Social Media Users Are Hiding from You

HidingPeople want to define the terms of the relationships they have with companies. This includes where, when, and how interactions take place.

Companies that attempt to influence potential purchasers have an interesting dilemma. People researching products utilize publicly available data, but their behavior changes once they’re about to pull the trigger.

Buyers “go dark” once they reach this important step. That is, once they have informed themselves, they turn to personal social media to get confirmation of the choice. These are often in private channels and beyond the reach of monitoring companies.

Even if you have the ability to communicate in some of these channels, potential purchasers may find your influence off-putting.

So what can be done?

David F. Carr, taking inspiration from a presentation given by R2Integrated’s Matt Goddard, covers this issue in a discussion of the purchasing behavior of social media users.

Where Goddard ultimately sees the most potential is the use of social media for product research. The closer people get to making a purchase, the more they tend to turn to those ‘dark social’ networks where they get more private advice from close friends, family or business peers. Still, enough is visible to give businesses a better understanding of how their products are perceived and what new products might be brought into existence to serve unmet needs.

Because social media users listen to each other more than they listen to brands, offering them the right thing is critical. “Companies that have the best products are going to win. Those that don’t have great products are going to lose,” Goddard said.

It may be that your tactics should change from attempts to directly influence consumers to indirectly influencing them through acting on the results of good competitive analysis.

How do you do that?

  1. Get data about your potential consumers, competitors, and yourself;
  2. Analyze that data to identify important trends;
  3. Get it into the hands of people who can make decisions.

Read this article on Competitive Analysis for more information on how to do all of those steps.

January 17, 2013 Chad Bolender Leave a Comment

Filed under: media intelligence,media monitoring

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