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With St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, luck will be a big topic for many – along with who is more Irish than whom. When it comes to social media listening, however, luck is nice – but it shouldn’t be your only strategy.

What is luck, anyway? If Roman philosopher Seneca is correct that luck is simply opportunity colliding with preparation, then social listening is all about that prep. Focus on the following areas to be sure the luck of the Irish finds you when opportunity presents.

The People You Want to Reach

Finding consumers interested in your product is easy enough. Anyone speaking well about you online certainly likes your brand – but “like” doesn’t lead to sustained loyalty. For that you need to know how to interact with your customers and prospects so they fall madly in love with your brand over all others.

Who and What Your Audience Loves Most

Cultivating that love requires a bit of wooing – in other words, putting consumers’ needs and wants first. It’s not about you, it’s about them – so you have to get to know them. This is where sentiment analysis tools come in.

Sentiment analysis lets you weigh the topics your audience discusses on social, so you know which matter most, and why. There’s no limit to the insights you can uncover here, or the segments of like-minded consumers you can create.

Understanding consumer passion is the key to unlocking what they want from your brand, who they trust and want to hear from most – on any number of topics – and what they wish was available, but isn’t yet.

This is how you find influencers, partnerships, and product ideas – to name a few uses for such data. In short, without sentiment, you don’t know much of anything. With it, you’re unstoppable.

Where Your Consumers Live Online

Sentiment is a non-negotiable component, but it’s not the only one that matters. You have to know where to find your audience – and assumptions won’t help you. Just because you have a large audience on Facebook, doesn’t mean you don’t also have a passionate contingent on a social network you haven’t considered – like Tumblr, or Snapchat.

Once you know who your target customer is – based on psychographic information gleaned through sentiment analysis – you can find all the places those people converse online. No luck needed – just state of the art social media listening tools.

The Content Driving the Most Actions

Content is an area that might feel legitimately like a “luck of the draw” scenario – especially viral content. I mean, can you really control what social users find worthy of such attention?

Perhaps not exactly, but you can certainly stack the deck using social analytics. And even if your content never wins the social media lottery by going viral, you want your audience to love it and share it.

As you look at the topics your fans love, and where they interact, you have to consider the medium that drives them to share and shop. Even on a channel like Instagram, which is entirely visual, you may find your particular audience prefers short videos and stories over simple images.

And this introduces another factor into the equation: image analytics. With so much of social media devoted to images you have to be able to measure sentiment connected to them. Especially when so much consumer image content – including emojis, GIFs and memes – doesn’t include text.

What Your Competitors Are Doing

Your competitors definitely consider it a lucky break when you drop the ball in any way – because they are watching you, or they should be. You can’t afford to ignore the competition in your social media listening.

Look at what they share, and how it’s received, but also look at where consumers point out their flaws. That’s your lucky opportunity – but only if you’re ready for it.

Where Threats May Be Lurking

Similarly, you can’t rely on luck to keep you from falling victim to a brand crisis. Social monitoring in real-time is the answer there, alerting you to negative keywords as well as spikes in negative passion intensity.

The sooner you know things are unraveling, the better your chances of coming out unscathed. The last thing you want is to catch wind of a crisis after it’s gone viral. Even St. Paddy won’t be able to help you then.

With the right tools, all of the above – and more – can be accomplished easily. Without them… well, we wish you luck!

We’re happy to show you how our social media listening tools keep you in the know. Just reach out!

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