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Find the Conversations that Matter Now with Keyword Analysis

Complete Guide to Social Conversation Analysis 

Social marketers don’t need to keep wondering how they’re doing or referencing results from last quarter. Using savvy conversation analysis to discover the interests, sentiments, attitudes, and demographics around industry terms and hashtags, you can be proactive about showing positive and even not-so-positive progress to the rest of your team.

This, in turn, allows you to pivot more rapidly so you can optimize results and change tactics as you go along. Here are some tried-and-true tactics for finding the conversations that matter around your brand.

Start Broad and Go Deep

Start at a really broad, basic level. For instance, if you’re ABC, look at how #ABC, #FOX, #CBS, and #NBC stack up against each other by frequency of use across all active social channels.

relative volume
This chart is from the Simply Measured Share of Voice Analysis.

This gives you a good place to start. The value of internalizing this information as frequently as possible — taking a peek on a daily or weekly basis gives most brands a healthy bird’s eye view of where their brand fits in their industry — cannot be overstated.

You can drill down in Excel to take a look at the conversation on a post-by-post basis, as well.

This level of data is available in the Share of Voice Analysis.

For instance, when I dive down into the actual mentions of #ABC, I find that many mentions on Instagram have nothing to do with the TV network: they’re actually referencing many different kinds of content, since these happen to be the first three letters of the alphabet.

If I hadn’t taken the time to take a closer look, I never would have known about these invalid posts — but now that I do, I can erase them from my data set and my charts will automatically update to reflect brand-relevant information.

Look at Channel-by-Channel Mentions

Compare the mentions of you and your top competitors on a channel-by-channel basis.

volume social
This chart is from the Simply Measured Stream Snapshot Report.

By taking the time to understand how your brand and your competitors’ stack up on a channel-by-channel basis, you’ll be able to zone in on the social networks where buzz is the strongest around your brand, industry, and competitors.

By digging deeper into your own data, you will also be able to easily figure out if this buzz is being driven by your brand posts or by a broader conversation that involves your brand.

Know Your Relevant Terms

Keeping constant tabs on the keywords relevant to your brand can help you jump in or capitalize on conversations which are happening organically.

Remember: You don’t have to seed it to grow it. 

First, find out which terms are commonly used around your brand.

stream snapshot
This chart is from the Simply Measured Stream Snapshot report.

Then, start tracking those terms. Pro tip: Start keeping particular tabs on tweets/posts which are of great interest to your brand when they’re mentioned together. For instance, tweets/posts which include the name of both you and your top competitor, or tweets/posts which include “bad” and “brakes” together (incredibly worth noting if you’re a car company).

I recommend adding more keywords to your tracking list as often as possible, so that you’re up-to-date. Delete keywords which bring you more erroneous noise than true insight. A good way to avoid picking keywords which pull in too much irrelevant data is to stay away from broad terms like “bad” or “haters” or “yummy”– unless you set it up so you’re tracking those words only in tweets/posts which mention your own brand.

Isolate and Study Campaign Hashtags

A great way to find the conversations that matter to your brand is to take a meaningful look at what’s being said around your social campaign hashtags — and those of your competitors.

This insight is especially helpful if you happen to be running a heavy social campaign at the same time as your competitor(s).

When you begin a social campaign that has its own hashtag, your goal should be to own that hashtag and get your ideal social audience to utilize it as much as possible.

For instance, don’t choose #LucyIsTheGreatestBloggerEver. Choose #LucyHitzIsTheGreatestBloggerEver (although that’s a little long, but you catch my drift).

By making sure your chosen hashtag is creative and inextricably attached to your brand, you’re more likely to cut down on extraneous noise when you’re measuring success later or in media res. 

social keywords
This chart is from the Simply Measured Cross-Channel Social Performance Report.

By paying attention to bumps and dips, you’ll also be able to understand the efficacy of any paid boost your putting behind social content across all your active networks.

Need a Hashtag Refresh?

A hashtag is a keyword with an organizing principle. One single hashtag can connect your brand messaging across each of the major social networks, and give you a sense of control in the ongoing conversation around your brand.

Learn how to promote hashtags to engage your social audience and how you can measure their performance in cross-channel campaigns with our hashtag promotion guide. You’ll learn:


  • What hashtags are and why you should be using them
  • How to plan a campaign with hashtags
  • Tactics for promoting hashtags on each social network
  • Best practices for analyzing hashtag campaign performance

Learn about the complete social analytics solution

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Find Out More

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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