How Social Data and Audience Intelligence Can Improve Customer Advocacy

July 20, 2023
Reading time10 minutes
Carl Torrence
Carl Torrence
Content Marketer at Marketing Digest

Businesses, sports teams, educational institutes, and organizations leverage data to enhance results. While there are different types of data that you, as a business, can dive into, primarily, it helps make meaningful decisions.

One avenue of data collection is social media, often known as social data.

We’d love for you to check out our piece on the evolution of social data & audience intelligence. 

To refresh, social data is about the information (like posts, comments, likes, shares, and follows) collected from social media platforms and how people interact online.

And audience intelligence is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting social data from various sources. Usually, this requires breaking the audience into smaller clusters to analyze patterns, habits, and behavior, which helps comprehend their motivations, preferences, and pain points.

Social data is important because;

  • 55% of customers learn about new brands on social
  • Lyfemarketing reports that 71% of customers are likely to tell their friends and family about a brand after having a good encounter with it on social media.
  • And, SproutSocial’s report cites social media data as one of the most important data sources to drive business decisions in coming years.

Chart about most important source of data and insights for informing company's business decisions

Source: Sproutsocial report

Any forward-looking brand would love to tap into this social data goldmine to create an ideal customer profile based on their interactions, behavior patterns, needs, and pain points. It helps create relevant, engaging, personalized content that drives customer advocacy.

Ideally, customer advocacy requires putting the needs and interests of customers at the forefront of every decision-making process. Think of creating a customer-centric culture prioritizing customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term relationships.

In this post, we will dive into the exciting world of social data and audience intelligence, exploring how these aspects can help you better understand your customers and create stronger relationships for advocacy that benefit your brand in the long run.

Let’s check out ways to leverage social data to increase customer advocacy.

Identifying top demand-generating factors to grow your brand

Social data is a treasure trove for businesses since it lets you see what's making their customers tick. By analyzing real-time and historical data from social media, you can identify trends, popular topics, customer tastes, and emerging preferences driving demand for products or services like yours.

Imagine, for instance, that you find out customers in your niche are super passionate about eco-friendly packaging, or they gravitate towards brands with a solid social mission. Armed with this insight, you can tweak your marketing strategy to put the spotlight on these key aspects.

No wonder, a whopping 71% of customers believe that brands should take a stand to raise awareness of social issues

When you dive deep into social data, you can unearth all sorts of gems like emerging buzzwords, hot influencers, and viral content that capture your customers' attention. Analyzing these digital happenings in numbers can help you ride the wave of online trends based on customer expectations. It provides ways to create content that resonates with your audience and even consider changing your product or service offering to better align with their preferences.

Of course, we can only talk about social data by mentioning the benefits of competitor analysis. By keeping tabs on what your rivals are up to, you can learn from their successes and failures and even discover new opportunities for your business to seize.

Keeping up with such demand-generating factors can help grow your brand and stay ahead of the curve amidst growing competition.

This takes us to the next point.

Spotting growth opportunities through competitive benchmarking

Let's get the basics in context here!

Competitive benchmarking involves comparing the company's performance to competitors to identify areas for improvement. Consider monitoring competitors' performance on social media for a SWOT analysis that opens ways to spot potential market gaps.

Once converged, leverage this intel to your advantage. You may notice a competitor's audience responding to your content. Or you'll find a gap in the market where your brand can swoop in and steal the show. By staying in tune with your competition and leveraging social data, you'll be better equipped to seize growth opportunities.

That said, blending the following elements are pivotal to boosting customer advocacy:

Identifying trends: Did you check what your competitors do on the social front? If so, are they keeping up with the trends to be in the buzz? With social data, marketers can spot and capitalize on emerging trends before competitors. 

For instance, if your competitor is not into influencer marketing, now is the time to consider that. You can check this guide for finding influencers on Instagram as a starter. Such an approach increases customer satisfaction, ultimately gaining advocacy since customers appreciate and differentiate your brand.

Learning from competitors: Social data and audience intelligence can help you identify successful strategies that work for them. Try taking inspiration and adopting similar approaches, or find ways to differentiate yourself further.

Understanding your audience: Social data analysis can help gain insights into what your audience likes, dislikes, and talks about. This helps tailor your messaging and offerings to their specific needs and preferences, ultimately making them more likely to become advocates for your brand.

Personalization: Social data and audience intelligence can help deliver personalized experiences for your customers, greatly improving their satisfaction. For example, you can configure custom quotes for your customers and track contracts based on their exact needs.  This, in turn, can lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing and drives advocacy.

So, there you have it!

Start tapping into the social data to identify the factors driving your brand's demand and spot growth opportunities through competitive benchmarking that drives advocacy. 

Leveraging such data to its best will need some funneling to push content across the right audience. Let's explore it

Funnel marketing efforts

Imagine targeted ads, social engagement, and PR outreach programs as a super team collaborating to make your revenue marketing game unbeatable. They'd use and understand social data coupled with audience intelligence to revolutionize customer advocacy strategies.

That's when funnel marketing blends with social data and audience intelligence to help you win over customers like never before.

Funnel marketing guides potential customers through stages, from awareness to consideration and conversion. And that's where you can create content for each audience stage.

It looks something like this.

Content marketing funnel stages

Source: Content funnel

You'd first want your hands on the inside scoop on your target audience's likes, dislikes, habits, concerns, etc. With that information, you can create content that hits the bullseye, making your audience feel like you're speaking directly to them.

Understanding your audience can help create engaging and relevant campaigns that address their pain points and desires, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty. Such a personalized approach helps build lasting relationships with your customers, turning them into brand advocates who will continue to buy from you and recommend your products or services to others.

Recognize early switching signals 

Customers' needs and preferences constantly evolve, and businesses must keep up with these changes to retain their clients. Social data and audience intelligence provide valuable insights into your customers' behavior, allowing you to recognize early switching signals and take action to prevent customer churn.

By monitoring social media conversations, reviews, and feedback, you can identify patterns that suggest dissatisfaction or a growing interest in your (and even competitors') offerings. This information is valuable since it allows for addressing customer issues and concerns before they decide to switch to another brand.

Proactively engaging with these customers and providing solutions to their problems will make them feel valued and appreciated, increasing the likelihood of them remaining loyal to your brand and turning them into brand advocates.

Here are some quick ways to get started.

Feel the vibe with platform monitoring: Use different, platform-specific tools (for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) to see how your customers feel about your brand. Navigate comments, reviews, and feedback to identify what customers feel about your brand; this gives a fair idea of whether they want to switch. 

Here's an example of customers' dissent on Twitter for Samsung Mobile's official page post.

Twitter feed

Source: Twitter

Keep an eye on the competition: As mentioned, stay in the loop with what your competitors are doing, and watch if customers are talking about them in their posts. It could be an indicator of their dissatisfaction, causing them to switch.

Find your voice: Connect with influencers and brand advocates to help spread the word about your brand. They can spot early signs of people thinking about switching and help bring new customers your way.

Predict the future: Use predictive analytics to find patterns in customer behavior that could mean they're thinking of leaving. Then, you can act fast to keep them around.

Ears to the ground: Keep track of online chatter about your brand and industry to know what customers want. This can help you see warning signs and adapt your offerings.

Make it personal: Use social data to give customers a unique experience. If you know what they like, you can make your products and marketing even more appealing to them.

Listen and act: Pay attention to customer feedback and fix their issues. Showing you care about their happiness will keep them from leaving for good.

Empower the team with real-time customer insights

Do you know what holds the key to successful customer advocacy? A perfect blend of customer support and data-driven marketing.

When your marketing team knows exactly what your customers expect, they can make content that vibes with them.

How do you do that?

It needs tools and technology (more on it soon) to identify how customers interact on social media platforms, giving you Google reviews and commenting on YouTube videos. That way, you can spot new activities, identify what people are into, and use that info in your campaigns. 

For example, check this email.

Cart abandonment email

Source: Cart abandonment email

They'd only send it if you have an item in the cart. So, such emails are autogenerated based on actions the customers take. Moreover, you can also craft automated responses for social media grievances.

Doing this will make your customers feel like you get them, making them love your brand even more and want to tell everyone about it.

But don't stop there! 

You've got to ensure that everyone on your team uses data to make decisions. Get them to share what they've learned, work together on campaigns, and always look for ways to improve based on how well things are going.

And, if everyone's talking and learning from each other, your social connections will be on point, enabling your brand to build stronger customer relationships.

Ultimately, this results in a marketing strategy that keeps evolving yet remains relevant.

Consider the following factors before getting started with real-time customer insights.

  • Track KPIs that matter: Choose the most metrics for your campaigns, like engagement, clicks, conversions, reviews/comments, etc. These will help you understand your campaigns' effectiveness and identify improvement areas. Consider listening to the social chatter using social listening tools like Buffer, Mention, BuzzSumo, etc. This will help you gauge your audience's feelings about the brand.
  • Ensure real-time analytics: Stay on top of the numbers using analytics tools to check your campaign performance. Usually, brands use Google Analytics, Adwords, and Facebook Meta, which add value to making smart decisions and getting the best results.
  • Create a data-centric culture: Be data BFFs and motivate your team to love customer data too. Fostering such a culture requires top-down philosophy where you'd want top management to share reports and insights regularly to keep everyone in the loop. This will help create a culture of learning and getting better.
  • Tweak and adapt: Use the real-time information you get from your campaigns and posts to improve them. Change your message, try new audiences, or test different designs to ensure your campaigns hit home.

The aforementioned approach will enhance your social search engine campaigns, helping you win over more loyal customers. 

The secret sauce? 

Keep measuring, analyzing, and tweaking your campaigns, and always remember to put your customers first in everything you do. And customer advocacy will follow!

Wrapping up

Social data and audience intelligence will open doors to knowing who they are. It lets you know what they like, how they behave, and what they feel, which, in turn, can help you tweak marketing and communication to make it feel more personal.

Plus, it's highly useful for businesses to discover big-time fans who can help spread the good word about their brand. Start connecting with these awesome brand advocates to make them stick around, boost their reputation, and hit it big in the long run.

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