Social Media Insights

Without insight, it is impossible to accurately plan future strategy, judge previous performance or assess the social media landscape.

Our point of difference is that we use real people to analyse the available data rather than rely on the output of the myriad social media monitoring tools.

We prefer to think of insight as foresight as the real value lies in the actions that can be created from high quality, practical analysis.

Our team can carry out the following insight tasks:

  1. Simple quantitative platform reports; health checks if you like
  2. Crisis snapshots; fast turnaround analysis of potential/breaking issues
  3. Detailed issue/product/service reports
  4. Dashboard-style reporting amalgamating multiple sources
  5. Monitoring tool training to help you get the best out of the available technologies

All of the above can be carried out in 10 languages and tailored to your exact needs.


Social media insight can be thought of as a combination of, but not limited to: monitoring content published by users, market research, crisis monitoring, analysis and reporting. The output should ideally be information that is genuinely useful. Pretty charts are fine but ultimately, the data needs to prove its worth and actually mean something.


Our former founder of the insight department, Barry Bridges, wisely said “garbage in, garbage out” and he was absolutely right. The first stages of any insight piece have to carefully consider what you want to get out of it and the queries* that will get you the information.

For example, if you wanted to research Orange mobile phones, putting in ‘orange’ to a social media monitoring tool will result in millions of results. The query* must be carefully crafted to remove all of the information you don’t need (orange –fruit, –juice, –colour, etc).  The actual query for Orange mobile phones fills an A4 page. Welcome to the dark art!

*A query is the string of words entered in a social media monitoring tool such as Brandwatch, Radian 6, E-Cairn, etc.  Each query is designed to eliminate the results you don’t need and hone in on the ones you do.

Our process for insight is as follows:

  1. Liaise with each client to create a clear brief and need for the data
  2. Choose the most appropriate monitoring tool (different briefs need different tools)
  3. Create and test the search queries
  4. Review the data and manually clean it up (software tools are generally less than 60% accurate in terms of sentiment and classification)
  5. Analyse for patterns, trends and useful information
  6. Roundtable discussion with management team to assess the findings
  7. Create the output as defined in the brief
  8. Present to the client
  9. Amend and add additional information as required and re-submit


The exact form of output will depend on the need, the brief, the frequency and the audience.  Word, Excel and PowerPoint are favourites for one-off or in-frequent reports, but there is a move to more feature-rich online dashboards and reporting sites.

Critically, the information needs to be displayed in such a way that a variety of stakeholders can understand the information with the minimum of explanation. Frequency is also an important consideration as there is little point creating a dashboard for a twice-yearly report.

Our insight team works with each client to assess their needs (not the wants – that’s the wrong approach) and create the most appropriate viewing platform for the data.

The image above is a visualisation that we created of the social network that connects the top 1,00 most influencial companies and individuals within London’s social media community. Read more about how we created our social media Mappr.

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