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Nothing’s worse than missing out on the next big thing – especially if your competitors cashed in on it. One job of social analytics is to keep you informed of trends worth embracing – so you can keep your #FOMO at bay.

Did your brand miss out last year? Or did you narrowly avoid disaster?

Don’t Rely on Luck

Whatever the answer, brands who’ve been on either side of the coin quickly learn that luck isn’t a reliable tool in business.

Consider blockchain. The technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency was big news this time last year. At that point the crypto market “was worth $525 billion,” with predictions that “there will be a lot more value created with blockchain in 2018 and even more the year after.”

By the end of 2018, however, Bitcoin – the most prominent figurehead of blockchain – had crashed hard, after several value-losing months prior.

A lot of people stand by the idea that blockchain is “useless and over-hyped,” and yet…

Here’s a look at social sentiment about blockchain and Bitcoin:

There’s quite a bit of positive sentiment and emotion on the topic – so what does that mean? You should go all in on blockchain after all?

Due Diligence Is Always Wise

Like all business decisions, research is imperative – and social analytics can and should support any new strategy.

Just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand. In the case of Bitcoin and blockchain in general, there are supporters who are convinced its time is still coming, and those who are relieved they avoided the risk.

And, of course, there are those who fell victim to scams because the technology is so new, it’s hard to know what is legit and what isn’t.

For this reason alone it would be worth being cautious, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement around a new trend – especially when everyone else is talking about it.

That’s why you can’t accept social sentiment at face value – but must dig deeper to understand what is driving sentiment, and whether the emotions align with your brand’s ideals and goals.

Monitor Trends for Guidance

So what opportunity will you wish you’d taken – or not – come January of 2020? That depends on how well you monitor trends on social before you take action.

For example, augmented reality (AR) is slated to take off in 2019, but does that mean all brands should be incorporating this technology into their operations or product lines?

It depends on the brand, and the use case – naturally. As a training tool, AR and VR technology definitely offers advantages that brands like Walmart and Tyson plan to explore.

However, other types of businesses – like news publications – may be jumping the gun trying to add AR into their publishing, as: “there are use limitations that are unlikely to be solved until a new wave of spatial computing devices, one that experts say is years away, hits the market.”

This brings us to a crucial consideration in all brand research: your audience.

If you’ve got a tech-forward readership, begging to take the journey as you incorporate AR into your stories, then maybe that is the road you should follow. If your audience isn’t big on spending on new tech to keep up with such changes, you might want to hold off.

The decision is unique to each brand – and one that careful social listening, social monitoring, and competitive analysis should help you make. You don’t want to regret not taking advantage of a great opportunity, of course – but you don’t want to regret leaping and losing, either.

Want a sneak peek at trends that matter to your brand this year? Reach out and we’ll give you a customized demo!

 

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