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Social listening is a non-negotiable part of operations for businesses and brands of all sizes. Enterprises, however, have even greater stakes when it comes to mining for and applying social insights. Here are the distinctions that matter for top brands.

You’re not too big to fail

It might feel like a few negative voices in the mix can’t have much of an impact when you’re a global brand like McDonald’s, for example. That’s dangerous thinking. The reality is, the bigger the stakes, the less room for error. Because when things fall apart – they really fall apart. And other brands can capitalize on your failings.

To keep ahead of competitors waiting for you to slip up, you’ve got to have your finger on the pulse of your customers and category at all times. Missing or ignoring the wrong post could have catastrophic results. Thus, ability to analyze social data in real-time is paramount, as is accuracy.

Enterprise-sized social listening solutions protect brand health by offering an aggregated view of owned, earned, partnered, and paid channels so metrics can be absorbed quickly. NetBase even pulls those insights into a visual dashboard for at-a-glance understanding of what’s happening at any moment.

And you can narrow your view to the local, regional, or global level for even greater specificity.

When campaigns are live, your insights should be too

No matter how good your creative team, the final deciding factor of marketing campaign success is your audience. Back in the day you could only wait and hope things played out as planned. Surveys and focus groups, along with historical data, were all brands had to rely on for doing better next time around – and all of this was after the fact.

Now social listening tools let you monitor campaigns as they’re happening. If your audience isn’t behaving as expected, you can change the narrative in real-time, maximizing campaigns while they’re still running.

And sentiment analysis sets you up for success ahead of the game, too. With more accurate data on offer, brands know what their audiences care about most, and can play to those affinities. This is why tools that segment your audience into psychographic sub-audiences are so crucial. Your messaging has to be personal to each consumer – segmenting is how you achieve that.

You also need tools that alert you to key events over the life of your campaign – whether that’s a shift in sentiment, or certain keywords that indicate trouble is brewing. The sooner you know – especially if sentiment is negative – the sooner you can act.

Customer care becomes more streamlined

Negative sentiment alerts are particularly useful when handling consumer complaints – because you have to handle the most volatile customers first. Of course, all customer complaints matter, so tools that easily sort such posts are critical for responding with the quickness consumers demand.

What separates enterprise tools from the free tools smaller businesses might use is the complexity of this sorting. When you’re dealing with hundreds to thousands of posts per day, the ability to segment and rank complaints is table-stakes.

You can even have certain types of negative posts automatically routed to a specific representative to speed up the customer care process. When you can manage more complaints in less time, you save money.

But it’s not all about being reactive. On the proactive side, the deeper emotional insights on offer let you identify influencers to speak for your brand in your place. These super fans will share your messaging in exchange for recognition or other perks, and even step in to defend you when others have a problem.

Identifying these brand advocates carries huge benefits. And there’s nothing like recognition from your customers – we certainly value it!

The tipping point is closer than ever

As consumers have taken charge of their own destinies – thanks to consumer reviews and social media – brands have less wiggle room for mistakes than at any time in the past. Competitors abound – and may look different than you expect. Only with accurate, timely social insights can brands feel secure their actions are strategically sound.

It doesn’t take much to upset the delicate balance of being on top on any given day, and staying there relies on spotting needles in a constantly-shifting haystack. Simpler tools work for brands coming into their place in the market, but for enterprises to avoid disruption by these very challenger brands, there’s a lot more to consider.

All brand strategy should be back by social data – from product development to the customer experience to marketing campaigns. And, of course, you can’t afford to wait for this data – or you may not be able to act in time.

So don’t skimp on your social listening tools. And don’t limit their use to counting mentions and likes. There’s a lot social listening platforms can do for enterprises – and a lot to lose if you don’t take advantage of the insights on offer.

Want to see just how to apply social listening to every area of your business? Contact us for a demo!

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