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A Traveler’s Guide to Social Listening Analysis: License Plate Game

The final stop on our journey through social listening analysis is targeted marketing. Part 1 explored how the client’s data took analyst Traci off the main path and into manual analysis. Part 2 illustrated how she segmented the conversation to get at all of the client’s brand attributes. This final post reveals insights she discovers that will help the client meet their enrollment goals.

Campus Sonar blog image of a car traveling along a road of trees made from bar graphs for A Traveler's Guide Part 3License Plate Game

Before iPads, popular road trip entertainment included the License Plate Game. The premise is to find the most license plates from different states during your trip. A recent client wanted something very similar. While I was on the road analyzing the institution’s conversation, I identified if mentions came from 19 enrollment pipeline areas in surrounding states. To boast, I found mentions in 12 of the pipeline areas (this is where your annoying kid brother yells, “In Your Face!”). This information would inform target marketing to raise visibility to those pipelines.    

With our social listening software, I used the search query I created to pull in all mentions of the institution and filter each pipeline area by location to segment the mentions. There were a total of 230 mentions with the highest volume of mentions (50) coming from a conference sports rival.

Bar graph showing the Number of Mentions for Pipeline Areas

Just like the challenge of playing the License Plate Game within the confines of your view out the car window, what you’re looking for may not be found. The same was true with the seven pipeline areas where I couldn't find mentions because people weren’t talking about the institution during the window of time analyzed.

Strategic Insight

As a free project for a potential paying client, identifying those seven silent pipeline areas helps the client know where to raise visibility. For a paid partner, we would provide a comprehensive analysis of pipeline areas to inform marketing strategy. This can have some serious short- and long-term impact on enrollment outcomes.

  • In the areas where conversation already exists, we can see what topics are discussed and who’s discussing them to inform multi-channel marketing campaigns and identify potential influencer or high school outreach tactics.
  • In the areas where there is no conversation, we can take a reverse approach. We’d identify college-bound students based on the information available in their social media profiles (e.g., Twitter and Instagram), and build an audience of a few dozen people we could analyze over time. This is our always-on online focus group that allows us to better understand the attitudes and behavior of college-bound students in that region. Insights gained from that analysis can help the campus understand what messages will resonate best in that potential pipeline and how to target online advertising. We can continue to watch the online audience over time to determine if the message was received and had an impact on conversation.

On the Road Again

Our journey is over and now you’ve seen how a curious explorer of social listening data can find themselves off the beaten path, focused on athletics, or not reaching all of their targets. With their destination known and a well-packed suitcase any road hazard can be diverted into actionable insights to inform strategy for our campus clients. Time to Hit the Open Road!

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The post A Traveler's Guide to Social Listening Analysis: License Plate Game originally appeared on the Campus Sonar Brain Waves blog.

Traci Sesko

Traci Sesko is a Campus Sonar analyst with 12 years of experience in the student loan industry and a lifetime of experience studying human behavior. When Traci isn't analyzing conversations, she's engaging in them, making new connections wherever she goes.

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