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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 10, 2010

Are you ready to hear the social marketplace?

So, you've created a branded social network page. You're blogging. You're observing how consumers are talking about your brand. But, are you really listening to what the consumer is saying? Just as you learned in Psych 101 during university, there is a big difference between hearing and listending.

by Kristina Knight

That is where Networked Insights SocialSense platform, and several scheduled additions, come into play. The SocialSense platform helps marketers not only hear but understand what is being said and what that means to the brand.

Networked Insights CEO Dan Neely writes (via the Networked Insights blog), "Monitoring [social networks] is best at finding threats. Listening is best at identifying opportunities. Many times, these terms are confused or used interchangeably. . .As ad agencies and brands increasingly understand the real advantage of listening - letting consumers' opinions and ideas provide the fuel for insights - the value becomes clear. Consumers now provide a speedier, comparatively inexpensive source of market research and innovation."

The platform works by mining consumer conversation data each day. The sampling data is provided by the social networks, such as Twitter. This, in turn, is provided to the marketer who can use date-range analysis or trending information to more closely integrate social and other forms of advertising.

The platform also differentiates between actual trends and more short-lived fads and can look at patterns in the data to figure out how social networkers are consuming content.

In 2009, according to metrics firm comScore, four out of five US consumers were active on social networks at least monthly. Facebook and Twitter were the hottest social properties for the year. However, a report from metrics firm Foresee indicates that about half of the top US retailers don't have a 'meaningful Facebook presence'. Not having a social presence is a large potential problem for brands because of the sheer number of consumers who are social.

These consumers are looking for brands with which to engage. So get on Facebook and Twitter, learn what social media can provide. And then listen to the consumer base for more insights.

Tags: brand identify, branded social pages, comScore, Foresee, Networked Insights, social marketing, social media, social networksing, social trends

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