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Source based vs keyword based social listening

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Almost all social listening is done based on keywords, but as a former journalist that broke a lot of news stories by listening first to the right people online, no matter what words they happened to use, I can tell you that keyword based listening is not the whole opportunity.

That’s what we do in Little Bird, we find the people at the center of a given community (say, Internet of Things experts, or Makeup Artists) and we watch to see what they talk about.  No keywords required, we just want to know what they come up with.  When they post something that gets a lot more engagement than their content usually does, that’s extra important.  Now as a part of Sprinklr, we’re able to get some great aggregate content analysis out of these groups of people, set up rules engines to route messages around to various departments in an organization based on what keywords they do use, and much more.

One of my favorite source-based listening workflows right now is an email alert I have set up for any time any of the 60+ people in my VIP list uses the words amazing, incredible, or new.  I get to discover all kinds of cool  things and important conversations this way!  It’s amazing, incredible even.

Find the right people, watch them, discover unknown unknowns, and it is good.  Below, an important conversation was brought to my attention that I hadn’t really thought that much about – until I saw a couple of super-smart people discussing it critically.  What’s that saying? I can’t read everything Zeynep Tufekci writes, but when I do…

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