Light Bulb with Plant Growing Inside Kevin Hawley

Barefoot Insiders

Social Listening

This past year, Avon took on a new challenge: create the perfect mascara.

Not the perfect mascara from the mindset of designers, mascara gurus or make-up scientists. They went to real people. They did this by spending hours tracking social comments from mascara users: men, women, teens. I did a little “social listening” about mascra this morning. In just 10 minutes I discovered:

  •                 Men wear it
  •                 Colour matters
  •                 When Katy Perry talked about it, 7+ million people listened in
  •                 Wearers like it to stay on a long time and resist melting in the rain (or tears)
  •                 Smudges are a common complaint
  •                 The wand can save small birds and blind careless users
  •                 Users prefer a simple, one step application 

My point?

I challenge you to listen around and find out what people are talking about. I did a short stint of listening for a health provider we are walking alongside; it was amazing. As I tracked various posts, I quickly ascertained the myths of the disease, recognizing that more marketing/communication/PR needs to be done to dispel common misconceptions. Perfect research for the marketing strategy we are putting together.

I’ve started to spend 10 minutes or so every few days to “listen” to posts that pertain to our client base. I purposely resist going to their own postings (unless they come up naturally in my search), looking to see what the general public says, not what the organization promotes.

We need to understand what our audience thinks and talks about. Social listening is one way to do that. It’s so easy to get caught up on our organizational focus, word choice and in-house speak. But we need to back away from our preconceived ideas and understand where our audience is.

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