Social data reveals insights. Rather than benefiting in the short term, companies need to focus on implementing long-term changes to improve the customer experience and foster loyalty.
Social data revolutionized marketing. The insights that are extracted allow marketers to become more and more efficient by bringing out an ever more detailed image of consumers.
This nuanced audience image allows for better market segmentation and more accurate targeting. It is easier to target consumers if you know who is buying your products, what other brands they value, what they consume, what frustrations they have, what they are talking about, what they are interested in, etc.
Use market knowledge for long-term objectives
This knowledge can be used in different ways. Many marketers have used data to boost sales in the short term. Maximizing the impact of content and campaigns are good practices, but they do not take advantage of all the advantages offered by insights in the market.
As long as the use of social data is unevenly maturing across brands and industries, it will serve well short-term goals. Early users can take advantage of the benefits offered while others catch up. However, there will come a time when the use of Big Data will be universal. At this point, the competitive advantage will be lost: all brands will be as effective as they are in understanding and communicating with their consumers.
In order to truly benefit from social media market intelligence, brands need to re-think how they use this data and begin to develop long-term strategies: fostering loyalty by improving the customer experience.
Definition of customer loyalty
Loyalty describes consumers who remain loyal to a brand over a long period of time. The customers have a marked preference for this brand due to the superior quality of services and products compared to the competition. This loyalty is often based on an emotional connection that has developed over the years.
This emotional connection is gained via constant product quality, excellent customer experience and brand values. At a time when it is possible to compare prices anywhere and at any time, these factors become increasingly important differentiators.
Definition of insights on the market
True market knowledge goes beyond mere research and observation to offer a new way of understanding consumers. They reveal a previously unknown or identified behaviour that is a lever capable of generating income. The recommendations from these insights must be credible, actionable and practical.
How to reveal market knowledge through social media research
Conducting social mock research with well-defined questions and a robust methodology can reveal insights that can be used to promote customer loyalty and increase long-term sales.
When they make their debut with social media intelligence, most begin by measuring social media indicators. A structured analysis of different indicators may be the best method for answering defined objective questions. If you have recently conducted a campaign and want to know if it has generated visibility for your brand, measuring the evolution of the mentions or analyzing your share of votes can provide an answer.
To get actionable insights however, you will have to delve into the data and read sample manually to understand the nuances of different conversations.
It starts with a watch on conversations about your industry or product category rather than your brand or products. You are looking for market knowledge, so people who talk about your competitors are just as interesting as those who talk to you.
Once you have the data you need, make sure they are “clean” i.e., without spam. Incorporate exclusion terms into your searches to remove any irrelevant references. Once you have identified key trends and key topics, it can be very helpful to exclude these topics; this is how you will discover insights that go beyond what you already know.
Taking a representative random sample of the data will allow you to read through all the data and apply one or more predefined categories to each statement. By having subcategories for a particular aspect, you can identify demographic segments, emotions, frustrations, and common encouragement (etc.).
These different categories can then be crossed to enrich your market knowledge. A fundamental principle of social media research is to notice the differences between several things. Be curious, keep exploring.
Using insights to promote customer loyalty
The market knowledge gained from this process must be used not only to improve its marketing, but also to develop a better experience that promotes customer loyalty. Indirectly, this process helps to become a customer-centric company.
Improve your product
The first step in choosing to become a customer of a brand often relies on the fact that the brand offers a reliable (high quality) product (or service).
The quality of your offer can be improved by listening to conversations about your product. So you will discover what your existing customers like or not about it.
Market knowledge about the industry in general can also be used to highlight certain features in your marketing communication or to develop an existing product.
Provide excellent customer service
The research firm Access Development has identified that 79% of consumers will change brand in a week following a bad customer experience, and consumers shifting from a negative customer experience is estimated to be $ 1.6 trillion.
Other researches also shows that consumers who have a positive customer experience on Twitter are generally more satisfied with their overall experience. They are also more willing to recommend the brand and pay more in the future.
Building brand values
Social listening can be used to discover brand associations that consumers have with your own brand.
Segmenting data can also highlight important themes and values for your customers. These brand values can be highlighted through different campaigns.
To use market knowledge for long-term goals, brands must use social data as a strategic lever, and put customer experience and loyalty at the center of their priorities. If insights can boost sales in the short term, focus on customer satisfaction predicts a future filled with success.