Understanding Consumer Behavior Through Social Media

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While every industry operates a bit differently, there is an inherent need to better understand consumers beyond traditional Sales data and shopping behavior. Both of these are still critical to your business, but coupling them with social data provides unique insights into consumer behavior that ultimately enable companies to better serve their customers and beat out the competition.

Social posts aren’t just valuable for marketers or influencers trying to break into the big time of sponsored content. They hold a treasure trove of information that enables companies to innovate with confidence and future-proof their brands with data-informed strategy. However, too often the analysis of social data is limited to traditional social listening metrics that measure campaign performance or consumer complaints.

Brands need a holistic view of how consumers are consuming and using products. A better approach to social data provides this 360-view, including:

Better Insight Into Your Entire Market

By scouring billions of consumer conversations you can capture every mention of every term that’s relevant to your market, from brands to products to ingredients to qualities to benefits and concerns. The result is an ever-growing database of virtually every consumer topic of interest that’s easy to analyze and explore.

As new topics appear within a market, social gives you the latest intel on rising brands, developing product trends, emerging ingredients, and growing consumer concerns, so you can take action before your competitors even realize they exist.

Read more: Optimize Your Social Media profiles to Earn Enormous Gains

Highly Structured Data

Understanding social data at scale requires structure. Through a mix of automated technology and human expertise, you can add context and color to the so-called “chaos” of social data by categorizing it into market verticals, organizing it by brands and products, and cataloging it down to details like qualities and appearance.

For example, a post mentioning #JackDaniels should be linked to the brand Jack Daniels. But that same post should also be directly linked to Beverage Alcohol, Spirits, Whiskey, American Whiskey, and its parent organization, Brown-Forman.

By structuring the data in this way, you can instantly answer questions like: which of Brown-Forman’s products are top performers? Which American Whiskey audience segments are growing the fastest? Which craft spirit brands are threatening to steal market share from Jack Daniels? 

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Powerful Industry-Level Benchmarking 

For actual insights to be revealed, data has to be understood in context. That means evaluating individual data points against all other relevant data in order to assess its meaning and significance. This process of benchmarking data is a core function for our platform and it is why the insights surfaced through our products are so powerful. 

Suppose the term “love” is mentioned alongside your brand in 70% of consumer social posts. That’s great! Or is it? Would you be as thrilled if you knew that 70% was average for your category? Instead, what if you discovered that consumers mention your product 8x more than any other product when talking about low-carb diets? With that insight you can consider developing more low-carb products or align your marketing messages to best resonate with a low-carb-loving audience because you have meaningful data about what consumers are looking for, not just decontextualized feel-good metrics.

Social isn’t just for posting pictures that capture consumer attention, and it’s not just for lead-gen. Social media is an incredible, authentic data source—and if it is properly contextualized and analyzed at scale, social data will provide your brand with unparalleled insight into what consumers are interested in buying, why they want it and where you stand in the market.

Read more: Social Media’s Young Users Are Reshaping How Real ‘Power’ Works

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