Recently, we addressed the importance of social listening – specifically, monitoring what people are saying about your brand beyond your owned social media channels – in our blog, Social Listening Part 1: Insider Tips to Get the Most Out of an Evolving World. Social listening can provide data-driven insights on your brand, competitors and industry trends. But more important, it can also alert you to a negative review, politically charged tweet or complaint about your product in a Reddit thread.
In Part 2 of this series, we continue our discussion with Digimind Senior Customer Success Manager, Strategic Accounts, Tony Calega, about the importance of adding social listening to your 2021 strategy. Hart partners with Digimind, a leader in social listening software, to provide clients with the full picture of how their brand is being discussed in the social landscape.
See a Potential Crisis Before it Hits
One of the most important uses of social listening is for crisis management. In an ideal world, brands would have ample time to prepare before a crisis hit. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. But with social listening in place, it is possible to track negative sentiment toward your brand and envisage where a potential crisis could arise.
“Reddit, for example, is seen as a safe space by many groups, so people feel freer to share their thoughts about brands. These threads can go viral and be shared to other social channels and eventually become a news story,” said Calega. “Digimind monitors Reddit, meaning any negative mentions of a brand will be pulled into the dashboard. This can help stop or at the least better prepare you for an upcoming crisis.”
Research Your Industry and Competitors
Social listening can also provide valuable data on what’s trending with consumers, sentiment toward competitors and conversations within a specific industry.
“Social listening gives a full picture of not just your brand, but everything that is happening around that industry,” Calega noted. “With Digimind, through the historical search option, we can pull data on various keywords and see how sentiment and interest has changed over three months, six months, or a year ago.”
Influencer marketing continues to be a focus for many brands in 2021. Given the amount of time and money that goes into building these relationships, brands want to know they’ve selected the right influencers who speak not only to the brand’s audience, but align with the brand’s personality, as well. There are plenty of examples of businesses having to end partnerships when negative news comes out about an influencer. Digimind can help mitigate some of this by tracking influencer content during the consideration stage.
“You can vet influencers before they’re selected to make sure they’re a good fit for the brand. You can look back on their past content to see if there are any negative mentions or concerning news items that could come to light and create a crisis moment,” said Calega.
Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step guide for going viral on social media. If there were, everyone would be doing it. There is however, one constant among the posts that take off on the internet: authenticity. Regardless of the size of your brand’s platform, keeping your tone real and honest is the key to reaching beyond your audience.
As I mentioned at the start of this pandemic, "Together in uncertain times, we know one thing is true – partnerships and trust matter. We are blessed to have great clients, and we thank all of our partners for being there with us through good times and challenging times."
As I reflect on the year since those remarks and look forward to the next, one thing overwhelms me. It's gratitude.
Across this country, businesses are all facing a new wave of challenges with a familiar resolve. Breaking through noise to remain relevant is incredibly challenging, but also rewarding. Consumers are evolving quickly: fragmentation is increasing at a rapid pace, and trends are hard to discern from shorter-term fads. We have a tremendous opportunity to make the connection between brands and their changing consumer, using data to listen to the moment.