Saturday 7 May 2011

Social Media Analytics

The Internet has taken the world by storm in the last few decades. Some of the surveys show that it has grown over 2000% in the last 10 years. Imagine how many people globally are online at any point in time. Being social animals, we like to talk about our feelings, good or bad, with our family & friends.   

Today people are using internet for communication more, than any other medium, This has given birth to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, myspace, digg & the list will go on. Imagine how much data is collected on these sites in one day.

So companies have started using this huge unstructured text data in these comments, sentiments of people for their product improvements, for Customer service improvements, for understanding what customers are talking about competitors. This is called Social Media Analytics.

In the recent example of Toyota recalls, they are closely watching these social sites to gauge what Customers are talking about their brand, quality & take necessary measures to correct their actions.

But social media analytics isn’t just about damage control, it can provide precise data to help you better understand your customers and discover new business opportunities.

Here are typical steps in implementing social media analytics.

  • Collect the huge amount of unstructured data – comments, blogs, call center notes, twits from social sites
  • Using statistical analysis & Natural Language processing (NLP) on texts & words to break up the information into good or bad
  • Use categorization, classification & association methods for text processing
  • Further, identify the categories on which these good or bad sentiments are applicable from the data
    • Brand awareness, trust, loyalty
    • Customer service
    • Product improvements
    • Competitor analysis
    • Geographic locations
  • Produce the results using visualization tools

Here is how various businesses are using Social Media Analytics:
  • Manufacturing – using the warranty data combined with Customer complaints to improve products & reduce warranty costs
  • Healthcare – find connections amongst the claims received to flag further frauds
  • Banking & Finance – use the social network profiles data to improve credit calculations, identify reasons for Customer churn
  • Insurance – claims cost prediction& fraud detection
  • Telecom – improve the customer experience for new products introductions
  • Hospitality & Travel – listen to guests comments to improve repeat customer rates

Social Media Analytics will continue to gain importance in near future !!


  1. At times some argue whether the attention that social media is getting is rational. If a country like India has - say on a guestimate - 2-4% of population on social media, global average would not be too different. Are we saying that a larger mass is getting ignored?

    Certainly not. Internet users in India are also in less proportion. Can we ignore the internet use? Mobile saw a revolution and within few years its each was country wide. Internet growth has also been little similar. But the pace at which social media is penetrating masses is commendable. This is what is catching everybody's attention. It has now become a question of existence. If you are not there today, you might lack behind tomorrow. As such, the changing scenario is unfolding new avenues in text and NLP analysis.

  2. I work at Cisco and we have a product called Social Miner. Please take a look at :

  3. In primitive old days of doing business, staying close to the customer and listening to them carefully ensured repeat business. At this age when you have CM's in millions, social media becomes one of the important ways to listen to what your customers have to say. Product reviews.... etc...

    Guess we are just returning back to the good old days, in a different way.

    Also Sandeep, is not Hadoop's MapReduce one more way of categorizing data apart from NLP?

  4. Thanks a lot for turning attention on useful subject. It necessary to understand that mobile app development could help in your industry by installing customized software applications. Also you may turn your attention on outsourced sharepoint developers.

  5. Thanking you for giving us a large information on Social Network Analysis its 100% true that almost all the people are accessing intenet and specially social networking sites

  6. Thanks to sharing a nice post. It's give a well explanation to improve our knowledge for Social analytic purpose. We are getting a good idea to manage our data in professionals ways.

    Social Analytics

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi
    Thank you for the useful content
    It was very helpful in going through the content indeed. Nowadays Analytics have been part of the business and visualizing effectively the usage can have a positive impact over the business.
    Please keep posting and share your views with us on similar issues.
    Thanks ,

  9. A little more detail on the social media analytics would be useful...

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