Personalize Content with Social Listening

Everyone wants to see a personalized experience online – when you’re browsing the web, talking on social media, or checking emails, it’s best when only important and relevant content is funneled your way. This includes information about your favorite products, places to visit, arts and music, nonprofit organizations, and other hobbies. As a person’s online identity becomes better defined by the things they click on, mention, and interact with, the more important it becomes to make sure your communications meet their interests and channel preferences.

A 2015 study by IBM and Econsultancy found that 80 percent of marketers strongly believe they have a complete understanding of their customers and segments of their list, and 69 percent of marketers feel they have the ability to deliver a superior online experience for these customers. However, consumers are less likely to feel that a company knows who they are. Just 37 percent of respondents feel that their preferred retailers understand them as an individual, and just 22 percent of average retailers understand them as an individual.

A recent report by Accenture found that 53% of consumers switched providers due to poor service and that 80% of poor service switching could be avoided through better resolution. This disconnect shows that there is a long way to go before many companies truly understand their audiences and opportunity for digital to bridge the divide.

There are many technologies working to close the gap of what a company or organization can personalize about a person, including Marketo, which recently integrated their Engagement Marketing Platform with Google AdWords and Google Analytics products. In doing this, customer profile information and other marketing information will be sent to Google Analytics to better analyze how key audiences behave throughout the marketing funnel, and allow for better Google AdWords optimization. This will result in more efficient AdWords spending, more relevant keyword bids, and improved analytics of how people interact with this widely used advertising.

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Personalization is not only beneficial for improving sales, but also helping students and others to better learn in a way that is comfortable for them. Seattle nonprofit Enlearn utilizes real-time classroom data to optimize the learning experience for students on their tablets or computers. It is a self-adaptive, curriculum-agnostic platform that personalizes itself for focused support, remediation, or acceleration based on how a student performs. This platform also keeps teachers updated on a students performance, and helps teachers better understand where a student needs help so they can provide the best learning experience possible. With this kind of personalization data processing, an organization or company could easily see what is working best for a supporter or consumer and adapt to direct them to new opportunities for engagement or purchases based on their strengths.

Create personalized content through social listening

First, utilize search terms. Create a list of topics and keywords that are most important to you, and you want to see when supporters and followers on your list are talking about them. Timing is everything – if there’s a swell in the conversations about the work you do, seize the moment and send an email call to action while the issue is top of mind. Mentions of keywords in the conversations of supporters can be monitored in real time and communications can be automated, so any time a supporter is talking about something related to your work, they can be reminded of how they can show their support.

Perhaps the keywords or topics that have been monitored are on the decline, and people on your list are talking about something else. Determine and track these new keywords and issues so that people only receive content that speaks to what they’re talking about in the moment. This will also help marketing campaigns adapt their plan to use only the best hashtags and keywords that their audiences respond to.

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Museums and the arts can use social insights in a way that monitors the keywords of their existing email list, finds the best keywords used by current audiences, but also can help move us forward for better Google AdWords optimization and adaptive learning. By monitoring what things are most important to current email list members, a museums and the arts can plan for new events or exhibits that are sure to pique their interest.

By looking at the most popular topics on social media amongst supporters, a great hook can be created that links what is currently going on at the museum with what is currently popular. For example, I recently saw an exhibit on the history of Italian fashion – by monitoring which supporters were talking about Fashion Week on social media, an email could have been sent telling them that they could learn more at the exhibit.

The best marketing is the kind gives supporters information that matters to them – through the social data available at, identifying the top conversations by email supporters on social media is easy. This will lead to appeals that are personal, relevant, and most importantly, timely. The only next step is to make sure you’re listening.


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