Social listening examines social media including: blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, to find out what people are saying and where they are saying it. It’s one of the ways we glimpse actual consumer behavior (vs. reported behavior), and combines with other forms of qualitative research, and quantitative data, to reveal consumer insights.
Consumer insights are, of course, the jewels that illuminate the critical process of mapping the Consumer Decision Journey*. The idea is to build a complete picture of how consumers are interacting with brands, social touch points and knowledge as they wend their way towards the moment of purchase and then beyond. We do this by understanding who consumers are, their personas, and then what they think and do at each point along the journey. Some of what we learn is what is already happening, but more importantly we are looking for opportunities to serve an unmet need or a perception in a new way that sets our client apart. These insights make social listening a remarkably potent tool.
Discovering what your customers and prospects are saying, and equally important where they are saying it, reveals actionable clues, insights and opportunities, social locations that brands should be present, the impact of campaigns, and the effect of culture and seasonality on consumer behavior.
This study we just released on tax refunds is an example of how what you learn when you start to listen can be surprising. We discovered that an overwhelming 65% actually had plans to go shopping with their refunds, so we dug deeper.
What we ended up with delivered clear insights about what Americans wanted to do with the money. While it wasn’t surprising to see all the plans to buy Apple products, it was a surprise to see how many people planned on purchasing a new tattoo.
Overall the report was good news for retailers with 65% of tweeters having immediate spending plans for their refund in the following categories:
* 14% electronics spending
* 11% fashion spending
* 11% car spending
* 10% food and beverage spending
* 7% travel spending
* 7% event spending
* 5% music retail spending
The research also showed that sober responsibility was still alive and well in America with 35% of tweeters saying they plan to save their refund money or pay bills.
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