How to Use a Social Media Search Tool to Find Future Trends
“For the most important decisions in your life, trust your intuition, and then work with everything you have, to prove it right,” declared Tim Cook, Apple's famous CEO. We could apply this common sense advice to digital data mining, which allows you to support your statements. But how do you easily access that data? In particular, how to access easily the maximum of data present on the web and on social networks?
In this blog post, we'll discover the benefits of using a social media search tool to help you quickly and effectively understand your business environment, strengths, issues, threats, opportunities, and disruptions. In particular, we’ll look at some examples of business cases to:
- Understand trends by putting them in perspective
- Detect the evolution of consumer insights
In short, we will apply a fundamental framework: analyze the past to understand the present and the future.
1. Challenge: Collecting Data in Minimum Time
The challenge is clear but difficult: to capture and detect relevant data without spending too much time on it to be as reactive as possible for decision-making and value demonstration.
For the marketer, collecting, organizing, and analyzing marketing data from different sources takes an average of 3.55 hours per week1, ahead of emails, landing pages, and social media management.
For all the company's employees, Aakash Sahney, Google's product manager for Gmail, reminds us that "studies show that employees spend up to 8 hours per week2 searching for or consolidating information".
2. Understanding the trends: focus on the real impact of Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter
#1. Capture a Large Data SetAnalyzing historical web and social data allows you to grasp several views:
- Present (tech firing, advertisements, privacy)
- Detect evolutions (future of web 2.0, sustainability)
- Compare (competitor platforms, products, and services)
- Put into perspective (the real impact of acquisition, boycott, and employee layoff)
- Feed predictive analysis (evolution or potential performance in the short and medium term)
Of course, you can use tools like Google Trends that analyze old web data. But you will miss 70% of the information shared about trends, opinions, and products: those produced every day on social networks.
Below is a graph showing the number of forecasted3 social media users by platform in Asia-Pacific from 2020 to 2025. These multi-million user numbers will contribute to the vast amount of data shared on social networks daily.
No. of social media users in APAC from 2020 to 2021 with forecasts to 2025, by platform
In addition to this data, news sites, forums, blogs, and any other online sites might carry important information. We need to be able to capture historical data not only from social networks but from this vast set.
Namely, the dominant conversation spaces are very different depending on the sector. For example, in Beauty Retail, 46% of conversations come from Twitter, while in the Health sector, forums account for 71% of messages4.
#2. Detecting the Evolution of a Trend With a Social Search Tool
Let's take the simple example of COVID-19. It was a very heated period on social media as discussions about lockdowns and businesses getting upended happened in 2020. Then, as the years went by, interest in this topic waned the following year, when social conversations fell by almost two times on all social media in Singapore. However, this analysis needs to be contextualized with markets still buoyant or declining, depending on the country.
Evolution of COVID-related mentions in Singapore from January to June 2021 and 2022
This graph was made using the historical social data available on Digimind Historical Search (DHS). Digimind is a leading social media listening and monitoring platform that uses powerful Artificial Intelligence to pull relevant data from keywords discussed on the web and social media to bring you up-to-date information for global trends detection.
You can see in 2021 that the volume of mentions peaked suddenly in June. Using this social search tool, you can analyze the mentions by period and thus understand why the topic of interest was mentioned more at one time than another.
#3. The Twitter Case - Elon Musk
Analyzing data also allows us to understand, through contextualization, the impact of a communication campaign, an opinion trend, or a bad buzz. These are all aspects that users of social media search tools can identify online if you follow Elon Musk's $44 billion5 acquisition of Twitter.
Let's have a look at the curve of Twitter and Elon Musk mentions from March to November 2022:
Evolution of Twitter Acquisition by Elon Musk’s related mentions from March to December 2022
By analyzing the two prominent peaks noticed in this graph, we see that they correspond to a series of elements:
- April: Elon Musk says he plans to buy Twitter,
- End of October: Musk bought Twitter, and buzz around him blew up by doing several unexpected actions (arrival at the Twitter HQ with a sink, firing more than 50% of employees, and new charges for Twitter Blue subscriptions, among others).
Here are some of online reactions analyzed from the peaks:
Example of posts during the two peaks of Twitter x Elon Musk mentions
The arrival of this public figure in the offices of the social network with the blue bird logo is not to everyone's taste. Some users mentioned ending their use of social media application. If Elon Musk decided to fire half of the company's staff, a good part of them resigned of their own free will: by support, incomprehension, or refusal to oblige to demands from their newly appointed CEO.
Further examples of netizens’ online reactions
So, as you saw with the case of the new Twitter acquisition, by analyzing the evolution of the number of mentions around a certain project, brand, or product, you will get an idea of the overall trend. If a crisis concerned your brand, you could immediately observe how people react online and formulate your next steps to take.
The social media search tool will be your best ally in finding social data that makes sense for your business. Observe, analyze, and make decisions critical to your marketing and communication strategies.
📢 You can set alerts to be notified when there is an unusual number of mentions about your company or competitors. Thus, the platform offering a social search tool also allows you to be the first to be informed, to be able to react as soon as possible, and avoid a potential crisis.
3. Detect the Evolution of Consumer Insights via a Social Media Search Tool
Another application of historical social media data analysis is to be aware of the evolution of consumer insights on a specific topic.
Consumer insights collected on social media are valuable information to better understand buyers' tastes, lifestyles, and consumption and why they love or hate your products.
In key sectors such as retail, fashion, or beauty, these consumer conversations captured on social networks can inform different stages of the customer journey: the search for information, the exchange of opinions and advice, in-store experience, delivery, after-sales service, etc.
Strong social search tools like Digimind include inside their platform sentiment analysis that will give users a more holistic perspective of audience motivations and behavior. Consequently, you can detect consumers' feelings before, during, and after a specific campaign or product delivery.
To do this, you can analyze your brand with keywords belonging to each stage of the buying process. You can find all the steps below:
Stages of a customer purchase journey
If you want to learn more about the customer journey, you can explore 4 ways to manage and optimize your customer’s journey with social media intelligence in our blog.
So now you know the method to collect data in the shortest possible time, build specific use cases to pick up the trends in your market, or detect the evolution of consumer conversations.
In fact, you could do much more with this kind of tool. Another example of an application would be to evaluate the impact of influencers who promote your products or services or evaluate the potency of your next geographic market to grow your brand.
So, were you using historical data on social media and the web? If so, in the right way? And if not, what are you waiting for to get started? 😉
If you want to know what kind of data we can get from a social search tool, get a quick look at our latest chocolate industry report. Almost 100% of the data retrieved and analyzed come from the social search tool Digimind Historical Search (DHS) 👇
Inspired by a Digimind French blog post - French version (2018)
Written by Léa BOUTRON
Léa is a French native with a double technological and managerial background who, in addition to being passionate about new technologies, loves working in an international environment. That's why, after professional experiences in the Netherlands or Spain, she joined Digimind Singapore to work on the APAC market.