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How Salesforce Uses Social Studio for Real-Time Insights During Big Sales Holidays

Salesforce uses Social Studio for real-time insights during big sales holidays

As you gear up for planning your 2020 big holidays strategies, we're sharing our tips and best practices for making the most of retail holidays with Social Studio.

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Labor Day sales. Prime Day. If you’re a marketer, you know these shopping holidays require weeks of hard work creating ads that cut through the clutter and stand out in customers’ minds.

Last year, the public relations team at Salesforce used Social Studio to learn which products drove the most conversations and what factors contributed to positive and negative social sentiment during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As you gear up for planning your 2020 big holidays strategies, we’d like to share our tips and best practices for making the most of retail holidays with Social Studio.


1. Use real-time metrics to stay up to date

Social marketing, whether it’s organic or paid, is a key part of creating modern and compelling customer journeys. It’s essential to constantly monitor your customers’ hottest conversation topics and get detailed information about the latest trends. Unfortunately, this can be hard to accomplish at scale if you’re using lightweight tools.

To get a comprehensive understanding of customer conversations in real-time, we used Social Studio. Right away, we could see many meaningful metrics — for instance, people were using the hashtags #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday 82% more than the previous year. When we saw that people mentioned the Sony PlayStation 4 more than any other product, we understood that video games were a major driver of Black Friday purchases.

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Then, we went beyond the numbers and metrics with Einstein Vision, which let us see logos and pictures that people were posting to social media. This gave us a clear idea of what people wanted to buy and where they’d be shopping. The great thing about social media is that it gives you multiple perspectives on audience behavior — it’s not just about numbers.

2. Use keywords to understand macro trends

Did you know that fewer than half of marketing leaders (only 49%) believe they provide experiences that are completely aligned with customer expectations? Social media data can help you get a better understanding of what your customers really want.

Here’s a tip: when researching your audiences’ social media posts, look for interesting phrases in word cloud visualizations, and analyze common themes in posts which mention those phrases. There’s usually a logical correlation that you can gain unique insights from.

For example, our Social Studio word cloud showed the word waiting a lot. Canadians were being very vocal about waiting for Black Friday — which meant that they were probably not making purchases in the weeks leading up to it. People find it painful to wait, so there might be value in starting sales earlier.

3. Use narratives to inspire engagement

Real-time engagement is the top priority for today’s marketers. Unfortunately, it’s also their top challenge. When it comes to real-time communication with customers, social media is key.

With the “Workbenches” feature in Social Studio, you can go beyond high-level audience metrics and drill down deeper into real discussions. This gives you a quick understanding of the underlying reasons for your audiences’ behaviors, allowing you to build a narrative based on their actions.

Here’s an example of how we did this. We filtered for sentiment on Black Friday social media posts by Canada Post, which was our target audience for this analysis. This allowed us to understand the real conversation, and surprisingly, the overall sentiment was 56.9% negative. We worried that people were upset about purchases, but by viewing the top words — strikes, delays — we realized they were mostly concerned with delayed delivery of their purchases.

When you understand what your customers are saying, and where they’re saying it, you can engage them in real time with messaging that relates to their exact needs in the moment. Social media is key to personalized customer engagement, and with the right tools, you can now get more powerful social insights than ever.

To see Social Studio in action during Black Friday, watch this short webinar about everything our team learned last year.

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