Social listening is just a keyword search #mrx


Social media listening is easy. You type in your keywords and data magically appears. Yup, it’s as simple as writing a survey or putting together a discussion guide. Anyone can do it with great results.

Users of listening research see how easy keyword searches are by doing simple keyword searches in google. But what they don’t see is the massive programming effort that google puts into interpreting your simple search, imagining what you really want, comparing your words with those of billions of other searches to tease out the garbage that ought to have shown up but didn’t.

In fact, these are the same smarts that your listening expert uses on your behalf that you never see. These are the smarts that turn your ubiquitous words into something meaningful, consumer typos into brand names, consumer slang into brand names. These are the same smarts that know your favourite associated word brings in more spam than real data, your preferred hashtag brings in competitor data, and your most important product feature is used by pornographers around the world.

It’s not just a keyword search. It’s 4 or 8 and sometimes even 16 hours working on a intricate algorithm that collects the most and most relevant, high quality data possible. It’s not just a keyword search. It’s the art and science of social listening research.

–Written on the go

3 responses

  1. James Wirth, QuestionPro Marketing

    Hey hold it right there – who says writing surveys is easy?!?😉 Great post, nice food for thought, thanks for sharing!

  2. Alvaro E. Hardy

    Listening has the power to liberate research and researchers to make previously inaccessible — and now actionable — discoveries. What have you uncovered through your social listening?

  3. Great post and absolutely the truth. Google is my savior. I once did a test run and found out I do approximately 1k google searches per day for work. That and my knowledge of their algorithms is what feeds my family! Thanks for a thoughtful post.

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