How listening to online conversations helps brands improve their communications
1st February 2013
Communicating well on social network sites demands an understanding of the types of conversations that people are having, the kind of language they use and how they engage each other. This means listening. One way to do this is to follow a specific topic. Recently, social media research firm Crimson Hexagon analysed conversations relating to the subjects of flu and Norovirus.
The study analysed over 140,000 relevant social media posts and found that:
- 49 per cent of Facebook and Twitter users expressed having the Norovirus or the flu.
- 16 per cent of users provided strategies and ideas around avoiding the bug.
- 15 per cent of users shared news items about the flu or Norovirus.
- 15 per cent joked about “man flu” and other similar humour.
- 5 per cent shared comments about friends, family or colleagues being ill.
Detailed flu opinion graph
Source: Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform
Discussing how such types of research are of value to the PR industry, Wayne St Amand, VP of marketing at Crimson Hexagon says: “The monitor we ran around the flu/Norovirus was a particularly interesting one to analyse, given how timely the topic was and the sheer volume of people in the UK that were unwell or talking about the illness. We analysed more than 140,000 posts in order to capture the conversation, taking sentiment from both Twitter and Facebook.
“One of the key things we learn from listening and understanding these online conversations is how brands should correctly identify their target audiences, and develop key marketing and PR strategies to engage with them on a large scale while accurately addressing their needs. Metrics must be broken down and key performance indicators correctly identified in order to garner actionable insight. It’s no use developing campaigns that won’t resonate. Therefore, in order to make meaningful business decisions, information must be qualified, understood and redirected where applicable.
“Having an effective social media strategy can provide real-time engagement as consumers continue to take to the online world to express thoughts, feelings and concerns. Combined with a deep understanding of a brand and its messaging, PR campaigns that integrate social listening tools with more traditional techniques are a powerful and effective method for generating buzz and awareness. For example, PR agencies are able to provide clients with insight into product successes or failures, and in instances of crisis they will allow for brands to gauge audience reaction and correctly identify responses.”
These findings come from Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform, which analysed 145,083 social media posts related to flu/Norovirus conversations.