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The Whole World Is Being Watched

Have you heard of Bluefin Labs?

What about General Sentiment or Converseon or Trendrr? Even if you haven’t heard of them, chances are if you talk about television on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, they’ve heard of you. Or at least, they documented your comments.

The common thread between the above-mentioned companies is that they track social media and what audiences are saying within each channel. In other words, they are all “social media analytics firms,” intent on understanding what audiences are saying (mostly about TV) and interpreting those comments to better educate (or advise) their clients (i.e. the TV networks and the TV advertisers therein).

According to a recent article in Technology Review, companies are utilizing the services of these social media analyzers to adjust their advertising strategies based on how the general population reacts to their ads (as deciphered through social media conversations). For example, as Technology Review reports, Comcast keeps “an ear open for outbursts of anger to help them detect and respond to service outages and product problems.”

Listening to Twitter instead of answering its own phones? Not quite. Most advertisers who are hiring social media analysis firms are using the mined data to bolster their data from other outlets. It’s more of a plus one, at this point. But as the total number of social media comments rises, interested players will increasingly look for insight and feedback from social media analysis. It’s a kind of “eavesdropping” that was unimaginable 10 years ago.

So, remember, the next time you critique Emily Van Camp’s latest turn or you verbally ogle the next “Swagger Wagon,” ABC and Toyota are most likely parsing your comments…


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