Social listening is a social media superpower. And with the right tool, you can wield that power for the good of your brand.
Sprout Social’s Listening solution lets you create highly customized Topics that surface conversations that matter most to your brand and answers to your burning questions.
Read on to discover how Sprout customers and employees have used Listening to answer nine brand-critical questions.
1. What day is leg day?
A major music streaming brand’s agency had the idea to create and promote playlists based on their listeners’ workouts. Ultimately, this begged the question, which day is leg day?
You gotta have a seperate playlist for leg day it’s essential
— Jordannn (@lockha12) August 15, 2018
Using Sprout Social’s Listening tool, they were able to set up a simple Topic query with “leg day” as the main keyword and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as the networks of choice.
To tap into Facebook data, the network requires that you include specific pages, so the agency selected several fitness outlets like Women’s and Men’s Health and people like Mark Wahlberg, who is known for his intense workout routine.
The agency reviewed a month’s worth of data and looked at which days trend with the highest volume of messages referring to leg day. There was a clear answer: Wednesday.
2. Who was the artist of the summer in 2020?
In 2020, 96.5 (WTDY-FM) Philadelphia, a RADIO.COM pop radio station that’s part of the massive Entercom brand, wanted to know, “who was the artist of the summer?”
The radio station launched a competitive voting poll so fans could crown a decisive winner. In order to vote on Twitter and Instagram, fans had to include the radio station’s handle, an artist’s name and #ArtistOfTheSummer. Those voting requirements matched the keywords set up in the station’s Listening query, so each entry was automatically captured.
After nine rounds of voting, former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson was crowned the 2020 #ArtistOfTheSummer. The contest was so successful that 96.5 (WTDY-FM) Philadelphia has continued using the methodology for more contests to crown Album of the Year, Best Music Video and more.
Learn more about how 96.5 (WTDY-FM) Philadelphia uses social listening to connect with loyal listeners.
3. What should the next season of our podcast focus on?
haarper., a Melbourne, Australia-based boutique consultancy, relies on Sprout’s Listening solution to deliver exceptional insights and results for their clients’ strategies. As their client, Puka Up, began planning season two of its podcast on mental health and well-being, listening was instrumental in determining its editorial focus.
“We made it a focus to find out what people wanted to hear about after the first season of the Puka Up podcast, and we found ways to combat mental health issues were more important than who suffers from them,” said Dan Wilkins, the General Manager and Co-founder of haarper.
“That had a direct impact on how we approached season two of the podcast. Finding guests who are trained to treat mental health issues was a goal for launching a second season, and that has happened.”
Learn more about how haarper. helps clients realize their potential using social listening.
4. Who is the NFL’s GOAT?
In the final weeks of the 2020 NFL season, quarterbacks Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes all ended up in division championship games, which prompted the age old question, who is the greatest of all time (a.k.a. the GOAT)?
Sprout’s own Chris Long, a social listening pro, decided to investigate.
When he applied keywords and the goat emoji to analyze listening data, Mahomes was in the mix, but as people discussed the possibility of a “GOAT bowl” matchup, Brady and Rodgers became the frontrunners. Going into the big game, however, Brady emerged as the clear victor in terms of message volume. Not to mention, social was abuzz with conversations about Brady making his 10th appearance in the big game and chasing his seventh ring at age 43.
The “GOAT bowl” never came to fruition, but if you watched the big game, it should come as no shock that Brady’s status as the GOAT only became more solidified.
5. How does our customer service compare to our competitors?
These days, social media is (or should be) a major part of any customer care strategy. When a leading chain restaurant wanted to see how their customer care compares to their competitors, they turned to Sprout’s Social Listening.
Using the Competitive Analysis Topic Template, the brand created queries that would capture any messages that included the word “service” and mentioned or were directed to the specific competitors they identified. They also created themes to collect insights on “good” and “bad” service. With those insights and anecdotes from social media users, the brand is able to benchmark its performance, refine its own customer care strategy and go above and beyond what its competitors offer.
6. How can we position the advantages of our product in a way that speaks directly to the needs of our customers?
A leading medical device manufacturer wanted to understand conversations about efficient heart valve technology within its industry and which factors influence patients’ buying decisions.
With Sprout’s Social Listening, the brand was able to determine that 36% of the messages in its Listening Topic discussed procedural and economic benefits of efficient heart valve technology. The economic advantages, in particular, only accounted for 7.7% of the conversation, which they saw as an opportunity to create a differentiated narrative and claim a critical share of voice in this space. Using this data, the manufacturer created a go-to-market strategy and messaging that capitalized on its product’s financial upside.
7. What bugs are popping up in our software products?
Before using Sprout Social, a software company known for its smart cutting machines and apps manually scoured Facebook and other social networks to surface product bugs and complaints. The company viewed social media as a massive, unorganized focus group. But with Sprout’s Social Listening, the brand was able to tap into that focus group in a structured, prioritized way.
I can’t stress enough how important social listening and community management is for brands on social media.
You need to take the feedback and put it into action. Please don’t ignore your audience. It will come back to bite you in the long run. #SocialHotTakes
— Anthony Yepez (@AnthonyYepez) August 25, 2020
Social listening helps the team catch all customer feedback, whether the brand is mentioned or not. Using keywords like “bugs,” “glitches” and “issues,” the team can also quantify customer service trends and product mentions to complement the research being done by their consumer insights team.
8. What alcohol-free beverages are people drinking during Dry January?
Every year, adults all over the world kick off the New Year by kicking alcohol out of their diet. This year, a health-boosting beverage brand wanted to capitalize on the trend, raise awareness for its non-alcoholic beer option and expand its audience by tapping into social conversations between big beer brands and their fans.
By setting up a Listening Topic with a Theme focused on alcohol-free drinks, the brand was able to analyze messages mentioning or by brands like Guinness, Heineken, Carlsberg and other brands that sell alcohol-free beer. They honed in on keywords around health and wellness, which gave them an opportunity to jump in and promote their product as an alternative.
9. What brands were best-in-class in 2020?
The Sprout Social Spotlight Awards recognize the inspiring brands and creative people behind powerful social marketing. And we just announced the finalists for our biggest award yet: Brand of the Year.
At the start of the awards season, our social team set up a query around the #SproutSpotlights hashtag. Since each award category was run in different time periods, we were able to filter the query to capture and organize nominations. We pulled data from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, then manually tallied nominations from LinkedIn.
By looking at the listening data from the nomination period, we were able to identify which brands inspired the social media marketing community in 2020 for our Brand of the Year award: Monster, Lodge Cast Iron, Velveeta and LCMC Health.
Stop wondering, start answering questions with listening data
Sprout’s Listening solution provides powerful and intuitive tools to help you tap into the social conversations that answer your brand’s most pressing questions. Listening can also provide critical cultural context around your brand performance and surface strategic opportunities that drive your business forward.
What questions does your brand need answers to? Get the answers by requesting a Listening demo today.