Online Listening: The Impact of Insights
Welcome to part two of our three-part weekly blog series about online listening. Last week, we talked about why listen, who to listen to, when and where to listen, and what you gain as a result of listening. But what next? Once you start an online listening program, what do you do with all the tweets, blog posts, forum discussions, comments and online conversations that you find?
Online listening produces a wealth of data, but that data needs a thorough analysis before it can be distilled into actionable ideas. Once you’ve gathered raw online conversations, it’s time to put that information to work. By analyzing the data, you’ll find customer, stakeholder and industry insights that can help you build or adapt your business and online strategies.
Reviewing the data that comes from an online listening campaign can enable you to identify and outline key trends that affect your brand or industry. No matter what business you’re in, watch for trends because how your online audience reacts to these trends will shape how and what they buy from you—and from your competition.
When analyzing online listening data, the influence of specific media sources and individuals becomes clear. Online listening helps reveal which users have the most clout when it comes to your industry or target market. Engage those folks, whether they’re journalists, academics, analysts, shoppers, or moms, instead of targeting your market as a whole (which as you know can be costly). Find those individuals that have influence over your potential buyers, engage them and develop relationships with them.
Scope out the Competition
The first step in scoping out the competition is identifying who they are. Research the types of products they offer, how much market share they have, their real opportunities and threats, and their advantages and disadvantages. There is a lot you can find out about your competition in the real-time, online world, including their price points, who their clients are, promotions they offer, who their key influencers are, and so on. If you don’t already have, at a minimum, a Google Alert set up for your competitors’ names, you’re missing out on valuable competitive intelligence.
Spot the SWOT
A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis is a common element in most business and marketing plans. Identifying where your strong points and problem areas lie can help you build a better company and customer experience. Online listening data can help develop your SWOT knowledge. Customer and industry conversation themes can highlight your company strong suits, areas of your business that need improvement, potential threats from the external environment, and possible opportunities for your brand. Using this knowledge, you can build strategies that address real issues your audience is talking about.
When identifying leads it either by a pain point discussion or expression of need. Once you have engaged the end user you will be able to validate the need, build the relationship and turn online leads into sales. Maintaining a relationship with the audience establishes you as a trust resource and subject matter expert with in the community.
Tune in again next week for part three when we will talk about how to use online listening insights across your business strategy. Keep it positive people.
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