Marketers are turning to social listening during the coronavirus pandemic – here's what they're using it for

  • Social listening is the practice of gathering consumer conversations in social media and then using those insights to inform or support business activities. 
  • Marketers are using social listening right now to identify consumer needs, manage organic social media, gauge sentiment, manage crises, and develop marketing creative.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes thousands of research reports, charts, and forecasts on the Media, Advertising, and Marketing industry. You can learn more about becoming a client here.
  • The following is a preview of one Media, Advertising, and Marketing report, The Social Listening Report. You can purchase this report here.

The changes to everyday life due to COVID-19 are causing a resurgence of interest in social listening. Businesses are using it to understand the evolving consumer mindset, craft appropriate marketing messages, and respond quickly to changing circumstances.

Social listening begins with social monitoring—the process of tracking user-generated social media conversations that directly reference a brand or product. Social monitoring can take place in channels owned or managed by the brand or in the broader social media ecosystem. It is typically used to help respond to messages and gauge sentiment.

Social listening takes the process of social monitoring several steps further. It is the practice of gathering consumer conversations in social media and then using those insights to inform or support business activities.

In Social Listening: Why the Pandemic Is Sparking New Use Cases for an Underutilized Tool, Insider Intelligence analyzes why marketers are turning to social listening during the pandemic and what they are using it for. It also explores new features and capabilities.

 

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Businesses have torn up their normal ways of operating, and they are looking to social media for fast, raw insights. Because consumers are using social media more heavily now, social listening can help marketers keep tabs on real-time trends and audience sentiment.
  • Marketers are using social listening right now to identify consumer needs, manage organic social media, gauge sentiment, manage crises, and develop marketing creative.
  • Social listening started out as a way to passively track brand mentions and sentiment, but with advanced features such as AI, marketers can get more actionable reports and insights as well as make predictions. The ability to track images has also improved, and it's gotten easier to incorporate social listening insights into other analytics.
  • Social listening is currently held back because it's still heavily reliant on Twitter as a data source. Listening inside of things like Instagram Stories, TikTok and private messaging is difficult or impossible. That means brands can't use social listening as a single source of truth. They still need to bolster it with other research.

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