Holiday shoppers are deciding which brands are being naughty and nice. Do you know if your customers will be giving you a lump of coal this year?

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Have you checked out the festive “Holiday Shopping Mood Meter” from the smart folks at NetBase? They’re tracking the consumer sentiment (i.e., mood) of the top 10 retailers during the holiday shopping season using their social intelligence technology. Neat stuff.

The mood meter currently shows Amazon.com with the most positive sentiment of the group while (spoiler alert!) … Walmart has the least. Just keep in mind that people’s moods change and so will the NetBase mood meter. So let’s start saying good things about Walmart on social media to help improve their ranking (just kidding).

But why do we care about holiday mood meters? We’re B2B marketers after all.

Who understands the mood of your target audience?

Because it got us wondering how many of you really understand the mood of your prospects and customers; we suspect the answer is too few.

Sure, you might do a quarterly or annual survey but that’s not exactly real-time data is it? And yes, you get feedback at your weekly meeting with the head of sales, but that’s mostly to hear how there aren’t enough leads (and that the leads are crap).

Maybe you’re at least tracking social media to get alerted when someone mentions your brand or (oh no) a competitor’s. A good start for sure. But we wouldn’t call that being tuned in to the mood of your target audience. Would you?

Why Listen?

Instead, you need to develop your very own mood meter for your target audience. In other words, you need a way to really listen to what your prospects and customers are talking about, reading and sharing on social media.

Here are seven reasons why: