Go beyond traditional social media for greater consumer insight
Updated: Mar 28
Social media is where your customers recommend products, discuss brands, and share their opinions about everything connected to your company. That’s why it’s a given that industries like computer and mobile games, consumer goods, apps, retail, and more use social listening tools. It helps brands to stay ahead of trends, gain product improvement ideas, measure their marketing success, and even improve customer satisfaction. No consumer-facing brand would allow social media conversations to go unmonitored.
Sentiment analysis takes social media monitoring to the next step. It helps you mine the mass of social media data for actionable insights that guide your brand to develop better products, deliver a higher level of customer service, and detect the next big trend before it hits. You can get early warning of potential crises through identifying negative comments, allowing you to nip them in the bud; you can identify positive influencers who can help you keep consumers engaged and spread your story widely.
There is a wealth of social listening tools to choose from, and many include sentiment analysis, however even the most advanced tools typically stick to a relatively small number of leading social media platforms. And these leading platforms such as Facebook and Twitter might not be the most important for your brand. We think social listening can do much better, and get more relevant and comprehensive results for consumer brands.
It’s not all Facebook and Instagram anymore
The vast majority of social listening tools focus on the best-known platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It’s not always enough for you to see what your customers are really concerned about.
There are scores of forum sites where consumers are sharing their thoughts and feelings, and these need to be integrated into your social listening strategy. In fact, many participants in these platforms are your most die-hard fans and influencers. These vibrant, more focused channels host the conversations you most need to hear about your industry, flaws in your and your competitors’ products, and pain points that no one is addressing. If you stay on the traditional, generic social media, you could lose out on those insights that could drive your brand forwards.
Game studios must watch Discord and others
If you’re a gaming brand, you’re eager to learn what the biggest gamers think about new games, where your graphics are weak, and if your plotlines let you down, and those discussions aren’t happening on Twitter. While the majority of non-gamers may have first heard of Twitch when AOC took to it to play Among Us as a ploy to get out the vote, the gaming community has been there all along. Twitch, and similarly Discord, is a crucial input for any gaming brand’s sentiment analysis or social listening program. In addition, many gaming and other consumer-facing companies use Vanilla Forums, which must also be considered as a source of important user input.
App developers eat app store reviews for breakfast
Can you imagine an app developer not looking at the reviews on Google Play or Apple’s App Store? Yet this is in effect what is happening for companies that rely exclusively on traditional social media listening to track consumer sentiments. While some social listening tools have review tracking add-ons, it’s not enough to look at reviews on their own; the information and content from reviews needs to be integrated into the insights from other places to see the bigger picture. Consider large companies like Microsoft that offer a broad range of products from enterprise software to consumer games and mobile apps; these companies must have an across-the-board view of how their customers are interacting with and feeling about their products. By leaving out app store reviews -- or siloing them in a separate product -- these companies have a hole in their knowledge.
Would you travel without TripAdvisor?
Any brand in the travel or hospitality space (remember when that was a thing?) knows they must have their finger on the pulse of what their visitors are writing on TripAdvisor, both for one-time issues and understanding long-term trends. But TripAdvisor is not the only site out there, there is also Yelp, Google My Business, and more. Blending these insights with the knowledge you gain from the more mainstream social channels like Twitter and Facebook can provide a much broader picture of how consumers are engaging with and thinking about your brand.
The treasure trove of Internal forums and helpdesks
OK, it’s a stretch to call your helpdesk social media, but if you run sentiment analysis on your helpdesk data, you will discover some highly valuable insights. You want to see into ticketing systems, chat conversations, Intercom, Zendesk interactions, Salesforce CRM data and others.
Every customer interaction is documented, every email, every phone call, creating a rich trove of data that is just waiting for today’s modern tools to discover new trends and ideas from your service reps’ interactions with your customers. Then, if you take it a step further and blend these insights with information from other channels such as Twitter, community forums, and others, suddenly an insightful, actionable picture emerges from the chatter
Connect all the dots, and we do mean ALL of them
The only way to tap into mass opinion is to bring together all your customer interactions into a single location. The vast amount of focused forums, review sites, in-app conversations, and knowledge communities that are untouched by traditional social listening lead to a huge blindspot for consumer companies.
Current tools lack a central hub that can aggregate ALL the conversations about your brand and create a full, multi-dimensional, insightful picture of market trends and consumer needs. Stakeholders are forced to work inefficiently across several tools.
Enterprises need a single platform that goes wherever your customers go, including internal forums, social media networks, review sites, comparison articles, in-app chat, and more.
Immerse yourself in actionable consumer insights
There’s a whole ocean of social sentiment out there, but most social listening tools only paddle about in the shallows. Affogata is an advanced customer insights platform that incorporates social listening and sentiment analysis on ALL the channels you care about, uniting consumer inputs from social media, customer support channels, internal forums, review sites, and more in a single location. It then translates this analysis into actionable insights that are accessible to every department in your company, and help drive revenue for your business.