Discover the Power of Social Listening in the
New Normal


What is Social Listening? While the term is often used interchangeably with Social Monitoring, there are key differences between the two concepts. Social Monitoring is the practice of tracking comments and exchanges about your brand within existing channels and taking direct action to respond to them. Social LISTENING, HOWEVER, REFERS to the full spectrum of comments and exchanges around your brand online—including tracking of competitors and broader industry trends. When used effectively, Social Listening can be a vital tool to better understand your target audience and help your brand make more informed decisions.

While it’s already common practice for major brands, trends have shown that any brand can benefit from Social Listening—now more than ever. The pandemic has drastically altered routines and perspectives of people around the globe. As a result, brands need to recalibrate to the New Normal and how it affects consumer behavior.


Here are three tips on the potential for Social Listening to help your brand navigate the New Normal:

1.  The Right Tone of Voice: Finding the right way to speak to your customers during such an unprecedented time can be tricky. COVID-19 represents a mini-PR crisis for nearly every brand, and yet some have risen to the challenge and turned the pandemic into a successful branding opportunity. So, what’s right for your brand? Advertising less? Expressing humanity and supporting charities? Do you strike an upbeat tone or lean on empathy? Social Listening allows brands to conduct sentiment analysis—on a wider scale than Social Monitoring alone—to swiftly detect negative comments and social noise that require immediate attention. Public sentiment can change in the blink of an eye, and Social Listening empowers you to move just as swiftly with marketing decisions based on hard data.


2. New Keywords: Social Listening helps brands stay ahead of the curve and shift strategy in advance to refine their searches, which can be especially useful in these unpredictable times. Social Listening tracks and collects data to identify the top keywords, from variations of brand names to product nicknames across different markets. Groupe SEB, the French cookware manufacturer, has deployed Social Listening tool during the pandemic, and it helped the brand to identify new cluster of trends online and steers the direction of its content strategy accordingly. Keywords like bread-making”, “cooking with kids”, and “batch cooking” are surging in popularity. Over the past few months, keywords like work from home, lounge pants and home-schooling have also increased exponentially, and sales in segments like home décor and home improvement have skyrocketed. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to listen to how your customers are using search engines.

3. New Localization Strategy: The pandemic has affected different regions in different ways, which means reevaluating your localization strategy is more important than ever. For example, the pandemic has hit the US and Europe much harder than some other regions. In the US, outdoor activities like picnics and biking during warmer weather were a major marketing focus for retailers. Meanwhile, in China, consumers have turned to Revenge Spending to make up for the long days spent in lockdown. Against this backdrop, Social Listening has become the secret weapon for many brands to thrive in local markets like China—from reducing social noise, assessing campaign performances on a daily basis, and gauging the effectiveness of pricing adjustments. Seeking a crystal ball to predict budget spending trends and maximize your social channels? Social Listening holds the key.


There’s no denying that brand strategy in the New Normal has become a high-risk, high-reward game. Increasingly, it’s become a balancing act between caution and care on the one hand, and productivity and results on the other. Powerhouses like Amazon took hits early in the crisis when employees condemned the brand on social media for lack of proper action to protect its workforce. While gestures like donating to charity helped offset the damage from the outcry, the ultimate boost for Amazon came by keeping their delivery schedules widely on track when the need for fast home delivery was more crucial than ever. The only way to forge the right strategy for your brand is to keep your ear to the ground and stay quick on your feet. Social Listening can offer that crucial edge to help your brand adapt and thrive amid changing sentiments and consumer behavior.

For more information, get in touch—our Digital Strategy team will be delighted to assist you with your brand strategy.

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