If you’ve visited our blog before, you’ll know that there are several ways that social listening can be leveraged to understand consumer habits, set benchmarks, and track conversations. But did you know that it is also possible combine other data sources with social data to come up with more robust insights?
At Circus Social, we have been integrating various types of data in our reports for our clients. Read on to know how we do it!
#1: Integrating Social Data with Google Search Data
Social chatter is a good indicator that people are interested about a certain topic – but what about topics they don’t necessarily talk about on social media? In some cases, search data can be a stronger proof of interest than buzz volume.
Let’s say you want to discover the top skin care concerns in Singapore. Since it is an embarrassing topic, people may not necessarily talk about acne or psoriasis on Twitter or Instagram. But they are likely to search for solutions for these problems on more ‘private’ search platforms, like Google.
So in this case, search data can indicate interest, but social data can explain qualitatively why people are interested in that particular topic – for example, reasons why acne is a problem for them, products they use to manage their acne, and many explanations.
Search gives you a trigger, Social gives you the reason for the trigger.
So, where exactly can you access Google search data? Trends in Google search volumes are openly available in the Google Trends website. This site analyzes the popularity of search queries in Google across various locations and languages. You can also get search data from the Keyword Planner tool if you have a Google Adwords account. Compared with Google Trends, this tool provides more accurate search volumes (especially if you have a paying account).
Popular Use Cases:
Trend Spotting/Tracking – Search data is especially useful for identifying trends because it allows people to search for topics even before they start talking about them and can help indicate when interest for a topic started. Then, social data can be used to look at specific conversation themes about these trends.
Brand Health Tracking – Especially when looked at in comparison with competitors, search data can tell you where your brand stands, specifically in terms of awareness. Social data is a good reference for brand associations and you can also complement this data with related search terms, which can be found in both Google Trends and Adwords Keyword Planner.
Campaign Tracking – Other than looking at increase in social conversations, it helps to see if your campaign had an impact on how much people have searched about your brand on Google.
#2: Using Social Data to Complement Traditional Research Data
We have a number of Market Research Agency partners and they usually ask us to look at social media data to dig deeper into traditional research tracker findings.
Traditional research is often not able to fully explain the ‘whys’ behind findings and numbers a lot of times. Once a study concludes, traditional researchers just need to work with the data that they have. If they have additional questions that need to be answered, they would need to start another study. This is where digital research comes in – because it is possible to pull historical data using social listening tools.
In one of the projects that we did, the Retail Audit and Brand Health Tracker Data showed that a client’s competitor brand had an increase in Market Share and Consumption, despite a decrease in advertising spends. Their Brand Equity score increased including all specific imagery statements (i.e. Love/Taste). What could have caused the increase of this score?
Working together with the Market Research Agency, we were able to identify specific periods when scores increased and looked at social conversations during these periods. After deep-diving into these conversations, we found out that consumers created a new demand occasion for the product which became popular in that country.
Popular Use Cases:
Brand Health/Equity Tracking – Market Research can be the basis of qualitative social media data analysis.
Supplementing Qualitative Research – For one of our clients, we found out that online review sites were influential sources of information that affected consumer purchase behavior. Through social listening, we were able to identify which particular websites consumers visited and Qualitative Research explained why people preferred these websites.
#3: Combining Social Data with Sales Data
If traditional research has not been done, social data can often explain movements in sales volumes and provides more in-depth insights. Just take note though, there may be a lag between when people talk or search about a product and when they actually purchase it. Hence, it is best to analyze these data points over longer durations to really see the correlations between them.
Popular Use Cases:
Campaign Tracking – Ideally, campaigns that you launch should have an impact on sales. Aside from the usual metrics analyzed for post-campaign evaluation reports such as reach, impressions, volume of social conversations, social engagements, etc., you may also look at the correlations between these data points and sales data.
Consumer Purchase Behavior Analysis – For some brands, they may notice that sales volumes peak and drop at certain months of the year. These may not necessarily be because of campaigns especially if they are not implemented on a regular basis. Reasons for seasonality in purchase trends can be uncovered by looking at social data alongside sales data.
By no means are these the only data sources that can be integrated with social data (you can also look at website traffic data, digital media performance metrics, among others). The key is to track as much data points as you can and organize your data so you can easily discover correlations whenever you need them.
You’ll never know how much value you can get from your data if you don’t try playing around with it!
Circus Social can help you look at your social, search, sales & many other forms of data to uncover deeper insights – just like how we have helped our clients make sense of theirs!
As we usher in the Lunar New Year, it’s a good time for us to look back on the 2018’s highs and lows.
Did you achieve the targets and hit the digital KPI’s you set? If not, are you making the most out of the information you gathered about your consumers and achieving high engagement & association scores linked to your objectives?
Leveraging on social listening to understand consumer habits, benchmark and track conversations can do wonders and perfectly complement your marketing strategy.
Identify Conversation Themes and Brand Associations
Maintaining brand image and driving positive associations requires a structured plan that is built on consumer insights and spotting opportunities from competitive tracking.
To do this effectively, we encourage our clients to dive into the conversations that netizens are having and focusing on the key category themes that your brand or competitors are mostly mentioned in. Identify common phrases and emotions to get an idea on what netizens associate your brand with. It could be an emotion or a consumption moment; You’ll be surprised at the type of chatter you can find on social media.
How you can make use of it
By identifying these common conversation themes, you can streamline and optimize your content calendars for various digital channels. Work with your social media leads or brand ambassadors to map out your communication materials for campaigns that are in line with category conversations. This allows you to strengthen your brand voice by sharing content linked to existing themes or topics of discussion that your audience is already engaging in. . Showing your understanding of the key topics that consumers’ discuss and ask about, is important if you want engagement and traction online.
Spot popular channels to get targeted/effective reach
Marketing on all social media channels would probably get a lot of reach for your brand, but are you really reaching the audience that matters to you? Are your ad placements and reach numbers converting into leads fast enough? If they’re not, then probably you need to rethink about your strategy.
Why aren’t my reach numbers converting into leads?
Paid media can be a hefty investment so it’s important to target areas that have high traffic and an audience base that talks about relevant topics. For example, if you are marketing electronics to people aged between 21 and 25, then perhaps placing ads and banners on popular E-Commerce sites, might get you a higher click-through-rate as compared to placing it on search engine portals. Determine popular “hang outs” by looking into your consumer online habits(e.g. Do they leave reviews on sites or comment directly on brand ambassadors’ pages? If they are camera-lovers, do they visit Hardwarezone or Nikon Rumours?). You can then focus on these sites for paid media to effectively target your audience. You might also need to consider the type of content, messaging and communication style per channel to create more relevant content. Think about the types of questions your audience is asking on these channels, the pain points they regularly share, and what types of thought-leadership and educational content you can create to drive organic traffic, or boost your paid media as well.
Establish Engagement Level Norms during the Year: During Campaigns, and Quiet Periods
“We have to be Always-on!”
That’s something that many of us believe in, but what happens when you are “off ?” Getting traction during periods where your brand does not have a big launch or activation can be a challenge. Instead of aiming to achieve such high traction all the time, establish some engagement norms to identify a healthy traction range for your brand.
What do you mean by a healthy range for engagement?
Identify the level of engagement that your brand and their biggest competitors typically garner on a weekly or monthly basis.This average can serve as a benchmark as to how much traction your brand should be gathering. Deviating too far from it will be an alert for you to relook your social media engagement strategies and identify opportunities to act. You can even take it one step further by identifying an upper and lower limit of engagement levels to see how much your engagement levels can afford to fluctuate.
Instead of aiming to achieve high traction all the time, establish some engagement norms.
The key takeaway is to understand your audience. Social media intelligence can tell you a lot on your key target market. From brand awareness to brand associations, these are just some of the ways that you can make use of social listening to improve your digital marketing strategies. So the question is, have you been listening?
Instagram and Facebook have been making several changes to their data streams in recent times in order to administer better user privacy and more supervised control over accounts to ensure their authenticity. The most recent update occurred on the 11th of December 2018.
Hence there are several implications on the availability of Instagram data to third-party applications and data providers, such as 20/Twenty, over the course of this year.
Read on below to get an overview of what these changes are, what they imply and how you can continue to still make the most out of Instagram data with 20/Twenty!
WHAT ARE THESE CHANGES?
Apart from cracking down on fake accounts and making their interface more user focused over the past month, Instagram has continued to keep on track with it’s planned API depreciation (discontinuation of Instagram data available for tracking for apps and data providers via its application interface). All these changes are so that users can have better control over their data and securing their privacy.
Here’s a quick look at the changes to the Instagram API from earlier this year to now –
Data Access Type
Data Access Availability (Pre-April 2018)
Data Access Availability (April 4th 2018)
Latest Data Access Availability (Post-April and Dec 11th 2018 Update)
Tracking Posts from Business Accounts
Yes, Limited (Top 30 hashtags for business accounts only)
Tracking engagement data (including the number of likes, comments and shares)
Tracking all Post Content (Including Bio, post content, caption)
Tracking Posts from Public User Accounts
Tracking Posts based on geo-location
Tracking Follower Lists of Public Authors
Visible Data – Author Username
Visible Data – Author Gender
Ability To Collect Historic Data
Yes, Limited (Past 24 hours only)
Highlights from the latest updates this December that apply to Instagram data via applications and data providers:
Only Instagram Business Accounts will have access to Instagram data and are limited to 30 hashtags per authenticated account
Instagram historic data will only be limited to the last 24 hours
Data from Instagram will no longer carry the following –
Time and Date of Posting
Geo-Location of Posts
Engagement data per post in the form of likes and comment counts will be limited
Business account and account tracking based on @handles is supported
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU & HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE MOST OF THESE CHANGES ON 20/TWENTY?
Circus Social understands how paramount it is to still be up to date with your campaign, brands, and competition, as well as be able to get to the metrics that matter the most to you.
We have hence rolled out a few measures that require our clients to provide authentication via 20/Twenty at the earliest and make the most of these new changes.
NEED FOR IMMEDIATE BUSINESS ACCOUNT AUTHORIZATION
Current Instagram data access is restricted to allowing data access only via Business Accounts and for a limited number of 30 hashtags per unique account.
In order for you to continue to get access to Instagram data and view rich insights on our platform, you will be required to provide authentication on 20/Twenty.
Why does this need authentication and what does it mean?
In order for data providers like 20/Twenty to continue collecting data from Instagram, 20/Twenty users need to provide verification that they allow 20/Twenty to collect data on behalf of your account for the data that matters most to you.
You will need to ensure that you are an Admin of a Facebook page and an Instagram Business page that are linked together to proceed with the authentication.
20/Twenty will allow for you to get full coverage of the 30 hashtags from public accounts as per Instagram’s guidelines.
Please note that all authorizations shared do not involve the storing and accessing of any personal information or data.
The more Business Accounts you provide authentication with, the more Instagram data you can access.
INSTAGRAM TRACKING – KEEP IT FOCUSED TO YOUR TOP 30 HASHTAGS*
With the updated API rules, each unique Instagram Business Account that you provide authorization for, is limited to 30 hashtags for tracking. This is a limit that Instagram has shared to enable a more controlled data-sharing environment.
It poses a few limitations, but also opportunities for brands and Business users to focus on what data truly matters the most.
*However, you can easily change these hashtags every week to ensure you are tracking more at intervals and are not only restricted to a fixed 30 hashtag limit.
To further expand this 30 hashtag list, do authenticate with other unique Business Account pages to get access to more data.
CONTINUED SUPPORT & ANALYSIS
Although Instagram has applied a few imitations to the hashtags tracking per Business Account, other features such as below are still available in full and can still be easily accessed on 20/Twenty (This is possible as 20/Twenty is an approved Instagram data provider) :
Tracking all owned Instagram Business page content as well as other Brands Business Posts that you can still track based on @handles you share
All engagement metrics for these Instagram posts
Continued analytics and insights for these Instagram posts
Influencers on Instagram you have partnered with if they also share their authentication on 20/Twenty
You can continue to tag, sort and further analyze Instagram data based on keywords on 20/Twenty
All in all, Circus Social is all geared to help you make the best of these Instagram updates and stay ahead in all your social tracking needs.
Have questions or want to learn more? Simply get in touch with us HERE or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact your Account Manager for a speedy response.
My name is Durga and I have been working at Circus Social for about 4 months now as an Analyst in the Bangalore office. Prior to Circus Social, I worked as a Social Media Analyst at NTT DATA Services (formerly DELL Services).
Circus Social is growing quickly and has many interesting clients across automotive, insurance, government, financial services and other industries. As an Analyst in the research and social listening team, I conduct research and help uncover insights. This valuable, actionable information is presented in the form of social listening reports for our clients. It is an open working environment, where employee suggestions and ideas are always welcome. So far, it has been a great opportunity to apply my knowledge and improve my skills.
Circus Socials’ social listening tool 20/Twenty is powered by the latest technology and tracks multiple social media and news metrics. 20/Twenty’s powerful data capabilities, combined with a simple user interface helps marketers solve complex business problems.
We have a lot of fun in the Circus Social office and celebrate milestones and special occasions including birthdays.
As I was new to Bangalore a few months ago when I joined, the Circus Social team helped me settle in, find a place to stay – and even shared their favourite food spots!
Over the course of the first few weeks, I was taken through various induction programmes, introduced to the team and familiarised with processes.
It has been a great experience working with Circus Social so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Social listening is the process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, products, competitors and categories. Learn how following Social Listening Best Practices can help power your digital marketing strategy.
How do leading brands incorporate social listening to create successful digital campaigns?
1. They measure objectively
To leverage the power of social listening, it is imperative to understand the business and marketing objectives of the company. This ensures that the relevant topics are being tracked and social listening objectives are aligned to those of the broader business.
2. They know their audience
Successful brands listen to understand audience perceptions of their products and brand:
What is being said?
Where are they saying it?
Is the sentiment towards the brand positive, negative or neutral?
Are campaigns having the desired impact?
Is their messaging resonating with the target audience?
3. They look to understand the broader landscape
Looking beyond their own brands to understand category and industry trends provides companies with:
inspiration for content creation
early detection of threats to the brand/business
opportunities for growth
4. They have an ‘Always-On’ approach to brand tracking
Real-time monitoring provides an early warning system and helps companies manage crisis situations swiftly and decisively. Identifying detractor posts and responding quickly affords the maximum amount of time needed to implement contingency plans and ensures minimal damage to the brand. Successful brands don’t just listen during campaigns – they listen during the ‘quieter’ periods too.
5. They constantly benchmark against competitors
Social Listening helps brands learn what their competitors are doing and what people are saying about them online. This real-time intelligence allows companies to understand their own weaknesses, leverage competitor weaknesses and identify opportunities for growth.
6. They utilize data to inform business and marketing strategy
Social listening intelligence can be leveraged to achieve business and marketing objectives in the following ways:
Tailored messaging, delivered to target audiences via their preferred channel
Testing campaign effectiveness and adjusting campaigns accordingly to maximise performance.
Understanding pain points can shape product development, ensuring a better customer experience
Identify market entry opportunities
How can Circus Social help?
As leaders in the digital intelligence space, we empower brands with real-time insights through our social & news monitoring platform, 20/Twenty.
To find out more about Social Listening Best Practices, or book a demo click here
Circus Social is brimming with social intelligence. With a vibrant and vastly talented group of Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Data Analysts on board – we live and breathe analytics.
More recently, our machine learning capabilities for the 20/Twenty platform have benefitted from a decentralized and distributed structure.
Our clients are often faced with a variety of marketing challenges – and we try to work hand-in-hand to find the most efficient way of tackling them. These could include finding solutions to ‘hard-problems‘ like real-time document clustering or- predicting a virality score for posts on social media.
There are also new challenges that occur with changing lifestyles and social media behavior like, automatically grouping similar videos uploaded by users based on different attributes including context, language and emotions where we have to tap in to specializations of both the science and the engineering teams have been only possible with the contribution of both the science and the engineering teams.
While our data science team has created magic with data, predictive and modeling techniques, our engineering team has helped maintain several terabytes of data and created effective machine learning pipelines.
The team’s latest project has been to develop and deploy a real-time document clustering functionality – allowing our clients to find viral content, identify trends and proactively react to crisis situations. The three main phases of this project are feature extraction and selection, document representation and clustering. After having experimented with a lot of clustering algorithms with speed and cluster quality as the primary metric for evaluation we settled for a hybrid approach that used both K-means and agglomerative hierarchical clustering. K-means, because of its run-time efficiency and agglomerative hierarchical clustering because of the cluster quality. While our initial motivation was to find similar conversations in a given geographical area, we have also started using it to recommend conversations and articles the user is most interested in.
At Circus Social, promoting the best ideas not only pampers our love for an open culture but also helps drive an innovative culture that constantly challenges the status quo. As a social media analytics company, we have developed a similar wavelength for Data Science.
From where it all began in the early days of social listening-, to today’s culmination of intelligence, data science & machine learning-, we are truly excited at the possibilities of what the future of 20/Twenty holds for us, our team and our clients.
There are more than 1,000,000 engagements about the luxury space occurring every day in the social media and digital ecosystem.
This is where word-of-mouth takes the form of reviews, customer support is expected in real-time and where brand messaging and consumer communications play a very strong role. Hence, this is exactly why listening and actively tracking what consumers share about your brand matters the most.
Luxury merchandise, spanning across jewelry, cosmetics, apparel, automotive to even custom designed furniture and handmade electronics – all have a consumer base that’s actively conducting research and contemplating their high-end purchases online.
This is also where consumer conversations left untracked can take a turn for the worse.
BRAND SENTIMENT GONE WRONG CAN HAVE IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE
To share an example, Burberry recently faced extreme criticism online for destroying a great deal of merchandise to avoid it being sold at a lower cost. This resulted in high volumes of negative consumer sentiment and criticism online via blogs, forums and even on the brand’s own online properties such as its Facebook page.
The news and negative sentiment around this matter continue to spread and this could potentially result in a loss of millions for the brand, if not addressed well in time.
Such instances can cause an irreversible damage to your brand perception by consumers if not dealt with immediately and with the right messaging.
BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF WHAT YOUR CONSUMERS ARE SAYING – AND TURN THEM INTO POSITIVE OPPORTUNITIES
By actively tracking consumer sentiments and receiving real-time alerts, you can preemptively prepare for customer service issues, brand reputation incidents and communicate well to your audience.
Identifying what these conversations are all about is not the only aspect that is crucial, but also understanding where audiences are engaging the most and exchanging their views.
IDENTIFY WHERE YOUR CONSUMERS ENGAGE ONLINE – LEVERAGE THESE PLATFORMS
Luxury automotive brand, BMW, known for its innovativeness and performance, has consistently engaged its consumers. This is done frequently online via various digital touchpoints, immersive website experiences and digital campaigns such as the Z4 AR campaign and the recent “Eyes on Gigi” campaign.
These initiatives not only engage consumers online but also fortify the luxury car brand’s perceptions among its consumers.
Another luxury beauty retailer, SKII Japan, leveraged online discussions to create a futuristic in-store experience. The experience, called SKII Future X, allowed consumers to feel, touch and experience their SKII products in a unique way including skin scanners and personalized skin maintenance recommendations.
DISCOVER AUDIENCE GROUPS & THEIR PREFERENCES
Understanding the digital behavior of your consumers and understanding who & what they engage with, is necessary to ensure you are creating content that resonates.
They also offer you a means to discover new audience groups, identify current gaps and opportunities and discover which features or attributes they care about most.
With 20/Twenty, our next-gen social monitoring solution, Kinder was able to dive deep into the chocolate industry and discover insights about what consumers felt about Kinder products. The brand was not only able to identify key chocolate consumption moments but also how other chocolate brands like Ferrero and Cadbury were being perceived by consumers. This allowed Kinder to create effective and memorable content for moms and teenagers, that was differentiated, targeted and built ground-up from real consumer insights.
THERE’S MORE TO DISCOVER WITH SOCIAL LISTENING – EXPLORE THEM HERE!