Every marketer wants to be a fly on the wall. They want to know what people are saying about their companies, why they are saying those things, and what changes they want to see. It’s why old-school marketers used to invest so much money in focus groups, and why this method of qualitative analysis is still in use today.

Social media intelligence gives companies those valuable insights, allowing them to gain access to conversations that would not have previously been heard. Simply put, social media intelligence is the act of listening to social exchanges (through comments, groups, and posts) and creating data points based on those exchanges.

It is a tried and tested method, and as the following guide shows, it is currently being employed in unique and highly effective ways across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Targeting Specific Stages in Life

How often do you change your utility provider? Once a year, once a decade? Probably not very often, right?

That poses a problem if you’re a utility company seeking new clients. Sure, you can provide better services and even position yourself as a cheaper option, but switching is a hassle, and most people simply aren’t willing to take those steps.

But they make an exception for when they are moving house. It’s a time of chaos, a time of change, and even if previous utilities can be transferred, customers are usually more willing to switch at this time.

New homeowners are just one of the groups that can be targeted on social media, and just one of the ways that social media intelligence can be used. There is no option on Facebook Ads for “has just purchased a home”, but it is possible to focus on people who have recently applied for a change of address, downloaded home-buying apps, or spent a lot of time looking at mortgages.

Companies can also target customers who have just had a baby or gotten married. Social media intelligence can be used to access groups for new parents and married couples while also trawling through wedding events. Once it has this information, targeted lists can be created.

It’s not much use if you sell a general product/service to the wider public, but it’s a game-changer if you sell baby clothes, wedding dresses, or honeymoon packages.

Building a PR Strategy

In a recent blog, we spoke about the importance of managing brand reputation online, noting how media intelligence can help you learn what people are saying about your brand and then respond accordingly. But it goes much deeper than that.

A properly implemented social media intelligence campaign can target specific groups, news sites, and even writers to discover what makes them tick.

As an example, let’s suppose that you’re planning a PR campaign that involves planting a story in the media, spreading it far and wide, and ultimately using it to promote a new product.

Your social media intelligence campaign can tell you which news sites are best based on what type of content they publish, how well that content is received, and how much engagement it gets. It could even highlight which writers you should target and which groups are best for sharing content.

Once you have all of that information, you can launch additional PR campaigns and even prepare to deal with any negative stories that appear. Did your social media managers make a mistake and say something offensive? Did you accidentally do something that caused offense? If so, you now know exactly where to send your letters of apology and how to quickly drown out the negative press with positive stories.

Plotting the Buyer’s Journey

Social media intelligence can tell you a lot about what your customers do before and after they buy. It can provide insights into their true feelings about your product, and even tell you if they plan to use your services in the future or will switch to one of your competitors.

There are a lot of data points to consider and a wealth of data to collect. Once all of this has been gathered, you’ll know a great deal more about your customers and can use that information to improve your services.

Developing New Game-Changing Products

In the past, focus groups were the go-to method for discovering what the general public thought about new product launches. The groups could test the products, ask questions about them, and then converse openly.

But some people criticise things just because they think it’s expected of them, while others say nothing but positive things because they don’t want to upset anyone. Focus groups are also limited and capture a small number of opinions.

It’s a flawed method, and it’s steadily being overtaken by social media intelligence.

By listening to group conversations, brands can discover the biggest sticking points in their sector, potentially pointing them toward products that could have a massive impact. The same techniques can also be used to improve existing products. Once a product launches, social listening can record the chatter, heed what people are saying, and then use their opinions, complaints, and issues to improve the product.

In a way, it gives every new product the chance to undergo multiple stages of beta testing for the benefit of both the company and the end consumer.

Summary: Using Media Intelligence to Your Advantage

Are you ready to unlock the power of media intelligence and see what it can do for you? At A Data Pro, we provide a number of media intelligence services targeted toward businesses of varying sizes. We can monitor social media networks, mainstream news, and more to keep an ear to the ground and capture everything that’s being said about your brand or products.

Think of social media as a massive concert hall filled with chattering customers. They’re all talking about your business, but you’re standing on the stage and all you can hear is a droning noise. Media intelligence is the boom mic that you can extend to each and every one of those people, hearing what they have to say, recording their voices, and then moving on to the next one.

It’s the clarity amongst the noise, and that’s why it’s being employed by most major businesses and personal brands.

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