Does Your Social Media Monitoring Lack Passion?
By Sourabh Sharma
A recent case study took social media research beyond simple monitoring to uncover actionable insights from online conversations featuring ubiquitous chocolate brands like Hershey’s and competitive niche chocolate brands like Toblerone. Researchers set out to learn more about the competitive landscape and perceived identity of each chocolate brand—not only how many times each brand was mentioned, but the actual sentiment and passion behind the comments.
Social media listening (as opposed to monitoring) enables brands to measure the positivity and strength of conversations, as well as the relative volume of conversations regarding certain brands. In this case, strength could also be described as passion. How passionately does a consumer speak about their love or contempt for a particular brand or experience? By failing to consider the strength of a statement, many social media monitoring programs are missing important nuances and valuable insights.
The findings of this study showed that brands occupying a smaller share of conversational volume were talked about with more positivity and passion, while more “talked about” brands were often regarded with less passion. These talked about brands are more negatively perceived regarding key elements of taste or fun—both critical factors in the enjoyment of chocolate bars. This disparity between the perceived and intended identity of a brand is crucial. For some brands, the difference is negligible; for others it virtually undermines the brand foundation. Empowered by this reality check, a brand can create and deploy strategies to close the gap and mitigate the volume of conflicting conversations.
Spontaneous conversations over the Internet provide a candid, honest, and real-time view of consumer perceptions—but only if you’re truly listening.