3 ways to see the future with social media data

3 ways to see the future with social media data

If I could wake up tomorrow with a superpower of my choice, time travel would be high on my list.

Think about it: With open access to the past and future, you’d have unlimited knowledge within reach. You’d know how decisions play out in the long run, and the full context behind the events of the present. It would be overwhelming at times, but as a marketer, it would be fascinating.

In many ways, analyzing social media data is like tapping into a deep well of such information. Digging into details about the past, particularly insights from sources as direct as individual users, reveals insights and data-driven predictions about the future.

It’s not the same as snapping your fingers and materializing in the Middle Ages or third millennium, but in the context of marketing and business, social insights can offer serious value. For example, consider how marketers in the following scenarios can use the information we mined from our social data library of one trillion posts to see and seize the future.

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Fat is always a hot topic in the food industry. Whether a certain item is low-fat, fat-free, has good fats or bears bad fats, food manufacturers and restaurants discuss and pay attention to fat content because consumers are listening and engaging in the conversation.

According to our social data analysis, consumers’ collective opinion of fat is also changing over time — and not in the way you might expect. Between 2010 and 2015, positive sentiment about “good fats” nearly doubled on social media. In the same period of time, conversations about low-carb diets increased, while discussions of low-fat options diminished.

Positive mentions of traditionally popular nutritional topics, such as vitamins, diminished in the same period of time. For a restaurant marketer looking to appeal to a customer base that follows food trends and harbors an interest in healthy living, discussing the good fats served at an establishment (and adding some olive oil and guacamole to the menu) can help the business by leveraging existing customer sentiments about the topic.

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In recent years, more travel options have become available on financially flexible terms. People who previously may not have considered an international vacation are now able to fly across the world on the cheap.

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