Why social listening is a critical spend right now?

Crisis calls for strategic adaptation, and Social listening might be the only way to do it.

The novel coronavirus is the unshakable truth that this lockdown will continue to loom over our lives like an impending sense of doom. While this can also mean ‘lesser handshakes and more video calls’, if you’re a businessman, the digital migration of both your business and your customers should have already happened. Now that you’re here, what have you thought about how your brand is to strategically adapt in the digital realm, where CX management is completely redefined?

Customer sentiment is legitimately changing market structures by the hour. Recently, Cultfit promoted a month-long free trial of live fitness classes to emphasize two things: One – That fitness really is an essential commodity, and two – you don’t need to be in a gym to experience the workout you need. That right there was a brand strategically adapting to a crisis. In fact, Mckinsey’s (April 2020 report shows a global increase of 80% to 250% in new signups and fitness app downloads during the recent months. The same study showed that in Italy alone, one of the worst-hit areas of Covid19, there is a 40-50% increase in the use of Facebook to reach out to brands.

Most large-scale industries have already shifted their communication from direct advertising to pushing out marketing material relevant to the crisis. For example, Zomato went from advertising offers and discounts to focusing on hygienic delivery – something that they have never had to do before. Their consistent online presence and quick action have made adapting to a crisis very smooth. However, adaptation also requires monitoring. Are your efforts being paid off in the large digital realm of customers? This is where the role of Social Listening Tools really matters.

Social listening can offer a robust picture of not just your customer’s behaviors, but also the behavior of your competitors. How has the competition been affected by the crisis, and what are they doing differently to stay afloat, or even succeed? Unveiling your concerns about share-of-voice in a crisis like this may not actually be a bad thing. Many brands push out content highlighting their support and adjustments to their customers online hoping they are still a fan-favorite. When you benchmark against the competition online, you stand to compare how the target group responds to your competition’s communication as opposed to yours. You know what areas the competition is faring well, and what areas they aren’t. Knowing the kind of engagement, you and your competition receive right now is critical, and social listening tools are designed to relay such information.

Social Listening, is directly integrated with point-of-sale systems that can really boost business intelligence. Take the pharmaceutical industry for example – traditionally a retail-driven industry will have to shift its operations from offline to online. Pharma Sales can use social listening tools to not just integrate with their customer base through CRM facilities, but also engage with digital communities for new insights and keep an eye out for potential leads. As a pharma brand, it would be an onus to curb misinformation about Covid19, fake medical solutions, and the general fear of the pandemic. Additionally, it would be in the brand’s interest to know what their customers are saying about your product category, liaising with your vendor partners, feedback on medicinal delivery, the status of operations, and much more.

An interesting change to the notice is also Influencer behavior. Ever since customers have limited purchases to mostly essentials, the influencer market has had to rethink adjusting to value marketing. In times of need, it seems evident to people that those who are interested in profitability might not rise from this crisis, even after it fades away. Social Listening tools
help you drive strategic partnerships and form effective engagement ties with those who are relevant to your current communication and adaptation strategy. Influencer communication in this crisis is certainly important and knowing where to invest is highly critical.

There are many advantages to investing in social listening platforms during the covid19 crisis, but most essential of them all is the knowledge of what your business can or cannot handle. Your brand will gain the power of preparing for whatever turn of events may come in the unexpected and untamed bracket of time. Social listening is a critical investment, and for many businesses, a life-source that they cannot do without.

Nishevita Aiyer
Client Relationship Manager
Locobuzz Solutions Pvt Ltd