Social Media · Analytics

Social media analytics service recommendation?

Stephen Johnston Building innovation ecosystems

October 23rd, 2014

We're looking to identify potential new user segments based on analyzing what people say on social media. For example, could it be that people who are not traditionally seen as buyers of "Product Category X" would actually be worth targeting, because their tweets reference the kinds of benefits that Product Category X provides. Is there a tool / service that can do this?

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

October 23rd, 2014

I'm working on an open source social media analytics / listening tool, ... Not to be too biased or anything, but I will work relentlessly until it is the best tool on the market. It is free. Though I'll have a hosted solution so you don't need to be developer to use it, no worries. Best of all, it won't cost $500/mo. (or more) like others.

That said (not to merely self promote), you may also want to look at ViralHeat for what you're interested in specifically. They seem to be focused a lot on this (or are moving into this direction). They used to be quite affordable but have since removed pricing on their page. So I have no idea what they want now. They are looking more toward "predictive analytics" - but really it's more "indicative" analytics. Which is fine. It's still what you're after. It's just a technical labeling for hype that bothers me sometimes =) 

Brandwatch is also fairly popular these days, but unfortunately it falls in the category of Radian6 or ExactTarget or whatever they call themselves these days, Sysomos and the like. Geared for big brands. There's literally nothing for startups and small businesses (hence why I'm working on something - though to be fair, big data can be super expensive, so they can't exactly lower their pricing depending on how they built things, they're locked in).

Now to get what you're after, it's going to take a bit of querying and waiting. You'll want to "listen" like others have said here and that means providing keywords to search upon and then waiting for data to be collected to analyze. After that has happened I think the most vital things to look at are:
  • Shared links (what content do people share? services/media/articles/etc.)
  • Top keywords and hashtags (and semantic data which is more advanced)
  • Sentiment (ok, someone shared a link or mentioned a keyword, in what context? good? bad?)
When you listen around keywords for your brand/service you should start picking up shared links to competitors and you should get a sense for how people feel about competitors and you. You should start getting keywords to use to change your language and to work with for ad campaigns.

I love this stuff. I study it day in and day out and when there's a question out there on "how does this work?" or "how would I get to that conclusion?" I'm all for it. So please feel free to ping me any time.


October 23rd, 2014

Check out Social Rank: I'm not sure they offer exactly what you're looking for, but they're still evolving and might consider incorporating a feature like that...

Chris O'Hara Solutions for Data Driven Marketing at Krux

October 23rd, 2014

Affinity Answers


October 23rd, 2014

If you know the keywords you want to associate with BrandX/ProductY you could leverage a social listening tool - the only one I can think of Radian6. But I suspect you'd want to crawl public posts and not have these users register on any site. You could build your own using the streaming APIs available from most social media companies. Sent from my iPhone

Deborah MSW Business & Entrepreneurs Solutions. I help people increase their income and happiness. Authentic Foundation & Framework.

October 23rd, 2014

You might want to follow the work of David Amerland and Peter Hatherley on Google Plus. They are both working in the field of semantic search. Peter in particular has created a vast tool that analyzes words and concepts that naturally go together. Thus you could analyze your product and see what other words people who use your type of product, also use. Then it's an easy step to search those words in tweets with twitters own search tool or others.

The tool is not the first issue, but rather an understanding of what types of other words and concepts people who use your product tend to use on social media which you wouldn't naturally think of in a typical keyword search.

John Feland Accidental Data Scientist and Ardent Customer Advocate

October 23rd, 2014


Actually we've been doing this for clients for years.  We go beyond the normal social media and bring in other rich public data to help identify segments based on a proprietary set of methods.  Our clients are companies like Acer, Best Buy and even IDEO.  We already have a rich dataset to pull from so we can hit the ground running.  Find out more at or just drop me a line directly.  You'd be amaze as to how much insight we can fit into a small pilot project.



Anand Cavale Managing Director & Business Head at Citibank Malaysia

October 25th, 2014

I would look to more of customer's actions rather than just tweets.. consumers have been seen to demonstrate behavior that is very different than what they say! hence tools that provide evidence of purchase activity linked to tweets might be better ..

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

October 26th, 2014

It's difficult to link social media accounts to purchases. But that's going to change in the future. There's been a lot of efforts from American Express on Twitter and Facebook that kind of pioneer this. We're a ways off from the whole purchase behavior stuff on a detailed level. Unless you have tracking and cooperation from vendors and such (like Anand is suggesting).

Simply put -- you don't go to Twitter or Facebook even to purchase things. You might go there to be influenced about a purchasing decision though. So yes, while people say one thing and do another -- what do the people listening do? How does what was said affect others?

"Intent" and "sentiment" is perhaps the best we have at the moment, but I wouldn't count on it for DIRECT purchase behavior so much as I would reputation management which could affect purchase behavior. Brands (small and large) can get a sense for how they are perceived across social media and that still really means a lot. I wouldn't be quick to dismiss that..Because it can tell you a lot about retention and satisfaction.

Ok, great someone purchased once... What happens after? Are they happy? Are they likely to purchase again? Are they encouraging their friends to purchase? Or discouraging others?

These are all things that happen outside of a direct sale and they are just as important. Probably more important for forecasting to be frank.

In simple terms, you'd want to basically look at your reputation (sentiment, volume of mentions, etc.) at a specific point in time (maybe a sales quarter) and compare that to actual sales data. Of course this isn't a quick process. You gotta keep doing it over and over. Over time, you might (and it's not a guarantee) be able to see a correlation between the social data and your sales.

You may wish to do more on social then and see how it affects your sales...And here starts the long experimentation process.

A little more quickly and granular - Google Analytics can help tell you your ROI for social when people come from social networks and make purchases. You can track that with Google Analytics. Though what Google won't tell you is sentiment. It does a fair job with gender and demographics, but even still you're going to want to compare all of your data. What happens is one thing kinda proves another. It's important to look at all the various signals and not focus strictly on one.

Stephen Johnston Building innovation ecosystems

October 23rd, 2014

Thanks all - these all relevant. I would like to simply enter in two keywords (or brands) and analyze who overlaps with both, what they think, need and how to reach them. Will digest and revert back offline with any follow ups. 

Ashley Beattie Founder at & SoundMind | Strategist | Developer | Musician | Warship driver

October 23rd, 2014

Hello Stephen,
Twitteryze, my Twitter Analytics service, does exactly this. I'm in early beta and doing free pilots through the end of the month.