Social Media Monitoring Case Study

Analysing social media chatter to find out just how their customers feel about the values of an ethics-led brand.

The Client

A globally recognised food brand.

The Brief

The client asked us to investigate conversations around their brand on social media. In particular, they wished to know what their customers and fans were saying about their values, especially with reference to their social mission – the company’s commitment to ethical sourcing and responsible corporate conduct.

The Process

Social Network Analysis

We analysed social media chatter across ten markets worldwide, amounting to around 300,000 comments. We used these comments – controlled against comments for three other “values-led” brands – to draw the following conclusions about the impact of the client’s social mission on customers.

The Results

When the brand is mentioned, discussion is overwhelmingly focused on the product. Values are, at best, a smaller concern for a specific group of consumers. This need not, however, be an issue for values-led brands. We were able to show the client that their social mission does reflect well on them, in specific ways and at specific times. We were also able to give them clear actions to capitalize on these trends:

Values Matter

Most customers are unaware of a brand’s specific social contributions, even if it is a brand they like. Raising the profile of ethical activity can help reinforce positive associations that consumers have with the brand. However, this needs to be done in the context of the specific interests consumers have in each market and with full awareness of how the brand’s values relate to wider consumer concerns. For example fairly traded products matter more in some countries than others, and while Fairtrade is often seen as a positive thing supporting it may lead a brand into complex debates about food miles and the importance of supporting local farmers.

Brand Distinction

Negativity is centred mostly around perceived inconsistencies, but these can be diffused with patient and clear explanations. Where a brand has been inconsistent then it is important to be prepared to answer difficult questions. This is particularly important in cases where the brand or its partners have not met their own standards.

Making Markets Matter

We used these findings to help our client optimise the effectiveness and reach of their social mission in social media. We were able to show that different aims of the mission were garnering stronger responses in different markets, and prioritise the company’s focus accordingly.

For instance, in the UK and Brazil, search and social media focus centres on employee wages, whereas in Japan, both are overwhelmingly dominated by concerns over recycling and human rights. We used this information to create an optimisation strategy for the social presence of our client in each of the markets targeted.