How Do Social Listening Tools Work?

First things first – Social listening is the process of finding out what people are saying about a particular topic, brand, personality, etc. online. (You may read our previous blog “Social Listening 101” to learn more. You may also be interested in this interesting discussion on social media monitoring). In a very basic sense, social listening can be done by searching for keywords in the search bars of social media sites and manually checking through the post results:

Searching for posts on social media sites

While this sounds easy enough, it’s an incredibly tedious method and will not give you the full picture of what online conversations around a certain topic are about. That’s where social listening tools like Circus Social’s 20/Twenty come in handy. 

What do social listening tools do?

Simply put, social listening tools work like a Google search engine, displaying mentions of a keyword or topic from social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit), blogs, forums, e-commerce, and product review sites, among many others. It’s important to note that only public posts are legally allowed to be crawled by social listening tools. If you come across a tool that provides private data, it’s probably been generated through illegal means. Circus Social works with reputable data providers and social media platforms to gain special access to public data. This is done after going through extensive reviews to ensure your private data is not accessed and personally identifiable information is not extracted and available.

How is data obtained from these sources?

Data is primarily obtained through data partnerships with companies such as GNIP (Twitter data provider), Facebook, Google, and many other sources. In addition to this, Circus Social has proprietary data crawlers that capture public data on blogs, forums, and websites via RSS feeds or APIs.

How can social listening tools find relevant mentions?

Searching for data in social listening tools such as 20/Twenty is done using keywords. If you want to find out what people are saying about iPhones, simply type in the term “iPhone” and online posts containing this term will appear:

From #iPhone to Apple phone, there are so many ways in which iPhones are discussed, which is why you need to include other relevant keywords when conducting a search. This is called a Boolean query, which is a combination of words and operators. There are a number of operators you can use to make your search term more robust, but these are the most common ones:

Circus Social's Boolean Operator Guide

So how can we improve our search for mentions of iPhone? We can use a Boolean query like this:

iphone OR “#iphone” OR “#iphoneSE” OR “#iphone11” OR “#iphone11pro” OR “#iphone11promax” OR ((apple) AND (phone OR cellphone OR mobile))

By adding a few more keywords and Boolean operators, our search results increased by more than 2,000 mentions:

Searching for keywords on 20/Twenty

We hope that our simple explainer of how social listening works has piqued your interest! Check out the video below to see what else is possible in 20/Twenty.

If you’d like to learn more about the data 20/Twenty can track, feel free to reach out to us by email at insights@circussocial.com or contact us here

Life In Lockdown: Video Streaming In India

Circus Social decodes the social media chatter on streaming brands in India and deciphers demographic interest across various generations and gender in the latest article on Lockdown Streaming Action – COVID times!

With the rise in days of lockdown period, the discussions around video content consumption have increased over 22% compared to the pre-COVID days. Audiences have chosen to stay glued to various historical shows, mythological stories, comedy and drama throughout the period but are all the generations consuming the same content? What are the brands doing during COVID? How are netizens reacting during COVID?  Get the full view in our latest infographic!

Read on below to get your bite of some social media analysis from our next-gen social intelligence platform, 20/Twenty.

For more information on social media insights and comprehensive topic/event tracking, contact info@circussocial.com or get in touch here.

Beyond Social Listening: Social Media Data + Other Data Sources = More Insightful Reports

If you’ve visited our blog before, you’ll know that there are several ways that social listening can be leveraged to understand consumer habits, set benchmarks, and track conversations across social media. But did you know that it is also possible to combine other data sources with social data to come up with more robust insights?

At Circus Social, with 20/Twenty, we have been integrating various types of data in our reports for our clients. Read on to know how a social listening agency does it!

#1: Integrating Social Data with Google Search Data

Social chatter is a good indicator that people are interested about a certain topic – but what about topics they don’t necessarily talk about on social media? In some cases, search data can be a stronger proof of interest than buzz volume.

Let’s say you want to discover the top skin care concerns in Singapore. Since it is an embarrassing topic, people may not necessarily talk about acne or psoriasis on Twitter or Instagram. But they are likely to search for solutions for these problems on more ‘private’ search platforms, like Google.

So in this case, search data can indicate interest, but social data can explain qualitatively why people are interested in that particular topic – for example, reasons why acne is a problem for them, products they use to manage their acne, and many explanations.

Search gives you a trigger, Social gives you the reason for the trigger.

So, where exactly can you access Google search data? Trends in Google search volumes are openly available in the Google Trends website. This site analyzes the popularity of search queries in Google across various locations and languages. You can also get search data from the Keyword Planner tool if you have a Google Adwords account. Compared with Google Trends, this tool provides more accurate search volumes (especially if you have a paying account).

More insightful reports - easily done by combining different data sources & social media!
More insightful reports – easily done by combining different data sources & social media!
Popular Use Cases:
  1. Trend Spotting/Tracking – Search data is especially useful for identifying trends because it allows people to search for topics even before they start talking about them and can help indicate when interest for a topic started. Then, social data can be used to look at specific conversation themes about these trends.
  2. Brand Health Tracking – Especially when looked at in comparison with competitors, search data can tell you where your brand stands, specifically in terms of awareness. Social data is a good reference for brand associations and you can also complement this data with related search terms, which can be found in both Google Trends and Adwords Keyword Planner.
  3. Campaign Tracking – Other than looking at increase in social conversations, it helps to see if your campaign had an impact on how much people have searched about your brand on Google.

#2: Using Social Data to Complement Traditional Research Data

We have a number of Market Research Agency partners and they usually ask us to look at social media data to dig deeper into traditional research tracker findings.

Traditional research is often not able to fully explain the ‘whys’ behind findings and numbers a lot of times. Once a study concludes, traditional researchers just need to work with the data that they have. If they have additional questions that need to be answered, they would need to start another study. This is where digital research comes in – because it is possible to pull historical data using social listening tools.

In one of the projects that we did, the Retail Audit and Brand Health Tracker Data showed that a client’s competitor brand had an increase in Market Share and Consumption, despite a decrease in advertising spends. Their Brand Equity score increased including all specific imagery statements (i.e. Love/Taste). What could have caused the increase of this score?

Working together with the Market Research Agency, we were able to identify specific periods when scores increased and looked at social conversations during these periods. After deep-diving into these conversations, we found out that consumers created a new demand occasion for the product which became popular in that country.

More insightful reports - easily done by combining different data sources & social media!
More insightful reports – easily done by combining different data sources & social media!

Popular Use Cases:

  1. Brand Health/Equity Tracking – Market Research can be the basis of qualitative social media data analysis.
  2. Supplementing Qualitative Research – For one of our clients, we found out that online review sites were influential sources of information that affected consumer purchase behavior. Through social listening, we were able to identify which particular websites consumers visited and Qualitative Research explained why people preferred these websites.

#3: Combining Social Data with Sales Data

If traditional research has not been done, social data can often explain movements in sales volumes and provides more in-depth insights. Just take note though, there may be a lag between when people talk or search about a product and when they actually purchase it. Hence, it is best to analyze these data points over a longer duration to really see the correlations between them.

More insightful reports - easily done by combining different data sources & social media!
More insightful reports – easily done by combining different data sources & social media!

Popular Use Cases:

  1. Campaign Tracking – Ideally, campaigns that you launch should have an impact on sales. Aside from the usual metrics analyzed for post-campaign evaluation reports such as reach, impressions, volume of social conversations, social engagements, etc., you may also look at the correlations between these data points and sales data.
  2. Consumer Purchase Behavior Analysis – For some brands, they may notice that sales volumes peak and drop at certain months of the year. These may not necessarily be because of campaigns especially if they are not implemented on a regular basis. Reasons for seasonality in purchase trends can be uncovered by looking at social data alongside sales data.

By no means are these the only data sources that can be integrated with social data (you can also look at website traffic data, digital media performance metrics, among others). The key is to track as much data points as you can and organize your data so you can easily discover correlations whenever you need them.

You’ll never know how much value you can get from your data if you don’t try playing around with it!

Circus Social can help you look at your social, search, sales & many other forms of data to uncover deeper insights – just like how we have helped our clients make sense of theirs!

View KPIs across displays, real-time!

Introducing The Circus Command Centre

The Circus Command Centre made a fantastic debut at the Spikes Asia 2016 conference in Singapore.
This is a perfect solution for viewing your key brand KPI’s across displays. We enable the use of powerful realtime visualizations for your brand dashboards and war rooms, building on our core social intelligence platform, 20/Twenty.

What’s it about?

In a nutshell –

  • A smart display solution for viewing all your important data points
  • Real-time data feeds display
  • Powerful visualisations of data all tailor-made to suit your requirements
  • Seamless integration with your existing dashboards/display solutions

What can you do with it?

  • Daily social media and news monitoring
  • Daily brand health & KPI monitoring
  • Campaign monitoring
  • Data feed display across devices
  • Integrate as an additional powerful input to your existing dashboards
  • So MUCH MORE!

If you would like to book a demo, simply click here and we’ll help you get started.

View all your key KPIs in one custom dashboard - The Circus Command Centre!
Powerful metrics all in one custom. real-time dashboard!

Pro-active people love pro-active platforms!

Everyone loves a proactive team. The dream team that always volunteers, is up to try new things and one that uses intuition to sense a crash-and-burn situation.

We wondered why no listening tools out there in the market today offer the same type of ‘pro-active’ features we look for in everyday life?

So we spoke with dozens of marketers to discuss the concept of the world’s first ‘pro-active and pre-emptive’ platform- and they loved the idea!

We also spoke with them about how contingencies are dealt with currently – and how when most crisis situations hit, they are usually followed by chaos and impulsive, panicky decisions.

  • Share of voice is suddenly monitored,
  • Sentiment is tracked closely,
  • Detractors are added to watch lists,
  • Holding statements are prepared,
  • And suddenly, a command center has sprung up to help ‘manage’ a situation..…but all of this happens ‘after’.

A lot of the time (but not always), brands, comms teams and agencies are already aware of ’situations’ that could ‘take a turn for the worse’. In these instances more than others, the power of getting a warning and already being prepared has never been easier.

As a result, one of the new features on our platform is the Alerts functionality.

Alerts allows you to customize what matters to you – not just as a whole for your team, but also for you as an individual.

We send our clients ‘signals’ that allow them to be notified of what matters to them, as soon as it happens – without having to log in after you’ve been notified by your boss/ your friend/ a journalist.

  • Hosting an event? Set up an alert for increases in share of voice- and work with your teams to ensure it stays high.
  • Heard there was a packaging problem at the factory? Set up a keyword alert for the factory name, location and product details – and have your communications and digital team ready with a holding statement.
  • Have a feeling that your new brand logo may not be so well-received? Set up an alert to notify you of any changes in sentiment for your topic/ brand – and then respond to how your consumers feel.

We’ve tried to make it easier for brands to be on top of ‘potential’ situations.

This is why we are the world’s first pro-active social media monitoring and insights platform. You set up alerts to reach you in your inbox without having to log in. And once you do need to – simply click on the link and go deeper from your mobile, your tablet or your desktop.

20/Twenty – brings you pro-active perfect vision. Because being passive never really got anyone to where they needed to go.

Get in touch
Prerna Pant: prerna dot pant at circussocial.com

Save your interns’ lives – use a Listening Platform even your CEO can understand.

Before we started building 20/Twenty, we interviewed over a 100 marketing and social media managers who were users of different listening platforms.  We found a very interesting thread running through the  experiences most marketers had with Listening Platforms.
  • Stage 1: Encounter aggressive sales pitch
  • Stage 2: Sign up
  • Stage 3: Struggle through set up
  • Stage 4: It’s ready to use!
  • Stage 5: Hmm…it’s too complicated.
  • Stage 6: Give it to the intern / account executive.
  • Stage 7: Ignore the PDF reports that the intern / exec emails once a week.
With this learning in mind, we vowed to build something that is super intuitive and easy to use. Our clients believe we have succeeded in doing so! Find out more here.
Please get in touch for a free demo – and save your intern’s life!
PS: Ease of use is just one of the differentiators we have. Click here to find out why 20/Twenty is special