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Expert commentator | Smart Insights | Tue, 01 Nov 2016 15:00:00 +0000

Conversational research takes social listening to the next stage

It is more important than ever now to raise brand awareness through conversations. Modern consumers are not as susceptible to advertising and product placement as in the past. Therefore, smart marketers generate brand awareness via influential social media strategies.

Good social media marketing depends on how thorough the keyword research is. It is important to use the best keywords in context, and then monitor them to see how effective they are. Also, the strategy should also employ “social listening.” It is a way of getting real-time feedback relating to keywords to perfect the long-term marketing campaign.

The point of using the tactics mentioned above is to monitor your brand’s appeal and efficacy on social networks. Brand monitoring will help your company to gain a distinct leg up over the competition.

Now let’s look at how you can monitor your brand through a useful tactic called conversational research.

What is Conversational Research?

Most marketers are aware of social listening in social media marketing. Social listening is commonly used to gather valuable customer data. The problem is, as mentioned, this is a common tactic. When everyone uses it, it is difficult to stand out with promotional efforts.

This is where conversation research becomes necessary. This tactic is not commonly used, so will most likely help you reinvigorate your existing strategy with new and unique ideas.

Think of conversational research as social listening, but much deeper. Social listening monitors user opinions and sentiments associated with your brand. Conversational research, on the other hand, goes further to analyze the data collected so that a more proactive approach can be developed.

Rather than taking customer reviews and feedback at face value, conversational research helps you make sense of the data you have gathered. Data interpretation in this manner is critical for influencing how a brand is received.

For example, say you uncover some negative reviews for a product with social listening techniques. Your next step would normally be to address the negative reviews to reduce their effect on potential customers. However, this is merely a temporary remedy.

Wouldn’t it simply be better to uncover the cause of negative reviews and address that instead? You will, of course, save time and money in this manner. More importantly, you will be able to reduce the number of negative reviews in the long run.

Monitoring brands through conversational research can, therefore, help marketers unearth underlying problems in the promotional approach.

Here are several steps that you can follow to understand your brand performance better online:

Invest in a Social Listening Platform

Monitoring social media conversations and reviews manually can quickly become a hassle. Therefore, it is worthwhile to invest in a social network or brand monitoring platform like Mention.

The platform you buy will act as a solid foundation for your future conversational research efforts.

Purchasing a monitoring platform is not that expensive. Costs can be as low as $600 per month for the initial years. In comparison, you would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars for research projects to gather the same data.

The biggest perk of a social listening platform is that you will be able to monitor a significant sample of your target audience at low cost. You can gather data over time with large sample bases to refresh long-term social media marketing strategies.

When choosing a social listening platform, think about these points:

  • The platform you choose should offer real-time monitoring
  • You should be able to segment your audience according to factors such as age and location
  • The platform you choose should allow you to track the competition
  • It should be co-worker friendly and facilitate collaboration on projects
  • Ultimately, the platform should offer solid returns for the investment

Track Brand Mentions

When you have the real-time monitoring capability, you should be able to track brand mentions online. Then, segment or organize them into groups based on channels. Doing so will help you narrow down the amount of information collected.

Mention, the platform described above, helps users modify search results and filter data in this way.

For example, when you track and organize your brand mentions, you might be able to see that people in Georgia say your brand more than others. Granular data like this can help you polish your brand awareness strategy.

Know What the Competition is Doing

It is important to know what the competition is doing to raise their brand awareness. Knowing this will help you avoid doing the same thing and instead adopt unique techniques.

If the competition is doing something good, you can try to imitate the same thing, but not in an obvious way. If something is going well for a competitor, for example, their blog posts might have more social shares, you can similarly create more shareable blog posts as well.

You can use a tool like to track brand mentions of competitor’s to get insights into their strategy. Then you can make your strategy more reactive.

Focus on People, Not Keywords

Keyword research is limited. Rather than seeing which keywords led to brand mentions, analyze who is mentioning your brand.

It is ultimately the people who buy the product, not keywords. So, when you know who is mentioning your brand, you will be able to gather crucial insights into your target audience.

Use can use tools like Fanpage Karma and Followerwonk to collect information about people following or liking your brand or a competitor’s. Once you know who’s following you, you can then make lasting connections.


Brand mentoring is essential to increasing its long-term reach. While you can use social listening methods to gather data about brand mentions, it is more important to analyze this data. That is what conversational research helps you do.

Conversational research is not a tactic tried by many. Therefore, it can give you a significant advantage over a competitor. You may even be able to understand the competition better with conversational research tactics.

Conversational research requires some amount of patience and ability to pay attention to detail. Even if doing those things is hard, conducting conversation research will help your brand stand out and attract better opportunities.