Why social listening needs to go hand in hand with data mining

From creating a personalised strategy to putting out the fire when crisis’ hits, all of these are made possible when you listen in and monitor the conversations your consumers are having.

During the Digital Marketing Malaysia 2016 conference, Nando’s Chickenland Malaysia’s marketing director Chai Hui Fung highlighted the importance of social media listening in any organisation.

According to Sakshi Prakash, senior social media expert and analyst, who last worked on the team with Lenovo, not only does social listening aid in brand perception externally, but also is a great way to get employers understanding employee sentiments.

“You can listen to anything and everything. It can be as broad or as narrow as you want it to be,” Prakash (pictured) said. She added that while marketing and communications are often the largest stake holders to any social media listening, there are many other benefits to the act of listening in to conversations around your organisations.

“Listening in can undoubtedly add value to various functions in an organisation. Social listening has the ability to impact product, services, strategy and even HR. It helps companies understand perception of an organisation as an employer and the current reputation of the organisation as an attractive employer,” she added.

Moreover, accurately listening in on consumer conversation can also shape the type of products a company needs to create to be future ready. Nisa Seah, business development lead at RadiumOne added that social listening is integral to creating an always on strategy for marketers.

“The rise of social media, it is not just brands just talking to consumer – it is a two way conversation which is cyclical in nature.  As such managing owned earned and paid media is more important in the world of social,” Seah explained.

But this means nothing if a marketer is not able to track what customers are saying about your content and make sense of the data out there. Marketers must actively know who is watching their content and what they feel about the campaign. Only then, can an optimised campaign strategy be created.

The biggest misconception out there, Seah explained, is that social refers to public social domains such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. While these contribute a chunk of social data out there, one-on-one chat rooms, Skype, e-mail, group chat messages have an equally important part to play when it comes to understanding a customer portfolio.

Today there are plenty of tools in the market place to get brand managers started on their social listening and monitoring journey. Nonetheless, the difficulty remains in cleaning up the dark data to create a centralised system to help marketers spot consumer trends and work better with all external agency partners. Seah said:

More often than not, your agency partners are not talking to each other. The data collected is fragmented and so it is harder to spot trends. That is why you need a centralised system.

Agreeing to the point was Aimia Malaysia’s lead consultant Tee Yan Ven. As daunting as it might be to make sense of data, it would only help to make your messaging more targeted in the long run, she added.

“Information helps bridge gaps. If I am looking for a certain kind of product and your messaging offers a completely different category of product, it would end up impacting my impression of your brand” said Tee.

But the positive sign in data collection evolution today, added Tee, is that companies are no longer using a “spray and pray” technique and are in fact becoming more segmented in their approach. The next frontier to push would be in using more analytics, automation and segmentation strategies in their marketing road maps, she concluded.

AdParlour’s David Ho, director of key accounts, also added that with the likes of social TV picking up, mass targeting is now moving to precision targeting.

“People now look for content no matter what the platform. The more control you give to the Malaysian consumers, the more receptive they are to your advertisements,” he said adding it is no longer how cheap you can buy the ad, it is about how receptive your ads are.


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