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Not all brands can afford a dedicated data science team to extract social insights from the data they uncover with their social media monitoring tools. But all brands encounter situations when they don’t have time to wait that long. The need for something simple and fast is why we developed NetBase Instant Search.

Insights at the speed of social

Some business objectives allow for lots of lead time for intricate maneuvering to unearth relevant consumer nuances – for those, there are a host of options. But when real-time information is crucial to picking a direction, NetBase Instant Search is simple as using Google.

Whether used alone or in conjunction with additional social analytics tools, the straightforwardness and speed of this social search bar makes it easy to understand what’s happening on the social web. It’s as simple as entering hashtags, keywords, or mentions.

Data from billions of social posts is returned instantly, allowing you to identify trends, measure post volume and impressions, and track consumer sentiment as it’s changing. These real-time insights answer three important questions for marketers:

1. Who is doing the talking?

One of the best advantages social data offers is the opportunity to find out just who cares and is talking about your brand – and it may not be who you think! Whatever assumptions you have about your ideal customer or audience, and whatever demographic parameters you start with, social media reveals the far more expansive – in most cases – truth.

We see the brands we work with experience this time and again, illustrating the importance of looking beyond your brand, and looking more closely at psychographics – i.e., attitudes, opinions and behaviors – than demographics.

Searching for common interests among social users opens up your audience exponentially, giving you more dimensional insights into your customer base. It’s less about how they feel about your brand, and more how they feel about everything else in their life that lets you connect with them – and connect them to each other in feel-alike segments.

And yes, we’re talking about feelings – because sentiment is a major player here too. Once you know who your audience is, and what they care about, you can identify the individuals most likely to help your brand – and those who might do the most damage.

For example, Sock brand Stance uses NetBase to identify their most passionate influencers – as a means of taking their brand beyond their initial audience, the skate, snow, and surf crowd. As a challenger brand in the athletic apparel space, Stance doesn’t have the same budget as big name brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. So they rely on their influencers – called Punks and Poets – to spread the love on their behalf.

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What these athletes and celebrities share is a passion for Stance, demonstrated by positive conversation around the brand. This is both who Stance’s audience is, and who they respond to. Both are important to have a keen sense of.

2. What is your audience talking about?

Once you know who your audience is, and the passions and interests driving them, you need to explore what they’re talking about right now – or “rn” as the kids say. Not every conversation will be about their core passions, but understanding those key interests gives you a way to approach the conversation.

You do this by creating unique audience segments based on the various interests you uncover in your social media listening. With that information in hand, create individualistic messaging that feels personal to the consumers in each segment. Then apply this tactic to discussions about current trends and topics as well.

Let’s say you’re a food or beverage brand who’s identified an audience segment of cat owners who enjoy your product. That’s a segment you can appeal to anytime, in numerous ways. But if your search reveals a trending topic like The Oscars, an image or video of a cute kitty accepting an award, etc., shows this audience segment how much your brand “gets” them.

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This kind of intel is invaluable for both brands and agencies. One major market research firm makes great use of Instant Search to inform clients of trending topics while those conversations are still happening.

What’s noteworthy here is this firm actually created their own proprietary social analytics platform in-house when they saw the potential of social to drive brand strategy. However, delivering insights at the right time is a crucial measure of their worth – and 200 of their Fortune 500 clients depend on them to power product development, innovation, communications and marketing strategies.

As their own platform took three days to deliver worthwhile data, they turned to NetBase to ensure they could analyze data rapidly, reducing the cost of this client service by 80 percent and making it a hugely profitable department within their firm.

3. Where are they talking?

Crafting the right message for the right audience isn’t much good if you don’t share that message in the right place. That’s one part of the “where” equation – i.e., where does your audience “live” online.

Just as you don’t want to assume anything about demographic attributes, you don’t want to assume you know where to find your audience. Maybe you think Twitter is the place for your brand, but it might be that Tumblr or Instagram are the best channels for reaching them, or blogs and news outlets.

Instant Search gives you access to this information immediately – and more.

It also shows you where, in the geographic sense, particular conversations are taking place – and this offers up yet another opportunity to understand audience segments, and potentially modify targeted messaging.

James Madison University uses this particular aspect of search to understand which segment of their vast audience is speaking. Is it current students discussing an issue happening on campus, or locally? Or is it JMU alumni or the public speaking from several national locales, talking about more overarching concerns?

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Talking about the Virginia based university in North Carolina

Understanding the difference allows the university to address the right concern for the right audience at the right time. And instead of taking two days to share such information with JMU senior leadership, they can deliver precise insights in just two hours.

A more effective tool for your entire organization

That quick reporting is paramount for keeping key stakeholders in the loop – especially with decisions happening in real-time. The C-suite, marketers and analysts have immediate access to data to power brand strategy, without having to scramble to perform ad-hoc report generation and analysis.

NetBase Instant Search is an intuitive, self-service tool that empowers your whole team with up-to-the-minute intelligence to inspire and fuel creative ideas based on what is driving audience engagement and reactions. It’s fast enough to test theories and confirm assumptions so the campaigns you create will always be precisely targeted – in fact, it’s 70% more accurate and 9x faster than other solutions in the market. So the only question to ask is: What should you search for first?

Ready to try NetBase Instant Search and experience the power of real-time at its easiest? Get in touch!

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Image from MKHMarketing

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