The Brand Advantage in Social Conversations
By Allison Howen, Associate Editor
Social networks have become the focal point in many brands’ marketing strategies – and for good reason.
A social media presence provides businesses with a massive, very active audience that would normally be unavailable to them. In fact, 2013 data from Experian Marketing reveals that an average of 16 minutes out of an hour are spent on social sites, followed by nine minutes on entertainment sites, five minutes on shopping sites and just three minutes on email.
Statistics like these have led many businesses, small and big alike, to increase resources spent on social media marketing. The problem with this, however, is that few brands are actually using social for more than visibility, and are therefore overlooking valuable data they can obtain by simply looking and listening.
Leveraging the Data
Social networks are a place where people get together to talk about their interests and experiences. It is not uncommon for these conversations to include brand experiences or product reviews - providing unfiltered insights.
These insights empower brands to serve their customers better and improve their social ROI. For example, a Miami hotel owner could use social data to find consumers who are talking about their upcoming vacation to the popular Florida city during a slow tourist period. To improve the likelihood of these customers booking a room, the hotel could reach out via social with off-season discounts or a blog post about top tourist spots.
Conversely, by monitoring the sentiment of social conversations, a clothing retailer may identify a technical issue with their website that is preventing consumers from completing purchases. To retain these customers, the merchant can reply to social complaints with info about the issue and a limited-time free shipping offer as a way to compensate the customers for their patience and loyalty.
These are just two examples of the many ways social listening data can be leveraged to help brands improve their businesses. In fact, brands can use social data to optimize their marketing campaigns, improve customer service initiatives and even monitor the competition.
CEOs and Social Media
Jean Dobey of Hibe shares how (or if) CEOs should manage their social presence at wsm.co/smceo.
If It’s Available, Why Not Use It?
The social-sphere is overflowing with data, which brands should be leveraging to make more informed business decisions. The ones that recognize this, and look for and listen to the data, will be able to better position their businesses for success now and in the future.