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AI-powered insights to competitive benchmarking: features you need in your social listening tool

Rob Vanderzyppe

September 9, 2021  •  4 min read

Many modern brands recognize the importance of capturing customer feedback from social media and other digital channels, but, at the same time, their social listening strategies still fall short of their potential. According to Gartner data, 62% of marketing leaders report facing a significant or moderate challenge in leveraging integrated customer data. If you’re not able to convert your social listening data into actionable insights, at scale, it’s time for you to take another look at your social listening tool.

Before diving in, it’s important to first determine your goals for using a social listening tool and then consider the features that will bring the most value to your organization and meet the needs of your team. The right tool will help you:

  • Quickly grow your business with insights

  • Improve your customers’ experiences

  • Protect your brand’s reputation

What are the goals for your social listening tool?

Brands need to know what their customers are saying about their products, services, and messaging to communicate with them in a meaningful way. Without social listening, your customers may give feedback without being heard. But, more than that, if you can’t understand what customers are saying at scale, it can have wide consequences for your brand, from the obvious, like missed opportunities to respond to negative customer feedback, to the not-so-obvious, like understanding whether product messaging is resonating in a certain location, or your competitor’s performance for a similar product. A robust social listening tool can help you:

  • Understand the sentiment behind customer feedback

  • Analyze trends to identify potential problems or areas to improve messaging or products

  • Protect your overall brand health and safety

  • Conduct competitive research and benchmarking

  • Lay the foundation for a unified customer experience across your digital ecosystem

When you’re listening to your customers, you’re gathering information that helps you help them — but only if you can act on it. The insights you gain into their behaviors, wants, needs, and expectations can give them better experiences with your products and brand, and listening will give you a place to begin. But, once you’ve gathered what’s being said, you’ll need a way to act on your customer’s feedback at scale, across your organization.

Who benefits from using a social listening tool?

Social listening helps teams be more effective by quickly giving them insights that otherwise may take hours, days, even months to gather and allows them to communicate these insights across the organization. Multiple stakeholders with varied roles and responsibilities can use a social listening tool to their advantage:

  • Social media: Identify actionable inbound messages, gain information on 1:1 interactions, analyze sentiment, gain insight on how consumers view your brand, and communicate findings with product, PR, Marketing, and legal teams.

  • Marketing: Understand the real-time voice-of-the-customer to know what is important to them. Benchmark your marketing campaigns against competitors and other best-in-class brands.

  • Public relations: Mitigate risks to your brand by detecting a crisis as it’s happening and intervening appropriately with data-driven insights.

  • Product: Gather information about your products and services and communicate new features and capabilities to current and future customers.

  • Customer care: Respond to customer pain points with an accurate and timely response and escalate any crisis to internal teams.

Must-have features for your social listening tool

There are a lot of social listening tools on the market, but it’s important to look closely at the features that these tools offer in order to make the right decision. For example, some tools are really nothing more than social monitoring tools, which has its place as part of your overall strategy, but is much more limited in scope than true social listening. You’ll also want to ensure your social listening tool can expand to meet your specific business needs across all of the customer-facing functions in your enterprise. Otherwise, you’re just creating another business and data silo that impedes a unified customer experience. And lastly, it’s also important to consider how your tool will fit into your broader omni-channel strategy. What channels outside of social media, like chat apps or review sites, are critical to your business, and how does your listening tool align with those channel strategies?

There are a number of specific capabilities you should look for in a social listening tool. Here are some of the most critical:

  • AI-powered insights: Do the insights provide enough context and information to show anomalies and sentiment in real time?

  • Trend analysis: Does the tool use AI to surface market trends that are understandable and usable?

  • Competitive benchmarking: Will the tool provide insights beyond the number of posts and engagements and allow you to drive deeper into your competitor’s content strategy and understand consumer attitudes?

  • Reporting: Does the tool come with standardized reports specific to business objectives?

  • Data visualization: Can the tool quickly transform complex data and dashboards into clean slides that are worthy of executive presentations?

  • Search functionality: Can the tool allow you to explore relevant topics through defined search criteria?

Advantages of trying a social listening tool

“Eighty-five percent of executives report that social data will be a primary source of business intelligence for their company moving forward” (The Harris Poll, 2021). With so many organizations continuing to invest in social listening capabilities, you’ll want to get started as soon as possible and with the right solution.

Sprinklr Modern Research Lite is a lightweight and self-service version of our Modern Research enterprise solution. It allows you exclusive access to Sprinklr’s AI-enriched reporting and insights specifically calibrated to your brand and objectives in just minutes. During your first 30 days, you can try out the rich features without commitment or any investment on your part.

Sprinklr’s Modern Research Lite offers you:

  • Zero configuration, self-service onboarding with customized reports specific to your role

  • Omni-channel customer, brand, and competitive intelligence across social, news, forums, TV, and more.

  • AI-enriched smart-trend data that goes beyond mention and engagement metrics to give you quality insights.

  • Real-time, reliable reporting with standardized and curated use-case reports specific for your brand, role, and business objectives.

  • Listening topics that allow you to customize your data and insights based on your own keyword knowledge.

  • Automatically turn dashboards into presentations to better inform leaders and internal stakeholders.

Sprinklr Modern Research Lite is your entry point to Sprinklr’s industry-leading unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform for modern enterprises. Modern Research Lite lets you quickly explore how social listening can help teams across the business to better understand your customers’ experience, react to their needs, and use that information to decrease customer churn and increase revenue.

Learn how Modern Research Lite can make your customers happier.

Rob Vanderzyppe is a Product Marketing Manager at Sprinklr and is based in Denver, CO. He primarily focuses on our Modern Research product and innovating the latest and greatest social listening strategies. Away from the office he enjoys traveling and golf.

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