Focusing on one point for too long can blur your vision. In the same sense, it’s important to step back and evaluate your brand to ensure continued alignment with your customers, industry, and strategy. A thorough brand evaluation across social channels reduces guesswork and gives stakeholders confidence in the effectiveness of your social strategy.
Audit your social audience
Before you start listening, you need to know who to listen to. Not all your customers are your social fans and not all your social fans are customers. The value lies in the customers who are both fans and customers: Social Customers.
Social Customers can deliver both revenue and social influence. In a sense, they both buy your product and sell it to others. Identifying these customers is the first step toward maximizing the value they provide to your brand.
How do you find these people? Start by looking at demographics. What do your consumers have in common in terms of age, interests or geography? Are those commonalities represented in your social fan base? The bigger the overlap, the more your social presence is contributing to growth.
With Falcon’s Audience you are able to see various demographics of different groups of fans and what topics they are talking about. This can reveal numerous opportunities for your brand to reach them at the right time and with the right message. Additionally, you can also drill down on the personal details and interests of your consumers, allowing you to see who in your social audience is likely to purchase your product.
A thorough audit is the first step to better targeting. Knowing the data behind your audience and customers helps to reach the right people. A good audit can tell you whether all those new page likes are from qualified sales leads or whether your budget is going toward simply entertaining passers-by.
Go beyond channels and campaigns
As Jeff Bezos stated, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The vast majority of conversations about your brand do not take place on your brand’s social channels. The interactions between your current fans and your future customers will usually happen somewhere else. After all, if they were already your fans, they would not need the introduction.
Consumers talking to one another about the pros and cons of what you have to offer can optimize your sales techniques by identifying what matters most to the people who matter. An effective social listening strategy evaluates sentiment from all sources. Once you have identified your most important fans, find out what they are talking about with non-fans and where they’re doing the talking.
Conduct a quantitative analysis
The art and science of identifying who is talking about your brand, how they feel about it, and how they communicate those feelings to others is called sentiment analysis.
Like any science, there are commonly-accepted quantitative methods:
- Tracking mentions of your brand and product can tell you about how recognized you are within the marketplace and whether your social and advertising campaigns are reaching the public.
- Conduct demographic analysis of the people who are talking about you will help determine whether those you have reached are potential customers.
- Perhaps most importantly, the ratio of positive to negative mentions shows whether all that chatter is helping or hurting.
Using measurement tools to gather data and identify trends over time is a great way to see if your strategy is working.
Go beyond your KPIs
Numbers do not tell the entire story. A sentiment analysis is not complete without identifying the narratives that drive the consumer’s decision-making process. With reliable numbers in hand, dig deep into actual conversations between those you have identified as social consumers and others. Look for themes that come up repeatedly.
The stories consumers tell one another are a treasure trove for every facet of your business. Is your product associated with an outcome, used as the solution to a problem, or associated with personal image? Are there “pain points” where people start looking for solutions you can provide? Do the same complaints about you or your competitors come up over and over again? The answers to these questions are out there, all across social media, and it is the responsibility of proactive social media managers to find them.
In Falcon’s Listen module, you are able to create keyword and hashtag queries that reveal trending content that could be highly relevant to your brand. By consistently monitoring these projects and setting alerts, you will have the chance to spot any changes and correlate them with the nature of the sentiment. That way, if users complain about a specific part of your offering, you will be able to easily notice and quickly react to amend any issues.
Compare with your competitors
Though your company’s decision-makers may know your market share and whether the business is growing or shrinking, they may not be aware that the public’s views don’t track with bottom-line projections. Good brand evaluation takes industry trends into account while checking insider knowledge with outsider sentiment.
Use social listening to keep an eye on the competition, generate sales leads, and discover the reasons why consumers choose between similar products and service. The performance indicators you use to evaluate your company or brand can be used on your competitors as well.
Pull it all together
Effective measurement tools can help you determine who is talking about your brand and how they feel about it. Using those tools to evaluate your fans, your competitor’s fans, and customers talking elsewhere can give you a broad industry-wide snapshot. Evaluating trends from this data over time can tell you whether your campaigns have made a difference.
Complement the quantitative evaluation with a qualitative analysis of how real people talk about your offerings and those of your competitors to create a roadmap for how to better interact with persuadable consumers going forward.