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How far back should you go when analyzing social media? That depends on your objective and what you’re trying to monitor, but having the option to go back in time 51 months would offer lots of possibilities, wouldn’t it? We think so!

Seasons Change, So Does Data

For some use cases such as real-time brand monitoring and alerting in the event of a crisis, a few months may be sufficient to alert you to a sudden change in mention volume and sentiment. Other common use cases such as campaign strategy and analysis, influencer identification and engagement, and competitive analysis and category insights, going back two years (or 27 months in the NetBase platform) will suffice.

But what about tracking specific events that go back farther in time – those annual or seasonal events, such as the holidays or the Super Bowl, or even recurring events that happen multiple years apart like movie releases or the World Cup? These events require more historical data than most social listening solutions provide.

The Most Historical Data – Plus a Quarter

When it comes to extended historical data, most social media listening platforms often provide it via the Twitter firehose data stream, if they even offer it at all. But this can be an expensive option with long latency if you need to go way back. Unfortunately, this approach also doesn’t cover the other online sources where your consumers are sharing their experiences and preferences.

To fill this much needed gap in the social analytics market, NetBase now offers 51 months of extended history across all available sources of consumer feedback including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, Blogs, Forums, News, Consumer Reviews, Professionals reviews and more.  And it’s the same industry-leading source coverage currently available in our standard 27-month social listening topics. We can also go back to the first tweet on the Twitter firehose too if that’s what you need to complete your analysis.

Why 51 months? While 48 months seemed like a reasonable amount of data for historical analysis, NetBase provides an additional quarter (3 months) of data for analyzing seasonal events, such as tracking annual holiday campaigns.  This is consistent with our 27-month standard, where we offer an additional quarter beyond the basic 24-month window.

But access to all this historical data is only as useful as a tool’s ability to filter and analyze the data.

Beware: Next Gen AI Required

NetBase’s Next Generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses best-in-class machine learning, deep learning, and expert systems so it does the hard work when it comes to surfacing insights quickly and confidently. In addition to the out-of-the-box analyses, customers can leverage custom themes and dashboards to quickly apply lessons learned from historical events to inform content strategy, drive innovation, identify sponsorship opportunities, and track consumer confidence over time.

In NetBase you can define “snapshots” where you specify start and end dates for your topic. This allows you to create and analyze historical topics focused on specific events. This approach gives you control over the data you collect and analyze, so non-important date ranges aren’t consuming your mention volume against your quota.

An alternative approach is to create an “ongoing” topic where you define a starting data but leave the end date open. This allows you to apply one of more customizable themes over the topic to compare things like specific date ranges, product names, service attributes, etc. This gives you the flexibility to apply/reapply themes over the same topic over and over again as insights lead to new areas for discovery and analysis.

Seeing is Believing

Let’s look at a few examples for more detail.

New movie releases don’t happen on a regular schedule, but understanding the buzz before and after a new release can inform your strategy for the next chapter in the series.

Understanding before, during, and after themes such as “Intent to View,” “Viewed,” and “Post Theatrical” can inform your promotion strategy to maximize exposure and box office success. Understanding consumer reaction to actors and plots, can shape your storyline and character development – scriptwriters, take note!

Super Bowl conversation spikes in January when the conference championships games are complete and they typically last only a couple weeks, with a huge spike on game day. But for tracking sponsorship opportunities, advertising ROI and half-time entertainment, game day analysis is really important.

The Olympic Games and World Cup also fall into these categories where there is a month of hyper activity on social media. Here we see comparison of the PyeongChang and Rio Games. You can see that the spike in the PyeongChang analysis comes at the very end of the event during the closing ceremonies when popular K-Pop band EXO performed to and enthusiastic response on social media. The Rio games didn’t see a similar spike.

When it comes to understanding social conversations, NetBase is the only vendor today that provides both the depth and breadth of historical data as well as the analytics capability to inform all aspects of your business. The ability to explore events that happened up to four years ago offers competitive intelligence any brand would go to battle for. Fortunately, you don’t have to – as we’ve packaged it all up in a tool that’s user and data-friendly, and able to offer valuable hindsight to inform that next campaign.

We’d love to show you how it works. For more information on NetBase social analytics, please contact us, and get ready to see what you’re missing from your current social analytics platform.

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