In this blog post, I will cover a classroom social listening exercise. I was given a task to use freemium social listening tools to gain business insights. Below are the assumptions and objectives from where I got started.
I assumed that I am the product manager at LeEco that had recently launched two smartphones LeEco Le 2 and LeEco Max 2. My objective was to understand how successful the launch was; what should be our post-launch marketing strategy (based on market reception).
Brand and Situation Overview
LeEco, the Chinese technology company trying to combine content and hardware in its Le devices, launched two new smartphones in India: Le 2 and Le Max 2. Registrations for both phones opened on June 20, 2016 on Flipkart and company owned marketplace, LeMall.com. Le 2 and Le Max 2 were scheduled to go on sale at 12 pm and 2pm respectively on June 28, 2016.
Just like most do, I prefer to get started with Google Search and this time I am focusing on News Search. At a quick glance, I could say that most leading general-interest and business news agencies had given rave reviews to the newly launched smartphone. A few blog posts by tech and smartphone bloggers carried negative sentiments.
On June 25, 2016, the company had issued a press release stating that its registrations on LeMall.com crossed one lakh; however, registration details on Flipkart was unavailable.
One of the articles on Indian Express hinted that LeEco Le 2 was designed and priced to compete with Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Moto G4 Plus and Micromax Canvas 6 series. Another article on ibtimes.co.in stated that the company had announced a promotional offer as well; the company was committed to give 100 percent cashback to 200 lucky buyers of LeEco’s Le 2 and Le Max 2 — 100 for each.
The next social listening tool I prefer using in this case is Google Trends. I wish to understand how my brand has performed at the time of launch across all web searches. I wish to compare the buzz when competing brands were launched in the marketplace and understand whether my brand enjoys any better position. I select India trends from October 2015 to June 2016. The screenshot is as below.
Image: Search Trend Analysis for Newly Launched Budget Smartphones in India using Google Trends
Google Trends suggest that Moto G4 Plus and LeEco Le 2 enjoyed maximum and minimum buzz at the time of its launch. Since the launch and sale were to be driven online and the smartphone was available to consumers across the country, location-specific search trends can be skipped for now.
When one looks in to data that provides related searches, there’s an interesting pattern that one can spot. Smartphones that secured top two positions had “price” query as one of the top related searches with 100% strength and brands on last two position had “brand name India” query as one of the top related searches with 100% strength. This observation suggests that people who searched for Moto G4 Plus and Micromax Canvas 6 were considering purchase while those searching for Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and LeEco Le 2 were trying to understand the brand better.
Image: Top Related Searches for all four Smartphone Brands
I used SocialMention.com to analyze how many bloggers are mentioning LeEco Le 2 on their blog. The strength indicates number of mentions per hour and it is apparent that not many bloggers are writing / reviewing the smartphone. However, on the brighter side, overall sentiments are either positive or neutral. With the help of SocialMention.com, I am able to identify top keywords, top bloggers and top sources.
Image: SocialMention Screenshot – Overview
Image: SocialMention Screenshot – Sentiments and Top Keywords
Image: SocialMention Screenshot – Top Users and Sources
Further, I used IceRocket.com to conduct blog search on keywords, LeEco Le 2 and LeEco Le Max 2. The social listening tool shows that there are over 375 blog posts where one of the keywords has been mentioned. I visited a few blogs and realized that the ones written after June 20, 2016 were completely focused on the brand in questions; the ones written earlier simply carried brand mentions.
Image: Daily Blog Citation Trend by Meltwater
The next tool that I used was Trendinalia.com; my objective was to identify all trending hashtags around LeEco Le 2 and LeEco Le Max 2 since June 20, 2016. I could identify that one hashtag, #Le2onFlipkart, trended on Twitter since June 23, 2016.
|Date||Hashtag||HH:MM||Reason for Trending|
|June 25, 2016||#Le2onFlipkart||00:55||Contest run by @Nissatorg on June 23; further, news channels and people joining in to chatter.|
|June 24, 2016||#Le2onFlipkart||10:05||Contest run by @Nissatorg on June 23, 2016 and people joining in to chatter.|
|June 23, 2016||#Le2onFlipkart||05:25||Contest run by @Nissatorg on June 23, 2016 and people joining in to chatter.|
Quick glance through tweets suggested that the hashtag was trending due to a contest that was managed by @Nissatorg. Further, there are no hashtags on LeEco; this suggest that media announcements (registration opens and crossing one lakh registrations) could not create much buzz.
To further confirm my beliefs, I used Hashtagify.me and validated two facts:
- Popularity of #Le2onFlipkart was 27.1 and related hashtags had nothing to do with LeEco or smartphones. Rather, related hashtags were that of other brand contests running at that time and other hashtags related to current affairs.
- Top influencer for this hashtag was @Nissatorg and at third position we see @trendinaliaIN.
Screenshots below show both these:
Image: Popularity of #Le2OnFlipkart Hashtag
Image: Top Twitter Influencers who contributed to #Le2OnFlipkart Trend
Some popular social listening tools such as Hashtracking.com and TweetReach.com come with the limitation of providing insights that are recent and hence I am unable to make use of these tools. In one of my personal favorites, Mention.com, we need to start tracking when the hashtag/ keywords first break. Also, you may have observed that none of the social listening tools provide accuracy level of 100 percent; it is advisable to use more than one tool at a time. Moreover, there is lot of human intellect that’s required to analyze data and arrive conclusions.
Within above mentioned constraints and after analyzing data available, I can conclude that the LeEco Le 2 and Le Max 2 launch has not been able to create encouraging buzz. Of course, insights from official brand pages such as Facebook and Twitter will further help us understand how the brand launch was received. Further, average smartphones have a short lifecycle; those that are popular with customers enjoy a bit longer run. The company should consider industry trends, consumer response and design strategy to push their smartphone aggressively in the first phase itself. Sales promotions and influencer marketing campaigns can definitely help LeEco. The brand needs to create buzz around its strengths – Free content streaming for a year, Good battery life and High-fidelity audio via USB.
If you enjoyed reading my blog, you may also enjoy reading my colleague’s experience. Do visit the link: Social Listening: What contributed to recent surge in search trends for Maruti Suzuki Ignis?
Note: I am not an industry expert, nor I have worked with the brand. My observations and recommendations are purely for academic purpose.