List of Top 4 Social Listening Analytics Tools Every Digital Media Manager Should Use In 2017

I have lost count of the number of times social media managers have been distraught at the other end of the phone because they’re fixed into a contract for something they can’t use, and where there is no training.

So I decided to create a list of The top 4 Social Listening Analytics Tools Every Digital Media Manager Should Use In 2017 are:

Discover Text 

DiscoverText can be used to retrieve data from a number of social media platforms and apply powerful text analytics, and machine learning to answer specific research questions. It is very well established and there are a staggering 150 mentions of DiscoverText in scholarly research!

A football club may use DiscoverText to monitor responses to specific games, other clubs, products (t-shirts), as well as other clubs and teams.

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You can also filter how to retrieve the data, for example, you can use premium Gnip PowerTrack 2.0 Twitter data. So for example, you could filter by whether a Twitter user has a football club listed in their bio (e.g., Real Madrid etc) as well as the location of the tweet. This may be useful when gauging public sentiment by specific locations and it allows users to perform deep text-analytics. Read my interview for DiscoverText here. 

NodeXL

NodeXL is a great ad-on to services such as Radian 6, Crimson Hexagon, as well as the tools presented in this blog. It has taken off very fast, and the insight you can get from a graph is simply amazing.

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It provides a very nice overview of popular websites, hashtags, keywords, co-words, influencers, replied-to overall and by group-level. The clustering allows users to see, at a glance, what types of content is being shared on the platform. Read my workshop on NodeXL here.

Visibrain 

Visibrain is a media monitoring platform and provides very smooth and fast analytics. It makes use of many of Twitter’s meta-data fields and provides powerful insight to to a topics demographics such as country, language, gender, audience, occupation, interest, and client type.

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The number of filtering streams is very impressive, and the Quick Trends explorer is very useful for gaining an insight into the number of tweets generated on a specific topic. So, for example, you could use the Quick Trends Explorer to examine the frequency of tweets on a range of topics. You can monitor for unusual activity, and Visibrain can send instant alerts. Read my favorite blog post which details in full all of the fantastic features on my blog here.

Echosec 

Use Echosec, which is simply mind-blowing, to draw geo-fenced rings around specific geographical areas and monitor the social media posts coming out of them. You can monitor for specific keywords, images, or series of tweets which can then send alerts.

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Echosec Pro allows users to access at least the following social data feeds: Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Panoramio, AIS Shipping, Sina Weibo, Flickr,  and YouTube. Read more about Echosec on my blog. 

 

Contact me for a demo and an introduction to any of the tools above, I am also happy to answer any specific question you and/or your organisation many have.

Great to speak at PubhD Sheffield

I had the pleasure to speak at a PubhD event in Sheffield this week. The concept is to use a whiteboard and a marker pen to explain your research in 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of questions. In exchange for speaking you receive a free drink, and I had a pint of diet coke. The event is a great way to test out your public speaking and engagement skills. and as a delegate it is a fantastic opportunity to learn something new.

I saw on the PubhD Sheffield Facebook page that a speaker had dropped out, so I messaged to see if I could speak. With less than a day to prepare I stepped up to the challenge. My talk went down very well, and there were a lot of very interesting questions.

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Me delivering my presentation image courtesy of Emily Fisk

I have delivered many talks over the last year or so, and I have to say speaking at PubhD Sheffield is up there as one of the best. The organisers were very friendly and fit me in at the last minute, and all of the delegates were very lovely.

I highly recommend this event for attending and speaking at. I had a really good time. It was also a great opportunity for me to get feedback on my work, so I also really enjoyed that aspect of the night.

Visit the PubhD Sheffield website: http://PubhDSheffield.strikingly.com/

Follow PubhD on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PubhDSheffield

My abstract for the talk

Social networks and social media allow people to share what they think during an outbreak. So my PhD looks at the types of things people say, and whether it based on truth, and to see if it would be harmful. I am looking at Ebola from 2014, and Swine Flu from 2009. I have some found some surprising and interesting things about what types of things users were talking about. For example there is a lot of stigma and discrimination during infectious disease outbreaks can have negative consequences. As well as doing my PhD, I have blogged about social media research and as a result I have been invited to and delivered quite a lot of high profile talks. These have been to government, multi-million turn-over companies, academia, the mainstream media including the likes of the BBC, and I have been awarded funding to work on projects, and deliver training

Ethical Challenges of Using Social Media Data In Research

Check out my talk on the ethical challenges of using social media data in research for   delivered as part of the Bite Size Guide to Research in the 21st Century on the 24th of January, Sheffield, ScHARR. Thanks very much to Andy Tattersall for organising this very great event, and to Dan Smith for editing this very good video. Watch here:

Comments, and thoughts welcome.

A look back at the last 6 months (with pictures)

I thought I’d look back at the previous 6 months or so, in terms of the some of the workshops I have delivered, and articles published.

July 2016

Attended the CIFI Security Summit in July, endorsed by the Metropolitan Police and with speakers from the National Crime Agency (NCA), and participants including Barclays, HM Revenue and Customs, Royal Bank of Scotland, Counter Terrorism Command, US Air Force, and Unilever. See write up here. See an image below:

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Presented a poster at the graduation celebration event at the Information School related to the topic of my PhD. I found the event to be really helpful as it allowed me to talk about my research within the iSchool, and hear about previous research that doctoral students had undertaken. See an image  of me at the event, below:

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August 2016

Delivered a workshop to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The seminar was also broadcast to members from the DWP Office in Sheffield.  The talk centred on social media analytics from my PhD work and covered applications such as Echosec, Visibrain, NodeXL, and DiscoverText.  Slides here. See an image of me speaking at the event below:

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September 2016

Published a blog post based on a conference paper looking at the benefits of Twitter in teaching. The post  was ranked among the most popular posts of the week when it was released. Both the conference paper and blog post have been co-authored with Sergej Lugovic, Senior Lecturer at the Zagreb University of Applied Sciences. The LSE blog post can be read here. Our paper has over 300 reads in ResearchGate, and was ranked as the most read paper in my department for several weeks.

October 2016

Early in the month of October I delivered a talk to A-Level students at High Storrs School, Sheffield. The talk centred on what it was like to do a PhD, and provided a brief introduction to social media research.  I also touched on the ethics of social media research, and the dangers of over-sharing. Slides can be accessed here. See an image of me talking to A-Level Sixth Form students at the school below:

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It was great to go back to my old school, and meet the teachers. Later on in the month I was off to London, and I delivered a talk on Social Network Analysis with NodeXL at an event organised by the New Social Media New Social Science (NSMNSS) network alongside the Social Research Association (SRA). The event was attended across sections with delegates from industry, academia, and government. See an image of me talking at the event below:

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November 2016

I delivered a workshop titled “insights into social media” at Media City, Salford, which is the home to the BBC and ITV. The workshop was a part of the Creative Entrepreneur event, which aims to foster collaboration between academia and industry, and which was attended by over 500 delegates. See an image of me talking at the event below:

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Other highlights

  • I enjoyed helping and taking photographs of various events that were organised as part of the Space for Sharing Project. One of the events was a play following five women diagnosed with breast cancer. It took place in the Spiegeltent in Barkers Pool. See an image of the event below:

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  • I advised and sent feedback to a number of University Research Ethics committees in regards to social media research ethics. We have co-authored a book chapter on social media research ethics forthcoming in 2017.
  • I was featured in the annual White Rose DTC Newsletter, in the Researchers in The News section, for the third academic year in a row. Read here.
  • I was featured in the Doctoral Times magazine (Autumn 2016) circulated widely across the University of Sheffield.
  • I taught on the Data Analysis Module for the third and final academic year.
  • I had an abstract accepted to the iConference 2017.

The EU referendum debate on Twitter

For non-UK readers, the EU referendum is to take place on the on Thursday 23rd June 2016 and  the UK will vote either to remain in or leave the European Union. 

There is much buzz around social media and the referendum and I thought I’d delve into some analysis. However, as an academic looking at this critically, and as having published several papers using Twitter data. I have to state that:

  1. Twitter is a highly non-uniform sample of the population. Not everyone in the UK uses the Internet, and of those that do use the Internet only a sample of those use Twitter.
  2. Twitter also allows members of the public to hold more than one Twitter account, so in theory one user could set up several accounts to post about vote leave or vote remain.
  3. There is also the issue of bots, which are Twitter accounts which tweet in large volumes automatically or look to mimic real users.

With such caveats in place let’s look at some recent analysis produced by using different analytic programs.

Using hashtagify  I located the most frequently used hashtags associated with #EUref. I then used the quick trends explorer offered by Visibrain Focus  to compare the frequency of the VoteRemain and VoteLeave hashtags.

Below is a time series graph of the hashtags  VoteRemain and VoteLeave 

vote reman vs vote leave.png

There are over 900 thousand tweets that contain VoteLeave in comparison to VoteRemain within the last 30 days.This suggests that the VoteLeave campaign is more active on Twitter.

Here is a more complicated graph with a number of hashtags compared against each other such as StrongerIn, Brexit, VoteRemain, VoteLeave:

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As the graph above demonstrates, Brexit has been used in over three million instances within the previous month. However, many news articles and general media coverage use this term (see G2 in the NodeXL graph below). Therefore, it is difficult to attach the Brexit  hashtag solely to those whom wish to vote to leave the EU.

Now lets take a look at the data using @NodeXL  which can produce network graphs alongside comprehensive reports which are uploaded to the NodeXL graph gallery.

Using data which was already published by NodeXL, I then examined the EURef hashtag which  is impartial as opposed to VoteLeave or VoteRemain:

The network graph below displays 6,259 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “EURef”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets over the 3-hour, 46-minute period from Friday, 10 June 2016 at 12:58 UTC to Friday, 10 June 2016 at 16:44 UTC.

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The network graph is made up of several groups of Twitter users. Notable highlights of the report are that:

Group 1 (top left)  contains the following most frequently used hashtags:
[8009] euref
[1888] brexit
[1122] bftownhall
[859] voteleave
[360] itveuref
[350] voteremain
[342] strongerin
[330] remain
[302] leave
[288] bbcqt

Group 1 contains Hashtags and URLs which point to the vote to remain and leave campaign, this suggests it may be a polarised group (see Smith, Rainie, Shneiderman, & Himelboim, 2014).

In Group 2 is interesting to observe an isolates group which shows that a number of users which are not connected to each other are tweeting using the hashtag. For instance, they may be tweeting media stores. This is one possibility for why the Brexit term is used so frequently.

There are a range of different domains that are being used within this campaign including Facebook, the Guardian, and YouTube , full list below:
[798] twitter.com
[685] co.uk
[449] twimg.com
[183] facebook.com
[129] trib.al
[98] org.uk
[97] theguardian.com
[88] youtube.com
[88] ac.uk
[54] buzzfeed.com

The full report NodeXL report including top influencers, top URLs, top domains, hashtags, keywords, word pairs, and replied to can be found within an interactive version of the graph. This was produced by Marc Smith who resides in Belmont, CA, USA.

I’d also like to mention the ongoing work by colleagues:

Any questions? Feel free to drop me a message (@was3210).

Disclaimer: At no time was any personally identifiable data and/or information physically stored and/or analysed by-myself and/or using any of my own equipment. The post draws on the various analyses conducted by others.