How social listening and 3rd party conversations boost brand reach (and how they could work for you)

In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become powerful tools for brands to engage with their target audience and enhance brand awareness. One highly effective strategy that leverages the power of social media is active participation in 3rd party conversations. These conversations refer to discussions and interactions on social media platforms between users who are not directly affiliated with a particular brand or company. By monitoring relevant topics and actively engaging in these conversations, brands can unlock several benefits that significantly contribute to their overall reach and success.

The Power of 3rd Party Conversations:

Engaging in 3rd party conversations offers numerous advantages that can significantly enhance a brand’s online presence. Firstly, it humanises the brand by showcasing its personality and values. By actively participating in conversations that align with the brand’s values, companies can demonstrate their commitment to important social issues and establish a deeper connection with their target audience. Research has shown that over 70% of people are inclined to make purchases from brands that share their values.

Moreover, active engagement in 3rd party conversations helps to increase brand awareness within the relevant audience. By participating in discussions that are relevant to their industry or niche, brands can attract the attention of potential customers who are already interested in the topic. This increased visibility can lead to higher brand recognition and recall, ensuring that the brand remains at the forefront of potential customers’ minds when making purchasing decisions.

A Real-Life Example:

To illustrate the impact of 3rd party conversations, let’s consider a real-life example from 2020 involving M&S and Aldi. When M&S and Aldi had a lawsuit regarding Casper the chocolate cake, Aldi cleverly capitalised on the opportunity to create a humorous social media post about it. This post sparked a conversation, with various brands and individuals joining in. By actively participating in this 3rd party conversation, the brands involved were able to leverage the success of Aldi’s campaign to humanise their own brand, share their values, and gain exposure to a broader audience.

How to Participate in 3rd-Party Conversations:

Engaging in 3rd party conversations requires a strategic approach to ensure maximum effectiveness. Here’s a simple guide to help you get started:

  1. Identify your brand values, competitors, and key product or service characteristics. Understanding these aspects will help you identify relevant topics and discussions to participate in.
  2. Set up a social listening system using tools like Google Alerts. Monitor the terms and topics that align with your brand’s values and industry. This will enable you to stay updated on relevant conversations happening on social media platforms.
  3. When you receive an alert about a relevant term or topic, evaluate how you can contribute value to the conversation. It’s essential to focus on providing valuable insights, knowledge, or even humour, rather than approaching it as a sales pitch. By offering valuable contributions, you establish credibility and pique the interest of others, prompting them to explore your brand further.

Participating in 3rd party conversations is a valuable strategy for brands to create awareness, humanise their brand, and establish relevance with their target audience. By actively engaging in discussions related to their industry or values, brands can connect with their audience on a personal level and build trust. However, it’s crucial to remember that these conversations should provide value to the discussion rather than being self-promotional.

To maximise the benefits of 3rd party conversations, brands should consistently monitor relevant topics and stay updated on the latest discussions. By positioning themselves as thought leaders and making meaningful contributions to the conversations, brands can increase their reach, attract new customers, and solidify their brand’s reputation in the digital landscape.

Elisabeth Klingler

About the author: Elisabeth Klingler
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