You learned that one of the benefits of social listening is increased user engagement with a brand. Social listening happens on many social media platforms through a variety of different methods. This case study describes how Erin and Dusty Stanczyk, founders of the Omaha, Nebraska-based healthy lifestyle brand EatMoveRest, successfully incorporated social listening to improve their content.
EatMoveRest operates under the belief that since people do three things everyday—eat, move, and rest—they should be doing them as best as they possibly can. EatMoveRest was established to coach people to achieve healthy and sustainable lifestyles. As part of its business model, EatMoveRest offers vegan meal planning, plant-based recipes, expert advice, coaching, and practical tips for sustainable living.
The Stanczyks built their business on the concept of friends sharing similar interests, but since they’ve built an online community, their social circle spans the globe. Their followers and clientele are people who are like-minded about their health.
Recall that social listening is tracking and analyzing conversations and trends related to a brand. Social listening is a big task for a business of any size. However, the main challenge for small businesses, like EatMoveRest, is there is too much feedback and not enough time to go through all the data, much less analyze it to make business or content decisions. Here are three specific challenges EatMoveRest encountered with social listening:
- Large volume of user comments
- No barriers or limits on expression in feedback
- Inability to reply to or address every comment
Large volume of user comments
YouTube and Instagram comments are endless. Users are free to give feedback whenever they choose, and it can be overwhelming to read, track, and respond to it all. Sifting through a massive volume of comments is a huge challenge.
No barriers or limits on expression in feedback
Many user comments are positive and constructive, but there are plenty of negative and sometimes hateful comments, too. There are no barriers on expression. It can be hard to identify useful feedback from thousands of people digitally “shouting” in strong language or bold text.
Inability to address or reply to every comment
Addressing the input from a large number of followers can be a difficult task to navigate. With the sheer volume of YouTube and Instagram comments, it’s impossible to post replies to all users.
The Stanczyks recommend these best practices or tips for social listening:
- Identify which channel is a priority to review comments.
- Offer followers designated times to provide feedback via chosen methods.
EatMoveRest prioritized the comments on its YouTube channel over other social media channels. The Stanczyks prioritized reading through and responding to these comments to make their viewers feel like they are a part of the EatMoveRest community. The opinions of these subscribers matter the most to the brand.
Designated times and methods for feedback
EatMoveRest started providing its followers designated times and methods to provide feedback. The Stanczyks could then plan for and set aside a certain amount of time to address the collected feedback. Setting designated times and methods for feedback enables a more detailed focus on constructive comments. Noisy and sometimes tasteless comments can be ignored.
Their favorite method of feedback is the Q&A feature in Instagram. It allows them to create a submission box right below their posted content. Users engage with the Stanczyks through direct and relevant messages submitted in the box. The feedback they get on their products, apps, website, recipes, and content is in one organized location, and they can reply to users promptly.
By prioritizing the review of YouTube comments and implementing designated times and methods for social listening, the Stanczyks were able to discover two problems and address them. One issue was with a particular style of content and the other issue was with their meal planning app.
Reversing changes to content
Much of EatMoveRest’s social media content takes the format of “a day in the life of the Stanczyk family.” Many young families find these types of videos to be a reflection of their own lives. They appreciate the vibrant colors in the house, the uplifting music in the background of the videos, and the positive reinforcement of their lifestyle choices. When the music in one video was a little darker than usual, YouTube subscribers let them know they preferred the uplifting music. The brand’s upbeat music style was validated through social listening. When Dusty Stanczyk posted a video about animal agriculture, YouTube subscribers also let him know through comments that this wasn’t the kind of content they wanted to watch. That video had veered from the usual positive and uplifting content EatMoveRest was well known for creating. Thumbs down and no shares! EatMoveRest now avoids posting any content like that on YouTube.
Improving the meal planning app
EatMoveRest also discovered an issue with its new meal planning app through social listening. After the launch of the app, the Stanczyks started getting Q&A feedback on Instagram that the recipes displayed were old. Although it wasn’t in the app’s design, users expected the recipes to rollover and change on a weekly basis. Because of its savvy and dedicated social listening practices, EatMoveRest heard its users and started to update the recipes in the app more frequently.
A business needs to actively listen on social media to understand how users are interacting with its brand. Feedback will be positive and constructive, negative and biased, or sometimes contentious. Even a brand like EatMoveRest with a loyal base of followers can benefit from making changes to its business practices or content after receiving constructive feedback through social listening.