Retail is no longer a one-sided conversation where brands tell consumers what to think, do and buy. Today, it’s often the other way around, with customers being very vocal about what they like and dislike.
It’s no longer an option to stay out of the conversations, according to Fergus Clarke. The CEO of Lamplight Analytics shares five good reasons why every retailer needs social media analytics.
1. Customers don’t just talk to you on social media, they talk about you
Whether you choose to participate on social media or not, people are talking about you and your business online. Many retailers today will maintain dialogue on Facebook, WeChat, Instagram and other platforms through their own pages and accounts. However, the vast majority of conversations about brands happen outside of brand’s own page.
2. Your competitors are generating leads through social media
Retailers that were quick to adopt online search as part of their sales strategy saw massive returns. The idea that targeted, relevant advertisement is displayed to people when they make relevant online searches is at the core of any digital strategy and has changed how retailers conduct marketing utterly in the last 15 years.
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Social is now ready to generate a similar shift. With the ability to see when people are soliciting recommendations, commenting on the desirability of specific products or comparing competitors, retailers are now able to make direct offers to people at the point of consideration.
3. The ability to reach massive audiences with influencers
Today, the largest online celebrities command several million followers around the world, but may have never graced a magazine cover, gone on a talk show or even left their respective countries.
These influencers have already built an audience of advocates and if you find the right ones, you have a very cost-effective way to reach an audience who already have an affinity with your brand.
4. It’s a real way to measure your marketing ROI
There are as many different formulas for measuring marketing ROI as there are marketing directors. Surveys, clicks, CTA responses, focus groups, etc. all have their own particular strengths and weaknesses.
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By measuring over time how many people are talking about your brand, what attributes they associate with it and how positively disposed (or otherwise) they are you can examine the impact of your marketing activities in generating real conversations about your brand.
5. The ability to listen to your customers in real-time
Technology has created an environment where we are hyperconnected, especially around the communities that matter most to us. It has never been easier for people to share their opinions on everything from in-store experiences to specific SKUs and they do … constantly.
By monitoring these conversations, you can get data to support decisions such as your next geographic expansion based on latent demand to the impact of your ongoing advertising campaign.
Fergus Clarke is a market researcher by trade and CEO of Lamplight Analytics, a tool that harnesses the power of social media analytics to help brands and retailers understand everything that is being said about their business, customers, industry and competitors online in real-time. He has held senior research positions in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, most recently as Head of Research in North Asia for PR giant, Edelman.