Data Science at Circus Social

Circus Social is brimming with social intelligence. With a vibrant and vastly talented group of Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Data Analysts on board – we live and breathe analytics.

More recently, our machine learning capabilities for the 20/Twenty platform have benefitted from a decentralized and distributed structure.

Data Science at Circus Social

Our clients are often faced with a variety of marketing challenges – and we try to work hand-in-hand to find the most efficient way of tackling them. These could include finding solutions to ‘hard-problems‘ like real-time document clustering or- predicting a virality score for posts on social media.

There are also new challenges that occur with changing lifestyles and social media behavior like, automatically grouping similar videos uploaded by users based on different attributes including context, language and emotions where we have to tap in to specializations of both the science and the engineering teams have been only possible with the contribution of both the science and the engineering teams.

While our data science team has created magic with data, predictive and modeling techniques, our engineering team has helped maintain several terabytes of data and created effective machine learning pipelines.

Data Science at Circus SocialThe team’s latest project has been to develop and deploy a real-time document clustering functionality – allowing our clients to find viral content, identify trends and proactively react to crisis situations. The three main phases of this project are feature extraction and selection, document representation and clustering.  After having experimented with a lot of clustering algorithms with speed and cluster quality as the primary metric for evaluation we settled for a hybrid approach that used both K-means and agglomerative hierarchical clustering. K-means, because of its run-time efficiency and agglomerative hierarchical clustering because of the cluster quality. While our initial motivation was to find similar conversations in a given geographical area, we have also started using it to recommend conversations and articles the user is most interested in.

Data Science at Circus Social

At Circus Social, promoting the best ideas not only pampers our love for an open culture but also helps drive an innovative culture that constantly challenges the status quo. As a social media analytics company, we have developed a similar wavelength for Data Science.

From where it all began in the early days of social listening-, to today’s culmination of intelligence, data science & machine learning-, we are truly excited at the possibilities of what the future of 20/Twenty holds for us, our team and our clients.

Intro to Social Media Listening

Introduction to Social Media Listening

Introduction to Social Media Listening

Catching up with friends, finding a soulmate, researching products and shopping, complaining about the things they hate – people are integrating digital into every aspect of their lives. According to We are Social’s Digital in 2018 report, Asia Pacific is home to over 2 billion internet users – and growing rapidly. The number of social media users across the region has grown 14% to roughly 1.7 billion users. Given the continued growth of active social media users, brands must do everything they can to understand the digital behavior of their customers and be proactive with their marketing strategies.

What is Social Media Listening?

Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring or social media intelligence is the process of monitoring specific brand terms, products, competitors or themes and categories that are important to your business. This serves as a valuable tool that can be used to provide a deeper understanding of what’s being said about your brand, your products, your competitors, your category as well as provide actionable insights that can be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy.,

Why you should be Tracking Social

Learn More about your Audience

In order to successfully reach your target audience, you must first know where to find them. Social listening allows brands to find out which social media channels have the highest number of related mentions so that brands can focus their time and effort on the right channel.

Track Campaign Performance

Brands are often worried that their campaigns are not resonating with their customers. Social listening allows brands to track their campaigns so that they are able to see consumer conversations happening in real time on social media.

Depending on consumer reactions to specific campaigns, brands can adapt and make the necessary changes dynamically to ensure a more successful outcome based on objectives.

Build Stronger Relationships with your Customers

With the advent of social media, consumers are increasingly utilizing it as a platform to voice their issues and complaints (for example, product reviews or posts on a brand’s Facebook page if they are experiencing a problem).

A “listening ear” on the ground increases a brands awareness of issues surrounding their products or services. Identifying customer pain points allows brands to adjust their customer service, product or messaging – resulting in a better experience for their customers.

Tracking and Benchmarking Competitors

Knowing your enemy is half the battle won. Social listening helps brands know what people are saying about their competitors online. This allows you to leverage any weaknesses that your competitors are having or develop timely responses to any competitor campaigns that are going viral. You can also benchmark your page, brand or campaign performance with competitors, and identify opportunities for growth.

Crisis Management and Prevention

Managing crisis situations swiftly and decisively is of utmost importance. Social listening allows you to set real time alerts to receive warning of any negative sentiment around your brand. This gives you the ability to identify detractor posts and respond quickly – ensuring minimal damage to the brand.

This early warning system also affords you the maximum amount of time needed to implement contingency plans, if required.

Getting started on your Social Listening Journey

Now that you are ready to start listening, you will need a dedicated social listening platform.

At Circus Social – we are leaders in the digital intelligence space, empowering brands with real-time insights through our social & news monitoring platform, 20/Twenty.
What clients love about 20/Twenty:

– Easy, intuitive design, providing full image & video tracking

– Asian language support including 140 languages across more than 40 countries

– Offline & online news tracking with Dow Jones Factiva

– The ability to track customer intent including leads and decision-making behaviour

– The ability to track by geolocation and latitude & longitude

To find out more, or book a demo click here.

 

A Chance Meeting: Social Media Monitoring

I was at a Business School today to attend an event and met a few people from the industry. Here is an interesting conversation I had with somebody I met. Let’s call him Mr. X.

Mr. X – So what do you do?
Ram – I am an entrepreneur and run a software product company called Circus Social. We do social media monitoring and analytics; and have offices in Singapore and Bangalore.

Mr. X – What exactly is social media monitoring?
Ram – In simple terms, we fetch data, and a lot of it, from multiple social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit etc. and also from several blogs, forums and news sites. We then process and augment this data (with sentiment, gender, removing spam etc) and allow marketers to get insights from this data. We show them trends, insights, a lot of charts and graphs and allow them to make better business decisions.

Mr. X – So you are a big data company. Sounds like tough work. What kind of business decisions can be made?
Ram – Yes, we are indeed a big data company. Currently, our clients are enterprises, typically marketers, who would like to know their customers better, research their markets, analyse their competitors, identify top influencers, get real time alerts on topics of interest etc. We are also launching our SME product shortly.

Mr. X – So, do you invade people’s privacy? Isn’t this data private?
Ram – We only crawl data that is already publicly available. Anything that is private or protected by you is completely out of bounds for us. We do an incredibly good job of collating all of this data in our platform and marketers find tremendous value in quickly viewing trends from 10,000 feet but also in the ability to drill down to understand the “why” and “how” behind the trends.

Mr. X – Will this be useful for my company?
Ram – If people are talking about your company, your brands or topics that you are interested in tracking, you will definitely find it useful.

Mr. X – Where can I get more information?
Ram – Here’s my business card. Please visit our website https://www.circussocial.com where you can find a lot more information about what we do and a list of some of our clients. You can also sign-up for a free demo.

Mr. X – Sounds good. Thank you!
Ram – You are welcome!

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#ICYMI: We’re introducing Sentiment Reports!

Get the pulse of your audience straight to your inbox!

A week ago, we announced an important update to our platform, 20/Twenty. We’re now offering automated Sentiment Reports straight to our clients’ email inboxes, whenever they want them, daily or weekly.

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We’ve brought the power of our enhanced sentiment analysis to automated reports to further benefit our clients.

Today, we’d like to explain more on sentiment analysis.

What is it? 

Sentiment analysis is the process of assigning emotional meaning to media mentions. This would then allow you to understand the attitudes held by different consumers towards your product, campaign, or brand.  For example, a higher percentage of mentions marked positive than negative or neutral would allow you to understand this as a majorly positive reception. Equipped with this information, you would be able to make better, more accurate marketing decisions, quicker.

Why do Sentiment Analysis? 

Sentiment Analysis and application on the 20/Twenty platform allows you to take a large volume of online mentions and process it for sentiment accurately in a much quicker time than a human could manually. With this information, you can consider your brand’s positioning and what the next steps are that you need to take to make yourselves more favorable to consumers.

You can also do a comparison between sentiments on different platforms or over a period of time to gauge the reception to your advertising campaign. On our platform, information comes in real-time so that you can monitor ongoing campaigns as they are being executed too. Combined with our real-time alerts, we’ve enabled our clients to get feedback so they have the chance to make tweaks to their strategy, even if they’re on the ground.

Why are Circus Social’s Sentiment Reports are a must-have for any marketer?

Our report gives marketers an easy way of understanding the changes in brand sentiment day to day with hourly information. Importantly, we’ve included what every marketer would want to know in our automated reports- sentiment changes over time, top positive and negative keywords/topics, sentiments segmented by gender, amongst a ton of other configuration options.

While crises may certainly sway public sentiments towards negative, they rarely happen daily. Sentiment Analysis allows you to keep an eye on your brand’s progress over a period of time, a task that may be exhausting but is definitely worthwhile and necessary in the speed of conversations taking place today.

What are some of the other things you can do with our reports?

  • Gauge responses to and mentions of your brand in real-time
  • Quickly analyse sentiments around your offline-events as well as online campaigns
  • Understand opinions, attitudes, and emotions of customers
  • Identify and keep a track of the most impactful social and news posts
  • Research upcoming trends in your industry
  • Learn more about your competitors

Our Sentiment Analysis Report aims to help you integrate a deep understanding of audience responses with your marketing so that you make better decisions.

After all, great strategy comes from research and a deep understanding of the shifts in your audience’s perceptions of your brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about sentiment analysis, or how we could help your brand track what your audience is really feeling about you, do drop us a mail at info@circussocial.com.  We’re more than happy to help you get a feel of sentiment analysis. 😁

We’re coming to Echelon Asia Summit 2017!

Join Circus Social at this year’s Echelon Asia Summit!

Echelon Asia Summit 2017

Held annually since 2009, Echelon is a digital platform that attracts over 6,000 industry leaders and professionals, specifically for start-ups. This year’s Echelon Asia Summit promises to be an exciting, information-sharing conference where you will get to hear from fellow professionals and experts across the region. As Official Social Listening Partner, Circus Social will be attending the two-day conference from 28th to 29th in Singapore.

Prerna Pant, Speaker at Echelon Asia Summit 2017

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Here’s our Co-Founder and COO, Prerna Pant, at the previous Echelon Thailand conference. Prerna will be taking the stage at Echelon Asia Summit 2017 again to share her insights on social media intelligence. Voted one of Singapore’s favourite female entrepreneurs, Prerna will be discussing how social media data can be leveraged for businesses.

Other Echelon Asia Summit 2017 Details

Dates: June 28th-29th, 2017

Venue: Singapore, Expo Hall 2B

Head over here to register: e27.co/echelon/asia/register

Hope to see you! 🙂

#CircusSocial #ECASIA2017

 

Real-time event tracking with Circus Social – Echelon Thailand 2017

As the Official Social Listening Partner, at Echelon Thailand 2017,  Circus Social powered real-time event tracking and social monitoring at the 2 day conference at Bangkok – from the 15th to the 16th of May.

What did we get up to while we were there?

The Circus Command Centre

We showcased our platform, 20/Twenty and the powerful Circus Command Centre which allowed for effective real-time event tracking and the display of online mentions in the form of strong visuals to attendees. Our Circus Command Centre displayed the most used hashtags and buzzwords during the event as well as the most engaged-with posts. Posts with the Echelon event mentions would be showcased on the Command Centre Screens in real-time, informing viewers of the top trending content around the event – across Social & News.

With the help of 20/Twenty, we could actively track and monitor mentions of the event in real-time; what people were saying about various workshops, talks, and other start-ups, and how much engagement (likes, retweets, or shares) any post received.

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Speaker Zone – COO & Founder Prerna Pant – Talk on Social Media Intelligence for Start-ups and SME’s

During the speaker session in the afternoon, our COO and Co-Founder, Prerna Pant, shared on how brands can use social media data beyond simply crisis management, event tracking and how social listening is crucial across various business verticals as well as business sizes – SME’s as well as larger corporates.

Aside from nipping potential PR crises in the bud, social listening allows brands to do more than just monitor media. They could also draw insights from existing social media data too.

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Here’s a snippet from the talk: “Social listening lets you find additional and unexpected branding and content opportunities. You may get inspired by an industry piece, or find an angle from user-generated organic content that you hadn’t considered before.”

Launched a 14-day free trial of 20/Twenty – Our Next-Gen Social Listening & Monitoring solution

Echelon Thailand might be over but we all know that the social media cycle never stops. Circus Social is excited to share an exclusive offer that could help your business get a quick taste of real-time monitoring and see what social media intelligence can do for your business strategies whether it is to do with content development, product decisions, media spends or simply PR management.

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How can you benefit from our limited-time 14-day trial?

Take a quick spin of real-time listening and monitoring to help you –

  • Monitor updates from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, forums
  • Monitor both online and offline news
  • Gather deeper insights into your audiences
  • See what people are saying about your brand
  • Find who is influencing the sentiments around your brand
  • Find opportunities for content
  • Find content inspiration
  • Actively find leads

Why not try it out for just two weeks? Click here to see for yourself how our platform performs and book a demo now!

Finding Positioning Opportunities with Global Media

After gaining success in their home market, some Chinese brands started to aggressively expand their battlefields to the markets outside China. When trying to penetrate the international market, it goes without saying that a range of ammunition is needed when trying to break through to consumers that don’t know anything about you.

Circus Social was able to equip our clients with a user-friendly and intuitive platform and save the brand owners and marketers a great deal of effort and time. We empowered our China-based clients to obtain real-time business intelligence on overseas markets to achieve success while operating behind the “Great Firewall”.

1. Industry Trend & Hot Topic Monitoring and Analysis:
By monitoring global emerging business trends and topic evolution over time, our China-based client could get a crystal clear picture on past and on-going industry trends as well as the “share of voice” of specific topics across global online and offline media platforms. Analysis on news publications and key industry topics they were covering also helped our client identify the most influential and active news publications covering the topics relevant to them.

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2. Competitor Monitoring and Analysis:
It goes without saying that competitor intelligence is critical for strategy formulation, and for key branding and marketing decisions. Circus Social’s analytics and monitoring platform, 20/Twenty, monitored major activity, customer perception, and hot topics relevant on competitors across various time frames, geographies, and channels. Thus keeping our client updated about competitors’ brand mentions, conversation volumes/trends, and key announcements. This was crucial for our client as they wanted global visibility – not only local coverage on themselves and their competitors.

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3. Deep Dive Analysis of Media Content Word Cloud
The word cloud generated by Circus Social’s monitoring platform helped our client analyze keywords associated with their brand in global media coverage and also allowed a deep dive into any topic, competitors, products…etc to identify customer’s pain points as well as potential opportunities.

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4. A Close-up Analysis of Impactful Stories
In the past, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and B2B business models used to drive success for Chinese brands in their home market. However, building up a home-grown brand to be one with global awareness, requires local players to embrace innovation, gain a better understanding about their competitors and most importantly adopt a mental shift of focus from key OEM customers to global consumers. Through Circus Social’s detailed analysis and reports, our clients were able to uncover the most impactful stories and hot topics in the industry – and hence dig deeper into the key insights behind the trends. We were able to make recommendations from the data that allowed our client to identify exactly which articles or trends across global media and publications were influencing consumer perceptions, preferences and interests. The summary of impactful coverage also helped our China-based client to quickly capture the essence of each impactful article in each trending category so they could better focus PR efforts to the publications that mattered most.

Get in touch with us to know how Circus Social can be part of your solution when conquering new markets outside your home country!

Finding Content Opportunities during the Demonetization Crisis

On the day India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, declared the currency demonetization, the country witnessed a mixed reaction from its people. The very next day, the whole country was in turmoil and rushed to exchange these notes from banks and their ATMs, – only to find that banks and ATMs were struggling to meet these suddenly increased demands. Widespread chaos ensued across the nation and hundreds of thousands of people were adversely affected, most evidently the lower strata including farmers, daily wage earners, middle class and SME’s. Even large corporates were forced to shut operations for multiple days and lay off hundreds of employees. Other incidents representative of the impact of demonetization were the endless long queues of harried, starving and deprived men and women in front of ATMs and banks, once flourishing street stalls and shops, now a deserted scene.
Demonetization and Narendra Modi
The decision made by PM Modi to demonetize 86% of the notes in circulation was one that was initiated with various interests in mind. The one thing that it has undoubtedly successfully accomplished, is that of the widescale adoption of digital payments technology by Indians of all strata, nationwide.

In the wake of this massive push towards digital payments technology and moving towards a cashless, economy in India- one of our payments solutions clients saw this as a great opportunity to leverage their presence and services. The global payments company sought to identify more growth opportunities for their business and to increase share and adoption of its digital payments solutions. At such an opportune time, in order for it to reach out to this massive audience, it was extremely crucial to identify and understand the voice of public opinion, thoughts and issues surrounding this new loss of currency. An understanding of what the masses felt, what were their pain points and issues, could help the brand provide a solution in the form of its services which at its core was all about going cashless and embracing digital means of payments.

This is where 20/Twenty, our proprietary social intelligence and listening platform, helped the brand achieve insight and clear view into the opinions, thoughts and trends of the consumers moving to digital payments in India. A continued study of competition has also helped the brand keep a close tab on competitors as well as payment wallet solution providers’ activities of interest.

We at Circus Social, leveraged data from 20/Twenty to deliver daily insight reports which informed the brand of key developments and areas of opportunity with the following assessments –

• Consumer sentiments towards demonetization
• Identification of pain points of consumers as well as SME’s
• Tracking various campaign efforts of the government and competitors to learn what worked and resonated
• Tracking daily updates of other e-wallet companies like Paytm, MobiKwik etc.
• Measuring and categorizing different types of consumer engagement
• Identifying key influencers

The client also leveraged our social listening platform to get daily automated alerts when there were key issues being discussed, changes in consumer sentiment as well as growing trends. Alerts were based on keywords and consumer sentiments, when they reached a particular threshold the client received a notification. These e-mail alerts helped our client to be alerted to new and important updates and changes around India’s demonetization fiasco. With the help of 20/Twenty, the team was able to tap into the pulse of the masses and understand their sentiment on the whole demonetization drive.

Here are some of the interesting trends and insights from this crucial period:

• Over a period of two months’ people have understood that downloading an e-wallet app to pay bills is very convenient. Hence, adoption has been quick and easy with people using their e-wallets for to pay almost everything now including mobile bills/recharge, utility bills, cab bookings, movie tickets, etc.
• Post demonetization, e-wallet companies like Paytm, MobiKwik and FreeCharge have seen a huge surge in their daily transactions like never before. Paytm, MobiKwik, FreeCharge have already been in the overdrive to reach out to small traders to commence transactions on their platform. From running full-page ads in newspapers to making their presence felt on TV and digital, Paytm, FreeCharge, MobiKwik etc. are focusing on educating the consumers, expanding their user base and promoting cashless transactions.
• Moreover, since a lot of merchants don’t have card readers for debit/credit transactions, they have started to accept e-wallets as a mode of payment.
• Despite the positive developments post demonetization there still exists a section of people who are unhappy with PM’s decision of currency ban as they are forced to stand in long ques to withdraw their own cash. Also there are shops which still don’t accept any form of e-payment
• Infrastructure still a problem as its unable to cope with demands for new cash. ATMs are constantly out of cash and long queues till the wee hours of the morning persist resulting in severe consequences for consumers with them unable to pay and support their day-to-day consumption.
Whether or not India will benefit from the demonetization drive is still a big question mark but Mr. Modi’s demonetization initiative has definitely been a boon for India’s e-payment providers and they definitely have right future.
The future of e-payment providers:
• The future seems to be extremely strong. Smaller restaurants, vegetable venders are now open to accepting e-wallet payment, some merchants do not accept credit/debit cards but are now accepting e-wallet transactions.
• There has been a constant increase in the number of electronic transactions since demonetization started. Out of the 700 million debit card users in the country, 450 million earlier used the facility only at ATMs. Now, they are swiping cards at PoS (point-of-sale) terminals. This is encouraging for a move to a cashless economy.
• E-wallet transactions are convenient as these are conducted through mobile phones with internet connection.
• This is the time, for Digital Wallet Companies to grow further and be the next way of growth because people are moving towards digital life by accessing internet facility to their life.
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So far so positive, but what could hold back this trend?
Having specified the benefits of electronic payment system, it is necessary to mention its drawbacks:
• Restrictions: Each payment system has certain restrictions regarding the maximum amount in the account, the number of transactions per day and the withdrawal amount.
• The risk of being hacked: As more and more people download and figure out how to use mobile wallets such as MobiKwik, FreeCharge or Paytm, there is also increasing concern over the security of transactions on these apps. If one follows the security rules the threat is lesser. Most reputed wallets adhere to all RBI security specifications and also have extra layers of security. However, most wallet apps only require a simple click for its operation. So, if you lose your phone, whoever finds it has control of your wallet. Only thing which may save you is a PIN or fingerprint protection when you send or transfer money. Though all apps are inherently safe, or as safe as your bank account, there are a few things a user has to do to ensure the financial information or money on their phones is not misused.
• The problem of transferring money between different payment systems. Usually the majority of electronic payment systems do not cooperate with each other. In this case, you have to use the services of e-currency exchange, and it can be time-consuming if you still do not have a trusted service for this purpose.
• The lack of anonymity. The information about all the transactions, including the amount, time and recipient are stored in the database of the payment system. And it means the intelligence agency has an access to this information.
• The necessity of Internet access. If Internet connection fails, you cannot get to your online account.
In general, the advantages of electronic payment system outweigh its disadvantages and they have bigger opportunities comparing with ones of traditional wire transfers.

Handling a Social Media Crisis

Crisis is a word that all businesses fear. In the good old days – a crisis has to be managed by engaging traditional media and publications from an early onset to minimize the impact on the business’s brand and reputation. However, in today’s digital age – most crisis situations often rear their heads through social media. With the potential to go viral within minutes and attacks coming from sources worldwide, managers should rethink their crisis management strategies and whether their tools are adequate in dealing with them.

Monitoring and tracking social media crises can be a tricky business. Speed is key. By the time it takes to establish a plan and formulate a response, it would often have been too late; social media would have already blown the situation out of proportion. Crisis really tests the management of an organisation and co-ordination within the company. While many companies turn to communication and PR experts to offer insights, why not do it yourself? Circus Social has several tips to share on the 4 phases of managing a crisis.

Pre-Empting a Crisis

Businesses can proactively prepare for a crisis by monitoring specific keywords and discussions online. Particularly on social media, certain keywords would raise alarm bells. For a manufacturing firm, it could be ‘defect’, for a courier delivery service it would be ‘delay’. Regardless, being able to track and monitor the usage of such keywords in relation to your business is vital to stay a step ahead and give you sufficient time to react. This does not mean you have to get your staff to crawl the web 24/7. A smarter way would be to set up alerts that go straight to your inbox when thresholds on certain keyword usage have been reached.

Identify Sources & Channels

So a crisis has occurred, what next? Quick identification of the bearer of bad news is essential to decide the right course of action. While companies develop crisis roadmaps in handling crises, no two crises are the same and require tact in handling. For example, if the majority of your ‘bad press’ is being shared quickly on Twitter amongst influential users with large follower bases – you know you need to spread your holding messages and responses quickly and effectively through the same medium as well. Try and identify influential users (those with high Klout scores) so you can focus your efforts efficiently.

Find your top influencers with 20/Twenty and turn around a crisis!

The social sphere is extremely vast with a wide variety of posts. To get through the clutter, there are useful filters to find impactful and viral posts. Impact score of the post indicates the reach of the post (in terms of likes, shares, comments) and the traction score, indicates the virality. Filtering by impact helps you identify the posts that matter the most, both to the public and for your brand. Another useful tool would be an associative word cloud to help spot other related topics that might have been overlooked.Identify top topics and get to the root of whats being discussed. Take control of the crisis with 20/Twenty!

Taking Action

While some experts advocate not taking action and letting the social media storm die down as rapidly as it came, more often than not, it would be wise to acknowledge the issue. If an employee is accused of wrongdoing, or there has been any form of lapses in procedures, some form of accountability and acknowledgement of the issue will pacify the public. Better yet, inform them that investigations are ongoing. You could even win over new fans by providing timely and relevant information, turning a crisis into an opportunity.

Post-crisis remedy

Once traction of the negative post dies down, (hopefully) the worst is over. However, it is still important to be accountable to the public and your customers. At this stage, do release the results of your investigations and be sure to implement measures to prevent a repeat crisis. Also, analyse the traction of past posts and identify and thank fans who have been supportive. It would also be a good time to adjust alerts and thresholds based on what has been learned.

Hopefully, these tips will help any manager take charge of future crises on social media. Get in touch with us to know how 20/Twenty can be part of your crisis management solution.