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A social marketer’s job is to keep an eye on consumer trends – like important holidays. The impending Chinese New Year – aka Spring Festival – offers another opportunity. What ancient wisdom can brands glean from this annual celebration?

Cultivate Your Social Garden

According to the Chinese New Year 2018 website, “The Spring Festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to gods for a good planting and harvest season.”

You reap what you sow on social media as well – and engagement doesn’t happen overnight. You have to cultivate it over time, nurturing what sprouts, and weeding out what doesn’t work.

Sentiment analysis is your tool here. Seek out the fragrant blossoms of positive consumer emotions, and focus on the most “colorful” – i.e., passionate. Negative emotions may represent garden pests that need to be eradicated, but also might indicate seeds with growth potential if you give them a bit more care.

Analogies aside, analyzing sentiment is the best way to understand what consumers want to hear about and talk about. Let them lead the conversation and you can’t go wrong.

Take Control of Your Firecrackers

Firecrackers serve two purposes during the Spring Festival – to ward off monsters and bad luck on New Year’s Eve, and to welcome the New Year and bring good luck the following morning.

For brands, content and campaigns represent firecrackers your audiences can get excited about. Sometimes, however, you’ve got to fight off social trolls, lighting firecrackers of their own.

This is why vigilance – real-time monitoring and sentiment analysis – is so imperative. You want to know the moment a problem arises – before things explode.

The best news? If you do a good job engaging your fans and influencers, they’ll help you when there’s a battle to be won!

Clear Space for the Good Luck to Enter

In the days leading up to Chinese New Year, it’s customary to clean in order to drive out any bad luck and make room for good.

The social marketing corollary is a periodic social media audit. This is a time to assess the value of social analytics across your entire business, and determine what changes need to occur. Some things to evaluate include:

  • Audience – are there new segments you can address, are your influencers having the impact you desire?
  • Social channels – which are most popular with your target audience, which are losing appeal, which have you not considered?
  • Content – what approach works best, what types of content generate the behaviors you want, or drive the most engagement?
  • Competitors – who are your competitors, what flaws can you leverage, and what can you borrow from their successes?
  • Customer experience – is your customer care team effective, are you succeeding at every touch point, are you innovating as needed?

Each of these points requires sentiment analysis to provide an accurate picture, along with ongoing real-time social listening to keep you on track as you try new things.

Evolution Is Inevitable

No matter the custom or tradition, times will change. Even the Spring Festival tradition of giving red packets/red pockets has transformed to include digital red packets.

Evolution is unavoidable, but timing is everything.

Use social listening and sentiment analysis tools to take your audience’s temperature regarding trends like VR, AR, AI, etc. Then you can strike at the perfect moment – instead of wasting time and money on a trend they don’t care about, or aren’t ready to embrace.

Every Dog Has His Day

Whether you celebrate the Lunar New Year or not, you can let this Year of the Dog influence your social marketing for the better by embracing the characteristics of the dog in Chinese lore:

“A Dog’s most defining characteristic is their loyalty. They will never abandon their friends, family or work. Honest and just, they are popular in social circles. Everyone needs a Dog friend for advice and help. They are also good at helping others find and fix their bad habits.”

Let social analytics and sentiment guide you toward greater consumer loyalty, while putting your bad habits aside for good. And Happy New Year: 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)!

We love to show off our Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine and sentiment analysis tools – just ask us for a demo!

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