If we could look into a crystal ball and see the future, the word ‘regret’ probably wouldn’t feature in the human vocabulary. Because if we had a future perspective on everything we are doing in the now, we simply wouldn’t make poor decisions or miss vital opportunities for growth and success thus rendering the feeling of regret impossible. When you think about what this would mean in business, it’s almost surprising that key business decision makers aren’t dabbling in the dark arts and consulting their corporate crystal balls at the beginning of each quarter.
Except they are. These days, business decision makers are becoming more savvy about how best to see into the future and use their visions to adjust their actions in the now. But instead of using a crystal ball, they’re looking through the lens of social media monitoring tools, analyzing behavior online to predict desires, fortune, fate and destiny. Here, we’ll show you four ways you can use social media data to make better business decisions.
1. DESIRES: Predict what your consumer wants
Social media monitoring tools are becoming the norm in companies that want to stay ahead of the competition and anticipate customer demands. With over 2 billion people now documenting and sharing their lives openly on social media, it is becoming easier to identify trends, and with a good social listening tool, brands can quickly access a vast amount of specific online mentions about a certain topic, analyse these mentions and then use them to make predictions. For example, if a mobile phone provider notices a large number of mentions about a certain feature like the battery which have a negative sentiment, they can predict a demand for a better quality battery in smartphones, then respond to this demand by improving their product. However, given the immediacy of social media, businesses must react fast to capitalize on the insight they gain from social media analytics, in order to stay ahead of the demand and meet the desires of their consumers before their competitors.
2. DESTINY: Predict what your consumer will do next
Business intelligence is not just based on what people say, but also what they do. Translating social intelligence into actionable information for your brand involves finding out what your consumer will buy, where they will buy it and how you can target the consumer to get yourself top of mind when they make this purchase. This is where some social media monitoring tools fall short, as brands need to know about the search behavior of their consumer on sites like Google in order to get a true idea of the customer’s next move. This means analysing what customers are searching for most in relation to their brand and seeing the search results they are presented with, so that they can ensure their online reputation and SEO is good enough to keep their brand or product top of mind. Furthermore, when combined with customer mentions, search engine behavior enables brands to target their marketing content more effectively, resulting in improved ROI, increased sales and greater customer retention.
3. FORTUNE: Predict the success of a product launch, marketing campaign or event
Market forecasts are already an integral part of the business process, as brands constantly strive to stay one step ahead and keep driving their profitability. Social media analytics that focus on sentiment as well as the potential audience of mentions are in fact extremely useful when it comes to anticipating the success and profitability of products, marketing campaigns and events. In the build up to a launch, the higher the number of positive mentions and the larger the audience of said mentions, the more likely a product is to be popular. In the same way, brands can foresee if a product is headed for failure if an overwhelmingly negative sentiment relating to the product is being seen by a vast audience. Brands can react and correct the business decisions already in play in order to improve positivity, therefore ensuring fortune and success.
4. FATE: Predict a downfall
These days, a brand’s fate is dictated by what the majority of people are saying about it online. In a survey conducted by Conversocial, more than 88% of consumers admitted to being influenced by comments posted by other consumers on social media sites so if a brand is receiving a huge amount of criticism and negativity online they are most likely headed for a fall. With social listening, brands can set alerts if the number of negative mentions about them passes a certain level, in order to be able to react immediately. Social listening tools allow brands to cluster online information by keyword, media type, country, sentiment and influence as soon as it appears online, meaning the most impactful criticisms can be quickly located and dealt with immediately. Social clairvoyance means brands are predicting downfalls before they happen, and unsealing their fate with fully targeted responses.