How to Get Consumer Insights Actionable Through Social Media Intelligence


No more passive listening to social media, instead to the intelligent use of social data to reveal useful and relevant consumer insights.

The buzz first focused on monitoring, then listening, analytics before gradually turning to social media intelligence more recently.

The reason behind this change reflects the maturity of a still immature sector. The aspect of “how many times has my brand been mentioned” may still be useful in some cases, but it is now one of the many ways to use social data.

The big difference was the transition to the discovery of consumer insights to guide the company’s actions.

Although technology has contributed to this change, it has mainly been driven by the intelligent and creative use of social data by companies.

The analysis was combined with contextualization. The distribution of information has been improved to quickly deliver insights to relevant teams. Categorization has given meaning to huge volumes of data.

“Everyone talks about Big Data but Big Data n ‘ is not important in itself. What l ‘ is c ‘ is to find the data that adds value, the useful data. ” John Hunter, Head of Digital and Social Media Manager at EDF Energy.

What Is Social Media Intelligence?

Social media intelligence can be seen as a form of research that provides concrete insights to consumers using social data.

The general remoteness of vanity measures has been accompanied by a diversification of traditional uses in marketing.

Social media intelligence comes from varied methods illustrated in various sectors of activity. Thus, it becomes an asset stronger and stronger for businesses of all kinds.

Crossing datasets from different sources can enrich information by providing concrete insights that would have remained hidden with more traditional search methods.

Automating and distributing the data gives the right information to the right team quickly.

Holistic Consumer Insights

A renowned pharmaceutical company has discovered new insights by observing their audience regardless of brand.

This example demonstrates the transition from social media listening to social media intelligence: instead of following the mentions on their products, the brand has tried to understand its audience by using an approach focused on individuals.

This company wanted to understand the issues that most concerned patients when choosing an HIV treatment.

The biased answers can distort the results of an investigation on a topic as sensitive as this one; this is why the team in charge decided to complete the existing survey of health professionals with social data.

Previously, the results of offline research led pharmaceutical companies to focus their efforts on increasing the lifespan of people with HIV.

However, by analyzing spontaneous patient-to-patient conversations on forums, it was discovered that what concerned the patients the most was the risk of transmissions to their loved ones.

This discovery has changed the direction of treatment development and marketing messages.

Real Consumer Insights

Fashion e-retailer Say- “Asos” wanted to better understand the needs and interests of its loyal customers.

The brand only looked at people who mentioned Asos repeatedly over a period of time, then segmented the data by city, demographics, and occupation.

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This segmentation highlighted strong differences between the United Kingdom and the United States markets.

The share of students in the audience was much higher in the UK which could explain why the UK audience was active later in the day compared to the US audience.

This insight allowed the brand to align their social media activity with that of the audience; which is vital when consumers expect a quick response on social networks.

When she spoke of Asos, the US audience often mentioned celebrity events and celebrities. In the UK, the fashion blog was often mentioned alongside words related to emotions.

This information allowed for a personalized approach to these two markets. In the UK, partnering with influential bloggers would offer a better return than sponsoring a star or event; and vice versa in the United States.

Fashion discussions outside the brand focused mainly on clothing in the US, while in the UK, audience interest also turned to accessories, beauty and fashion blogs.

So, putting your finger on the differences between markets is an excellent opportunity to generate more sales.

Combine the Data

Another example is an ice cream brand that has attempted to map its sales based on meteorological data. Despite some preliminary testing, it was difficult to find anything solid enough to act on it.

Most of the commercial data led to weekly shopping purchases rather than to the timing of consumers choosing the product.

The brand has therefore decided to combine business and weather data with conversations on social media; in particular references to consumers trying to eat ice cream brand. These mentions were identified by looking for expressions such as “I am going to eat”, “I just finished eating” and other forms of language expressing the act of eating.

Analysts then discovered that this brand of ice cream was often consumed at home in front of a movie during a rainy weekend.

Before this research, the hypothesis was that ice was consumed in hot, sunny weather. This insight highlighted new marketing opportunities such as changing the advertising message or adjusting advertising expenses according to the weather for example.

All of these examples demonstrate that the use of social data is becoming more and more creative.

Whether it’s to look at an audience from another angle or to combine data to reveal insights, the pathways to the insight that brings real value to the business are diverse and varied.

From our exchanges with professionals, it is clear that the passive listening of social media is beautiful and gone, social data must be used intelligently.

Also published on Medium.