If there was one clarifying moment for marketers when they realized that using traditional social listening tools wasn’t going to cut it anymore, it was probably May 25, 2018. That’s when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR went into effect, rewriting for the whole world, not just Europe, what could and couldn’t be done by marketers with an individual’s personal online data.
However, the truth is that in the past couple of years, there have been many of those clarifying moments surrounding privacy issues and the need to reshape how marketers strategize around social media. At this point, most of the publicly available social media data is limited to Twitter and Reddit. Platforms like Instagram are moving towards phasing out publicly viewable vanity and volume metrics, while Facebook has shifted brand activity over to Groups.
Much of the data that social media listening tools have historically leveraged has been wiped away or made less relevant. Instead of looking to replicate those missing data sets, brands should look beyond those traditional metrics for a more holistic view of audience behavior around social media.
Here are the 5 main reasons why brands should expect more out of their enterprise social media solution than just social listening:
#1. Conversation Is Just A Fraction Of How The Audience Interacts With Brands On Social Media
A ListenFirst study of the top 500 U.S. advertisers found that between Q1-Q3 2019, conversations made up only 5% of all interactions between fans and brands on social media. The other 95% of those social media interactions were content responses such as Reactions, Comments, and Shares. Between understanding 5% and 100% of their public social media interactions, it’s fairly obvious which option is more desirable to brands.
#2. The Public Conversation Around Brands Is Shrinking
That same ListenFirst study found that comparing Q1-Q3 2019 to Q1-Q3 2018, the social media conversation around the top 500 advertisers actually shrunk by 5%, with Twitter being the platform where the most shrinkage occurred. In the same time period, the volume of Content Responses around those top 500 advertisers increased by 6% on social media. How the audience is using social media is evolving and how brands track social media needs to evolve to keep pace.
#3. Clicks Are An Essential Social Media Metric
Even after you add content responses to the conversation data, that’s still only speaking to the publicly viewable metrics. There’s only a vocal minority that will publicly interact with a brand online, compared to a much larger silent majority that will express their interest in brand content on social media through their clicks. By using social media analytics software that integrates public data with private data measuring what content the audience cares enough about to click on, a much clearer picture of audience interest can be understood.
#4. You Can’t Get Context From Vanity Metrics Alone
Vanity and Volume metrics such as Likes and Followers are great, but as platforms like Instagram shift to making that information private, or perhaps phase it out completely, they’re not going to be the solution going forward and actually never were. That type of data might be informative, but it does not show you the full picture of what’s happening. Context on “owned” social, i.e. emotional sentiment on comments within owned posts, is needed in addition to analyzing performance on owned social channels in order to properly understand how the social media audience is responding to your content.
#5. Sentiment Is More Than Just Positive, Negative, And Neutral
Traditionally, when social listening tools include sentiment, audience feedback is categorized into one of three buckets: Positive, Neutral, and Negative. However, ListenFirst is able to dig even deeper into social media sentiment, breaking down users, mentions, comments, reactions by emotions such as fear, love, and surprise.
Additionally, through identifying which topics are triggering which emotional responses, ListenFirst provides the practical intelligence necessary to start changing that conversation.
While there are many social media solutions out there for brands, only the best social listening tools combine the ability to seamlessly integrate owned channel performance with analysis of earned social. By using ListenFirst, brands get the context necessary to make their social media insights actionable.