3 Social Listening Tools Applications for 2022

What Are Social Listening Tools?

Social listening tools utilize software to analyze the conversation around brands and brand-relevant topics on online platforms, including social media and news outlets. These tools, which are often AI-based, can collect and analyze large data sets to discern consumer attitudes toward a brand and proactively identify trends. The goal is to improve marketing strategy, customer service, and product development.

Read on to learn about three applications of social listening tools that are helping brands gain consumer insight in 2022.

1.)   Identifying New Customers

Social listening tools such as NetBase Quid AI enable users to create audience segments based on shared characteristics. These tools comb through comments and posts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to determine shared interests and demographic characteristics that users with positive attitudes toward a brand and brand-relevant topics share. To do this, social listening tools utilize sentiment analysis, AI technology that can identify the emotional content of images and text.

Sentiment analysis can identify which users share positive sentiment towards a brand, while other social listening tools can identify shared characteristics among those users. For example, fans of a beverage brand might also tend to be fans of a certain style of music, or a certain professional sports league. This is valuable information for companies trying to attract new customers. If a brand understands that its current customers share an interest in a certain music genre or sports league, it might target advertising and partnerships toward those areas in the hope that like-minded fans will also like the brand.

2.)   Performing a Competitor Analysis

Using social listening tools, a company can analyze how its customers feel about its own brand, but it can also analyze how consumers feel about competing brands. This can help identify potential gaps in its own approach or strengths that it ought to lean into to continue to set itself apart from competitors. 

The same general approach that companies use when applying social listening tools to find new customers applies to competitive analysis. Sentiment analysis can identify how consumers feel about a competitor.

This could apply to a broad analysis of consumers, or to particular consumer segments that a company wants to target, such as Generation Z or those who value environmentally friendly products. We have already seen that social listening tools can create segments of a brand’s fans and determine those segments’ other interests for the brand to target. Conversley, it can also create segments based on shared interests or demographics, and track how those segments feel about the brand. For example, if it turns out that Gen Z consumers have little awareness or lower sentiment ratings of a brand than towards its competitors, this may be a segment to target in future campaigns.

3.)   Identify Industry-Relevant Trends

In addition to targeted analysis of a company’s own brand or a competitor’s brand, social listening tools can be used to perform a broader industry analysis in the hopes of identifying trends in their early stages.

This process is not focused on specific mentions of single company, but rather on trends that are relevant to the industry and could go viral. For example, identifying a dance trend on TikTok in its early stages could enable a company to create social media content around that trend and connect with a wider audience.

Intelligent Application of Social Listening Tools

These are just three of the many applications of modern social listening tools. A brand might pursue one of these avenues, all three, or different avenues altogether. The key is understanding the scale and nuance of the sort of data that AI-powered social listening tools can provide, then creating an intelligent strategy that makes good use of this valuable data.

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