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Inbound Marketing

How to Use Social Media as a Feedback Tool to Understand Customer Preferences

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Social listening and analytics tools reveal your customers’ preferences on social media, and these insights can help brands design content, engage audiences, and optimize marketing campaigns.

Key takeaways

  • Social listening can help you identify what customers are saying about your brand, the pain points they’re experiencing with it, and their preferences.
  • Social media platform analytics tools like Facebook Insights and X (Twitter) Analytics provide data on content performance that you can use to optimize social strategies.
  • Identifying key topics and trends through social data allows you to create targeted, high-resonance content.
  • Engaging and responding promptly to people on social platforms will help strengthen relationships and loyalty with your brand.
  • Analyzing performance metrics will better inform content variation tests and strategy adjustments to maximize results.

Authentically connecting with customers is so important for marketers. How else can a company truly understand what people want and need? 

Social media provides us with an amazing opportunity to have real conversations and form bonds with people. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (Twitter) allow you to directly interact with the people you want to reach. You’ll get to know your followers as more than just data points and see them as humans with changing opinions. 

Monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, also known as social listening, gives you a chance to take the pulse of how people actually feel about it in an honest, current way. Social media can also feel overwhelming at times! But by listening closely to your followers' feedback and observing their engagement with your brand, you gain useful insights that numbers alone can’t provide. Rather than treating social media as another marketing tool, you can foster genuine relationships by embracing its personal nature.

It takes time to master, but using social media as a feedback tool to understand customer preferences can provide a deeper understanding of your conversion rates. Here, we'll explore proven strategies to help you cut through the noise and discover key behavioral signals to optimize your marketing approach. 


Why social listening is important for brands 

Social listening involves monitoring online activity, including brand mentions, to identify what people are saying about your brand, products, or industry to others (and not directly to you). It helps you better understand your customers' sentiments, pain points, and preferences, and is an authentic way to gauge what people think of your brand. Analyzing this information helps you make data-driven decisions that improve your customers’ experiences and enhance your marketing strategies.

Looking at real-world examples may help you understand how using social media as a feedback tool can benefit your brand. We’ll take a look at how Starbucks and Nike focused on consumer pain points expressed online which helped them improve their products and marketing strategies to meet their customers' needs.


The social listening initiatives of Starbucks and Nike 

Starbucks is an excellent example of a company utilizing social media for customer feedback and understanding preferences. They actively engage with their customers on platforms like X, Facebook, and Instagram. By listening to their customers' conversations, Starbucks discovered a growing demand for dairy alternatives among coffee drinkers.

Considering this feedback, Starbucks introduced soy milk and later expanded its non-dairy options to include almond, coconut, and oat milk as mix-ins. This move not only satisfied the preferences of their existing customers but also attracted a new segment of consumers who were looking for plant-based milk alternatives. By using social listening, Starbucks successfully met the evolving needs of its target audience.

Similarly, Nike consistently monitors conversations on X and Instagram to identify trends and customer sentiment. By analyzing this data, Nike discovered a rising demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products.

In response to this feedback, the organization launched its "Move to Zero" initiative, dedicated to combating climate change and reducing its carbon footprint. This brand movement resonated strongly with their socially conscious customers and helped Nike establish a competitive advantage while positively impacting the environment. By incorporating customer feedback obtained through social listening, Nike showcased its commitment to meeting customer preferences and addressing important global issues.

Several social listening tools are available to help brands obtain insights from social media data. These tools are assets for brands that want to improve their customer experiences and grow their business. Influencer Marketing Hub’s guide reviews several tools you can use to monitor social media conversations and obtain valuable customer feedback.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of social listening and linked to tools to do it, we must review the importance of utilizing social media analytics from the built-in reporting offered by the major social networks. Social media analytics tools help you discover what content your followers like to engage with, and you can use this information when crafting your content strategy. Here’s how to leverage social analytics to enhance your social listening efforts.


Leveraging analytics features on social platforms

Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and X provide marketers with valuable insights into the clicks, shares, comments, and likes that reflect their customers’ preferences. Let's take a closer look at the analytics tools the platforms offer and how you can use them to enhance your marketing campaigns:

  1. Facebook Insights: Facebook provides a comprehensive analytics dashboard called Insights. It offers information like reach, engagement, and post-performance metrics. By analyzing this data, you can determine which types of content resonate the most with your audience and adjust your content strategy accordingly. You can also track your audience's demographics, helping you understand their preferences to tailor your messaging effectively.
  2. LinkedIn Page Analytics: LinkedIn's analytics feature allows you to track key metrics such as impressions, clicks, and engagement for your company page and individual posts. These insights can help you understand which industry-related topics generate the most interest from your audience. Additionally, LinkedIn provides demographic information about your followers, allowing you to create more targeted content that appeals to specific segments of your audience.
  3. X Analytics: X's analytics feature provides information about your tweets' performance, including impressions, engagement rate, and top-performing tweets. By leveraging this data, you can identify the type of content that resonates best with your audience and optimize your X strategy. Additionally, X Analytics allows you to monitor conversations around specific hashtags, keywords, or mentions, keeping you updated on what your customers say about your brand and industry. 

Learning about each of these tools and strategies is important, and what can really help you is to have a step-by-step guide on how to put them to work for you. Let’s get into that so you can get sizzling with your social media marketing.


Actionable steps to upgrade your marketing campaigns

Now that you understand the importance of social listening and how analytics features on social media platforms work, let's explore actionable steps to upgrade your marketing campaigns:

  1. Set up social listening tools: Use social listening tools to monitor conversations about your brand, products, and industry. These tools provide real-time data, informing you about customer preferences and sentiments.
  2. Identify key topics and trends: Analyze the data gathered through social listening to identify key topics and trends that resonate with your target audience. Focus on what your customers are discussing, the pain points they encounter, and the type of content they engage with the most.
  3. Tailor your content strategy: Develop a content strategy that aligns with your customers' preferences and addresses their pain points. Create valuable and engaging content that educates, entertains, and inspires your audience. Use the language and tone that resonates with them, ensuring consistency across all social media platforms.
  4. Engage in conversation: Actively engage with your audience on social media platforms. Respond to their comments, queries, and feedback promptly. This proves that you value their opinions and strengthens customer relationships, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy.
  5. Implement A/B testing: Use the insights gathered from social media analytics to conduct A/B testing. Experiment with different content formats, messaging, and visuals to understand which variations perform best. Continuously analyze the results and adjust your strategies accordingly to optimize your marketing campaigns. 

The methods and approaches we have outlined are grounded in analytics, research, and real-world examples. The best way to make sure your social media marketing campaigns are successful is to measure, monitor, and test them regularly. Doing so helps you build your brand’s visibility and reach.


Increase your brand's visibility and reach with social media

Understanding customer behavior and preferences is crucial for marketers seeking to create impactful and targeted campaigns. Social media provides numerous opportunities to gain valuable insights through social listening and analytics features. Using tools like Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Page Analytics, and X Analytics, you can better understand your audience and upgrade your marketing strategies. Stay connected with your customers, be responsive to their needs and sentiments, and continuously adapt your content strategy. Always keep in mind that the key to marketing success is a deep familiarity with your target audience.

Luckily, ContentBacon knows social media inside and out, so don’t fret. When you partner with us, you get social media posts (and more) that build real connections with humans and deliver sizzling results. 

Want to hear how ContentBacon can propel your social media strategy to new heights? Let’s talk!

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