Social Listening

The internet is a powerful, revealing medium for observation. It allows you to “listen” to unsolicited feedback about your brand from hundreds, thousands or millions of consumers, and “see” how they relate to it and how they use it. Social listening is the process of tracking and assessing conversations about something on the internet.

As natural language processing and text analytics technologies evolve it is becoming increasingly efficient to listen to the glut of conversations on the internet.

The insights gleaned through listening enable marketers to:

  • Spot market gaps and trends;
  • Generate ideas and insights for new products (ideation);
  • Learn about existing needs and preferences; uncover new “organic” needs;
  • Uncover feelings and emotions arising from marketing initiatives;
  • Understand what product categories, product attributes, themes, and which competing brands are associated with your brand (brand image);
  • Gauge the extent to which consumers advocate your brand (consumer advocacy).

User-generated content (UGC) has the potential to trigger new ideas, thoughts, and perspectives. With UGC, you are more likely to encounter the unforeseen, as it yields much more unsolicited information than conventional research, which is primarily guided by brand management’s existing thoughts and notions about the brand. Additionally, UGC reveals the consumer vocabulary, including the labels and adjectives used by ordinary people to describe brands and brand-related concepts or themes.

Moreover UGC-based research need not be expensive. Given the importance of monitoring online conversations to safeguard or improve the reputation of your brand, the additional cost of gaining deeper insights from these discussions is relatively low and will continue to decrease as relevant technologies advance.

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