Another year into the pandemic demonstrated yet again that more people are online.
According to Statista, 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media last year, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. In the U.S., 82 percent of the populace have a social profile, up from 2 percent last year.
It’s also very crowded on social. About 500 million tweets are posted each day on Twitter. That’s about 200 billion tweets a year. And every day, 400+ hours of content are added to YouTube, which already has well over a billion videos.
The numbers are staggering. A recent blog post from SocialPilot titled “367 Social Media Statistics You Must Know in 2022” puts important social media usage trends into perspective.
All this may seem overwhelming for any brand or organization looking to develop an online social presence. A common mistake we find is that these companies usually do not do the necessary preliminary research: listening.
There’s a difference between social monitoring and social listening, although they work hand-in-hand. Data is pulled and analyzed to better understand a target audience so that effective messaging is used to help a company or brand stand out from what has become what seems like an infinite-amount of social posting.
But how does an organization get started? It’s not that complicated, really. There are lots of options. Here are a few suggestions:
Surveys. Any organization can use polling to glean key trends relevant to a company or brand. Surveys vary in cost depending on size, scope and the audience of respondents, whether they are consumers or CEOs. Asking insightful questions will produce even better results.
Media audits. Knowing a specific reporter won’t necessarily get a story published, but having good relationships with journalists may be used to get unbiased insight into a company, brand or trend. Obviously, this takes time but something to consider when developing press contacts.
Investor perceptions audits. If a company is publicly traded, perception studies are a great way to learn what Wall Street really thinks about an equity. Interviews with shareholders and financial analysts, along with a review of press coverage and social media can yield valuable insights that create stronger narratives that can help address concerns and enhance valuations.
Google. There are other search engines, but all roads still lead to Google. Heck, it’s the Internet. There is an infinite amount of data that can be searched, categorized and indexed on practically any topic or subject matter. That said, it’s the Web, so proceed with caution.
Social media. To follow or be followed, that is the question. Perhaps in the context of this blog it may be the former. Social platforms are where brands engage with key audiences. A lot can be learned by just “sitting back” and listening to learn more about what people are saying about current issues. There are lots of social media tracking and monitoring software programs on the market. Be advised, however, that while many people are on social media, take into consideration silent majorities that may alter broad consensus.
There are many other tactics for obtaining important feedback. The key is to be creative, and most undertakings can be done under the proverbial radar with minimal cost. Adopting listening campaigns before the launch of any major marketing or communications campaign is a great first step to align proper messaging with goals and objectives.
And it’s not just for larger campaigns and initiatives, but for day-to-day communications as well.. Know thy customer, otherwise communicating may be an exercise in futility, especially in the super noisy world of social media. Better connect with consumers, investors, businesses, customers and partners by knowing what they want and what’s important to them, so that more on-point messaging can be crafted and implemented.
Studies suggest how effective talking points can increase positive responses. Better messaging means better results. A little listing can go a long away in 2022 and certainly beyond.
George Medici, email@example.com