Cutting through the Clutter of Social Media

Designer's Table with Social Media Notes and Tools
In a recent webinar, Anna Startseva and Cassie Clayton of Netbase introduced a few interesting tricks in cutting through the clutter that is pervasive in social media data. The advantage of a tool like Netbase is it allows marketers to understand the volume and public sentiment about their own brand plus that of their competitors.

Social media traffic is not one stream, but many that–when combined–provide insight into what people are saying in public about a brand. This holds true both for B2C as well as B2B brands. The streams include those from micro-blogs (such as Twitter), stand-alone blogs, news feeds, and networks such as LinkedIn. (Most Facebook updates are not available.)

The Netbase platform allows the user to track the volume of chatter, the sources of the chatter, and the overall sentiment over time. Key phrases can be used to filter the analysis and isolate those individuals who are driving directional changes in volume and sentiment. The tool tracks mentions and provides an estimate of the number of impressions those mentions generate.

The case studies presented focused on Marriott and Dairy Queen. Leveraging a tool like Netbase provides marketers and researchers the ability to manage significant volumes of information. For example, Marriott receives between 25,000 and 40,000 mentions daily. In one case when overall sentiment declined significantly it was due to complaints about the company’s policy of allowing an organization to use its facilities for programming that was perceived as anti-gay. The tool clearly showed how a single complaint went viral via numerous re-tweets.

Dairy Queen used the tool as a means of ramping up prior to the summer season, which is prime time for ice cream sales. DQ’s marketers could identify individuals talking about ice cream and target them with specific offers, using social media to drive targeted marketing efforts.

Users of Netbase can create segments, e.g. Business Traveler, Family Vacations, and Personal Trips, and follow sentiment and volume by segment. Segments are collections of keywords. Netbase also allows the user to see the actual comments from tweets, blogs and other sources.

Perhaps one of the best features is the tool’s ability to follow not only your comments, but those of your closest competitors, thus bringing a new dimension to competitive intelligence efforts.

Shouting out the voice of the customer through market research, analytics, and strategy with a bit of distinctive flair. Greg Timpany directs the research efforts for Global Knowledge in Cary, North Carolina, and runs Anova Market Research. You can follow him on Twitter @DataDudeGreg.

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