What We Learned from NetBase Live

In late 2019, hundreds of social listening experts came together in New York for NetBase Live. NetBase, our social listening tool of choice, hosted a full day of presentations from major brands and agencies (ourselves included!), covering innovative new technologies and products, the latest best practices, compelling success stories and expert tips. We came back energized and ready to take our social listening to the next level. Here are three key lessons we learned, plus a bonus from our presentation:

Social Stories With Human Interaction Pop

Keynote speaker Chris Malone set the stage for a common theme throughout the conference – we are in the age of the human brand. With more data comes less loyalty from consumers, and consumers are looking for more from their brands in order to stay loyal to them. In fact, Malone performed 10 different studies to evaluate over 45 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Hershey’s, Domino’s, Lululemon, Zappos, Amazon, Chobani, and Sprint, showing how they manage to achieve success and sustain it, even recovering from major missteps. The answer? The companies that achieve customer loyalty do so by forging genuine relationships with customers. Using social listening, you find that stories that rise to the surface deal with human interaction – not something automated online.

Lesson Learned: Warmth & compassion is what moves us – this is where loyalty, trust and commitment come from. While you leverage data, understand that in this era of marketing, every human is a brand and every brand is a human.

You Can’t Get an Answer Without a Question

Researchers are constantly asked by their coworkers what’s going on in a certain industry or what is a certain demographic simply “talking about”. While these kinds of asks can sometimes be insightful, it’s imperative to ask a more direct question based on business objectives to provide a valuable answer. Many companies have put processes into place to make this approach actionable for all employees and the benefits are tangible in the work they do.

Lesson Learned: In order to most effectively utilize social data, have a strong idea of what you want to understand first. This will yield more actionable brand insights.

Align on Core Values to Make Social Responses More Effective

Hotwire gave a fantastic presentation on high stakes leadership in a post-B2B world, touching on the impact that aligning on core values can have on a company. The world we live in is predictably unpredictable, but one thing we know via social listening is that values drive choice. For instance, 76% of consumers make an effort to buy products and services in line with their beliefs. What’s more, 82% of people would consider dropping a brand if it worked with a partner or vendor who didn’t align with their beliefs. This spans into crisis communication and addressing missteps. Over 90% of people would stop using a brand if they ignored or didn’t address an issue that violated their company beliefs. We’ve heard time and time again the in past few years; it’s clear consumers want brands to take a stand; but, brands need to have strong value alignment first. To get prepared:

  1. Check your mission
  2. Pressure test your values
  3. Ensure you have value-based communications
  4. Prep your C-Suite

Lesson Learned: If you don’t have a solid foundation in your values, you’re going to weather a storm – and few companies are prepared to weather that storm. Take necessary steps to align on value-based communication and prepare for potential crises.

BONUS! Social Listening Can Impact Influencer Marketing Every Step of the Way

With influencer marketing spend increasing to over $10 billion in 2020, it’s imperative to understand how to use the tools at your disposal to aid in discovering influencers, tracking their work and proving their impact on brand health. We spoke to the crowd at NetBase Live about our approach to influencer marketing and how to utilize social listening at every step of the influencer process. From utilizing social listening to identify unlikely influencers to measuring the impact of influencer content on brand health, NetBase offers our team a wealth of information to strengthen influencer programs.

Lesson Learned: Social data can add texture to any program. For influencer work, there are opportunities to leverage social listening throughout the entire process to bolster performance and uncover insights.

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