Social Listening: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Listen before you speak.

Have you ever wondered what customers think of your brand? What issues do they care about?

Social Listening has risen to so much fame because of its integral part in helping brands uncover ways of improvement. Marketers have been using their social channels to survey audience since forever and Social Listening is taking this surveyship to the next level.

What is Social Listening?

Social Listening is analyzing the conversations and trends happening on social media about the brand and industry, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions. 

It includes reading comments and looking for online content to check on customer sentiments. Sometimes, these sentiments are negative, but don’t fret, these are great guide for improvements.

To mention a few benefits, Social Listening helps structure future campaigns, improve content strategy and messaging, outperform competition, construct an effective influencer program and even build more impactful brand partnerships. In addition, it is a good medium to find out what the customers talk about and figure out a how to build brand presence and put yourself into the conversation.

It’s not an entirely new approach, brands have been trying to gauge the opinions of the public and their customers through surveys. And now that people are conversing online, it’s up for brands to cope up.

Social Monitoring vs. Social Listening

Monitoring tells you what, listening tells you why.

Social Monitoring merely keeps track of social media mentions and conversations. However, without the analysis and actionable responses, brands cannot sufficiently meet the needs of its customers. On the other hand, Social Listening finds root causes behind social conversations and implements long-term strategy changes.

Ben and Jerry

Social Listening comes in all shapes and sizes.

Ben and Jerry’s spends a huge chunk of its marketing budget on social media advertisements to promote their ice creams. Following the common sense, they allocate more budget during the summer season when it’s sunny and hot. 

All have been running smoothly until a snowstorm hit New York City. They decreased the ad budget assuming the last thing people want during cold weather is a cold dessert.

Upon checking the ad’s performance in New York, click-through-rates jumped up and sales figures came through.

The company checked Twitter and Instagram and noticed there was an uptick during poor weather, particularly when it was rainy. It turned out that when rain forced people to stay in watching films, TV, or Netflix, they wanted ice cream to go with it. 

This opened up a whole new area for Ben and Jerry’s to target. Now, they would look for rain in the forecasts, as well as sun, and adjust their marketing plans accordingly.

They even went a step further and created a flavour just for this purpose: Netflix & Chill’d.

This was all achieved with a very simple social listening approach, and it worked wonders for Ben and Jerry’s. 

All too often, we’re guessing, not listening. We’re making tactical moves, not strategic ones.

By listening to your audience, you can see a window into their candid thoughts and feelings, and gain important insights into their purchase behaviour.


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