In 2020, more than 3.8 million people use social media, which is equal to half the world’s population! In America, the average person spends 2 hours and 6 minutes each day. The internet and social media have opened up the channel and increase expectations for consumers with regards to service.
Brand equity is built through consistent positive experiences with a brand, and consumers increasingly are choosing brands that align with their values. Every touchpoint influences that brand recall and customer service is a key driver of brand salience. Consumers increased their time spent on social media, and because social media is so easy, consumers expect brands to be online and listening. Consumers expect brands to respond to questions or complaints on the same day, with 37% wanting a response in under 30 minutes. Consumers have high expectations for customer service with thirty-one percent expect a response in under 2 hours and a quarter want to hear back within four hours. These expectations drive brand reputation.
Brand reputation involves the ability to promote, protect, and preserve your brand and reputation. A great example of listening, preserving, and protecting your brand is Arby’s. Through their social listening analysis, Arby’s learned that out of all their social media commentary, one-third of the time, their customers were commenting about their sauce and fears of running out of the sauce. Taking advantage of this insight, Arby’s created a campaign “The Saucepocalypse” and started selling their sauce by the bottle. Arby’s then turned their listening into a conversation, asking their customers to share their worst sauce-less meal stories and created “saucepocalypse” posters – digitally and on billboards where the stories originated. This campaign, spurred from listening on social media, resulted in 50,000 bottles of sauce sold and 500,000 media impressions.
Arby's Saucepocalpyse Campaign
So how do get started? The easiest way to start is for free! While nothing is free, spending some time setting up free applications such as Google alerts, social mention, Twitter search, Facebook search, youtube search, social searcher or similiarweb can get you started. These tools can help you to track brand product or service mentions, gather intel about your competitors, gain insights into customer sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral), and, like Arby’s, understand consumer wants.
Once you have set up a few accounts, there are 4 things to keep in mind:
Write 3-5 keywords or phrases that your customers might say about your brand or their buying experience
Think about your customers and what social channels they may be on. However, it doesn’t hurt to search each social network to see if there are any accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snap Chat, TikTok, LinkedIn) out there for your brand or if customers are talking about your brand on that platform. Consumer preferences changes and new social networks emerge. Being proactive is a smart approach. Also spend some time searching competitors, products, and services and make some notes about what people are saying
Create a plan of action and a system or process to formally and informally listen on a regular basis through the social web. Set a consistent date on your calendar to schedule listening.
Keep thinking about the different ways your organization can benefit from the insight and knowledge gained by listening. Happy customers create more customers and longer customer lifetime value.
Understanding your customers and your brand is essential for creating relevant marketing campaigns. The bridge between your customer and your brand is your ability to listen. Marketing is no longer about the push, pitch, or one-sided conversations, it’s all about listening to your customer and engaging in conversations. So listen up, be present and pause before responding…let their messages sink in for effective brand insights.