft customer experiences that engage and appeal. Social media intelligence is all the more valuable for businesses and marketers like you who are seeking a gateway into key customer profiles.
Social listening tools have enabled marketing and customer experience teams to get a closer, more accurate look at each step of the customer’s journey, so they can plan and predict actionable steps to take to plug any gaps. On top of that, they can also use this data to push customers from the awareness stage, all the way to purchase and advocacy.
A customer’s journey is a mapping of 5 different stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Consumer insights can be used to reveal the needs and experiences of any stage that needs improving.
- Build awareness to develop targeted marketing and communication strategies
- Apply considerations to sales and promotion tactics
- Facilitate greater ease of purchase for customers
- Cement customer retention by providing excellent support and user experience
- Promote customer advocacy as a model of success
Stage 3: Deliver Insights to Relevant Teams
Data becomes truly useful when people act on it. Therefore, the success of your consumer insights project lies in your ability to deliver this data to the right people. Consumer insights can be influential across various teams of your business, where relevant stakeholders can leverage it to support strategic decision-making.
Creating Value Across the Company
Aside from driving sales, consumer insights can be used to create value at a company-wide level, including marketing and communications, research and development, and customer success.
By distributing relevant data across different departments beyond marketing, communications, and insights, you can enable your company to optimize several business operations and outpace competitors. From driving product innovation, to simply improving customer satisfaction, sharing consumer insights from social media can effectively create value across the company.
Less Is More
These three stages, "Detect", "Optimize", and "Deliver" are principles of a successful consumer insights campaign. Essentially, you need to know what to look for, where to tweak queries to find accurate data, and who to deliver an informed analysis to.
Equip your business with actionable consumer insights by utilizing a smart approach to market research that answers more, with more relevant questions asked. Social media presents a seemingly endless resource of data for your business to learn from, and envisage to build better products and customer value.
More than ever, real-time insight allows your company to adapt to an ever changing consumer landscape. Ensuring high-quality consumer insights should always be a priority for your social listening project. After all, the more accurate and focused your insights, the better informed your corresponding efforts and campaigns will be. For more tips and insights, tune in to this webinar-on-demand!
Written by Jared Silitonga
Jared Silitonga is a marketing intern at Digimind. Digital marketing is his first foray into the industry and what he really loves is working for tech-driven companies. Catch him in other shenanigans on Instagram @jarrds.