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labor day bbq

As we pause today to reflect on both the American labor movement, and the official end of summer, it’s also a good time to gear up for the final quarter of 2018. Here’s how to use social listening for a strong finish to the year.

Look Beyond the Obvious

Social listening is about finding out things you don’t already know as much as confirming what you do. For example, Cuisinart had plans to focus on new holiday recipes during the crucial fourth quarter. They expected to see conversations asking for Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas recipes, but their analytics offered a surprise.

Searching our certified theme of “holidays” revealed consumers wanted ideas for Labor Day weekend entertaining. The brand was able to include Labor Day in their plans as they shifted their video strategy away from traditional product videos to quick recipes featuring their premium product line.

The newly-identified audience segment brought them 30K impressions and 10K video views. Not bad for a holiday they hadn’t even plan to count!

screen grab of cuisinart recipe video

Mexican street corn, rain or shine

Learn from Back-to-School Results

For most brands, the biggest campaign leading into the holiday-packed last few months of 2018 is back-to-school. This trial run is a great source of lessons for the year’s final quarter.

What did social listening reveal about your audience? Did you discover any new segments, as Cuisinart did? What about trends that might continue into 2019? How did you fare against competitors in your back-to-school campaigns? Did you accomplish your goals, or fall short? Don’t discount anything until you know what it means.

Here’s a look at #BackToSchool Sentiment Attributes from NetBase Pro:

sentiment attributes word cloud

Take Yourself Back to School

As fall hits, put yourself in learning mode so you can ace your final campaigns of the year. If you aren’t already using them, learn about new social-powered brand tools like image analytics and customer experience analytics.

Or join us at NetBase LIVE in Los Angeles or New York this October, and learn the most relevant “right now” strategies from the brands and agencies using them every day. Here are just a few of the discussions and speakers we’ll have on hand:

  • Storytelling on the Screen and Off: How IMAX Uses Social Listening to Bring its Research to Life – Sarah Davison, Sr. Manager, Marketing Strategy, IMAX (LA)
  • If You Give Jimmy Kimmel a Jet Ski – How NetBase Helped Us Moderate the Oscars During an Unprecedented Opportunity – Max Moosmann, Senior Social Strategist, Fuse Interactive (LA)
  • Unlocking the Why Behind the What: Driving Actionable Insights in Local Markets – Andrew Brown, VP, Insights, H&L Partners (NY)
  • Using Social Listening to Connect Passionate Fans with Powerful Brand Experiences – Evan Nickel, Associate Strategist, Digital, GMR Marketing (NY)

It’s always an amazing experience – and a great opportunity to maximize your time while learning a lot. You’ll come home energized and ready to rule the holiday season.

presentation from NetBase LIVE London

Forrester Principal Analyst Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha delivering her keynote, “How Customer Journey Data Elevates Experiences and Helps Brands Drive Differentiation,” at NetBase LIVE London in May

Use Quirky Holidays to Engage with Your Fans

Speaking of holidays, be sure to look out for quirky holidays worth “celebrating” to keep your brand alive between now and the major end-of-year holidays. There’s a commemorative day for just about anything you can imagine, and some that would work for your brand surely fall between September and December.

National Acorn Squash Day could be a great day to start pre-gaming recipes for Thanksgiving. If you’re Cuisinart, or Whole Foods, or any number of other brands, this could be worth a quick look at your social data. If your audience has a sense of whimsy, you’re good to go.

It’s never too early – as the success of #ChristmasInJuly clearly demonstrates.

popular media grid

#ChristmasInJuly Popular Media by engagement

Resolve to Perform a Social Media Audit

When you’ve done everything else – analyzed your audience, competitors, and trends – be sure to mark your calendar for a social media audit. This periodic evaluation tells you how you did with regard to big picture efforts – by putting smaller spikes of activity into a larger context.

Assess your victories and challenges, and strategize the first quarter of 2019 based on precise data. It will be here before you know it.

Until then, Happy Labor Day!

To register for NetBase LIVE NY or LA, visit our microsite, or reach out for a personalized demo of our social listening tools!

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