Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sentiment and Context Quiz

One of the biggest strengths and weaknesses about the Social Web is the ability to listen and track sentiment across the social web. Last Super Bowl Mullen Agency and Radian 6 held the Brand Bowl 2011 tracking the Tweets of the participants. If you Tweeted with the #BrandBowl during the superbowl to talk about the commercials, Radian 6 analyzed the results to gauge sentiment and pick the winners of the commercials.

The strength of Social Media is the tools enabling a business to basically have a personal web bot crawling around looking for everything that is said about you on the web: Twitter. Some Facebook. You Tube. Blogs. Media. Etc. This is powerful stuff for any business to have. I personally do not feel it should replace what you are currently doing, but instead add to it. Social Web is a free large scale focus group even if a little wild and wooly.

The good part is people for the most part talk fairly freely. The bad part is this is still a very small part of the conversation. There are 182 SMS Text Messages sent for every Facebook update. High School students average 3000 texts a month so obviously that blows away their communication on Facebook. And even text is a small % of their communication. We text, email, phone, talk in person, sit watching TV/Movies, surfing the net. This one and two way communication is easily 98% of our total communication during each day. Always keep that in mind. That 98% can kill your brand and you will never know it is coming. That 2% gives you a chance...just a chance to get out in front of a crisis or react to something positive like an unexpected demand surge.

But can we always trust the output of that 2%? Doesn't that depend on the input? If you asked people the day before the Super Bowl their view of Chrysler and then asked only the people who saw the commercial with M&M the day after what their view was I bet there was no change at all for most people. My own were poor quality, poorly managed, placing the guy who almost destroyed Home Depot in 5 years in charge only to have him lead you into bankruptcy wasn't smart, boring lineup, tax payer bailout. Commercial was cool but a waste of money in my opinion.The Brand Bowl would not show this. It just shows the reaction to the commercials vs the Brand itself. In which case the output was very positive for the commercial vs you can not extrapolate it to the view of the company/brand.

Now here is a short Twitter Conversation between Bill Dorman , Margie Clayman, and myself. (psst you should follow them on the Twitter if you do not, they are really smart, witty and kind people...#justsaying). What would you or a computer make of this?

From this what should Fig Newton take from this or what could they take from it? Anything? Would Klout think we are all Fig Newton experts? Would Fig Newtons think we really like them? Would Radian 6 or similar view this as positive or negative sentiment? Couldn't it be both? My comment could go both ways. What if Bill and Margie were being sarcastic like me? What if only one was and the other was pyscho for fig newtons they loved them that much. How much of the social web out put is like this?

Will Radian 6 pick up from this blog all the Fig Newton mentions and how would they be counted?

Sentiment and Influence are tools. You need the human element to decipher reality. Sometimes that reality is that you can not arrive at reality from your data. If the data is faulty, biased, corrupted etc, the output will be the same.

This is easy for a small business. Having to analyze real data that is manageable vs a mass of data can be done by a human. What about a Global Brand? They could easily have 500,000 or 1 million or more data entries to comb through each day depending on what is being monitored. If Bill. Margie and my conversation and this blog post was even part of 10,000 Fig Newton mentions today, do we trust the computer output knowing the other 9,997 could be just as flawed?

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I'll be the psycho for Fig Newton's........

    I don't think Radian 6 uses my data; I think I got blocked like you did from Mashable.

    You make good points however; how can you judge intent (especially with us).

    Thanks for pimping me on your site; you are a brave man. Margie might have had second thoughts being lumped together with us however...:)