Social media has become an integral part of empowering the consumer and examining how they engage with brands. While everyone seems to have a social media presence these days, only 7% of the US population used one or more social networking sites 10 years ago, according to the Pew Research Center. Now that figure has increased almost tenfold to 65%.
To accommodate this trend, 71% of brands plan to invest more heavily in social media — but with so many different touch points of interaction between consumers and brands, it can be challenging to sift through the noise to hear the conversations. To help us to better understand the new social consumer, here are some key takeaways from the recent PRNews Social Media Summit.
Social listening to boost the conversation
Social media listening for brands was a main topic of focus at the summit. While social listening can obviously help you to connect with consumers, analysis of the conversation can help understand your customers’ pain points, identify your brand advocates, and understand conversations around your competitors.
Additionally, social listening can grow your business and create lead generation. At the conference, Jennifer Sunshine, Digital Channel & Communications Leader at GE Power & Water, is successfully using social media to engage with prospective clients to win business. In her view, the individuals who are talking about your brand are most likely to have the highest interest in your products or services – so why not target them?
Over the past several years, having dashboards with an infinite amount of data and flashy charts (aka vanity metrics) has been a common trend for social media analysis. While dashboards are great for providing data mining and topline vanity metrics, it’s also essential to conduct a deep analysis of the data to ensure you are hitting your KPIs, as well as recognizing what is driving these conversations.
Making sense of the noise
By combining strategic social media listening with deep analysis, and looking past the vanity metrics, brands can really uncover what matters to their customers and help solve challenges to make their overall experience better, or better yet, even target them as prospective clients! The possibilities are endless.