If your B2B organization doesn’t see a lot of brand or product-specific mentions via social media, not to worry…you can still mine incredible insights by focusing on general product categories. Analyzing mentions of general product categories like “payment processing software,” or “CRM” can be even more valuable than the insight you’d get from just focusing on your brand. Here’s why:

1. Greater Ability to Segment Data

Since you’re pulling general product category data, you can do further analysis by simply applying segmentation measures to the data set to include or exclude certain players in a particular category. For instance, if you pull a data set on “CRM,” you’re likely going to get a bunch of data on the likes of Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Oracle and many others. So, by looking at general product categories, you have a really good chance at taking that data set and mining for competitive intelligence.

2. Analyze General Product Features for Sentiment

Sticking with a data set on “CRM,” you can get a grasp on the features and functionality end-users think are good and bad by applying sentiment scores to the data. If you have access to a social media monitoring platform like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it’s pretty easy to look at general sentiment. So, for a data set that yields 25,000 mentions of “CRM,” you can separate the negatives from the positives and look for common themes. ¬†There are a few different ways to get here, but my recommendation would be to build a Boolean query within a data set marked “negative” and use a system that will show most common keywords used within the data set. You can also just download to Excel and look for occurrences of specific words.

3.Use Trends in the Data to Inform Your Content Strategy

I once did some work for a B2B Financial Services company. Their ultimate goal was to use general product category data to inform their content marketing, meaning they wanted to harness general data to show trends in industry terminology, keywords used most frequently, topical themes and more, all for the purpose of developing content that spoke to their core audience more effectively. For other B2Bs taking note, this is a really good place to start. This was done by analyzing thousands of conversations that were happening within blogs and forums that covered their general product categories. These blogs and forums catered to their target customers, so the application was two-fold in that the subject matter being discussed was on the general product category and secondly, because the discussions were coming from their target B2B customers.

How else can B2Bs leverage general product category data from social media? Give us your thoughts below.

¬†Learn more about B2B social media in this free ebook, Social Media for B2B: A Beginner’s Guide.