Media research: Visualise social data

John Clarvis

Social media provides a huge amount of data, unencumbered by question-specifics but to interpret it, data visualisation requires new rules and mindset.

Although the debate around how, or even if, the influence and contribution of social media to brands can be measured rages on, social media measurement is now firmly mainstream. In 2013, the majority of larger media and advertising agencies have dedicated social media measurement teams, with even the traditional market research sector involved.

Most agencies (and increasingly advertisers themselves) use technology vendors such as Brandwatch, Sysomos and Radian6 to mine social media at a keyword level. Such services typically provide aggregated numbers of mentions for a brand and the overall sentiment of how people discuss that brand. They come from a heritage and core purpose of mining social media to listen to customers and protect corporate reputation by providing brands with the opportunity to nip emergent product or service issues in the bud.