Social listening case studies – three brands who nailed it

Social media monitoring is a well established marketing tool, but how many brands use it to inform business decisions?

social listening case studies

All marketers know the importance of social listening to find out what people are saying about your brand. But some take it a step further, integrating social listening into significant business decisions.

Robert Tebby of Talkwalker – a social media analytics and monitoring platform – talks us through three case studies that illustrate just how important it is to keep your ear to the ground…

Merck Global

Merck is a B2B company that manufactures screens and displays. As a B2B firm they don’t have a direct relationship with consumers – which means they don’t really have an open communication channel with them and therefore don’t get that instant feedback from the people using their products.

“Their priority is naturally to make a product that will appeal to consumers, so they need to know what consumers really care about. They know what the smartphone manufacturers want them to do, but the products are only going to be purchased on the basis that people like them.

“So they had a question for us. They wanted to understand what were the features within a smartphone screen that push the needle in terms of customer satisfaction. So they used our system to map the different keywords people were using to positively describe the smartphone on blogs and forums, and on social media in general.

“They realised that the thing that had the biggest impact on the impression of quality was the resolution of the smartphone. So with that in mind they only really had one angle they could go with and decided to invest in product development to improve screen resolution.”


“Another great example of using social listening to enhance your brand is Fitbit. In their case they’ve used social listening to find out new ways that consumers are using their products.

“So we picked up that Fitbits were being used in clinical studies, being used to catch criminals, being used as evidence against people. All this can be used to generate positive press. You can pick up stories and spin them as ways to get into new markets or just to create a buzz on social. But without listening for it you’re probably never going to spot those opportunities in the first place.”

>> READ NEXT: 10 of the best free social media monitoring tools <<

Bella & Brava

Bella & Brava is a chain of pizza restaurants that focus on healthy living. They wanted to choose a location for a new restaurant, but they wanted to base it on a data-driven approach. So we created clusters of keywords that were linked to the values of the brand – words like ‘healthy’, ‘vegetarian’, ‘vegan’, ‘authentic Italian’.

“We put those keywords into our system, and then find all the people who are talking about pizza and pizzarias and then filter it down based on our keywords. This helps us discover where the interest is in terms of the product, but also where that interest lines up with the healthy living ideas that the consumers have. This would tell us where we’re going to have the most relevancy for opening a new restaurant.

“So we started off with about 450,000 records, and drilled it down to about 2,000 high-quality results made up of people interested in the core values of the brand. At the end of the process, Bella & Brava had a range of locations that weren’t even in their initial planning. Places that were maybe a little more quirky, more interested in a vegan, healthy lifestyle.”


“The lesson is that you can’t take anything in isolation, it has to form part of a holistic view on data. As the Bella & Brava CEO said: ‘Nowadays it’s important to integrate digital and technology with classic analysis methods to be able to go one step further than the competition and provide support for entrepreneurial instincts.’ ”

This content was initially delivered as part of a presentation at the DMWF Conference and Expo in London in April 2018.

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