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 Tips to Get, Analyse, and Use Consumer Insights from Social Media

In June 2020, a user complained about gaps in the service provided by an Indian SaaS startup. He took to Twitter to share his disappointment and tagged the company’s handle garnishing it with some wicked hashtags. Since the company was active on the micro-blogging platform, a customer care executive quickly got in touch with the user and took the issue behind the wall of direct messaging. The tweet soon flew under the radar of the company’s followers and that of the user’s. But there was something else brewing in a neighbouring network.

On Facebook – where the startup had an unofficial, unmoderated page with as many followers as on Twitter – the same user had published a longer post in the same vein about the same issue. He had also attached a one-star rating to it, via the Reviews tab. Within hours, the post received substantial engagement, and fellow users started sharing their own experiences, both positive and negative. Some of the comments even mentioned the absence of a response by the company.

And that is one of the many reasons in today’s hyper-active social media world why companies need to stay several steps ahead of their users. This is why gaining and using customer insights from social media is an integral part of business growth and development, especially for customer-centric businesses such as in the telecom, SaaS, logistics, e-commerce, food, delivery, and FMCG industries.

A simple misstep (or an absence of a response, as in the above example) on your part is enough of a bad PR that will take days of undoing. More than that, it is a loss of a good opportunity which companies can use to understand their users better and turn them into loyalists.

Actionable Tips – Social Media Customer Insights

People are at their personal best on social media. They are also honest in their dealings there. A user who follows a business page on Instagram does so out of sheer interest and respect.

So, it is possible to get quality insights from the user’s social media actions – likes, comments, shares, impressions, and basically anything from the user’s side. They can be used to further tailor their experience with richer social media content and more effective customer servicing. According to a recent survey by consultancy group Bain & Company, startups can look at growing their YoY revenues upwards of 4% if they focus on better customer service.

It is clear how customer insights can play an important role in shaping a business’s decisions regarding growth and scaling. Companies failing to do so risk squandering their chances and/or letting their competitors rise.

In the age of social media, companies need to start gathering and using consumer insights ASAP. In that quest – regardless of whether they have already started or not – these actionable tips will help. These have been sourced from some of the best ORM, social listening, and online customer happiness campaigns and the professionals who worked on them.

Let’s start with tips on gathering consumer insights, the most important part.

5 Tips to Gather Social Media Insights Effectively

  1. Look at engagement – One of the easiest ways to get customer insights from any social media network is to look at how well your posts do. For example, when posting on Twitter, look for impressions, likes, and retweets at different intervals. This will give you a good idea about what type of content resonates more with your audience.
  2. Use platform-based analytics. Most platforms offer this for free. For example, the Twitter analytics dashboard gives you a 28-day summary of your tweets, total impressions, profile visits, and other important social media metrics. Pinterest also offers it, among others.
    1. Go through these metrics and ask yourself questions such as ‘what did we post out of the ordinary this week to see a bump in impressions?’ and ‘how effective was the promoted tweet?
  3. Use social listening and management tools like CloudSocial to listen to comments and posts based on keywords related to your brand. These can be extremely critical in understanding the customer psyche and sentiment associated with your brand. For example, your users may not always tag you or use a proper hashtag while talking about you online. AI-enabled tools like CloudSocial can come in handy, and also help in responding to and tracking these comments.
  4. Check Google Trends. If you have run some good PR and have enough mentions in the press, you can start tracking your brand on Google Trends. It can simply be your brand name (e.g., Mastodon or JioPlatforms) or an associated keyword that can also be generic. Whatever you choose, Trends data can give you a good idea about your brand’s popularity online.
  5. Be present across websites. A rookie mistake that most companies do is focus only on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But this means you are losing out on hidden opportunities. Your users are everywhere, and the only way to gain insights from their social actions is to go near them. So, start building a presence across the spectrum of social media. Start with LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, and Snapchat. Personnel and cost restrictions often come in between this activity, which is another problem that CloudSocial can solve.

3 Tips to Analyse Social Media Consumer Insights

Once you have a steady flow of insights in front of you, it’s time to analyze them.

  1. Act on the analytics data. Remember the questions you asked yourself? Well, now is the time to put the answers to those questions into actions. For instance, if your target audience is millennials, it is possible that meme and pop culture content is popular among them. If so, try to confirm that using analytics data. Do your memes fare better than images about your product features? If yes, it’s time to marry memes and features.
  2. Look at the tone and language of the UGC. Or user-generated content, which is anything and everything that your users publish in the form of posts, comments, DMs, etc. Look at the diction and the sentiment that they use. Do they use positive language even while posting a complaint? It shows that they have an intrinsically positive outlook about your brand or product/service. You just need to up your customer service game to solve the shortcomings.
  3. Compare with competitor data. Analytics data of competitors is difficult to get, yes, but you can simply look at one of your competitor’s recent posts on Facebook and check the number of likes and comments. If you are comparing similar content, you will see the differences too, if any. It can be as simple as a better copy or stylish graphics.

 4 Tips to Act on Gathered Social Media Insights

The extraction and analysis of insights should always be followed by action. Here are some tips:

  1. Tweak content posting frequency/timing. This is an important change in any social media marketing campaign. More so, when attention spans are dipping. If you post your best content when the majority of your audience is sleeping, it is not going to make any dent. Instead, look at the insights and see what the best frequency and timings for your postings are. Do you get maximum engagement when you post noon? Do it and use continuous trial and error to get the timing right.
  2. Update your content. The marriage of the meme template and product features is a prime example. If you are selling to millennials and GenZers, it is time to tweak your content for their taste and style. Additionally, use the competitor comparison for better arrangements.
  3. Be omnipresent. This is another critical action intended from companies where you have to be vigilant across channels to track your customers. In the example above, if the company had visibility on their Facebook page, they could have avoided the tsunami of problematic community comments. They could have also responded to the post saying that the issue was already being resolved after it was raised on Twitter. This interconnection is important in today’s always-on culture where your users are everywhere. They may choose to contact you anywhere, and you need to be on your heels all the time to stay steps ahead.
  4. Tailor strategies by the platform. What works on Facebook may not necessarily work on LinkedIn. The consumer insights that you extract and analyze will give you enough information in this regard. For example, there is no specific time to post on Facebook but for LinkedIn, that is not true. You don’t want to spook your followers by posting about your work culture at 11 PM on a Friday. Now, do you?

Most of these actions can be effectively automated today. Tools like CloudSocial exist for use in such situations where all you have to do is equip it with your social profile credentials and switch into supervision mode. It will give you insights, analyse them for you, and even suggest the best actions. How cool is that for a start? Schedule a free demo today!

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