What if we told you we can see the future? Would you believe us? We are not alone with the ability to see the future. It happens every day. Many businesses (and a couple of our clients) use these insights to help lead their businesses. Let us explain.
Seeing the Future
Throughout the pandemic, our clients were asking tough, important questions about when people were willing to return to schools, offices, restaurants, shopping, and travel. They were asking what people need or expect to return to these places? Critical business decisions depended on the answers to these questions.
Product development, product launches, inventory, marketing, sales, and customer service decisions were all impacted by when and why people would begin to return to what we knew as normal or some variation of it. Seeing the future was an ability that all businesses would benefit from doing. The challenge was how to make this happen in a meaningful, measured way.
Social media is a lightning fast, far reaching platform for communications that can be a mirror of the thoughts and actions for many different communities. It can be the voice of people’s intentions. There are entire conversations that affect your business every day that most people are not likely aware of. To answer the questions our clients and most other businesses have been asking during the pandemic, social media has been telling the story, all we needed to do was listen.
Filling the GAP
A vintage hoodie which hasn’t been available for purchase since the early 2000’s garnered 5.8 million views on social media earlier this year. GAP, through its social listening efforts, decided to leverage its popularity for their latest product release. The brand re released the brown hoodie in partnership with Tik Tok with a campaign called the “GAP Hoodie Color Comeback” competition to crowdsource the next color choice.
Just like the return of the GAP hoodie, our social listening showed us when people – parents, teachers, and administrators – were ready to begin the process of returning to school. We learned what the people needed to return to school through their conversations on social media.
There is an Art to This Science
Our approach to social listening is considered and measured. We are tracking conversations of targeted audiences on specific subjects like schools, indoor air quality, and ventilation. We consider the information sources, both the people and institutions and location of information – published professionals versus newspapers versus broadcast media posts, for example. We track content topics and themes, both broadly and specific to our targets. We gather direct posts from academics, subject matters experts, influencers, and business and community leaders. We also listen to moms and dads, students, grandparents, and all those people contributing to the conversations. All together, we can see the future.
It is understandable if you may be skeptical as you read this article (thank you for reading the article). Social media is often defined by the lesser of its deeds. For the true social media professional (versus any most recent viral sensation), social media is an advanced targeting, publishing, and information sharing tool that is as sophisticated as most any communications tool available to us. We can manage the content, target specific audiences in numerous different ways, and measure the results of our efforts, all with a high level of detail.
If you would like to see what our social listening provides, send an email to Shawn at Shawn@draperdna.com. Then you can decide for yourself if you would like to see the future.