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How Does Social Media Trend Analytics Help Brands Grow?

People are talking, are you listening? Social media listening is one of the most effective techniques that can move your connection with a target audience to the next level and boost customer engagement. It is also one of the most actionable methods to define the most popular trends and topics that are buzzing in the minds and social media profiles of your potential customers.

Alina Hura

International Marketing Manager

28 April 2020

presentation

No matter whether we want it or not, we often follow the mainstream — the flow of trends reflecting how the collective psychology is changing over time. They are close and familiar to each and everyone. They are talking to everybody through advertising, videos, websites, articles, and other types of content in digital media.

Trends are too impactful to be ignored. Forward-thinking marketers and entrepreneurs use trends as opportunities to communicate their brand messages to the audience more effectively. Mostly, people are more perceptive to information if it has a sweet and trendy wrapper.

Trend analysis is a key component of each successful marketing strategy. It helps brands convey their marketing messages through a prism of the most relevant and actual topics to a target audience. When you know what customers are thinking and talking about on social media, it’s easier to speak with them in the same language and deliver information naturally and more effectively.

In this article, we are going to discuss the power of trends, how they can boost your business, and how to conduct in-depth trend analysis with the help of intelligent social media analytics tools.

What Is the Trend? How It Dictates the Direction for Individuals, Brands, and Industries?

As a business owner or a marketing executive, you might be interested in keeping up with fluctuating tastes, values, and goals of your target audience. They all contribute to a certain trend - a prevailing tendency, inclination, a general direction at which a specific niche is veering toward. They also shape market demand and influence business success.

Trends can be discovered in the short, medium, and long terms. Long-term trends are usually considered for building a core business strategy. They are based on the main audience's values, basic needs, and purposes or are evoked by global events that have a durable impact on the market and society. Usually, companies explore long-term trends to define the primary direction of the company's marketing.

You should also be aware of medium-term trends that reflect a bit quicker changes, experienced by the audience. They reflect what is the most important to your customers right now. You should be aware of them to be able to run marketing that immediately reacts to the audience's changing needs and interests.

Short-term trends are coming fast and going away even faster. They are shaped by the audience's quickly changing preferences and whims, but still are important. Companies use them for tactical purposes. Awareness in short-term trends helps a brand to be highly responsive to all the market changes and show customers that it is keeping abreast of everything they are thinking about. It also reveals that a company cares about its customers and tries to deliver what's the most actual for them at every single moment.

Armed with continuously updating information about trends, businesses can enhance marketing at all levels, addressing it to real customer needs and desires. Staying in the know with the latest trends, you can produce more engaging content, write better-targeted messages, and connect with the audience at the right places and at the right time.

Why Are We More About to Buy If It's "Trendy"?

We are living in a trend-following society. You may dislike trends followed by me, but likely both of us are trend followers. We just follow different trends and associate ourselves with different groups. It's all about the feeling of belonging. We buy things that seem trendy to us because we consciously or subconsciously want to be a part of a specific caste, tribe, community that is distinguished with something special.

However, we may also become followers of specific trends, being exposed to the pressure of global processes (positive and negative). These events can be organically turned into powerful trends and become central topics of all online and offline conversations. The recent Coronavirus outbreak is a perfect example. It penetrates all today's media content and social discussions. It's what really bothers people.

Even though we would rather not be a part of such brands, we still follow them because they are a part of our reality. We read related content, buy related goods, and listen to discussions about them.

Marketing is not only the way to sell something but also to communicate with a target audience and react to its reality. Successful brands care about customers, try to figure out what they need at the moment, and deliver it to people. They timely react to the changes in the consumer’s reality and trends that are saturating it. People choose brands with high adaptability to new trends because they are most likely to give them what they need at the moment.

What Is Trend Analysis and Why Do Brands Need It?

Trend analysis is a comprehensive research of tendencies that are impacting the market. It goes beyond the competitors' activities and aims to determine new customer behaviors, habits, and lifestyles. It gives an opportunity to predict how they can influence the brand's products and the overall industry market.

Trend analysis is an approach based on the idea that the course of a trend suggests not only the understanding of the current situation but can also allow you to forecast the future market. Trend analysis may become a powerful decision tool for intelligent brands. It guides them in how to optimize a marketing strategy, limits the risk of operational, tactical, and financial tactics, and allows them to respond to market changes immediately.

With this tool, business owners can make choices based on trends that most possibly suggest success and help prevent the implementation of strategies that are based on a little more than a hunch.

Benefits of Social Media Trend Analysis

By combining social media listening and trend analysis, marketers and entrepreneurs can monitor the conversations of real people about their brands, investigate trends influencing customers and businesses, and get invaluable insights into a target audience that can help them build high-converting sales funnels. Let's consider the benefits of social media trend monitoring for business in detail.

Get a better understanding of the target audience

Using advanced social media trend tools, companies can learn even more about customers, their interests, preferences, favorite brands of coffee or beer, places they visit, and the biggest trends affecting their choices. They also give information about customer demographics, psychographics, and even behavioral patterns.

Social media trend monitoring allows you to analyze real user conversations that demonstrate what a target audience likes or dislikes, what are its main values and goals, and how they are changing over time. These insights are needed to create content that speaks directly to customers.

Conduct detailed market research

Trend monitoring tools can help businesses identify trends by which they are performing well or underperforming, in comparison with competitors, and optimize their strategies accordingly. Moreover, social media trend analytics allows brands conduct market research more efficiently and less costly if compared with conventional methods, such as interviews and focus groups.

Social media listening tools give access to unbiased opinions of real customers that are discussing openly things that matter for them on social networks. They help determine actual consumer demand and get a better understanding of the market share. Trend analysis methods also help analysts and managers understand the short-term liquidity position of the company.

Build better products

Trends often dictate how the products should look or function. There are many established companies, which can influence the tastes and preferences of your potential customers. These global brands are trend-setters, that's why it's recommended to keep up with tendencies dictated by them to understand how to optimize your product and make it match the target audience's expectations.

Detect disruptive technological innovations

Social media trend analysis helps to stay updated with current innovations in the industry. It allows companies to identify the emergence of new technologies and make them think of how to incorporate these innovations. Social media trend monitoring helps companies to be innovation-savvy and stay ahead of the competition.

Identify potential networking and partnership opportunities

We can often see that breaking news and trends may appear around thought leaders. Trend analysis of social networks helps you find these people and discuss the opportunities for collaboration or partnership.

Run more effective marketing campaigns

With valuable information about consumers, competitors, and the market, you can implement marketing initiatives more effectively. Social media trend trackers enable you to create the content that strikes the emotional chord with your customers, run more engaging advertising campaigns, and target an audience more precisely.

Using AI-Powered Trend Detection in YouScan

YouScan is an effective social intelligence tool that empowers companies to lead the competition, staying on the crest of the grinding wave of trends and implementing marketing strategies with required changes.

Extended analytics: historical user engagement, demographics, sentiment, and more

It has an extended trend analytics dashboard that provides a vision of all the biggest trends related to a specific brand. This clear and concise report displays a complete picture of the target audience's interactions with a brand, as well as the latest tendencies and news occurred in user conversations during a defined period. It demonstrates user engagement based on likes, reposts, and comments. This report also shows the total number of brand mentions, authors, and the ratio of them revealed in a special metric - "Passion."

Below, you can see a report created for Adidas.

Analytics of Adidas mentions for MarchAnalytics of Adidas mentions for March

This social media intelligence tool has a particular feature - the so-called "trend bubbles." You can see them when hovering over the top points of the graph in the "Analytics" section. They allow you to preview the trend summary including mentions, authors, engagement, and sources where this trend has been discussed on the web.

YouScan gives you a quick understanding of user sentiment by displaying trend bubbles in different colors: red bubbles contain negative mentions, green ones are positive and blue — neutral.

Advanced Filtering

This powerful social media analytics tool has an advanced system of filters that helps you get the most precise results possible. You can filter searches by sentiment, post type, content type, language, and topics.

Advanced filteringAdvanced filtering

"Trends" Feature

Moreover, in YouScan, you can also see a shortlist of the most popular conversations right near the graph. It lets you monitor all the most critical trends at a glance.

Here you can see all the discussion trends related to Adidas that appeared on the web in March. You can go directly to an extended analytics report of every single trend from a list by clicking on its description.

Geo-location insights and the "Trends" FeatureGeo-location insights and the "Trends" Feature

YouScan's "Trends" feature demonstrates how particular news about a brand has been distributed across different sources, and what has triggered those discussions. This tool can help you analyze every detail in a breaking news situation.

Trend distribution across different channelsTrend distribution across different channels

Automated notifications about discussion trends

With YouScan, you can stay updated with discussion trends around your brand, product, company, or persona among your social media audience. You just need to set automated alerts in the Notifications tab.

Setting smart alerts about discussion trendsSetting smart alerts about discussion trends

Additionally, you can enable Smart Alerts for your teammates who don't have a YouScan account, but still want to stay informed about all the latest news and trends. YouScan's algorithm analyzes data in your topics and sends you email in case something important is happening with a brand online, for example, a sudden spike in mentions (particularly, negative-sentiment ones), rapidly increasing engagement, or if an influencer with a large follower base has published a post.

Finding thought leaders and trendsetters

You can easily find users who spark the brightest discussions about your brand on the web. Commonly, these people are influencers and trendsetters by default. YouScan provides an amazing opportunity to connect with thought leaders so that you can easily get acquainted with people whose opinions are particularly precious for your target audience and discuss possible collaboration with them.

To find trendsetters, you need to go to the Authors tab and filter them by influence, the number of your brand mentions, or engagement.

Finding top authors who mentioned your brandFinding top authors who mentioned your brand

Competitor research

You can complement your market research with competitor insights provided by YouScan. The system allows you to compare different brands by the number of mentions, sentiment, and share of conversation. It gives you a better understanding of the competitors' positions in the market and how they are perceived by your target audience.

Comparison of Emirates Airlines and United Airlines by mentionsComparison of Emirates Airlines and United Airlines by mentionsComparison of Emirates Airlines and United Airlines by sentiment and share of conversationComparison of Emirates Airlines and United Airlines by sentiment and share of conversation

Conclusion

Social media trend analysis is a powerful practice that helps business leaders make better-informed decisions and run more effective marketing at all levels. It allows companies to discover long-, medium-, and short-term trends in their industries, obtain target audience insights, investigate the customer's lifestyles and behavior, and even collect feedback about products, services, and brands.

With these insights, businesses can drive customer engagement and build better-performing sales funnels. Trend monitoring enables companies to follow not only the latest industry and market tendencies, but also keep track of the changes in the consumer’s reality and react to them. It allows brands to create better products, produce the content that speaks directly to the customer's heart, and conduct more effective digital marketing that increases brand awareness, builds customer loyalty, and drives conversions.

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