Brandwatch recently added the social media site Reddit to its data source. Brandwatch is the first social intelligence provider to gain access to the entirety of Reddit data. Let’s review what social intelligence providers do and the value of Brandwatch adding Reddit to its “mini-firehose” of data collection. We’ll also address the value social intelligence providers bring and why Reddit is so important to them and their customers.
An Introduction to Social Intelligence Providers
Social listening tools try to sweep social media to generate a high level report on what your users or the general public think about you. Social listening tools mine massive amounts of data to tell you, quantitatively, what the general opinion of products, services, companies and media campaigns are. Among the questions social listening tools try to answer are: Which social media platforms have the best opinion of your brand? Where are the most people following your brand or talking about your product? Who is sharing the most content about the company, whether good or bad? Whose recommendations are getting shared or read the most? This last question can give your company the name of a potential social media influencer.
Social intelligence providers are the marketing experts who use social listening tools to generate these reports.
The Value of Social Listening and Social Intelligence Providers
Social intelligence providers using social listening tools can give you the same type of raw and useful information about your brand’s image that a search engine optimization firm can give you about the click through rates and conversion rates for each landing page and piece of content marketing. It is better to listen to your customers using these tools, see shifts in public opinion early and tackle the root causes identified by these software tools than wait until a boycott or customer service horror story hits the front page news.
Social intelligence providers deliver useful information as it is revealed in real time and the honest opinions that may not make it through customer surveys collected by marketing. This is especially true of Reddit where most users don’t use a real name and are likely to vent online anonymously, likely to the detriment of your brand’s reputation. For example, many people are willing to share something under a false name on Reddit that they would be embarrassed or afraid to share on Facebook.
Social intelligence providers also find new, niche uses of your products you may not know about and customer concerns that may represent new marketing opportunities.
Apple famously found out about the hardware people wished the company provided by reading customer discussion forums; social listening tools automate this task, so your marketing team doesn’t have to spend its time visiting dozens of websites and trying to tally up the opinions or identify potentially valuable information. The authenticity of the opinions, whether for or against a brand, are even more important to companies that want to know what their users truly think about the company, its services, its products and its marketing campaigns.
Of particular value to companies is the ability to find key complaints to be addressed immediately before they go viral, whether due to a customer service failure by the company or lack of knowledge regarding how to get help.
The Importance of Reddit
When someone talks about Reddit vs 4chan, the discussion is more likely asking where a meme was created or on which platform it went viral. While 4chan generates more jokes and news media attention, it only sees about three million monthly visitors. Reddit has more than 500 million unique monthly visitors, and it is the fourth most often visited website, hovering around tenth in the world. So, when you want to learn what many of the most opinionated people in the world think and tap into the discussion threads where many public opinions are formed, you need to be reading what is being said on Reddit. If you want a more complete rundown of what separates 4chan and Reddit, this website made a great comparison of the two.
While a meme may show up on 4chan mocking a company or brand (think of the wave of CNN mocking memes after it threatened legal action on a Reddit user for a meme President Trump shared), it is Reddit where such memes go viral and get seen by millions.
Reddit is where horror stories about dealing with your company’s customer service are seen by thousands. It’s also where you see hundreds of people discussing obscure brands with each other, creating customer communities for almost every brand or product type. Reddit is where drone enthusiasts refer their friends and thousands of strangers on the best antennas or worst programming interfaces. Its influence on tech and gaming is particularly strong, but it has subreddits talking about everything from makeup to vegan food to woodworking tools. If you want to know what your most influential or active social media commentators are saying, you should go to Reddit.
What Brandwatch Is Doing and Why It Is New
Brandwatch had not been ignoring Reddit before licensing use of Reddit’s Socialgist. It and other social analytics firms periodically reviewed the Reddit public API and crawled specific sub-reddits or niche discussion groups on the site. There are more than 140,000 sub-reddits, so crawling the entire site for data on a specific product had not happened until now. Brandwatch is the first social intelligence provider to have access to thousands of subreddits for review, and it is working on tools to mine the entire site. This data will be mined via the Brandwatch Vizia 2 social listening tool and its Analytics tool.
Brandwatch is not going to be the only company to have access to this data; what it has achieved is being the first to access this data mine. They are using the data to understand how people on average perceive a brand, who is posting the most about a product for better or worse and which specific individuals are posting.
Brandwatch and other social listening tool users mine social media to generate a big picture view of what customers and the market as a whole think about brands, products, services and marketing campaigns. While Brandwatch and other social intelligence providers have been able to review Reddit data by simply scrolling through and reading or mining data for a specific subreddit, Brandwatch is the first social intelligence provider to be able to mine massive numbers of discussion forums for social intelligence data, gaining access to one of the biggest and most authentic sources of data about public opinion.