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How to Use Social Listening to Determine What Your Audience Actually Needs

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Social listening can be broken into three acts: Monitoring, content, and intelligence. Monitoring, detecting the social signals out there, is how social listening started. Content, especially from journalists, is kept relevant through social listening. Lastly, intelligence provides us with insights from social data that can help benefit businesses and brands.

In this session at Social Media Week Chicago, David Armano Global Strategy Director at Edelman, discussed how brands can best use social listening data to determine what their audience needs, wants and will respond to. To watch the entire talk, plus access more than 100 hours of other SMW events, presentations, and interviews, sign up for SMW Insider.

The Birth of the Social Command Center
David took us through the birth of social listening, and how Dell was one of the first companies to start socially monitoring. Nowadays, however, “are these social media command centers worth the investment?” asked David. What exactly can socially monitoring get you?

David used the example of Oreo to show us how they moved beyond just monitoring social content to actually creating content around what their audiences were talking about. “They were one of the first brands to do this… They tapped the zeitgeist to create real-time content.” David showed us how Oreo didn’t just monitor and listen, but they did so for a purpose. The purpose was “brand journalism” – marketing that’s meant to look like journalism. Just like news organizations creating content for what’s relevant in the world, Oreo created relevant content, like it’s rainbow Oreos celebrating Gay Pride.

Intelligence and Deeper Level of Insights
David discussed the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election from a social listening standpoint. “Google and Social Data were accurate predictors of the election results in contrast to polls and media coverage.” We also looked at the popular pasta brand, Barilla, and how Google Trends data revealed a strong correlation among consumers.

Session Takeaways:

  • Today’s “social listening” initiatives must be all three: monitoring, content, and intelligence.
  • Social monitoring can’t just be “social” – they need to incorporate search, social, and media. You need to analyze them together.
  • When monitoring, make sure to detect issues before they impact the brand.

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