What does social data offer your campaign strategies? Everything. Whatever campaign your brand mounts, your plans must be backed by social insights – and kept on track by them every step of the way. Here’s how.

Be ready to capitalize on moments as they present

When social media gifts you with an opportunity, you have to pounce on it right away. Even waiting a few hours might be too late in the lifespan of consumer interest. Agency Droga5 knows this well.

They noticed a lack of linked talk about Under Armour and NBA star Steph Curry, one of their influencers.  Instead of forcing a way to bridge that gap, they used social listening to identify Steph Curry “moments,” and turn them into Under Armour moments.

And that’s exactly how you have to approach social campaigns. Have data on hand, and be ready to act quickly when the time is right.

Define campaign goals and use social to meet them

Even when a campaign story or theme is beloved by consumers, you’ve got to look at whether it’s getting the results you want.

Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” and “Lost Dog” Super Bowl commercials are a great example here. For two years running, an adorable golden retriever puppy stole hearts by bonding with one of the Budweiser Clydesdales.

Both commercials made Tivo’s top ten Super Bowl commercials of the past 50 years on their list released in January 2016. “Puppy Love” was in the number one spot, crossing gender and age boundaries, with “Lost Dog” right behind at number two.

So why was there no Part 3 for the 2016 Super Bowl? Because the ads weren’t resulting in beer sales.

This is an important reminder that your campaign strategy has to align with your campaign goals. If the goal for Budweiser had simply been more engagement on YouTube, the ads were a clear success. But that wasn’t what they wanted, so they changed things up.

Look for new opportunities for your brand

Budweiser’s decision is understandable – they’re a beer brand, after all – but what if they wanted to expand their brand? The success of the puppy ads would have been a great catalyst if the King of Beers had wanted to explore, say, the fragrance world.

While the pup didn’t sell beer, it did sell consumers on emotion – and that’s the most powerful commodity there is. What woman wasn’t crushing on that handsome farmer? And what man didn’t want to be him?

There was potential here to find out what these ads spoke to in consumers’ minds and hearts – and offer that up. If you can take the information coming through and wrangle it to create success in new ways, that’s a social analytics bonus. And it’s something brands should do anyway. Because what you think consumers want, and what they actually want, or often not the same.

Before running any campaign, your social listening should identify where your audience feels things are lacking – in their lives, or with respect to your category. Can you manifest something entirely new to turn your category on its head? Only the social data will tell you – and only if you’re open to the idea.

Right time, right place, right medium

Another consideration social listening nails down is where, when, and how to run your campaigns. As with all social marketing, it’s dangerous to assume your current content and channels are the only ones that matter. Consumer attitudes are nothing if not fluid.

As you apply social listening tools, be sure to look at channels you haven’t considered in the past, to find out if you have an audience there. Places like Tumblr, Reddit, or even the blogosphere could be ripe with potential.

Similarly, don’t limit yourself content-wise. Maybe your videos get amazing engagement – but that doesn’t mean you can’t also do well with user-generated content. Let the data guide you, but be sure to analyze beyond what you already know. The insights that surprise you are often the ones that take your brand to new heights when you act on them.

Social sentiment, the secret sauce

In all cases, the data you uncover must be centered around consumer sentiment. If it’s not, you’re wasting your time. Your campaigns should be inspired by the most passionate emotions – whether positive or negative.

Positive emotions are easy. Just find out what consumers love, must have, can’t live without, are obsessed with, etc. It’s hard to go wrong unless you act on mere “like” versus passionate love.

Negative emotions are also valuable. In some cases negative emotions indicate a sense of lack, or something your brand – or a competitor – did wrong. If it was your brand, be sure to correct your mistake – and use this information as a catalyst to offer an improved customer experience.

For the sake of a winning campaign, negative consumer emotions present an opportunity for camaraderie. Everyone hates Mondays – so there’s one example of a unifying negative sentiment. Look to social in real-time to find out where you can bond with consumers over everything they’re feeling.

Do this in every campaign, and let social data fuel your strategy, and 2018 will be your brand’s best year ever.

 

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