4 reasons why you need human analysis to listen into social

We know that online conversations are not just data points, we also know that social listening is an art, a real skill, not something that can just be bolted onto a junior associate’s role. While most businesses make an investment in social listening tools or platforms, the same old questions comes up time and time again, now you’ve got the data, what do you do with it?

The days of “social” being considered an experiment are thankfully long gone but the problem still persists, do you really understand the data and is it going to drive actionable insight for your business?

We believe that social listening platforms are helpful and make us more efficient at what we do – but they are just tools in the box and like with any tool, you need skilled people to operate it and deliver results.  Here we share with you 4 reasons why you need human analysis to perform effective social listening.

  • Conversations won’t always be in English

With over 3 billion of us already online and this number set to double over the next decade as mainly non-English speakers from Africa, Asia and South America join the social space, we’ll need to understand variations in language by location, social listening tools won’t necessarily always be able to differentiate between dialects or even pick up conversations happening in some languages.

  • It’s not just about grasping a language but understanding the context behind the language

Yes, we can all agree that language and the channels people use to communicate differ from country to country but have you taken into consideration different regions within countries?  Let’s look at  Brazil for example. There are five different regions all with their own singularities. Words can have very different meanings not only between regions but also from city to city such as the Portuguese word ‘bolacha’ – it has five potential meanings varying from cookie and cracker to someone getting a slap.

Conversations are moving away from words

Generation Z have moved beyond words. They are having whole conversations that don’t involve a single word or letter. As mobile continues to flourish, we have to better understand  text-speak as well as new waves of communications including emojis, images and symbols. While there are tools out there that capture  visual insight again you need the right kind of people to understand the nuance of the conversation in its cultural context depending on what platform the conversation is happening on.

4) How are they saying it online?

Do you really know what that niche community are talking about on that forum? Have you taken into consideration that your social tool or platform can’t  necessarily detect these human qualities: tone, irony, sarcasm, idioms, channel specific jargon and demographic specific terms?

Find out more about the Conversationalist Agency and our voice on our blogging platform here.