Find patterns within the noise: How social media can be used to identify a customer’s real needs

Customers have a lot of conflicting needs. Every day, they want something new, or need something badly, and every day some of that is discussed across social media. With this constant chatter online it can be hard to define what customers really need and how this relates to your brand.

We’ve covered how customer personas and understanding the sales cycle are important for creating effective marketing campaigns and content which speaks to your audience. You need to create content which converts if you want to increase revenue.

The problem which many companies, like, are trying to solve, is centered around how to get an ROI and actionable information from social media. This is not an easy problem to solve.

Within the noise of social media is useful knowledge about your customers. Know what to listen for:

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1. Direct brand or competitor mentions.

This is the least likely social ambient sound you will hear, but it will happen occasionally. Whether they’re happy or dissatisfied, if you (or a competitor) are mentioned by name then it requires a response. They should be filtered through your customer relationship management system (CRM), tagged according to the nature of the mention, and an appropriate response sent. For example – a ‘buy signal’ needs product information, special offer details. An unhappy or ambivalent customer should be sent content which addresses their concerns and brings them back to re-entering the sales cycle.

2. Time sensitive or seasonal mentions.

This all comes down to what business you are in. But generally, whether you are B2B or B2C, most industries have some sort of seasonal sales cycle during the year. This should be built into how to manage your customer database already, but there will be some customers more attuned to seasonality. They will voice this on social networks. That is when you can take action.

3. Pain point mentions.

What problem(s) do your products or services solve? Social networks are where people go to complain about problems they are having. If you can solve them. Like a garage who can fix someones broken carburetor. Just by listening you could win new customers, especially if you, rather than a competitor, comes forward with a solution which speaks to their needs.

4. Aspirational mentions.

Social network noise isn’t just about complaining – it’s also where people talk about their hopes and aspirations. People buy better versions of themselves, which depending on what you are selling – and how you sell it – you can use social media conversations to zero in on what your customers want. Sell them that vision. People are always a mix of what they are and what they want, which is why your content needs to reflect your actual customers, instead of a marketing generated vision of your ideal customers.

The key to using social media effectively comes back to listening. Once you’ve determined what your customers need and want you can create content and campaigns around this new 360 view of them which social media now gives us.

Could your company or organization benefit? Find out by signing up for a live demonstration here or read more about how others are using it. is an easy to use tool for companies and organizations to send highly-targeted , triggered communications (email + social media) based on the digital body language of customers, supporters and prospects across the social web. has been used to identify and track 5 million+ influencers on the social web by over 100 companies and organizations.