Top five tips for carrying out social media insights

When it comes to social media insights there’s 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 here’s 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.

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.

Do keep an open mind

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. You may have a preconceived idea of what’s being said about your brand, about the industry, or even a competitor. Even if the data confirms your instinct, do still allow it 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. Here’s two examples for this.

  • Having worked with a number of film studios, there’s been plenty of occasions where I’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 despite being positive as they show alliance to the film. In this case, it may be that there are actually more people positively defending the film than there are boycotters, so it’s important to always dig a little deeper with your data.
  • 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. 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”.

Listen to conversations outside of your brand

For great audience profiling it’s important to 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 than you had previously imagined.

Don’t assume people won’t be talking about your services or brand

Social media isn’t 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.


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