The Power of Social Listening

Let’s be honest. Social listening isn’t that sexy. It’s not the first thought that comes to mind when you’re crafting a new social media strategy or concept. It’s a data game. An onslaught of keywords, graphs, numbers and mixed data to mine your way through – a total parallel to the glamorous world of perfectly formed Instagram images, viral tweets and cat videos on Facebook.
But as they say, the devil is in the data (ahem, yes, this is usually detail, but bear with us). When you interpret and use data results, it can turn into something informative, interesting and quite frankly, game-changing.
Jeff Bezos once said this: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. How often in social events have we wished we could listen through the door? Wanted to be a fly on the wall in big corporate company meetings? Social listening gives brands that unrivalled access, and it’s an incredibly powerful thing.
Listening in on social media conversations has helped The Marketing Store to identify new brand influencers and advocates; assess the ‘on the ground’ impact of brand duping, and garner key audience insights to spark new creative ideas and ‘news jacking’ opportunities. Without a doubt however, the crowning glory of social listening to date has been teasing the 2018 launch of MONOPOLY at McDonald’s.
Each year, at around February time, McDonald’s customers across the UK start to get excited about the return of MONOPOLY. We know it, we can see it and frankly, McDonald’s gets asked about it (a lot). So, as a part of our 2017 wrap-up and review of social media performance going into 2018, everyone looked a little closer at the buzz and hype around the launch of the campaign. One theme came shining out.
In a similar way to how the ‘Holidays are Coming’ advert announces the beginning of Christmas, social listening demonstrated that Valentine’s Day was a pivotal date for people to start saying “Ok, that means MONOPOLY is back soon”.
The question was, how do you get on the same level as an audience and build a meaningful engagement that they can relate to, without looking like you’re trying to be the ‘cool kid’? Challenge accepted. We listened. We thought. We actioned.
A few crumpled-up love poems later and we saw the publication of this pre-tease MONOPOLY at McDonald’s post.
Within just 1 hour of launching, this post had almost 6,000 reactions, 1,800 comments and 988 shares. We knew we were onto something good. Fast forward to today and it’s had 17,000 shares, over 40,000 comments, 95,000 reactions and been shared onto viral meme and news sites UNILAD and LADbible, in effect ‘going viral’. The best part? The post has had this level of reaction without us revealing anything about the branding, the prizes or even the start date of the campaign.
For us, social listening sits at the heart of any new campaign. Not only does it get us into the room full of whispers, it invites us to get closer by pulling up a chair, listening and learning.
So, what will you be listening to today?