5 Requirements for Great Social Listening Reports

December 24, 2023

A strategic approach to social listening reports can enhance more than just your marketing plan. Often, companies struggle to use this tool to their full advantage, failing to identify actionable insights within their research.

In this article, we will discuss what your consumer insights and social listening strategy could gain by understanding how those customers explore your brand.

5 Requirements for great social listening reports

Social listening is so much more than just pinpointing your target audience, it’s about finding out what makes people tick, and using that information to connect with them. A successful report will allow you to optimise your campaigns, content, and messaging, setting you apart from your competitors. In this post, we’ve outlined 5 reasons that your social listening projects might not be performing as well as they could, and what to do about it.

1. Planning ahead

There are 4 key things to consider when planning your research: why, what, how, and who? Why am I doing this, what is my ultimate goal, how will I use it, and who else is going to benefit from it? 

We can all agree that planning something isn’t as fun as actually doing it, but it is nonetheless an essential part of the process. An end goal can be used as a benchmark to refer back to if you feel that you are straying too far from the path.

By identifying your main objectives, your research will be more focussed, and the result more concise. Be aware of bias and guiding your insights: your main objectives are based on what you plan to do with the research, not what the research is going to say.

2. Asking the right questions

What do you actually want to know? It’s good to cast a broad net with social data, but it helps to have focused questions that you want to answer. For example, you might ask, ‘How many people are following my competitor?’ when in fact, you would receive better insight from asking, ‘What are the demographics of my competitor’s audience and how can I target them?’.

Think of it this way: you are conducting a survey of unsolicited opinions and thoughts. Focusing on ‘who’ rather than ‘how many’ will allow you to identify your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, and trends in consumer expectations.

It’s important to remember to only use these questions as a guide for your research – let the data tell its story! If you focus solely on the questions you want to ask, you will miss those nuggets of insights you didn’t even know you were looking for.

3. Leverage the right metrics

It’s easy to get bogged down in vanity metrics such as likes and comments. Whilst sentiment analysis and engagement can be great for benchmarking, they are subjective and require a lot of quality assessment to gain an accurate understanding. Therefore, KPIs should ideally be focussed more on business outcomes such as revenue driven by activity, leveraging metrics such as sentiment as a guide rather than a board-level measurement.

4. Feed into strategy

That plan we talked about earlier, how are you going to put it into action? All too often we see social listening reports that just provide the data and insights. Actionable insights are pointless without recommendations for strategic delivery and a framework to action against. This will ensure your insights are workshopped with the right teams to maximise the opportunities identified within your research.

5. Setting up a feedback loop

It’s super important to get feedback from those who digest the social listening reports. This will lead to follow-up questions and requests for a deeper dive into the insights you have gathered. It will also ensure you are analysing the right data and insights, thus enabling you to optimise any follow-up reports. None of this is achievable without a feedback loop between the researcher/analyst and the report recipients, so don’t miss the opportunity! 

Get help with your social listening reports

If your business is new to the social listening game, it might be easier to let someone take care of these reports for you. As an award-winning consumer and market intelligence consultancy specialising in social listening and digital strategy, we at Ten Bear Group are here to help make insights easy and accessible. Get in touch to find out more about our services.

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