Today’s marketing landscape goes beyond traditional print and into the digital world, which provides companies with new marketing channels to reach consumers. Digital tools create a more fast-paced environment with some challenges, however, there are many opportunities in digital that brands can leverage to their advantage.
Brands now have the opportunity to engage immediately with consumers and potential customers. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram serve as channels to communicate information such as company news and product releases, and allow consumers to engage with their favorite brands by sharing their opinions. These insights are valuable to companies as they use them to develop new products or monitor brand health within the market.
The practice of reading what is being said about your brand online is called social listening. This is allows businesses to have a better understanding of where their brand stands compared to others in the market and also how consumers perceive their company. Consumers no longer develop their opinions on brands based solely on the product or service they provide. With the increased transparency that digital has brought on, other factors such as corporate social responsibility form part of a consumer’s brand perceptions.
Last month’s cases with United Airlines and Pepsi serve as a examples of poor listening by both brands. In the case of United, active social listening on the hashtag #flight3411 would have demonstrated the need for quicker response on United’s part. Taking the Pepsi ad as an example, the company should have considered pre-testing the ad prior to release. Social media makes pre-testing easier because companies can reach out to subsets of loyal followers.
A recent article by Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, delves deeper into both cases and addresses the importance of social listening. Hootsuite is one example of a platform that can simplify social listening for companies.
Whether a business is large or small, social listening is increasingly becoming an important aspect of daily marketing operations. Consumers constantly voice their opinions online and brands must begin listening and taking advantage of this free research. Ultimately, effective social listening can lead to a variety of positive outcomes, including better products or a more loyal customer base.
Jaclyn Casal – Social Media Coordinator
Jaclyn Casal is a social media marketer and aspiring entrepreneur with a background in marketing and logistics. She began her career interning in public relations and social media and went on to work as a marketing, sales and logistics coordinator after graduating college.
A graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Relations and Psychology she is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Marketing at Florida International University. Her work experience includes sales management, logistics and supply chain operations, and social media marketing.
She is a self-proclaimed professional bruncher and eggs benedict connoisseur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, writing, doing yoga, learning new languages, and rooting on her favorite sports teams.
Fun Fact: Jaclyn is an aspiring food truck owner and hopes to one day write the great-American novel.