5 Key Questions for Detecting Market Trends Using Social Media
A case study of a communication agency’s analytical study of social media to discover market trends.
Detecting Trends with Social Media
It is clear that brands can create competitive advantage by collecting and analyzing data on customer consumption habits. However, traditional surveying methods such as questionnaires, interviews, and discussion groups are often limited in terms of sample size and spontaneity of responses.
Beyond traditional methods, marketers can capture insights from social media conversations occurring online. Social intelligence allows agencies to understand market trends which may be difficult to recognize and comprehend using traditional methodologies.
Digital agencies can use social data to:
- Build customer loyalty by with customer profiling and customer intelligence.
- Increase expansion opportunities with data-driven commercial proposals developed using the social media environment of the brand and its respective industry.
However, the promising applications of social data require well-planned, practical implementation. For a real-world demonstration of the implementation of social data, here is a case study of a Digimind client who used a 5-point approach to capture market trends an increase brand profitability with social media analytics.
The agency examined in this case study is a global communications agency that manages a large number of clients in the food and drink distribution sector. The agency is interested in creatively integrating technology into their operational strategies, and employed an insight-driven marketing approach with Digimind to optimize the marketing and distribution ROI of a client in the market for baked goods.
The client, which specializes in the production of biscuits, was not attaining proper ROI on its marketing and distribution efforts. The agency’s team was tasked with optimizing communications efforts by illustrating marketing trends and consumer habits to their client in order to launch a more targeted marketing campaign for new products.
The agency’s team sought to understand the market by listening to and interpreting conversations on social media and across the internet. After setting Digimind Social up to capture market trends, they used the tool to answer the following questions:
- Which keywords and topics relating to the brand’s products are most discussed online?
- On which channels and in which geographical regions are these conversations occurring?
- What are the sentiments associated with conversations relating to the brand’s products, and are there notable differences across social media platforms?
- Which demographics and influencers are most active in mentioning the brand and related topics?
- How do these conversations evolve over time?
Alongside the analytical functions of Digimind Social, the agency was came up with the following notable highlights:
- The most popular baked products among consumers were brownies with white chocolate.
- Conversations about the brand’s products usually occurred on Instagram, featuring photos of the baked goods.
- Geographic analysis using location tags of social posts revealed that increased consumption of the brand’s goods occurred across all relevant geographic locations.
- Sentiment analysis revealed that brownies were the most positively perceived product.
- Analysis of the source of posts mentioning the brand found that groups of loyal consumers were contributing many of the posts.
- The total volume of references and peaks in conversation highlighted a trending increase in online conversation of baked goods and similar products unrelated to this campaign.
Subsequently, this data was used in analysis of investments in the distribution and marketing of the brand’s products - the brand is now only focused on the production of brownies.
The opinions, preferences, and consumption patterns of the market highlighted by social listening allowed the brand to optimize investments in marketing, distribution, and campaign planning. More specifically, the brand achieved the following:
- Shifted focus to a leading product to promote visibility of the product.
- Discovered the most relevant social media channels for investing in paid advertising.
- Developed strong reference data for customer profiling.
- Narrowed the topics to focus communications campaigns on to accurately target consumers.
- Gained a competitive edge by listening to customer consumption habits and tastes on social media
- Created customer loyalty by identifying expansion opportunity mechanisms.
Consumer conversations are key.
Consumer conversations can optimize product visibility and personalized communications in both offline and online campaigns.
Strategic planning should come after social listening.
To be truly effective, strategic planning must be preceded by careful analysis of the needs, preferences, and habits of a target audience in order to ensure that campaign actions are aligned with consumer expectations.
Proprietary analytical data by itself is not always sufficient.
While data provided by internal marketing and sales tools are valuable, this data should be synthesized with qualitative and quantitative data from online conversation spaces where consumers speak spontaneously about brands.