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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 16

Listening-Based Targeting

Social media listening provides new tools to help companies locate people who talk about their categories, products, or services. Interest in listening-based targeting strategies is growing because of increased social media adoption, and, as we discussed in Chapter 4, markets are becoming more precisely defined these days in terms of mind-sets, shared concerns, activities, and lifestyles reflected in conversations, and less so by straight conventional descriptors like demographics, geographies and dayparts. Recall the “sandwich situation” case in Chapter 4; it focused not on a generation, but on multigenerations of caregivers from Gen Y to baby boomers. As conversations broaden to become more “multi,” it will become more important to use listening techniques to deeply understand and leverage them for targeting purposes.

Our review of case studies and research methods uncovered four emerging approaches to develop targeting strategies that link listening to:

  • Behavior
  • Gender; multicultural; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) conversations
  • Offline word of mouth
  • The different contexts in which conversations take place, to pick up the signals

We'll break each of these down, in turn, in the following sections.

Behavioral Listening

This method uncovers clues about customers and prospects by listening to their behavior, as noticed in patterns, statistics, and trends. We discussed two cases that used this approach in Chapter 5, one ...

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