Sponsored Content: NetBase Quid – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Fri, 27 Aug 2021 00:14:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 Top social media monitoring capabilities for brands /top-social-media-monitoring-capabilities-for-brands-351033 Wed, 11 Aug 2021 11:00:35 +0000 /?p=351033 Social media monitoring tells the story of consumer, competitive, and market intelligence over time. Understanding the capabilities of your social media tools is critical.

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Social media has become a valuable resource for consumers to interact with the brands they love and discover new ones. New users across the globe are flocking to social media platforms in record numbers and adding their voices to your brand’s narrative.

With social media tools, brands can capture a wealth of measurable insights from the consumer data that social networks provide. And social media monitoring is the key to staying on top of changes in the volume and tone of these online discussions that impact your brand – and you can be sure that potential impact is significant! Let’s dig into some “must-have” capabilities, followed by the advanced, and finally – some tools to help you stay ahead of it all.

Social media monitoring must-haves

The way consumers engage and evaluate brands online is constantly evolving. For this reason, it’s critical for brands, institutions, and agencies to listen and understand consumers as they share their opinions on social media. These opinions are a valuable resource to protect your brand health, detect emerging trends, and keep a watchful eye on competitors’ performance with consumers. Social media monitoring is how you do it – but not all tools are created equal.

Therefore, when you’re outfitting your social media monitoring toolbox, there are several critical use cases that you want to have in your arsenal at the end of the day. Let’s look at a few.

Fig #1: Critical metrics measured and capabilities made possible with social media monitoring.

First and foremost, you need the capacity for robust brand health benchmarks. The ability to capture and measure posts, comments, potential impressions, and net sentiment are the bare minimum. Additionally, you need the ability to perform a precision-based social media audit on your brand to establish key metrics and understand your “normal.” Tracking these measurements over time shows how your brand performs online and is a critical element for early crisis detection.

Monitoring your marketing endeavors lets you track how your campaigns are playing out in real-time. This is vital for seeing what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, your social media monitoring should bolster your campaign strategy at the end of the day.

Likewise, your tools should leave you with a holistic outlook on your product innovation and launch. Shedding light on the consumer’s voice is critical to understanding their needs and wants, so you know which direction you need to go.

Your social media monitoring tools should be capable of casting a wide net on any topic allowing you to detect anomalies and emerging trends over time. Trend analytics is a critical component of social listening success and should inform your brand’s decision-making.

With the speed of social your social media monitoring tools should have a robust alert functionality to notify your team when your social media mentions or sentiment is going off the rails. Crisis management is a crucial aspect of social listening and something you never want to compromise on.

For the ultimate in competitive intelligence, your social media tools should have the capacity to perform the functions mentioned above on your competitors. This is particularly the case for brand health benchmarks – and even setting alerts. That way, you can compare the competition’s social media performance against your own. The goal is an accurate understanding of your share of voice within your market through competitor monitoring.

For example, tracking three competitors’ social media mentions in chunks of time gives you a window into share of voice. Monitoring these metrics over time lets you know if your brand is gaining ground.

Fig #2: Tracking competitors’ social media mentions, sentiment and passion intensity.

To round out our social media must-haves, your tools should have the ability to identify and track conversations surrounding influencers and key opinion leaders that are shaping the narrative in your market. After all, they shape consumer opinion, so staying in tune with their conversations leaves you with a head start on detecting emerging trends. Not only that, it allows you to perfect your influencer marketing strategy ahead of the competition.

While these use cases don’t cover the entirety of what modern social media monitoring tools are capable of, these are a few of the high-priority abilities you want from your toolbox. Let’s explore the advanced side of social media monitoring tools in a little more detail.

Advanced social media monitoring capabilities

To excel in today’s business world, your social media analytics must happen in real-time. Artificial intelligence (AI) with machine learning capabilities does the heavy lifting providing you with immediate access to measurable insights – which means quick decisions.

AI is a game-changer with social media monitoring, but not all AI is created equal. When choosing your social media tools, actionability is based on breadth and depth of insight. If your actions are based on half-baked AI, you have a problem.

Keeping that in mind, your social media monitoring tools should be capable of:

  • Accurately analyzing billions of conversations across all social media platforms on any topic with the push of a button
  • Recognizing patterns in human emotions, behaviors, and sentiment drivers
  • Revealing trending conversations and issues through sentiment measurement and volume
  • Analyzing demographic and psychographic data such as interests, habits, and opinions
  • Predictive (what is likely to happen) and prescriptive insights (recommend or do it for me)

There’s no doubt about it; if you want to keep up in today’s market, brands are leaning on social media tools that give them a holistic outlook at a moment’s notice. AI is the way to go, and you want to test your social media tools to ensure you’re getting accurate results. Again, not all social media monitoring tools are created equal. The key is to get actionable intel within each sentence for emotions, behaviors, attributes, hashtags, people, and brands.

Fig #3: Using AI to parse text and imagery for emotions, behaviors, attributes, hashtags, people, and brands.

Top social media monitoring tools to consider

Staying on top of your social media monitoring is a continuous process with many tools vying for your attention. Here, we’ll briefly cover a few tools that will help you cover the lion’s share of social listening applications that your brand needs to attend to.

NetBase Quid

NetBase Quid is the leader in social media and consumer experience analytics, capable of delivering insights 5x faster than other solutions. NetBase Quid’s next-generation artificial intelligence uses best-in-class machine learning for intelligent processing and analysis of social media and any other consumer and market data at scale.

Fig #4: Snapshot of topic mentions, posts, net sentiment, engagements, impressions and more to inform next steps.

NetBase Quid offers two distinct ways to assess data for social media analytics and data visualization. Quid not only takes your competitive intelligence to the next level with patent, company, news and blog data, but it also incorporates your NetBase queries into Quid Social for advanced social media monitoring data visualizations. That way, you can see your topic’s conversation at a glance and dive into the themes that impact your brand, like the Olympics conversation below.

Fig #5: Olympics conversation, visualized with semantically related clusters.

Looking to complement a one-stop-shop such as NetBase Quid, let’s look at a few other social media monitoring tools to keep your eye on.

Feedly

Trend analytics and monitoring are the name of the game with social media monitoring, and Feedly allows you to make sure your social listening dynamic is staying the course. Leo is their “research assistant” that organizes social media sources around your topic, filters out the noise, and helps you share insights with your team. It’s a great add-on to double-check your primary social listening’s AI accuracy.

Fig #6: Feedly dashboard.

StoryHeap

Many brands are all in on “stories” on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat – as well they should be. Stories give your brand another angle to social media and maximize impact. StoryHeap measures how your stories perform by following growth, open rate, completed views, and screenshots.

It’s a niche tool, but one that complements your marketing intel gleaned from your main social media monitoring tools, so you know the right direction to go.

Fig #7: Storyheap dashboard.

Sendible

When you’ve uncovered the data you need with your social media monitoring tools, Sendible helps you plan, post, and measure your content across a wide variety of platforms. When you’re putting your brand out there on social media, story is everything. Sendible allows you to take your social media insights, craft your marketing for direct hits and customize posts for each of your social media platforms – and track your progress.

Fig #8: Sendible dashboard.

Conclusion

Your consumers are talking about your brand and your competition on social media. Today’s top social media monitoring tools keep you apprised of relevant conversations, so you don’t miss a thing and can get ahead of narratives. Shaping the story is powerful, particularly when it so greatly impacts consumer perception. It’s essential to ensure your brand uses the latest world-class tools to stay a step of the competition – and keep pace with an increasingly demanding and fickle audience. Tomorrow’s opportunities are being shared online today!

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Fortune 500 secret: Consumer intelligence analytics drives every decision /fortune-500-secret-consumer-intelligence-analytics-drives-every-decision-349142 Fri, 04 Jun 2021 11:00:56 +0000 /?p=349142 Uncover, understand and predict consumer behavior about brands, their competitors and their categories.

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Consumer intelligence analytics keeps Fortune 500 companies at the top of their game, and other category leaders are quickly following suit. Why does consumer intelligence drive every decision? It helps marketers uncover, understand and predict consumer behavior – and it’s much more sophisticated than most businesses realize.

Key capabilities made possible by consumer insight data include, but are far from limited to:

  • Uncovering unmet needs by way of emerging trends and tracking consumer behavior shifts.
  • Understanding the consumer journey and associated sentiment drivers to head off loyalty shifts.
  • Predicting future behaviors and market movements to set the pace in your category.

The distinction between knowing your market and understanding what drives it is at the heart of consumer intelligence. Let’s explore how that looks.

“There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.” – Charles F. Kettering 

Uncover unmet needs with consumer intelligence

There are many ways to uncover unmet needs with consumer intelligence. Businesses can apply themes to an analysis, identify white space areas (where new ideas are born), capture competitor pain points, discover emerging trends, and monitor shifts in consumer behavior.

For example, themes are saved filters used to segment conversations for a deeper analysis of consumer sentiment around specific topics. When applying a “personal narrative” theme to shopping, it would reveal consumers sharing statements like I love, I hate and my favorite and many other personal statements. This raw data offers companies consumer intelligence insight around relevant behaviors:

Tracking personal narrative statements over time alerts companies to shifts in behavior, as well as new ways to meaningfully connect with consumers – and without brand assumptions about those behaviors getting in the way. Retailers may assume shoppers miss going to stores, but maybe they don’t? Online behavior that doesn’t result in a sale today could give the wrong impression and result in brand shifting its focus prematurely:

Could this signal an emerging trend – or one continuing due to pandemic-driven online shopping? Tracking the volume of that conversation over time will tell you. And when this consumer intelligence is viewed through the lens of a competitor’s mentions, it takes on an additional element. It can reveal pain points they’re missing and you can pick up on, or ways they’re succeeding that you could emulate.

Consumer intelligence will also lead to identifying opportunities or white space areas with a consumer need that no one is meeting. And this isn’t just about identifying the next big idea. It could be as simple as creating a serene shopping experience. Or it could help address new prospects or threats, keeping your company aware of any industry shifts before they reach a critical point. This past year has certainly shown us the danger of letting something spread too far before taking action. Consumer intelligence helps head that off.

But, this understanding is only half of the story, as we need to understand what drives consumers to shift purchases patterns – and loyalty. And that calls for adding a layer of sentiment analysis to our consumer intelligence.

What drives consumers to purchase – and why?

Sentiment gets to the heart of consumers – literally. Thanks to sentiment drivers that reveal emotions and behaviors, brands can clearly see not only what consumers love or hate – but why. Consumer intelligence sprinkled with sentiment reveals the emotions and behaviors driving actions. And each can be tracked back to a specific stage in the consumer journey to inform what is or isn’t working as consumers progress through your funnel or purchase path.

For example, Wunderman Thompson uses social listening to capture key consumer journey moments. They track sentiment data and classify corresponding posts to map them back to the moments in the journey that they’ve identified in their consumer intelligence activities. This granular insight helps CX strategists connect consumer responses and actions back to specific stages, highlighting what is working and what requires some new thinking to optimize their movement along the purchase path.

For each stage of the journey, there are specific consumer intelligence measurements companies should focus on, and corresponding actions to take, considering the outcome of the analyses that apply to each:

  • With the Consideration phase, after analyzing your industry and reviewing competitive benchmarks, messaging should be shared on channels you’ve identified as hotbeds for target consumer activity. This is where you’ll see positive shifts in share of voice, with your target audience mentioning you more often. And if you aren’t seeing this, then it’s time to reconsider those ad placements and sponsorships – and may be time to engage with a relevant influencer or two to give your efforts a boost! And all of this is easy to sort out with consumer intelligence.
  • In the Evaluation phase, knowing your share of desirable conversation and campaign effectiveness is key. Exploring forums and reviews alerts brands to change messaging and positioning or adjust a call-to-action that may be missing the mark. The smallest change could have a huge impact, but you won’t know unless you dig into the consumer intelligence available on those channels.
  • In a perfect world, Purchase Intent would lead directly to Purchase – and it often does. But if you are not using consumer intelligence to analyze buyer behavior and track intentful conversations, you’re likely wasting time on leads that aren’t. Following up on qualified leads becomes a lot less challenging when you learn to separate those with true intent from those just window shopping for hours – and possibly forever.
  • Post-purchase and Loyalty are the most crucial – and most neglected of all, which makes little sense. It’s much less costly to retain a customer than it is to find a new one after all, just review this purchase path to see all of the work you’ve put in! In fact, in the U.S., companies lose $1.6 trillion each year due to poor customer service. This is why it’s so important to have a robust customer care function in place – one that benchmarks customer issues by type and has a follow-up process that connects directly with your R&D. Innovating around new products that your existing customers need and will buy again and again is as easy as listening to them – or listening to your consumer intelligence!

And when customer loyalty changes, it should never be a surprise. With sentiment analysis on your side, partnered with consistent monitoring of your consumer intelligence, companies should be well aware of shifts in a brand’s Net Sentiment as they start to happen.

And they’ll also know (thanks to ongoing consumer behavior analysis) what is driving that shift. Not only that – this consumer intelligence will help predict future behaviors.

Predicting future behaviors with consumer intelligence

We’ve covered some consumer intelligence basics that every brand should have immediately available – the actionable insight that drives in-the-moment pivots to capture market share and win over new customers. But we can do better than that.

With next-generation artificial intelligence aggregating and analyzing data spanning the social web in real-time, brands have access to every relevant consumer intelligence data source organized in one visually appealing dashboard. And scanning insight for outliers in conversational clusters (for example) allows companies to quickly add novel themes to their analyses to inform future planning.

For example, exploring the NFT (non-fungible tokens) landscape, we see the many conversations on the periphery to explore. Questions about NFTs’ value to art and music come into focus here. We see the main conversation (in the center of the cluster) revolves around decentralized finance (Defi) applications as a whole. Although we haven’t heard much about NFTs recently, that doesn’t mean we won’t – and blockchain technology (which powers it and cryptocurrency) is certainly not going away. That’s consumer intelligence you can take to the bank.

Will emerging ideas you investigate for your brand come to fruition? Will the market move in any direction at some point in the near future? That requires a crystal ball, but being aware of these potential avenues allows forward planning and gives companies an informed basis to leap ahead of competitors if/when a shift happens. Knowing something has the potential to transform and what shape that transformation could take is powerful.

And that’s the gist of consumer intelligence – any business can experience astronomical growth in our digital age, and it all comes down to how intelligently they use the data available to them. Knowing your category is a given, but do you truly understand it? That’s the rub. And it’s the critical element that separates brands leading in every category from those racing to catch up.

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Social listening for brands and agencies: What, why and how? /social-listening-for-brands-and-agencies-what-why-and-how-347815 Wed, 21 Apr 2021 11:00:35 +0000 /?p=347815 What role does social listening play in a company's marketing matrix? Here's how to evaluate your options in 2021 – and why you must.

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Few marketing tactics stand the test of time, but word-of-mouth marketing is an outlier. Today, with both companies and consumers taking up more space online due to COVID, word-of-mouth marketing has transformed into something more powerful than ever – creating threats and opportunities online for brands. And advanced social listening has been a game-changer. It harnesses the massive amounts of data consumers generate to extract actionable and relevant real-time insight. Those with social listening capabilities in place came through the other side of the pandemic relatively unscathed.

It makes sense. According to TEKsystems 2021 State of Digital Transformation Report, “There is a direct connection between success during the crisis and the maturity of an organization’s digital transformation before the pandemic.” But not all ‘digital maturity’ models are created equal.

In an age where ‘speed to insight’ is becoming table stakes, being first with something is no longer good enough. Accuracy of social listening insight and understanding the context surrounding this insight is equally crucial. And in this piece, we will share how to win by both measures (speed and accuracy) with social listening, spanning various use cases. And we’ll also share ways to evaluate the many social listening options available.

What is social listening?

Social listening is so much more than what brands expect. It takes you beyond surface insights to actionable intel. What does this mean, exactly? Social listening helps brands capture consumer needs and create the products and solutions that consumers want – often before the idea is even fully formed. Social listening gives brands a boost toward solidifying their place in whatever market category they inhabit by digging into details you wouldn’t have discovered – or even considered – otherwise.

For example, while it’s great to know how many times your brand name is mentioned online, that information by itself does nothing.  This is where social listening comes in. You may have a glimpse of what is being said about your brand, with a few cherry-picked social snippets captured by someone on your team, but the entire context powering those mentions is missing. With the right social listening lens applied, online transforms from a place where you nebulously measure success by counting mentions month over month to capturing the most impactful conversations that reveal consumers’ deepest desires, emerging trends and competitor challenges while training you to anticipate market movements.

There are countless use cases for social listening. The most popular, as it requires lots more space to detail fully, is seen in The Ultimate How-To Guide for Social and Media Analytics

Why do brands and agencies use it?

Brands and agencies use social listening because it shows them precisely what consumers want, where any market is headed, and endless ways to connect with those consumers meaningfully – and all while arriving at that ‘market destination’ early, if not first. And depending on whether businesses use social listening or not, we see two very distinct scenarios play out.

Not using social listening is like having a journey rigidly mapped out, down to the timing for bathroom breaks. No one has updated the route for new construction, nor have they accounted for inclement weather and other travel restrictions. The brand charges forward sans social listening, and you’ll measure the sum of your efforts at the end to see how it went.

Others, those savvy social listeners, have the destination firmly in mind but rely on real-time GPS-powered intel guiding them as they navigate any number of potential paths while alerting them to worthwhile stopovers and side-stepping both noisy distractions as well as dangerous detractors that pop up along the way. They use social listening to measure and pivot as they go.

You can imagine the shape each brand is in when it reaches that destination, assuming the former even arrives. This past year, we saw many break down on the side of the road and stay there. The rest took advantage of advanced AI-powered social listening in its many use cases to win, including:


Brand Health & Perception

A timeline chart showcasing the positive and negative mentions that can impact brand health.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Brand perception depends on how consumers experience your brand – and this reality rarely lines up assumptions. Monitor consumer experience data gleaned from every touchpoint and social web resource (blogs, comments, forums, reviews), as well as media mentions, to track brand sentiment and conversation volume over time. Identify where you’re doing well, challenges and how to message out to either amplify or reshape perception with social listening.

Campaign Strategy

Showing the volume of trends tracked by source type to inform campaign strategy.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Create engaging campaigns with analytics-fueled strategies and messaging that connect emotionally with your consumers. Develop a content strategy aimed at uncovering where your target customers are most engaged, who they’re listening to and where – and develop content that resonates best to share on those sites, taking care to include user-generated content in that mix. And then revamp messaging mid-stride based on engagement.

Product Innovation & Launch

Measuring conversation and sentiment surrounding new pharmaceutical product launch.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

After conducting thorough market, competitive and risk analyses, brands make informed strategic decisions around product innovation and launch tactics with social listening. They’ve narrowed down whitespace opportunities and understand the target audience, with a nuanced, yet flexible, launch plan mapped out.

Trend Analytics

Tracking the conversation trends surrounding streaming services.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Identify emerging trends and track which existing trends are increasing or decreasing in volume. Some may shift a brand’s focus to an adjacent category and reveal opportunities they would never have explored otherwise. And the ability to contextually visualize broad topics with social listening and zoom in for cutting-edge ideas and hidden gems over time allows brands to reprioritize and pivot ahead of the curve.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Tracking company investments by quarter in the Biotechnology space.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Strategically select potential targets for due diligence based on key business metrics, including investments, IP applications, earnings call analyses, brand reputation and product reviews. Track partnership and R&D movements in your market and anticipate competitors’ movements with cross-channel analyses using custom data sets – an integral element of social listening.

Competitive Intelligence

Share of voice and sentiment measurement on streaming services.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

With so much competitive intelligence at your fingertips online, making sense of the noise is challenging. Brands use social listening to capture and make sense of every bit of it in relation to their efforts by benchmarking share of voice, key storylines and events resonating in the media, net sentiment, brand passion, new products, investment priorities, consumer segments and loyalty drivers. They also use it to inform organizational improvements and learn from competitor’s mistakes.

Crisis Management

A source chart showcasing the domains and channels where key conversations are happening.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Identify problems before they spiral and take targeted action with the right messaging, speaking to the right audience and on the right platform. Quickly understand the velocity and magnitude of an event to design an appropriate response to minimize risk to brand reputation. Also, have brand ambassadors available to activate and assist with amplifying key messaging discovered using social listening.

Voice of the Customer

A word cloud showing top consumer behaviors after a brand faux pas.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Customers will not always tag brands when talking about them. Most times they aren’t mentioning you at all. Aggregate and analyze all sources of customer experience data, including social web, propriety call log captures and every source of feedback with social listening to better understand their attitudes, preferences and expectations throughout the customer journey. Reveal purchase path indicators to drive loyalty and identify additional target audiences and prospects.

Influencer & KOL Marketing

Top Disney influencers by engagement.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

We know consumers trust their peers and fellow consumers when making purchase decisions, so identifying and building relationships with potential brand advocates, including micro-influencers, is key. And then Key Opinion Leaders hold sway over entire categories and impact the stock market, so monitoring what they have to say via social listening is critical.

Technology Scouting

Analysis of Biotechnology patents and a snapshot of associated intel available.
Screenshot from NetBase Quid

Combining strategy, research, and innovation, brands monitor interactive data visualizations for disruptive technologies. Company profiles and patent application data sets reveal specific opportunities and niche trends that others may miss if they aren’t utilizing social listening.

How to evaluate social listening options out there

Massive amounts of structured and unstructured data find its way online every day, and most of it is unstructured insight shared by consumers. This being the case, having confidence in your social listening tool’s accuracy is very important. It’s the entire point of using a tool to aggregate and analyze data for you, after all. So, although ‘speed to insight’ is often the ‘make or break’ differentiator when it comes to social listening tool selection, if you read reviews citing accuracy problems, reconsider. You’ll also want to ensure the tool offers:

  • Intuitive query creation and reporting
  • Deep query segmentation and the ability to save these analyses
  • Historical data capabilities limited only by what social channels allow
  • Complete news, imagery and social web data captures to inform accurate decision-making
  • Sampling capabilities that are clearly defined and offer the same level of accuracy
  • Rapid, real-time (or as near real-time as possible) insight

There are so many amazing ways to connect meaningfully with consumers – ways to connect personally even and at scale. However, it requires an in-depth understanding of who they are beyond the predefined marketing personas that too many brands still rely on. And as your consumers’ values shift, your brand must turn into that curve as well or drive off the cliff. Social listening keeps your wheels on the road as it scans the landscape for relevant intel – displaying it on your dashboard to inform your direction. Without it, you’re driving blind.

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