Social Media Listening Beyond Your Product

07/31/2011

Max and tag With almost 14 thousand views, my dog Max might qualify as a "D list" YouTube rock star! His circle of friends (not to be confused with a Google+ circle) includes people, dogs and cats (totally ..watch his video!). His howling "song" is a throwback to his wolf ancestory.

Oh yes, his breed is White West Highland and at 10 years old the vet is calling him a "senior" dog. Shh .. please don't tell him that he is sure he is still a pup.

Did you notice that when I described Max his breed and age (demographics) came last?

When you think about your customers how do you describe and catorgize them? What comes first in your customer profile: age, sex, income .. traditional demograhics? Or do you take into consideration their interests, networks and passions beyond your product or service?

Let's spin this into social media marketing. We frequently use social media "listening" to learn what customers are saying about our products and services, to identify trends and to build relationships. All good.

However, we have amazing opportunities to also see into the lives of our customers and prospects that go beyond tradtional research and our own company/product information. We can learn about our customers' passions, see who is in their social networks e.g., friends, likes, follows, circles. The clues we discover can lead to exciting new opportunities.  

For example, would you think that Max's friends included kitty cats?  Now you know. What would that mean if you were in the pet industry? Are there more dogs who like cats? What products might you create to tap into that market .. friendship collars? Treats for both cats and dogs? 

Here's another great example. When you think about Grandmamas what comes to mind? Blue hair ladies drinking tea and baking cookies? How about motorcyle riding mamas?! 

MSN Business on Main profiles "Grandmama" Kathy Tolleson the owner of Roar Motorcyles For Women. Roar is the first company that designs and manufactures customize motorcycles exclusively for women. Pop over for the story. Motorcyle_Kathy ROAR

What would have happened if Kathy had focused on demographics only instead of the passions of her customers? Would she have tapped into women over forty? Over fifty? Over sixty?  Roar has a social media presence that (I would assume) helps Kathy continue to understand the interests of her customers. (Hmm..thinking Kathy would be a great guest for All The Single Girlfriends' Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends series.)

Motorbikes are not so much my deal, but If I were to ride I'd want the biggest, baddest bike on the lot. Max, of course, would be uber cool in a little back jacket and helmet! 

Are you taking advantage of Social Media Listening beyond your product or service? If so what have you learned about your customers?

Note: Yvonne DiVita, Lipsticking, has a cool contest going .. you can win $100 for your comment about why women should own and ride motorcycles.

Update: See how KLM is listening and learning about their customers. In a strategy that turns little kindnesses into big smiles and I'm betting results in loyalty.  

Diva Marketing is part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Comments

Most of the small companies are still blissfully ignorant of social media influence on customer choice of products/services. This should help them know that you can no longer ignore FB, Twitter or Youtube while planing their marketing strategy.

Posted by: Virtual Business Assistant on Aug 1, 2011 12:59:24 AM

Toby, Praline (my cat) would love to ‘friend’ Max! But she has yet to create her FB page :-).

More seriously, you are spot on with your “demographics” observations. Going beyond the traditional is SM’s gift to all of us.

Good work – keep it going!

Posted by: Lya Sorano on Aug 5, 2011 1:44:30 PM

I find Facebook's Insights pretty restricting really but I do know that if a status doesn't get at least 2% feedback, it's something I am not going to chat about again in a hurry. I'd like access to more comprehensive data on engagement - not just which post got great feedback but also how may words it was, time of day, stats on how many instant impressions it received, how many unique users fed back... I'd also like to have access to full analytics and webmaster tools for my FB pages! Facebook could be such a useful tool if it just sharpened up a bit.

Am interested to see how Google handles the same stuff.

Posted by: Content Writer on Aug 6, 2011 9:21:38 PM

This is incredibly true... that dog Boo has Millions of fans on facebook... it's a frenzy!

Posted by: Travis on Aug 12, 2011 2:12:47 PM

Indeed he has millions of fans.

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Posted by: Busco on Jun 2, 2012 2:24:41 AM

Great post! I totally agree with you that we have always been saying that we should listen to our customers. And great point you got there when you said that we should see beyond that. Wonderful!

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