By: AC Recio
The world is at a stage where technology is progressing at an exponential rate. In a recent study by We Are Social and Meltwater, it was found that 73.1% of Filipinos are internet users, with 84.45 million social media users as of 2023. The unprecedented amount of information available to us at any moment has both benefits and drawbacks. With most of the population having access to the internet, anything can go digital and viral, even before some things are completely verified.
This trend has an unfortunate consequence in the Philippines, where there is already a negative connotation of people who are considered “Marites”—a shorthand for the phrase “Mare, ito ang latest (sis, here’s the tea)” which describes people who gossip without regard for truth, accuracy or consideration for any consequences. This stereotype is more relevant than ever with all the fake news and misinformation that can be easily spread online, and it is up to us as individuals to be responsible consumers of information.
But what does this mean and how is this relevant to companies and organizations? Just like people can be Marites, it is also possible for brands to be Marites – by accidentally mishandling data and information instead of responsibly using it. This can be due to multiple factors—irrelevant data points used in reports, lack of insights and analysis, or even just not taking advantage of the information available to the brand. But just as easily, a company can turn this around and become savvier about what people are saying about them online—by becoming a digitally responsible Marites and using social listening to their advantage.
Here are five important things that social listening can do to help you and your brand use social insights more effectively.
Go Beyond Engagement
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While brands strive to engage their audiences with relevant content, social listening goes beyond this paradigm of content development to find out what people are actually saying about your brand online. In a survey by digital publication Social Media Today, it was found that 61% of respondents have a social listening system in place for their brands as of 2022, with respondents seeing it as a highly valuable process for their business. Social listening is proactively monitoring social channels for conversations about your brand, product or even competitors. With the use of the right tool or the help of the right digital agency, you can use social listening to your advantage and gain a better understanding of where your brand sits in the big picture of the industry.
Understand Your Audience
How do customers and potential customers view your brand? This is an important question that cannot be understated. According to Meltwater, more than 61% of marketers cite “understanding target audiences” as their primary use case for social listening, and it’s easy to understand why. By tracking mentions of your brand across relevant social platforms, you can find out about what real people are saying from real conversations they are having online. From personal recommendations and expressions of brand love to negative reactions and complaints, you can view these posts and comments in real time and react to them appropriately, whether through your content, community management efforts, or even by improving products and services based on the feedback gained from social listening.
Find Out What Works
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Aside from tracking conversations, social listening lets you discover industry trends, sentiments and topics related to your brand. Versatile tools allow you to stay on top of current trends and even plot out potential trends in the future based on your findings. You can even monitor what competitors are doing and how people are reacting to it. In a 2023 report by The Social Intelligence Lab, it was found that competitor intelligence is one of the top three reasons why marketers use social listening. This holistic approach will allow you to gauge what is working in the industry, what trends you can bandwagon on, what niches you can still fill, and how to make your brand stand out.
Grow Your Social Presence with Online Communities
A study by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association attributed 6 trillion US dollars of annual consumer spending to WOM amplification. Despite the proliferation of advertising in the modern digital age, word-of-mouth (WOM) can still generate a good chunk of conversions among audiences. This can be seen primarily in how people look to online communities on Reddit, browse short videos on TikTok and ask questions on Quora to find the best recommendations for their needs. By monitoring social conversations, you can discover important groups and individuals in online spaces relevant to your brand. This can help you develop strategies and find organic ways to be a part of those communities, helping you find brand advocates that you can reach out to and collaborate with to grow your presence online.
Improve Your Strategy
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All that’s left is to collate the useful information and insights that you’ve gained and use them to guide your strategy and approach. In a joint survey by Social Media Today and Meltwater, it was found that 82% of respondents view social listening as a key element in strategic planning. While this may seem overwhelming at first with the staggering amount of data on your hands, social listening tools allow you to filter results, find common trends and summarize your findings in a meaningful way. This can help you make data-driven decisions and even help you identify what strategies would work best for specific social media channels and situations.
Social listening is a powerful practice, and in today’s digital landscape, it is something that brands need in order to make sense of the massive amounts of information available online. But with all the data now at your disposal, how can you translate it to actual results for the benefit of your brand? TARO AOX Inc. is the specialist digital and integrated communications agency of the globally award-winning COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises that can help you fuse data-driven strategies with creative personalized campaigns. With its roster of leading digital and integrated communication professionals, TARO AOX Inc. can help you cut through the noise and empower your brand voice in the digital space. Visit www.taroaox.com or send an email to email@example.com to find out how we can help ignite conversations and brand growth for your business.