The Marketing Corner: Importance of Social Listening

September 24, 2015 Last Updated: September 26, 2015

Today’s marketing landscape has become a volatile environment.

No sooner plans are implemented; these plans are almost immediately being evolved given the competitive nature of a given advertiser’s business. Many large and small businesses are actively engaging in social media. However, the real question is: are you really listening to consumer cues?

Hashtags are not just cute euphemisms.

Businesses do a great job at talking. But the really hard part is stopping to listen and watch what the consumers are really up to. If you observe, patiently, you will glean a wealth of information. Social listening is crucial to understanding consumer cues. Here’s a few truisms:

  • Hashtags are not just cute euphemisms. When consumers use these they are really giving you inside information on what is important to them
  • Don’t window dress your messages. Consumers are savvy and they realize if a business is being true to a specific cause (i.e. sustainability) based on creative messages deployed, overall company communications and if their employees/C-suite actually live/breath a given cause
  • If you plan to support a community effort make sure you are all in! Consumers know when a business is just providing lip service vs. being there because it is core to a business’ DNA. Community can mean a lot of different things; such as: Multicultural Women bloggers convention (i.e. Blogalicious, etc.), Cinco de Mayo Festivals in local markets and/or specific ethnic communities (i.e. Italians, Japanese, etc.). It really is a function of the consumer’s and how they define the various communities they consider themselves apart of

Getting a better understanding of the consumer provides a distinctive advantage over your competitive set and can gain social influence for your brand or business.

Secrets to success includes monitoring what is being said about your brand, validate insights using social data and/or using a blend of traditional customer data with social data. By deploying these methods, businesses can direct their social activity to be more relevant and effective against their desired customer base.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide), available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: adelelassere@gmail.com