Top Five Tips for Carrying out Social Media Insights

When it comes to social media insights there is so much more than simply looking at total number of mentions, potential impressions and machine learnt sentiment, but with the vast amount of data available it can all be a little daunting.

To help you on your way we have put together five simple tips to guide you on our social media insights best practice and to hopefully break down some “barriers” in order to enrich your insights experience.

  • First and foremost know what you want to get out of the insights. When first presented with vast amounts of data it is easy to be overwhelmed, but having a desired outcome will keep you on track and focused on your quest.
  • But do keep an open-mind. Having a structure and a desired outcome is important however don’t go into the research with a rigid notion. For example you may have a preconceived idea of what is being said about your brand, about the industry, or even a competitor and you may find that the data confirms your instinct, but do allow the data to enrich your understanding and guide you into new discoveries.
  • Scratch below the machine learnt sentiment. Just because something is appearing negative this may be a good thing for you, or just because something has negatively impacted the industry or your brand, don’t immediately think this is going to affect the bottom line. We have two examples for this.
    1. There have been plenty of occasions where we’ve seen films being targeted by a boycott. However, whilst the original boycott messages are behind the negativity, those that are “angry” and defending the film will also appear with a negative sentiment but in fact they are positive as they show alliance to the film. By digging a little deeper you may find that those defending the film and getting angry at the boycotters are in larger volume than those starting the protest.
    2. If the industry were to suffer a reputational crisis, negative sentiment will increase. This also does not necessarily correlate to a) your brand and b) conversations around intent-to-purchase so make sure you don’t just use sentiment as your guide but that you have well put together themes and tags to identify the conversations that really matter and reflect the true “sentiment” and in this case potential effect on the bottom line
  • (This is great for audience profiling), listen to what other conversations are being had outside of those directly mentioning your brand. If you want to build a true picture of your potential customers and audience, listen to what else they have talked about. When mentioning a brand it is more likely that an author on social media may be doing so for specific reasons, i.e. to complain, to enter a promotion/competition or to ask for product advice etc, this data is useful to build a picture of popular complaints, issues, and spot opportunities, but listening to the other conversation can guide your content strategy, partnerships/sponsorships and advertising (to name but a few). It may even surprise you that you might have more audience segmentations that you had previously imagined.
  • Don’t make the assumption that people won’t be talking about your services, or brand. Social media is not just your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels, with more sensitive information such as healthcare, finance, and insurance authors online may chose more appropriate forums. So think outside the typical channels when doing your research.

So there you have it, our social media insights best practices tips in a “sort of” nutshell.

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