Standing out online requires differentiation from competitors. This is entirely workable, as every brand has a unique voice to share with the world. And finding what that is – from a consumer standpoint – requires social analytics. Here’s how to harness online (and offline) insight to create campaigns that attract those optimal audience segments.
The Brand Voice Consumers are Hearing
Customer experience (CX) is everything, and leading brands know this. Today, consumers are sharing unsolicited reviews (both raves and rages) about everything they touch. And this creates both opportunity and great danger for brands. Regardless of what you intend to put out there – what are your consumers hearing, and what are they saying about you?
Taking a look at the “environment” category, for example. Exploring what the most influential voices are discussing, we see the general conversation and most common hashtags being shared on social. If your brand considered itself a huge contributor in this category, or was running a campaign specifically focused on the environment, you’d hope to see some adjacencies, including:
- Conversation topics your brand was also speaking to, demonstrating you have the pulse of influencer hot topics.
- Hashtags your brand either created or was using to participate in real-time conversations.
- Brand mentions, even if just sharing your message in some way.
As a brand attempting to break in to this category, are you seeing terms and hashtags that you expected to? Oftentimes, you are not. And that’s fine – it’s a category search, after all, that isn’t specifically about you.
A brand would want to run the same search using its company name to see what the top terms and hashtags were that were posted about it. But starting with a category query helps brands understand the larger context of their brand-specific search.
Filtering for Specific Brand Voice Insight
From there, we can filter our environment/sustainability search to include brand terms and see which conversations your brand is leading (if any). And also, how these conversations are resonating:
Searching Amazon in the sustainability context, for example, would require lots of disambiguation (filtering out results). It would need to be separating from the Amazon forest. But a quick sampling of its part in the sustainability conversation is promising:
Or maybe Amazon is not capturing the climate conversation so much, but making their presence felt in other important ways. Amazon Prime Video being one example. They could track which shows viewers were talking about most and see that it matches up with marketing budget, for example:
And understanding what folks are saying about a business’s top offerings (like Amazon’s Prime Video) reveals intel that could be used to support its sustainability promotional efforts. How? Amazon could create promotions around its sustainability efforts with characters from top trending shows, for example. Combining what you want consumers to say with what they are already saying about you is a clever tactic many top brands employ.
And either way, sustainability is a trending hot topic that any brand would do well to monitor their place in going forward, regardless of vertical.
But what if a brand didn’t have an overarching focus, like sustainability, to search for? What if they were pretty sure of what they were known for and wanted to check that the brand’s desire and the consumer reality matched? Or maybe they aren’t entirely sure and wanted to sort it out? Or – what if they were being mentioned in a context that was undesirable and wanted to shift perception? Let’s explore each in turn . .
Fluevog’s Unique Brand Voice
Having a product that’s unique unto itself helps, of course – but it doesn’t mean your consumer intel won’t be surprising. Fluevog is a shoe retailer with a creative flair, and one who knows who it is. Its branding resonates with followers around its recognizable, unique offerings.
But there’s also feedback to be aware of around the shoes coming across a bit too outlandish and potentially unflattering. That’s intel to make note of and potentially explore further. Reframing how consumers view “outlandish” in context of their shoes, or reclaiming that “super funky” vibe to create positive associations with its “outlandish” look is certain doable:
And exploring what consumers are saying can alert you to audiences that you hadn’t considered targeting before. Or around features and services that may not even be on your radar.
Sneakers Can be Sneaky
Continuing with shoes, if we explore a larger category of “sneakers” (assuming there’s a sneaker brand unsure of its place in the world), we have lots to work with.
We see a New Balance promotion capturing a good bit of the conversation here:
And then we can filter the conversation further to isolate New Balance’s share of voice in the sneaker conversation to reveal what consumers are saying about it, specifically. Consumers find them very affordable, comfortable, versatile and made with quality materials. All good news here:
And if one was not New Balance, but a newcomer exploring insight around a sneaker brand launch, one that was unsure of its place in the world, social insight helps there too. When exploring popular “sneaker” posts, we may be interested in two particularly popular posts highlighting somewhat niche segments – toddlers and pets. And also, we could take note of a potential pain point to focus on around getting shoes on squishy baby feet:
And then, finally, we have brands experiencing mentions they never anticipated – but would catch wind of immediately, if they’d been monitoring social sentiment.
Heading off Brand Backlas
Peloton’s mentions spiked last month when a comedian mocked their exercise bike, resulting in a stock nosedive:
Taking intel in stride, and capturing it as it comes, brands can either adapt to more perfectly match the persona they (may have unwittingly) created. Or, they can take a very targeted approach to reframing that perception, possibly by collaborating with relevant influencers.
In the case of New Balance, we have a who’s who of celebrities to choose from, should the need arise:
And Fluevog, which operates on a much smaller scale, has a solid list of micro-influencers it could explore if it was in need of a brand voice do-over:
And with each person listed, brands can click through to see the precise posts, where it was posted and corresponding engagement metrics. That’s a capability that many social analytics tools do not offer.
Maintaining Brand Voice Momentum
And then regardless of how completely and engagingly on-point your voice and marketing is today, maintaining that relationship with fickle consumers tomorrow is not a given. This is why ongoing social media monitoring is so crucial. Anything and everything can change on a dime due to myriad reasons, from rogue employees (or CEOs) to an unhappy everyday customer sharing a review that (for whatever reason) goes viral.
And as interesting as these daily explorations are – and regardless of how illuminating – with limited hours available each day, having the option to let artificial intelligence take over some of the work is pretty amazing too. Automated theme discovery with AI Studio does that and (coming soon) so much more.
Keeping a brand’s voice on-point and ahead of trends is pretty priceless these days. But fortunately, we’re here to lessen that learning curve and show you how. Reach out and we’ll give you a tour that’s specific to your brand. And you can start adapting your marketing and reframing consumer perception today!