As social media becomes a more expansive space and tool, companies are starting to track consumers’ comments about their brands. However, the tools used to track dialogue and measure online brand strength are equally powerful in assessing strengths and weaknesses of competitors. Social media monitoring tools such as Alterian SM2, Radian 6, and Trackur enable companies to integrate online reputation information with other marketing research efforts. They are particularly useful for product development, competitive differentiation and positioning, and building brand equity. Now more than ever, companies can gain insight into both their consumers and their competitors, ultimately increasing return on marketing investment.
With monitoring tools, companies can view consumers’ online comments and interact with them within the monitoring platform. At every point of the buying cycle, firms can check out what their consumers are thinking and how they are behaving. The same social media tools can be used means for competitive intelligence, identifying new market opportunities, and targeting potential customers with one-on-one dialogue.
Social media tools allow firms to find out what customers want and in terms of product improvements and new product innovations. Monitoring online conversation makes it easier for product development teams to determine what is deterring customers from buying. Analyzing industry trends and competitive information via social media tools show firms what competitors are offering to similar target markets, and puts marketers in touch with web influentials. Locating influential blogs and forum contributors can provide many opportunities to evolve products consistent with marketplace needs.
Competitive Differentiation and Positioning
One of the important advantages of social media is that it allows companies to be proactive in establishing a unique set of associations in consumers’ minds. Social media tools identify key information and insights in real time, allowing companies to make more effective product positioning decisions. Firms can better understand sentiments surrounding their own products and brands, as well as competitors’.
Building Brand Equity
Monitoring tools allow firms to monitor conversations about competitors in real-time. By being active in these dialogues, firms can build positive associations and mitigate negative online buzz. Firms can not only facilitate brand building via social media networks, but can also take advantage of opportunities to engage influential web users discussing competing products and services. These efforts pique the interest of target customers and assist companies in identifying product advocates within key online communities.
Want to get started with monitoring your brand’s online reputation? Ready to take advantage of monitoring tools that will give you competitive insights? Ask OC Marketing Analytics about how we can help you use these powerful tools.