Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 | 5 min read
There are 1.8 billion worldwide active users on major social networks, about one quarter of the entire world’s population. This staggering amount of people drives colossal sums of data and insights for brands each day.
Indeed, the social revolution is a boon for brands of all kinds. They can listen to customers talk about them on myriad social channels and use those conversations to improve marketing strategies, create better products, and improve their competitive position. It’s like having direct access to customer feedback, 24 hours a day.
Across social platforms, brands can see and hear nearly all relevant chatter. To keep pace with leaders like McDonald’s, however, they must make sense of the noise to reap its benefits. Listening for brand-specific buzz on social offers critical information, but the true cornerstone of social marketing success is to benchmark and analyze that information, then take smart action based on when and where the conversations are happening.
By partnering with Sprinklr to execute social benchmarking and listening strategies, McDonald’s harnessed the power of its social media data; gained a new, critical understanding of its customers; and launched an informed strategy that took its social efforts to the next level.
Here are three ways the company benefited from combining social listening and benchmarking:
For large, global brands like McDonald’s, digital teams are at risk of becoming siloed and uncoordinated. McDonald’s used Sprinklr Listening across separate teams, allowing the entire digital organization to work in concert and share insights quickly and efficiently. The company used Benchmarking to compare and improve global performance across teams and units, allowing for a shared set of standards and a common language for discussing them.
With an eye on social benchmarking, brands like McDonald’s can assess the contextually-relevant performance of their efforts and maintain industry-leading standards in social. Consistency across McDonald’s social media accounts was critical to offering a social experience that satisfies, serves, and engages customers everywhere.
With an aligned internal team, leveraging high-performing content can bolster a brand’s strategy even more. Effective content can drive business value, from improved customer experience and operational efficiency to stronger revenue and more engagement. In fact, in a single quarter in 2015, customers engaged with brand content on social platforms nearly 13 billion times: 52% more than in 2014.
It is clear that customers expect brands to serve up amazing content experiences on social—they even welcome it. Listening and benchmarking across internal teams can give brands a bird’s-eye view of what content performs best across different social media accounts, teams and even regions , allowing them to be smart and strategic about repurposing material to boost efficiency, ensure consistency, and make the most of quality content.
For McDonald’s, empowering all 28,000 social media accounts across the world to leverage its high-quality content was a massive undertaking. By deploying the many accounts in a cohesive, strategic way, the company was able to drive content in a targeted, relevant, and well-informed manner—no small task for a brand that serves millions of customers every day.
Assessing competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can allow a brand to identify its competitive position within the market and find opportunities where others have fallen short. By extension, staying one step ahead of the competition is central to securing and maintaining a competitive advantage.
To remain competitive within an evolving marketplace, brands should aim to be leaders rather than simply contenders. They must be privy to competitors’ strategies and use these insights to inform business operations, or lose their edge as they fall short of the standard.
For McDonald’s, this meant taking advantage of where competitors fell short, anticipating and handling threats presented by competitors, and leveraging its own data to become better informed social leaders. According to Sneha Jain, McDonald’s Global Social Data Intelligence Manager, McDonald’s “overall goal is to learn and grow” into an industry expert by constantly improving how they stack up against the competition.
Social data is abundant, but it must be actionable in order to drive value. Leveraging both internal and competitive social data can allow brands to uncover important insights, adapt to changes in the market, and outpace competition.
Using these insights to inform business efforts can result in competitive, product, and market intelligence that allows brands to improve their business and their products accordingly. McDonald’s has set the standard and proven that true social success stems from informed, customer- and data-centric strategies that drive and power a strong social brand.
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