The power of insight and the danger of misdirection: The highs & lows of Social Media

April 18, 2017

This month we had the pleasure of sponsoring the CGA Peach Consumer Insight & Marketing Conference which attracted a stellar line-up of big names and brands from the food and drink world. A key theme was the power and increasing importance of insight to help businesses survive and thrive in a sector with an abundance of both pressure and opportunity.

Social Media Listening and Text Analytics are valuable tools but are only part of the solution

The power of Social Media is well documented. Numerous cases over the years have highlighted how both negative and positive posts about an experience can directly affect brands. Take the examples below.

Social Media ListeningIn the images below we can see a real world case of the extremes of posting on Social Media; on the one hand, if the brand does something wrong, the customer will take to social media with images and post about their bad service.

The other post shows that customers will still post about a positive experience that they have had; there will rarely be a post in the middle ground.

Text analytics, either integrated within social media or within short feedback surveys, also helps balance a desire not to over-burden or over-survey with the need for useful insight. For a business to reach the right strategic decisions, it is vital to gain a broad understanding of the customer experience.

In our work with major industry brands, our multi-channel feedback programmes ensure a well-rounded and robust customer view. Encompassing both the more vocal customers at the extremes, alongside those in the middle who are of course likely to be tempted elsewhere if their experience cannot be raised from good to great.

Ignore the every day and focus on impact

Through text analytics, we can not only quantify comments into themes and strength of feeling but also identify new issues quickly, so our clients can take swift action. There is, however, a danger that analysis based only on what is most common will miss what may have the most impact on future behaviour.

Consider whether relatively common feedback on wait times are ‘more important’ for instance than potentially less common mentions of if/how staff dealt with the situation. These are important questions that we cannot answer by relying solely on what’s top of mind in the moment.

By using a blend of carefully selected actionable measures alongside quantified text analytics; we can use implicit analysis techniques to uncover the true drivers of future behaviour and avoid misdirecting resource and effort.

While it may be ‘fashionable’ to suggest a silver bullet one question survey; a better balance can be struck via an engaging survey design that is an extension of the brand/s image and combines the richness of textual feedback with succinct, relevant key questions to facilitate more informed directional insight.