How Social Media Listening can Simplify Marketing for the FMCG Sector

February 19, 2015

The rise of social media has led to the introduction of many new and innovative methods of marketing. The possibility to engage with countless users, even those at the other end of the world, has revolutionized the marketing sphere. Most significantly, the one way communication between brands and consumers has become a thing of the past. Brands have started using social media to communicate with and respond to their customers. And the FMCG Industry is the most prominent and the largest category on social media today. The myriad of choices it provides consumers with makes it hard for them to decide. Seeing as social media is among the first places people check for reviews before making a purchase, having a strong online presence has become imperative for the FMCG sector. So how exactly has social media changed things for the FMCG sector and how can social media listening help them strategize better for marketing plans?

A Plethora of (Brand Related) Conversations

People today can share their opinions with their networks instantly at the click of a button. There are numerous conversations surrounding various brands every day. They hold a wealth of information that can be used to better products, services or marketing strategies. One no longer needs to depend upon traditional marketing research and forced customer feedback forms to gain an understanding. All a brand needs to do is listen to these conversations, which considering the expanse of the platform is no easy task! Thankfully, we’ve got social listening tools to make the job easier. Here’s how they can help you:

  • Gather insights on what’s trending in the market, which product types are most talked about and what subjects are being discussed under each type. This can help you upgrade existing products and/or design new ones that are in sync with the latest preferences of consumers.
  • You can find out what people think of your brand- are the sentiments positive or negative?, what they are talking about (advertising, packaging, quality, price, etc.), how often it is being mentioned, which gender you are more popular among, who the top authors are, so on and so forth. Based on such customer feedback (which you need not even ask for), you can assess the success of your products and campaigns, address any product related issues or make changes to fit customer requirements or desires. For example you can find out what people talk about the most regarding your brand and further dig into the sentiments surrounding each topic.

Themes around FMCG on social media

  • With social media now being a new medium for customers to address brands, online Customer Relationship Management has become important for companies everywhere. Listening to your customers can also help you maintain good relations with them as you can immediately identify the posts that mention your brand name and reply to them instantly ensuring goodwill.

customer feedback- FMCG

Customer feedback on social media - FMCG

Find, Connect & Share!

The best way to create a strong customer base is to target the right people, the ones who would benefit from or want your products and services. Social media has made it easy for people to connect and talk about what they are looking for in a product or service or ask for suggestions on which choice to make. Which means you’ve got plenty of fresh prospects whom you can reach out to instantly and share information about your products, services and offers. Your SM listening tool can simplify lead generation by finding such potential customers. For example, take a look at the posts below:

Leads via social media

Leads via social media- FMCG

Build Communities!

Brands these days are focused on building communities online. Engaging your customers in the right way can help you do just that. Your market research can help you find out what appeals to your consumer base; you can “learn their language” and create the kind of content they can relate to. Not just that, interacting with them on a regular basis can promote good relations with your customers. A strong, loyal customer base goes a long way in strengthening your brand image. Coca Cola for example, has the largest community on Facebook. Its followers connect to its innovative campaigns and actively participate in its contests, increasing the popularity of the brand.

Coca-Cola- FB page

Digital Battles With Competitors

The competition in the FMCG industry is increasing at fast pace. There are over fifty Indian FMCG companies and many more international brands. And with the growth of social media, they have taken to the digital world for the battle to stay on top. But with so many innovative social tactics making rounds in the marketing world, any one of your competitor’s could easily gain more momentum on social media. They can get ahead of you, without you knowing. That is a surprise no marketer wants. Tracking their moves online can help you know everything from their new products, services, offers or campaigns to who is talked about the most, the sentiments surrounding them, how they manage customer relations, popular topics trending around the company, so on and so forth. This information can give you the edge you may need to stay ahead in this highly competitive world.

Mentions & Sentiment Analysis - Social Media

Source: Competitor analysis done for a shampoo brand

Higher Stakes When It Comes To Reputation

Social media might offer brands effective and innovative marketing channels/methods today, but it has taken reputation management to an all new level. As quickly as social media can help you spread your message across its channels, it can damage your reputation equally fast. The social media snowball effect can cause the downward spiral of your brand reputation in the blink of an eye. It is as simple as an upset customer posting a harsh review for their entire network to see, comment and share. A slipup on your part, if spotted online by any one of your customers could just as easily go viral. As a marketer, you need to always be on alert for such potential risks and respond to them immediately. The turnaround time (TAT) is of prime importance. Many companies took a serious hit to their reputation simply because they took too long to respond to the issue. But now, with the power of social media analytics, you can identify online activity that could turn into a crisis and contain it an early stage. Social media is in fact becoming more about Online Reputation Management these days. And listening can greatly help the cause for marketers. For example, when Dove refused to remove Facebook ads which showed up next to pages that disregarded violence against women, it caused an online backlash against the company. This news went viral and many customers posted condemning the brand. Dove took a serious hit to their reputation and risked losing many customers, not just because of their refusal but also because of their inadequate response to the situation.

Consumer Complaint - FMCG

Consumer Complaint - FMCG- Social Media

Consumer complaint on social media - FMCG

The world of big data analytics is fast expanding. There are more ways than the ones I listed above in which social media listening can help you. If you want to know more, get in touch with us, we would love to hear your case :-)