January 06, 2015

Using Social Media Insights to Craft More Engaging, Timely Content

Customer feedback is among the most valuable commodities in business, as it shapes every facet of operations from product development to customer service. Marketers, in particular, covet information about consumers’ preferences, concerns and opinions, as it allows them to create content that directly addresses customer interests.

In the past, the only way to glean information about customer sentiment was to conduct surveys or focus groups, both of which present major obstacles. Besides inconveniencing customers, survey questions—no matter how open-ended—will almost always limit the range of customers’ feedback. What’s more, responses can take weeks or months to gather, meaning by the time you have the insight you are seeking, customer opinions may already have changed.

Fortunately, today’s marketers have a “secret weapon” for gathering customer feedback that solves these problems: social media.

Rather than having to ask consumers to spend time filling out surveys or attending focus groups, social media offers marketers insights that customers are volunteering on their own. That’s an important distinction, because research from OpinionLab suggests that 66 percent of customers prefer to give feedback by actively reaching out. Furthermore, if these consumers are taking time out of their busy schedules to post questions or comments on social sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can be sure they feel strongly about whatever they are addressing. 

Combing social media feeds for comments and questions related to your respective industry gives you a more accurate view of what consumers are thinking and feeling. In turn, marketers can create more compelling content by creating blogs, eNewsletters, podcasts or videos on the “hot” topics they see trending on social sites. For instance, if a marketer working for a fashion retail business sees that the hashtag #springfashion is trending on Twitter—and is stirring a lively debate about what fashions will be popular this spring—the marketer can join in on the conversation by creating a blog or video offering his or her own predictions.    

Social media also allows for real-time insight into customer sentiment, which makes creating relevant, timely content a much easier proposition. Marketers have a number of analytics tools at their fingertips that they can use to capture consumer data related to customer attitudes, opinions and concerns. So instead of having to wait weeks or months to determine customer sentiment, marketers can access this information instantaneously and craft content accordingly. Additionally, social media allows for a much broader sample of consumer feedback, as surveys and focus groups are largely confined to existing customers.    

Social media opens up a bold new world for marketers charged with content creation—if you are willing to leverage it. And considering how much time you’ve spent chasing customer feedback to use for content creation already, the only logical question to ask is: Why wouldn’t you? 

Are you looking for more ideas about how to craft better content? Click here for additional reading.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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