Social Media Listening – It’s About Emotions

By Janet Fouts

violey / Pixabay

Let’s face it, most of us make purchase decisions emotionally, rather than logically. But much of the research we do when marketing products and services is focused on big data, filtered and sifted, often to get the results we are looking for rather than to divine what the customer wants.

For decades, brands have focused on selling the product on hand rather than identifying and filling the needs of the consumer first. We see an opportunity and attempt to fill it, often in our own little vacuum. We think we’ve got the best possible answer to the problem.

We’ve used a variety of research tools to understand the problem and the solution by gathering data based on our goals and the “answer” we want to hear that validates our own decisions and the existence of our product. Then we complain that consumers appear to say one thing in that research and do another. We did the research, so why aren’t they buying? Why are consumers so unpredictable?

It’s how we are listening (or not listening)
Scraping the web, surveys, competitive research, all give us loads of data, but is it the right data, and how do we parse that data for the truth?

Data from research tools like these are particularly flawed. Why? Because they are based on the expectation that people make rational decisions based on facts.

Do you buy a book because of the emotion its cover evokes?
People may see the logic in choosing product A. over product B. when presented with only product highlights and specifications, analysis and data.

When the buying decision actually occurs, we are likely to choose product A because it is RED and red makes us feel good.

We buy a book or a bottle of wine because we like the cover, even before we read the liner notes.

Perhaps we associate it with a friend whom we respect who said that SHE liked this particular product.

Maybe we have loyalty to a specific brand because of a particular memory association. These are not the most logical decisions, but they “feel right”. We “feel it in our gut”.

Analysis paralysis
When Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied individuals in the 1990’s who had specific brain lesions that limited their ability to connect feelings to emotions. Damasio found participants were unable to make good decisions because they didn’t feel emotions connected to their choices. Whatever decision they made, it just didn’t feel right. They could reason, based on the data, but lacked the “feeling” about the data necessary to come to a final decision.

Understanding how emotion comes into play in buying decisions can be extremely useful when listening on social media sites. Rather than making decisions based on parsing the big data, we can listen in on conversations about the issue we want to address, our product, our competitors’ products, and the needs of the consumer.

Gathering this data is slower, and requires a level of engagement that most brands eschew because it takes a lot of Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

Be Sociable, Share!