Social Listening must evolve into Social Insight

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We’ve noticed that a lot of marketing, research and communication professionals are starting to question the true value of investment in social listening and buzz monitoring.

There’s a growing skepticism about the “number-wanging” that seems to characterise social analytics. People intuitively feel that Social Listening has to move forward and develop into a higher value activity that justifies its investment costs.

This is where the concept of ‘Social Insight’, as an evolution of social listening, can be helpful. Users of social analytics products have to go beyond using social listening as merely a way to catch everything that people say about their brands.

This reflects an important, but uncomfortable, fact. Most social conversations don’t involve our brands because, sadly, they don’t occupy the most important position within the hearts and lives of our customers. That privilege belongs to children, lovers, parents and careers.

Instead, we have to broaden our vision and ask how brands fit into the lives of our customers. Why? Because if we only tune into the social conversations that mentions our brands, what else are we missing?

Social listening can help us do this if we recognise it for what it really is.

It’s an opportunity to uncover and examine a massive range of behaviours, perceptions and opinions that would simply be too expensive and time consuming to tackle with conventional ‘asking’ research. Looked at from this angle, the true value of social data becomes clearer. What else opens up a continuous, real-time window into customer brand experiences? Where else do people spontaneously broadcast their personal ‘punch-the-air’ or ‘punch-the-cushion’ brand moments? What can offer a comparably sincere, real and colourful reflection of brand perception and sentiment? Brands that understand this are more likely to move forward from ‘social-listening-as-firefighting’ to Social Insight. Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

To find out more about Colourtext, you can download our presentation “Introduction to Colourtext” here.

If you would like to get in touch with Colourtext please email jason.brownlee@colourtext.com.

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