Social Listening Can Help Companies Move Forward from the Pandemic 

Over the past several years, new monitoring tools have been developed and refined to help companies “listen” in on all those conversations taking place on the world wide web. And it’s a lot of conversations – on Twitter alone, more than half a million posts are shared every day, while nearly 100 million Instagram posts are made daily. 

And right now, monitoring posts on these and other social media channels, discussion boards, blogs, news sites and other online forums could be an important factor for how companies move forward beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are already seeing that quarantine is changing the news, social media and shopping habits of people thanks to a poll by telecom company, HarrisX.

A few notable points in the poll revealed: 

  • 90% of Americans are following news about the coronavirus pandemic; 
  • 36% of shoppers are planning to do so online; 
  • Spending across essential categories such as groceries, household care products, and fresh food are expected to increase, along with spending on preventative health items, vitamins, and medical supplies; 
  • Most other categories (except for streaming services) are expected to see decreases in spending, and restaurants and travel are going to take massive hits; and 
  • In categories such as entertainment and video games, men are willing to spend more in the coming months on most consumer spending categories.

These are pretty enlightening facts for businesses, but through social listening, what if we can dig even deeper to better understand what people are thinking and saying?

What if we can determine specific conversations people are having, or key words people are using in association with brands and products, or even your reputation, and how they are being affected by COVID-19? 

Although the long-term implications of the coronavirus aren’t known, tools like Hootsuite, SproutHubspot, and Mention can give businesses quantitative and qualitative data on potential opportunities. 

These may include: 

  • Enhancing or revising communications outreach 
  • Shifting key messages, 
  • Crafting more relevant social media or blog content; 
  • Reaching new target audiences 
  • Increasing followers on social media 
  • Finding new ways support your customers, and 
  • Identifying areas of weakness or potential issues 

For example, social listening can highlight commonly used words that people use in regards to your brand, or it can tell you out of a thousand posts about your products, 65 percent of them were positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the flipside, social listening tools could tell you that 35 percent of posts were neutral or negative, and why, during the pandemic – maybe lack of customer service; poor communications; limited contact with staff; or products were unavailable.

This information can be used to continue building a relationship with the consumers who discussed your brand positively, while also allowing you to shift your approach with communications to focus on the areas that need improvement and engage with those customers who viewed your brand negatively during quarantine. 

As we work through the pandemic, it will also be essential to identify potential threats and issues that may lay ahead for your brand or your industry. Through the use of a social listening tool, one can hone in these budding crises with greater clarity, allowing you to prepare for, mitigate or even prevent them before they occur.

Taking the time now to understand how your brand and reputation are viewed during the quarantine, could provide a major benefit to you, your employees and your customers once we reopen.  

 

For additional information and communications support during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit Xenophon Strategies COVID-19 Crisis Response Team webpage at: https://xenophonstrategies.com/covid-19-response.

Getting Back to Work is an ongoing series on health and safety regarding COVID-19 from Xenophon Strategies, in partnership with Dr. David Hamer, a professor at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine with more than 30 years of experience in epidemiological diseases. Through the partnership Xenophon is working with Dr. Hamer to provide science-based recommendations and guidance on how employers, employees, and families should best respond to and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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