Tom Bracher
Tom Bracher 29 August 2019

5 Major Social Listening Breakthroughs in 2019

When carrying out generic social listening (that is - brand monitoring of your owned social channels to gather insights and, in turn, influence marketing strategy), you glean insights that can only take you so far.

Audience insights are vital for for the long-term success of a brand, and social media remains a gold mine for insights that lead to a superiorly informed brand & marketing strategy.

However, many people continue to view social listening with blinkers. Essentially, there’s a whole lot more to the capabilities of social listening than brand monitoring - and there are a number of ground breaking in 2019 methods that demonstrate this. 

When you analyse discussion about specific topics on social media, it’s easy to spot trends and opinions that stand out from others. This is often why we see things ‘trending’ on Twitter, and why we see debates taking place around these topics. But what about what we DON’T see? 

The truth is, people talk about the same topics regularly on social media as they trend - but there is a difference in the way in which these topics are discussed within smaller, more specific groups on social media. This granular view of an audience allows for a much more vast, previously locked, landscape of audience insights. 

Here are 5 new social listening capabilities that can help you understand audiences and influence marketing strategies even more: 

Tracking any public conversation

Conversations take place on social media all day, every day. What makes social listening and social insights so valuable is what they tell us about brands - but there are topics of conversation taking place in specific groups, or communities, that can tell us as much about our audience as we need to know about the performances of a brand or its industry.

With any public conversation capable of being tracked, you can start to see how modern day trends are influenced by your industry and how you can best join that conversation accordingly. 

Breaking down audiences

Audiences are no longer purely based on demographic information.

Audience intelligence is the next step in the advances of social listening - and by segmenting audiences into smaller groups of communities (more importantly, ones that you alone are interested in) you can hone in on conversations taking place that are absolutely relevant to your ambitions as a brand, from entire content marketing strategies down to specific words and phrases. You no longer have to fish through swathes of irrelevant data. 

Behaviour profiling

So you have your demographic information - as well as a segmented community your ant to analyse.

From here, you can expand your knowledge of audience behaviours to build a greater understanding of your audience, such as what they think about your brand, how often they’re searching for the products you sell, when they’re most active on in conversations surrounding your industry, and so on.

These behaviour profiles can be assigned to your community segments to seamlessly tell them apart and help you personalise content for that specific audience community. 

Topic analysis by community

With social listening you can get a better sense of how certain topics are being shared and discussed online - but with audience segmentation you can start to see how different communities discuss the same topic, differently.

Most sports fans will talk about football differently to how they discuss politics - while psychology students are more likely to talk about the latest mental health treatments differently to NHS patients.

There are thousands of examples of how discussions in communities on social media vary, and social listening now gives you this advanced level of insight.

Content personalisation 

Social listening is no longer aimed merely at researchers looking to comprehend data. Today, social listening influences content personalisation methods that are absolutely vital for everyone from UX designers to content marketing specialists.

Entire brands are influenced by social data to not just better understand the performance of their brand, but also glean insights that benefit business strategies, sales pitches, branding, event co-ordination and marketing strategies to name a few.

By personalising content to meet the needs of specific audience segments, you are delivering the right content to the right people consistently. 

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