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, you increasingly can listen more efficiently to the glut of conversations on the net.

The insights gleaned through listening and seeing 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).

UGC can trigger new ideas, thoughts and perspectives. You are more likely to encounter the unforeseen via UGC because it yields much more unsolicited information than conventional research which is primarily guided by brand management’s existing thoughts and notions about the brand. UGC also reveals consumer vocabulary, i.e. 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. Considering the necessity of monitoring online conversations to protect or enhance the reputation of your brand, the incremental cost of drawing further insights from these conversations is not high, and will continue to decline as related technologies improve.

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