Social media has long been the realm of selfies, food porn and your crazy uncle’s inappropriate rants, but you might be surprised to learn that it’s also evolved into a critical market research tool for brands and agencies alike.

As part of our arsenal of research tools, Butler/Till invests in Netbase, an industry leading social media monitoring platform to help us develop deeper insights into our clients and their marketing efforts. Netbase has become an indispensable research tool that allows us to:

  • Understand consumer pain points and how to address them. It’s never fun to hear about a customer’s bad experience with your brand, but if you don’t know what’s wrong, you can’t fix it. People can be brutally honest on social media when they are disappointed with a brand experience. We use these insights to help clients to develop strategies to make it right.
  • Embrace and acknowledge the positives. Our clients are often fearful about what their customers are saying about them online, but often the feedback is positive. It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative comments, but it’s also important to recognize and refine what is working.
  • Understand sentiment for our clients and how it stacks up against competitors. In addition to understanding what people are saying about your brand, it is equally to understand what they are saying about the competition. What does the competition do well, and not so well in the social space? How can your brand respond?
  • Identify whitespace. Are your customers talking about a specific aspect of your category online, but your marketing discusses something else entirely? It is important to identify whitespace in your communications strategy, and how you can better connect with your desired audience.
  • Identifying key influencers. People are already out there talking about your brand or category online. Wouldn’t it be great to tap into those key influencers to get them talking about your brand? Social media monitoring can help you identify those influencers who could possibly act as brand advocates. Or you could reach out to them to talk about what’s important to consumers in the space.
  • Understand the voice of the consumer. Let’s face it, setting up research panels and focus groups is time consuming and cost prohibitive. Sometimes it is helpful to use social media monitoring to get quick sound bites of what your consumers are saying. If you’re on a shoestring budget, social media monitoring can often act as a proxy for 1-1 interviews or focus groups.
The Bottom Line

Social media monitoring is an a cost-effective supplement to traditional research methods that provides an additional layer of insight into what audiences are saying about a brand or category. Use it to sharpen your picture of your brand and target audience, driving more insightful and impactful advertising.

Mike DiCaprio
Mike DiCaprio

Director of Communications Planning
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