Since its adoption by brands and business, social media has evolved beyond a broadcast platform to a tool that enables you to gather insights about your customers, industry, products and competitors. With the right tools, a social listening strategy can help you earn valuable business intelligence by tracking, analyzing and responding to targeted conversations and keywords.
If you think of the information you can gain from market research, you can implement the same approach to learn from people on social who are already engaging with your brand and your industry. If you approach social media as a giant focus group, ask yourself as a brand, “what problems are you trying to solve, and what data do you need to solve it?”
We can define social listening as the act of monitoring social media platforms for conversation around your brand, clients, competitors, keywords and any other ideas or themes that are relevant to your business. The next step is where we find the real value of social listening: analyzing the information for actionable insights. Those actions can enable you to engage customers, determine consumer behaviour models or shift your overall product or brand positioning strategy.
Social listening is different from social media monitoring by looking beyond social metrics like engagement rate, mentions and followers to learning what the feelings are behind the posts—how people actually feel about you, your competitors and the industry overall.
Make it part of your business strategy
Social media listening should automatically be part of your business strategy—even if you’re already engaging in market research studies, social listening will provide you with scores of actionable data from real people who are actively discussing the subjects you’re monitoring. Last month, Mansfield attended a seminar in Toronto from NetBase, a leading social listening platform. Guest speaker Ravi Imam from 113 Industries spoke about “finding David in your data.” Michelangelo’s David was sculpted from a single block of discarded marble, and just as Michelangelo saw something beautiful in an unwanted piece of marble, there could be a masterpiece waiting in your data—it’s just a question of listening to what it’s telling you and taking action.
On their blog, Hootsuite has a useful list of what to track when starting your social listening monitors:
Because your social listening monitors will pick up what people are you saying about you and your competitors, you’ll be able to determine how your brand fits within the industry, relative to customer perspectives. You’ll see the types of content your audiences are most engaged with and higher level insights around customer behaviour.
With a properly implemented social listening strategy, you will gain a deeper understanding of your brand and industry with insights on how to improve in all areas of your business. Sales teams will learn more about how customers really feel about products and services, marketing personnel will see what content is most valuable to audiences and R&D teams will have direct access to real-time customer perspectives on your products those of your competitors.
With the right tools and keywords, you’ll have the infrastructure in place to mold a David of your own. Read through Mansfield’s entire digital offering here and let us know when you’re ready to put social listening to work for your band.
Should your company’s C-Suite executives be using social media? Even if they should be, chances are they’re not—according to research published in 2016 from CEO.com and Domo, 60 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever.
Whether or not the company brass should be publicly active on social networks depends largely on who they are as a person and how they want to be perceived within the company and the industry. Do they want to appear more relatable and connect more genuinely with employees and colleagues? Conversely, executives may harm the brand if their social media is done poorly. Just look at United Airline’s Oscar Munoz’ response to the controversy around their forced removal of a passenger earlier this year.
To give you an idea of the pros and the cons, we broke down the simple reasons for and against your company’s leaders engaging on social media.
Reasons for getting your company leaders on social:
• Shaping brand views: any executives on social media will serve as an extension of the company and their social media posts coming from the top will support the larger marketing activities. This can help the brand appear more accessible to a larger audience.
• Being approachable to employees: any efforts to be more accessible to outside audiences are applicable within the company itself. When employees are engaged on social media with their leaders they’re likely more satisfied in their job which will lead to less turnover.
• Improving relationships with customers and stakeholders: active execs help show the public and future customers how much the organization values customer experience. CEOs engaging with real people on social media can enhance brand opinions and loyalty.
• Talent recruitment: being adept on social emphasizes a CEO’s know-how with technology. Organizations searching for recruits who are invested in tech-friendly companies may value a CEO who keeps a strong social media presence.
• Keeping abreast of company or industry issues: social media allows CEOs to proactively monitor and participate in the relevant discussions that arise in regards to their company or industry. This can help company leadership react quickly to key industry developments.
On the other side, basic arguments against CEOs embracing social include:
• It may be too time consuming: sometimes time is a CEO’s most valuable commodity and forcing social media on them can take their attention away from more relevant pieces of business.
• It could be inauthentic: it’s not uncommon for executives to let their PR or communications teams run their accounts. While they’re most likely approving the posts, the words may not feel genuine which largely defeats the purpose of a personal social media account.
• The risk factor: if they are running their own accounts, giving a CEO free rein of their can be risky if they’re known for contentious or provocative commentary.
• It could harm internal productivity: if company leadership is seen as proactively social it may encourage employees to spend more time than necessary socializing online leading to decreased productivity.
However, if your company execs see the value in social media, launching them on it is a multi-step process. Approach it like any other social media campaign—establish goals and objectives, set benchmarks and most importantly, figure out the personality they want to project to the world.
Above all the brand humanizing, thought leadership and company updates from the top, their personal brands should shine through on whatever they put out.
If you need help navigating the Social Media landscape, we can work with you in confidence to improve your online presence.
In 2016 alone, $493 billion was spent on advertising globally. It isn’t a surprise that advertising is a multi-billion-dollar industry when you take into consideration just how many adverts you see in a single day. In 2015, digital marketing experts estimated that Americans were exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads everyday. With the exponential growth of social media, smart phones and digital marketing in the past two years, it’s safe to say that the number of ads we are exposed to daily has only increased.
Because of the mass amount of advertisements we take in everyday, it takes a creative ad to be effective enough to stand out from the rest. So far this year there have been majorly successful ad campaigns, like AXE’s newest campaign, to huge advertising flops…yes, Pepsi, we’re talking about you. The month of May was no exception as we saw thousands of ads, some better than the rest. To be considered one of the best of the month, the ad must be memorable, elicit an emotional response, be aesthetically pleasing, have excellent music and, of course, shine positive light on the brand.
These are our choices for the best five ads from May:
1. “Live for the Story” – Canon
It’s no surprise that a company whose main job is to create top line camera equipment has the ability to create visually-appealing advertisements. However, Canon’s last campaign, ‘Live for the Story,’ is even better than what’s expected. The campaigns motto is “your world grows with each story you have, so live for the story,” which is paired alongside video ads of people living life to the fullest. The ads represent freedom, creativity, art, happiness and love, all alongside a catchy song and stunning visuals. The video is apart of a bigger campaign, ‘Summer for 365 days,’ which asks its audience to share their summer story on Instagram for a chance to win a trip around the world.
2. “#ThankATeacher” – California Lottery
The California Lottery works with schools and teachers across California to support the local education system. Their latest campaign, ‘Back to the Start,’ is about sending native Californians back to their elementary schools to thank their former teachers. This ad shows Venus Williams going back to school to express her gratitude to her first grade teacher. The ad shows a touching moment between former student and teacher; one that is relatable for anyone who has had a remarkable teacher. The ad is successful in drawing attention to the education system and the lottery’s #ThankATeacher campaign.
3. “Recalculating” – Jeep
Jeep’s ad that came out at the beginning of the month held its ground as one of the best of the entire month. Focusing on promoting their new 2017 Compass as a way to guide you, the ad follows people as their lives move in different, new and fast directions. It’s an inspiring ad that encourages people to find new paths and discover new realizations of the world and of themselves, all with the help of the compass guiding you. It’s an interesting take on a car commercial that sends an inspiring message about embracing change.
4. “The Human Billboard” – Le CRAN
Le Conseil Representatif des Associations Noires (le CRAN) is an anti-racism organization in France that published this ad in May to combat the country’s racism problems ahead of the election. After collecting racist insults online, from interviews and through audio testimonials, the ad follows Le CRAN covering a young man’s body in the insults and sending him into the streets. This real-life experiment shows the reactions of the public while the man hands out pamphlets with more information on them. This ad is not only a successful video campaign, but was successful in bringing attention to an ongoing social issue.
5. “Together #WePlayStrong” – Union of European Football Association (UEFA)
Although this ad was released on the last day of May, it made our list of one of the best ads of the month. The visuals, music, production and direction of the video are all very impressive, but another reason why it’s one of the best ads we saw last month? It is the first ever Pan-European campaign aimed at girls that promotes women’s soccer, which alone makes the ad worth watching. The ad is powerful, inspiring and full of encouragement for girls to play soccer.
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Recently I wrote a blog post celebrating the change of our name (A New Direction, 2015) and our company’s new direction into data analytics and digital marketing. In that blog I suggested that science is forevermore linked to marketing and communications. The reality of marketing today is that if you are not generating meaningful, measurable results than you are still working in the past and risk being left behind.
Many Chief Marketing Officers are fearful of changing direction to campaigns that are uniquely different. Many CMOs are also in the prime of their careers and have earned the right to set the strategy for the brand. Some CMOs may be asking themselves: Why change now when so much of what I have implemented in the past is working today? Why risk my legacy in favour of a trending topic?” Or do I even have the skill set or time to learn such a dense subject matter? more
"We believe that technology, like artificial intelligence combined with cloud technology, can be a game changer, helping save more lives, alleviate suffering and restore human dignity...", @Microsoft President Brad Smith ow.ly/8zsf50jmKgP