How search data can track trust & reputation online

Gaining the trust of consumers is crucial – it can make or break your brand. So, it’s critical to your business that you monitor what customers are saying, so that you can track trust and reputation. In this session, Sophie Coley, Co-Founder and Strategy & Content Director, explained “How search data can help you track trust and reputation online”.
Firstly, what methods do you use to plan, in the normal way of things? There are numerous different ways we generate audience insight, right? There are surveys, questionnaires, polls, focus groups, social listening, social media analysis, keyword research and so on. There’s plenty of data to be had, online and offline, about the people we (or our clients) are looking to connect with.
But, there’s one source that that doesn’t get talked about much, within the business world. And that’s search data. We make better decisions and achieve better results with truly candid customer insights. How? By using search data. Here, the originator of the ‘Search Listening’ technique, Sophie pointed out how search data can help you discover how people think and feel about you, your brand, or your organisation. Looking at social listening vs keyword search vs social, social listening refers to analysing conversations, trendy popular words and phrases people enter into search engines. Researching by words gives marketers a better method to follow. Social listening is the process of using social engine data to gather consumer insights into thoughts around your brand and/or specific key words opening up opportunities for competitors or businesses.
In practice, social listening can track consumer behavior. Taping into social data and discovering the behavior – “it fascinates me”, she observed. Remember, social listening will give the truest insights around priority topics (commercial or societal); and it’s important to analyse changing queries over time to track understanding and sentiment. With social listening, the digital conversations you observe are only those happening on social media. So, it excludes the barrage of conversations we, as consumers, have with Google every day. We treat it almost like a trusted friend, asking any question under the sun. She added –“if people live their best life on Instagram, they live their real life on Google”. And, quoting statistics, it was seen that worldwide there are over 3.5 billion Google searches every day and 1.2 trillion Instagram searches. These searches could be used for getting insights and creating campaigns for brands.
Listening to searches enables you to understand the true influences and attitudes that can go a long way in building brand reputation. And she offered a tip: always “go incognito”. And, social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and business online; it is also used to surface feedback that would help to differentiate their brand, product or service. “It is a hugely underrated way to generate audience insight,” she revealed.
There is more data on consumers than ever, but are brands utilising that effectively to inform their product development? How to track trust and reputation and monitor changes through Search Listening? There exists a strong need to notice what Google conversations suggest around your brand. Does your brand feature in issue-based searches? Is it around ethical, societal, quality or service-based issues? One needs to check regularly how the communication started then and now.
For practical Search Listening skills you can use right away tools like AnswerThePublic, she suggested.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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