Amidst all the criticism of Twitter, through their inaction on Terms of Service violations, to their slowing growth, to their lack of profit, one thing that often gets overlooked is the platform’s value in terms of data, and tracking real-time trends.
This, of course, if central to Twitter’s ‘Happening Now’ ethos, which is now central to their marketing efforts, but even with it being a core element, many still fail to understand just how valuable Twitter data can be for detecting trends and movements before they become more significant.
I’ve written previously about how Tweets can be used to predict earthquakes, manage crime, expedite response to natural disasters, predict stock market fluctuations - the list goes on. Even with only 330 million users – a fraction of Facebook’s audience – the amount of Twitter activity is enough to detect indicative trends, and the public nature of tweets enables anyone proactive enough to act upon them, in order to boost their market understanding and promotional effectiveness.
That’s why this new dataset from BrandWatch, in collaboration with Twitter, is so great.
Working with Twitter’s data team. Brandwatch have analysed billions of tweets in order to highlight some key data trends, and underline what, exactly, businesses can do with Twitter data. This is the sort of insight that Twitter needs to promote more of, to highlight just how valuable Twitter trend data can be.
And there are some great examples to consider - for example, here’s a look at the amount of mentions Starbucks gets on Twitter in relation to incorrectly spelled names on coffee cups – which may or may not be deliberate (and either way, generates a lot of attention).
Interesting, right? It’s not the Holy Grail of data points, but it’s an indicative trend, a real-world, behavioral response that can help formulate brand campaigns.
What about this – the percentage of people who follow each major US news outlet and the fast food brands they also follow on Twitter.
Again, that’s more interesting than impactful, but it highlights how correlations, at a broad enough scale, and with comparative benchmarks, can provide relevant insight, which, again, can help inform your marketing approach.
This chart looks at what people discussing the various major auto brands focus on the most, likely key information for those in the automotive sector.
On a small scale, these conversations might not be indicative, but through billions of tweets, those trends become clear, and do form relevant patterns worthy of note.
There’s also a look at workout trends on the platform, which could help inform the strategy of a gym or related business.
What about the comparative interests of cat and dog lovers?
Or this – using visual recognition, Brandwatch has analyzed how many times Heineken’s logo was displayed in tweeted images, with and without mentioning the brand name in the text.
That could indicate that there’s a heap of influencer collaborations and exposure opportunities being missed by many brands.
There are a lot more examples in Brandwatch’s full report, which is worth reading to get a better understanding of what’s possible via tweet data, to get you thinking about how you might be able to use similar in your process.
There’s a heap of insights to be gleaned from Twitter, and not all of them require high cost. There are ways to extract Twitter insights, and stay on top of key trends, through the investment of a little time and effort.
Ideally, though, you need access to Twitter’s full tweet archive, which is not available for free. But as shown here, it can be worth the investment to utilize Twitter’s full dataset – through relevant searches, you can find correlations and audience trends you may not have been aware of, key notes that can help refine and improve your social ad targeting – not just on Twitter, but across all your campaigns, on and offline.
The value of Twitter data in this regard cannot be overstated – there’s a heap of relevant insight available, and with other platforms making it increasingly difficult to access their full dataset, Twitter’s real-time stream offers many their best opportunity to stay on top of such shifts.