We all know the phenomenon by now. Frumpy old lady gets on a British talent show. Sings her lungs out. Jaws drop. The next day, she’s an internet sensation because her Youtube video has gone viral and everyone’s grandma and cat goes out and buys her CD a few weeks later. She goes on to have the best selling female debut album (700,000 copies in the first week) in recorded Billboard history. The Susan Boyle brand is born over night and the cash registers are ringing.
The online viral effect has certainly gone beyond amusing, yet trivial videos that coworkers show each other during lunch breaks. It now has the true potential to be a huge money maker for unknown brands with their ears to the earth, looking to make it big. If harnessed correctly, social media can be a direct connection to emerging trends amongst the digital socialites presenting the clear need for social media monitoring.
Social media monitoring as a research tool is still in its infancy, and has yet to be fully exploited. In the past, if researchers were tasked with finding the next big liquor brand and could not get a hold of some nice juicy advertising spending reports, they would have to go into the wilderness that is the club scene, and awkwardly tally popular drink orders on their clipboards at “happening” hip-hop parties, which would make the task awfully cumbersome and time consuming. But now through social media monitoring, it is possible to leave the lab coat on the hanger and simply have software monitor what the internet is buzzing about. And it is much less expensive than traditional media monitoring and research methods.
The Patron brand is a case study in effective word of mouth marketing and social media monitoring. Patron was able to capitalize on a growing trend in hip-hop music where artists would call out specific liquor brand names and build a social, urban culture brand that dominates the ultra-premium tequila segment.
For the past month, Luminosity has been tracking Patron tequila mentions across all the major social media platforms for a brief glimpse into one of the most successful viral marketing stories in social media to date. In the single month of January, Patron was trending at roughly three times the daily brand mentions compared to the other major liquor brands included in the study. When The Game’s Purp & Patron mixtape was released on January 31st, the brand’s mentions more than doubled, increasing the volume of chatter to four and a half times that of the next competitor Bacardi. Patron is getting all this additional buzz and awareness without spending a dime. Remarkably, Patron has been able to garner all this brand cachet through the street credibility it has gained over the past decade, rather than through critical acclaim.
The key to effective social media monitoring is timing and adaptation. The earlier you catch something brewing, the faster you can jump on board and actively promote that aspect of your brand to help it tip into the mainstream. It is also important to continually improve the accuracy of monitoring by refreshing key terms to adapt to how users communicate about your brand (e.g. Smirnoff would have had to track “icing” mentions). In the neurotic social media world, active monitoring is essential for creating the next big thing.
How can social media monitoring improve your brand?Share