Why social media and text analytics matter (or “I’m not dead yet”)

  2 m, 46 s

It seems that over the past year, the world is really waking up to social media. But now that social media is on people’s radar, do they really understand what it means and how it can impact their company, their products, and their image in the marketplace? This is where text analytics helps to make sense of all the information in social media and present quantifiable indexes that can be tracked. In order to understand the power of social media, you don’t need to look any further than the reports earlier this week of Steve Jobs’ alleged heart attack. Steve Jobs is so interlinked with Apple and its products, that the sudden news of his demise had an immediate and detrimental impact on Apple’s stock price. That could be your name, your CEO, your product, your company. Any information, true or false, can affect how people view your company. Now, we’re not all household names like “Steve Jobs”, “Apple”, and “iPod” (appearing in an Oxford dictionary near you very soon, I expect), but if people are talking about you, you should know about it and be able to understand it’s potential impact. Note to self: “Sentiment” is not just about whether people like you or not, but also a measure of the good or bad effect that information (true or false) related to you can have on how others view you. Here at Lexalytics, we’re rolling out a new portal called ExecDex. ExecDex tracks postings about the CEOs of various companies, and ranks them based on the sentiment of the content of those postings. Earlier this week, Steve Jobs took a big hit. Why? Well, let’s take a look at his ExecDex summary. The top of the page provides the summary of who Steve Jobs is and a trend of his rating and his company’s performance. Interesting if you are researching a CEO or company you are not familiar with, but let’s keep reading to find out what happened to Steve lately. The two charts in the middle of the page really draw my attention.

    • First, “Executive Sentiment” shows us that out of all stories that mentioned Steve Jobs, almost 70% of them were bad. Mainly this is because these stories talk about the effect that the news had on Apple’s stock price; we also know a heart attack and rumors are rarely good things. What about the 25% of stories that were good? Click the pie wedge and you see why. ExecDex shows a sampling of stories that contributed to this segment, and they talk about Steve Jobs being a visionary and his charismatic personality. (Note: your mileage may vary on these percentages, as ExecDex is updating multiple times per day)
  • Next, the “News Story Volume”. Mouse over the bar chart and you find that the number of times Mr. Jobs was mentioned had a significant spike on October 6. Combine this increase in chatter, with the negative tone of that chatter, and your result is a reaction in the marketplace that affects Apple.

On the outside, we see the cause and the effect. A false rumor about an unfortunate event, resulting in a stock drop. Text analytics, and tools like ExecDex, help us understand why and apply real numbers to an otherwise qualitative world.

Categories: Social Media, Text Analytics