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The competitive and creative advantages of customer analysis

Joel Windels, VP of inbound marketing at Brandwatch, explains how social media can champion your customer service strategy

Like the letter and telephone before it, social media can make the world feel a little bit smaller. It can help to start conversations with people and in places that you would never normally discover. Despite this, brands looking to engage with businesses are reluctant to embrace social media as much as brands looking to reach consumers. In fact, nearly a quarter of B2B companies do not have a social media account at all. It’s easy to understand why these companies feel the world of social media is better left to those who rely on the opinions of consumers to drive business forward. However, social media can be a really useful tool for any business trying to increase brand awareness, fuel lead generation and champion customer service.

The B2B social market is no longer in its infancy and audiences now expect the same kind of experience from a B2B company as a consumer focused organisation. So the need for a rounded, engaging social presence has never been more important for brand awareness. Content should feature videos or images where possible as this inspires users more than simpler, text based posts and is a clear way to convey a brand’s strengths and values.

Customers often post about their purchase plans and company needs; conversations that are invaluable to brands and completely missed if a brand is not online to see them. If approached in the right way, sales teams can transform these conversations into real revenue and use the information to predict future sales for new releases. Businesses aiming to improve their product purchase experience can also learn about their customers’ concerns online, helping them to address any issues in real time. Through social analysis they can then assess how they stack up against the competition when it comes to providing excellent customer service.

In order to manage a successful social media strategy, businesses must look at how their customers are communicating online and aim to match the tone and language. Analysis of social data can then be used to see whether their posts are resonating with customers. It is also a good idea to research where potential clients are communicating from, such as Twitter or Facebook, and focusing on the development of strategies for these specific channels. It is better to do a little really well than a lot badly.

Many brands are also missing out by forgetting to publish content over the weekend, which is when their customers are spending more time on social media. Our data suggests that B2B companies are only posting 1.83 posts on Twitter at the weekend versus 4.96 on week days. Businesses that think carefully about scheduling the release of their content are going to reap the benefits above their competitors. Finally, understanding how customer interest is divided by different demographics can help brands to outline the competitive landscape and identify potential, untapped markets.

New social media channels are popping up all the time and it’s only going to become more important for B2B companies to make sure they have a presence online. However, it is not enough to merely set up an account and hope for the best. Here at Brandwatch we can help businesses to analyse and understand the conversations taking place online which is key to influencing and engaging potential customers. Without analysis, all of the time and energy put into a social media strategy will go to waste.