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.

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!

Reach to Revenue: Social ROI

Reach to Revenue, a Webinar on Social ROI

FB banner (hootsuite & CS)

Earlier today, our Co-Founder & COO, Prerna Pant, spoke at a webinar with Alison Ng (Regional Account Executive at Hootsuite APAC) and Meredith Wallace (Head of Social & Digital at M&C Saatchi). These three accomplished women discussed how to measure and prove the value of your investment in social.

If you missed it, don’t worry. Here’s a quick ten-pointer list of what was talked about!

What did we learn about Social ROI from the talk?

1. According to a dipstick survey, 66% of respondents currently do not measure Social ROI.

2. 42% of respondents are unsure how to go about measuring and proving Social ROI.

3. Measuring social ROI can help to make or save money, or mitigate risk. Or better yet, all three at once.

4. Use the 3-step framework for simplicity:

Social ROI Framework

5. Not all Social ROI is created equal. Not every single metric like the number of followers could be important to you.

6. Proving Social ROI is not one-off, it changes day to day.

7. Be flexible! Change your approach based on results and insights as needed.

8. Customer-centric is not a buzzword, it’s integral to social and digital success.

9. Look at Social ROI from beyond a sales perspective, but as a way to find customer insights.

10. Always contextualize data. Half the battle is asking the right questions.

We hope that was a useful list!

If you have any other questions about Social ROI, don’t hesitate to tweet us @CircusSocial or leave a comment below.

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.