HELLO Conference Series: Luke Reynebeau Schools Us On Social Listening

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In case you haven’t heard, B Squared is hosting the first annual HELLO Conference on March 28, 2019.

Tickets are on sale until Friday, March 22nd – so make sure to grab your spot if you haven’t done so already!

We’re super excited to be hosting the HELLO Conference – not just because it’s our first ever B Squared event, but because we have an incredible line-up with seasoned pros like Luke Reynebeau, Senior Manager, Partner Marketing at Sprout Social.

Luke was kind enough to sit down for a session of B2TV with us ahead of the HELLO Conference where he discussed all things Social Listening – what it means, how it differs from social monitoring, and why brands should be doing it.

If you’re interested in learning more about social listening and how it can help you be a better marketer, check out our interview with Luke!

Hello Conference Luke Reynebeau

B2: We have one of my favorite people on the planet with us today, Luke Reynebeau from Sprout Social! Luke has been helping B Squared Media with our Partner Marketing through Sprout Social for several years now. He’s my go-to, I lean on him, I cry on his shoulder… and today, he’s here to tell us all things Social Listening! 

So Luke, thank you so much for joining us and lending your social listening knowledge.  

LR: Thank you so much for having me, this is fun! I love it – I’ve watched from afar, I’m a long time listener to your Facebook Live and now I’m a first-time guest! This is exciting!  

Defining Social Listening

B2: So you know we have the HELLO Conference coming up on March 28th. For those of you listening in New Jersey, grab your tickets! Luke is one of our speakers and he’s going to be speaking on a topic that I couldn’t stress the importance of more which is social listening.

To start out, Luke, for those people who may be listening who don’t know what social listening is, what is your “explain it like I’m two years old” definition of social listening?  

LR: I love that. Those explanations are always the hardest, but the best.  

Social listening is such an important and awesome topic for all of us to be focused on and paying attention to. I would say it ties to the evolution of social. We look back to the days where social is all about publishing content that you had or offering discounts on Facebook. It was all about pushing content. A one-way street.  

We’ve evolved and now it’s become more of a two-way conversation, which is really great. We are at a critical point where we’re now wanting to be more proactive with our listening. So that is high-level social listening, how it helps from the tactical ground level.

The Difference Between Social Monitoring and Social Listening 

LR: Social monitoring is the idea of looking for your keywords or your brand name or mentions of your organization or business – the things are important to you. You can respond and get ahead of any crisis communication.

Social listening is being more proactive and getting ahead of where people are talking about your brand. Specifically understanding what they want, what they like, and using the insights to figure out what they’re looking for. That isn’t a specific example of ‘Hey, organization, can you help us out?’ 

B2: Yes, I love that distinction. Because I’ve never actually thought of it in that way myself. Monitoring is kind of like living in the now and listening is being more being proactive so that you can create better strategies, better content, whatever it may be.  

How Social Listening Can Help Marketers

B2: That leads me to my next question, which is, what are some of the ways you guys see your partners at Sprout Social using social listening? I know there’s a lot of different ways to use it. I know we use it in a couple of unique ways. So give us just some run-of-the-mill examples of how people use social listening. 

LR: That’s a great question and it won’t give away too many spoilers for the talk next month. Because we’ll get into a little bit more. The common use cases are the ones that I think we all think of with social listening which is understanding people’s sentiment of what our brand is or our product is. 

So getting a really good sense at a high level, of how do people feel, what are their emotional reactions to a new brand launch or a product launch? That’s one really interesting use case when it comes to social listening. We start to extend that out to social listening for other use cases that are in that realm, more pro-active sense of what are people talking about as it relates to a category?  

So if I’m Nike, how do I look at the conversation that’s happening on social to understand what types of shoes we should be releasing in the future? And it can really influence product research and how we develop new categories from that perspective. And the third one that I would highlight that’s pretty marketing-related, but a bit more out there when we think of how we’re proactive, and that’s brand sentiment. So how do people feel and think about our brand? Or how do they want to feel or think about our brand and how can we help facilitate conversations with them to help influence and strengthen that perception of us.

We’ve done a decent amount of research over here at Sprout, we actually just released a new “Brands Get Real” report. And one of the things that we saw was over half of consumers were looking to form a strong connection with brands, organizations, businesses that they work with each and every day and how they helped get to that point was feeling like they’re connected and to have the same values on social. Social listening can help inform how you can connect with those consumers.  

B2: Love it. Mark Schaefer, who’s our keynote, has his new book, Marketing Rebellion. The tagline of the book is “The Most Human Company Wins”, and it’s about that connection. Consumers are so tired of being a number or a dollar sign and we want to be connected with brands.  

So can you touch a little bit more on, how do you see or what’s a good example that you’ve seen of a brand kind of helping make that connection, maybe through data that they’ve gotten through social listening? 

Social Listening and the Beauty Industry

LR: I would say the beauty industry has a lot of great examples here, particularly because there’s such a community that’s involved throughout beauty, and products that are related to that about how people feel about themselves are such an emotional reaction to people who buy beauty products of what they feel about the brand.

I think there are some really good examples out there – Fenty Beauty is one that comes top of mind for me, of people really putting in the work to understand not just “what product can we sell tomorrow” but “how do I get beyond that transactional relationship” to wait for more connections that are outside of just you buying a product from me.

We talked about the same types of things and make that connection between what you like outside of beauty and I can help connect you with those other areas that are important for your life, you start to see communities come up around brands, particularly in the beauty space, because people feel such a strong affinity to the brands that they are connecting with.

And it doesn’t come out of nowhere, it’s about really understanding your customers and not from an abusing data perspective, it is about understanding what they actually want and need, because they’re telling you. That’s where social listening really is helpful, because you’re not going to back end, you’re not trying to find information, aggregating different data points, but you’re asking or they’re sharing it and your just consolidating that information to have a better understanding of how to talk to them. 

B2: We use social listening, as you know, with some of our clients, and we found an interesting correlation recently. We haven’t done anything with it yet because we’re still thinking “what does this mean exactly?” We’re still trying to figure it out. But it was on positive sentiment, and people mentioning the brand in a positive way. But also there was a correlation to unicorns with that positive sentiment.  

So we’re thinking “okay, maybe we need to create branded unicorn content” we’re not there yet, but it’s so interesting what you’re saying with the pattern and trend discovery that you use through social listening, and what you see on negative, positive, or neutral sides to kind of help you get creative with how to connect even further with some of these consumers. 

LR: I’d like to hear a little more about how your agency uses it, too.  

How B Squared Uses Social Listening

B2: Well, as you know, I will be talking about social listening in my conversation at the HELLO conference as well, because I want to show real-life examples that will be showing actual tactical, practical ways we help clients.

One of the things that we’re working on with sentiment that I think you guys will find really interesting is negative sentiment. It’s for a global luxury brand, and whenever we find that negative sentiment around a certain product, what we’ve been doing is taking the larger sections of the pie, because we kind of break down the data for them to show them which products have the most negative sentiment, and then what they’re doing on their side is actually creating how-to videos on the particular negative sentiment that they’re receiving.  

For example, “I can’t figure out how to change a cartridge on my machine” or whatever it may be, we’re actually putting together content or helping the client put together content that solves that pain point. And hopefully, once we have that content developed and published, we can send people who have that negative sentiment to that content, we hope to see this tip the scale to positive sentiment on that particular product and the pain point. 

LR: I love that. It’s the way that social listening can help identify what is the trend that you want toward the sentiment you to fix, to improve and then helps you track the performance of the time too.

So it’s not a moment in time of, well, everybody loves us or deploy the crisis communication and things to happen.  

For the full interview with Luke and to learn more about XYZ, check out our B2TV session! 

How does your brand utilize social listening? Let us know in the comments section below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
Conversations That Connect
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Category: HELLO Conference,
Tags: AI, artificial intelligence, HELLO Conference, Luke Reynebeau, , Sprout Social
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