Social media can connect brands directly to the consumers they want to reach. Gone are the days when companies had to rely on surveys to assess how consumers respond to their products and marketing strategies. Now, using powerful social listening tools, brands can analyze the conversation on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to determine who is responding to their content and how.

Social listening tools enable companies to gather and manage data feeds from brand-relevant online conversations to generate consumer insights. This could involve news stories, blogs, online reviews, or posts on social media platforms.

What are Social Listening Tools?

Social listening tools enable companies to gather and analyze data from brand-relevant online conversations to generate consumer insights. This could involve news stories, blogs, online reviews, or posts on social media platforms.

There are a variety of social listening tools available, most of which utilize sentiment analysis, AI-powered technology that can analyze the emotional tone of images and text posted online. For example, NetBase Quid AI uses sentiment analysis to assign brand relevant topics with Net Sentiment ratings from -100 to 100; these ratings are based on whether the sentiment expressed in posts is negative or positive, as well as the strength of the emotions expressed.

Companies can use these ratings to assess how consumers feel about their brand or about topics that are adjacent to their brand’s messaging. They can also gather ratings for specific audience segments grouped according to demographic categories or by shared interest.

For example, a company could use NetBase Quid’s social listening tools to monitor differences in its brand’s Net Sentiment scores between Gen Z and Gen X consumers. A lower Net Sentiment score among Gen Z consumers could suggest a need to adjust messaging and advertising channels, while a higher score among Gen X consumers could suggest that the company should lean into the strategies that are reaching that demographic.

In addition, a company could track its customers’ Net Sentiment toward broader concepts that may be relevant to future messaging, such as sustainability or activism.

Measuring Campaign Effectiveness

While companies often use social listening tools to generate ideas for future campaigns, tools such as sentiment analysis continue to be valuable once a campaign has launched. AI-based social listening tools can sort through large amounts of data quickly, providing ongoing feedback on how consumers are responding to a campaign.

We’ve already seen how a brand might grouping Net Sentiment ratings by demographic categories or shared interests to determine future marketing strategies. This grouping process, known as audience segmentation, is also effective in measuring campaign success at a more fine-grained level. Measuring the response of specific groups of consumers to specific products, advertisements, or other brand-produced content allows companies to determine who they are reaching and who they are not.

This information is useful in redirecting resources to channels that are more likely to reach the consumers with whom the campaign has not initially connected. For example, if the product emphasized in the campaign is not generating conversation or positive sentiment among younger consumers, a brand might reposition its approach to direct more attention to channels popular with that demographic, such as TikTok.

Social Listening Tools and the Next Generation of Consumer Research

AI-powered social listening tools have advanced consumer research capabilities in terms of the amount of data available, the speed at which it can be analyzed, and the level of detailed analysis that can be achieved. These capabilities empower companies with actionable information and the agility to implement adjustments quickly.

As social listening tools continue to improve with the advancement of AI, brands that utilize these tools stand to continue to plan and measure campaigns more effectively.

Infographic created by News Exposure, Trusted Media Monitoring and Analysis Services

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