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Published October 4th 2016

Ask an Analyst: Five Ways You Can Make Brandwatch Audiences Yours

Brandwatch Audiences gives you full access to a live database of over 200 million active Twitter users. Here are five ways you can make the most of it.

Brandwatch launched its latest product, Audiences, a couple of months ago. Out of all the Brandwatch product launches from the last four years, this is my favourite. (Here’s the link to the announcement, in case you missed it.)

In a nutshell, Brandwatch Audiences gives you full access to a live database of over 200 million active Twitter users. You can run in-depth searches thanks to Brandwatch custom filters (e.g. search by location, profession, interest, text in Twitter bios, and much more), and you can see real-time trends and influence insights for any audience you want.

As you can imagine, there’s just so much that Audiences can do. While that’s a great thing, it can also put you off from using Audiences if you don’t have a scope for it. That is to say, unless you have a specific problem you’d like Audiences to solve, using it will only appear useful, not practical. (Kinda like what I felt when I first used Signals.)

I’d love to show you how you can make Audiences your own, and most importantly, practical. Here are five examples of ways that Audiences can be a handy problem-solver.

Recruiting via Twitter

Have you tried social recruiting yet? It’s the practice of hiring new people through social media.

Often when we hear of social recruiting we immediately think of LinkedIn, the king of professional social networking. LinkedIn isn’t the only social network used by smart social recruiters, however. Twitter is a great place to mine high-quality candidates too.

In fact, Twitter is the place where a lot of people congregate, whether they also have a LinkedIn profile, or designers with a Dribbble portfolio, or developers with their software projects safely stored in GitHub, etc. The list goes on.

Brandwatch Audiences is a great tool for talent mining, i.e. sorting through large amounts of talent-related data to identify and acquire new talent. Let’s say we’re looking for a social media analyst.

Brandwatch Audiences supports basic Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, and “quotes”), so we can search for the following:

“social media analyst” OR “social media analytics” OR “social analyst” OR “social analytics” OR socialmediaanalytics OR socialanalytics

Thanks to the instant search from Audiences, I see that we have 1.5k people to sift through.


Next, let’s filter by the country (or countries) we’re interested in. Let’s choose, for example, the UK. Doing so, we go from 1.5k people to just over 100.

Let’s now set the Account Type filter to “Individual”, to weed out any social analytics companies or tools. We now have 101 people.

These are 101 potential candidates, and your next social analyst may be one of these people. You now have two options:

  • You can either export this list to CSV (useful if you want to cross-match Twitter handles against other tools), or
  • You can choose the “Use in analytics” feature: this will create a new author list in Brandwatch Analytics, so you can run further analysis and use the wider range of filters that Brandwatch Analytics provides (sort by reach, verified status, etc.).

Three words of advice:

  1. There’s a caveat here: of course, there aren’t only 101 social media analysts in the UK. Take this as a list of people who self-identify themselves as social analysts on Twitter. There are way more social analysts out there who choose not to disclose their profession or who they work for publicly in their bio. For instance, while I’m a social media analyst, I’m not one of the 101 analysts that Audiences found, simply because all my bio says is that I’m a wine enthusiast (although that says more about me than it does about Audiences). Nonetheless, I do regularly talk about social analytics and related topics on Twitter.

    Take that into account when you search within bios. You may want to do another search for the same query but choosing the “Twitter Content” filter instead: this tells Brandwatch to search through people’s tweets to find mentions of your keywords of choice. Once you’ve got that list, save that to Brandwatch Analytics, and create a dashboard that looks at both lists at the same time. If done correctly, you should have over 220 authors at your disposal.

  2. Don’t just search for job titles. Use related keywords as well, including other names for the same role (“digital analyst”), and related keywords (“social insights”, “social intelligence”). You may want to include any key skills (“data mining”, “social listening”) and tools too (“Power BI”) under “Tweet Content” too – seeing these candidates’ expertise and proficiency has much more impact than just seeing it written on a CV.
  3. Make sure you search for your company name and products, mainly for two reasons: (1) you’ll want to know if they’re already familiar with your brand, or if they’re already users of your products; (2) you’ll also want to know if they’ve ever spoken about your brand and products, and if they’ve done so positively or negatively.
Concert Crowd

Finding the Social Evangelists within Your Company

Who are the social stars working for you? Does your business have any social influencers who you could perhaps leverage or at least credit for how they advocate your brand?

I did a search for people working for Brandwatch, aka “Brandwatchers”. For that, I used the bio search for the following:

  • company name,
  • Twitter handles of the company,
  • any name that employees of the company go by (like Microsoft employees are called “Microsofties”, and Brandwatch employees are “Brandwatchers”).

In our case, the query will be:

brandwatch* OR “bw react”

…with the Account Type filter set to “individual”.

NB. “brandwatch*” covers both the company name (Brandwatch), as well as Brandwatch Twitter handles, most of which start with Brandwatch (e.g. @BrandwatchDE, @BrandwatchES), with the exception of @BW_React (Brandwatch React).

Here’s some cool stuff I found out:

  • there are over 150 people across the world who explicitly identify themselves as Brandwatch employees on Twitter;
  • The most influential Brandwatcher is Christel Quek, VP APAC Brandwatch, with an influence score of 59 (out of 100) and 53k followers – more than anyone else working for Brandwatch (yup, even more than the CEO himself);
  • There are vast differences in interests and professions between Brandwatchers from different countries: German Brandwatchers on Twitter are mostly software devs and UX/UI experts, like Julius Detz (VP of Engineering Product), and Kamil Jopek (Javascript developer); UK Brandwatchers are mainly working in marketing and sales, like Phill Agnew (Product Manager) and Ruxandra Mindruta (Influencer Manager).

There’s a lot more that we could deduce from this and other stats, but perhaps you may be wondering – what’s the practical use of this? It’s twofold:

  • If you’re thinking of rolling out an employee advocacy program where you work, you can use Audiences to spot the top social evangelists working for you (sort your search results by influence). This will help you select a Program Champion, who can lead your employee advocacy program, manage its outreach, and help with logistics. This champion will be someone who’s already socially influential and passionate about their job. These people can give tips to others getting to grips with social media while giving practical examples of how they evangelise your brand with their personal social presence. You can also credit and commend social influencers who advocate your brand and products – especially when you realise that to get that level of influence you’d often have to pay someone who probably has little to no affinity to your brand.
  • You can use this to view your competitors’ social evangelists’, to study how they post about their brand while managing their social persona. You may find this useful not only for your employee advocacy program but also when doing a competitor analysis of your brand vs. your competitors – which brand has more socially invested employees?

Finding Audience Segments

If you’re already a Brandwatch user, then you may be aware of the Interests and Professions filters in Brandwatch Analytics. You can filter mentions via a list of predefined interests (e.g. business, music, sports) and professions (e.g. student, executive, software developer & IT, sales/marketing/PR). While useful, I do have a couple of issues with this:

  • There are a few “combo” professions which might not always be helpful. For instance, if I only want to track PR professionals, the only option I have is using the “sales/marketing/PR” profession filter. Other “combo professions” include “scientist & researcher”, “software developer & IT” and so forth. Great, but what if I’m only interested in one profession?
  • There may be times when you need a more granular view of a profession. If I’m looking for female CMOs in the UK, using the “Executive” filter will return more than what I need. “Executive” will return not only CMOs, but also other members of the C-Suite (e.g. CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and other C-level executives), directors, and people with “senior” in their title (e.g. “senior social analyst”, “senior social manager”, “senior data scientist”). Or, take for instance “software developer & IT” – what if I’m only interested in javascript developers? Or HTML developers? Or what if I just want to separate developers from IT professionals?

The answer is in Audiences. Here’s an example: let’s say we want to find the most influential female C-Suite executives in the UK – just the most influential one per C-Suite title (e.g. top female CEO, top female CIO).

After setting the Location filter to UK and the Gender filter to Female, we can run our bio search for various C-Suite positions. Here are the top UK female executives for the top 8 C-Suite titles:

This is just one example, but you can do the same with pretty much any job title. Say within marketing you’re looking for social media managers vs. product managers; or say within developers you’re looking for Swift developers vs. Objective-C developers.

Empty comfortable red seats with numbers in cinema

The same applies to interests too: say within books you’re looking for people interested in fiction vs. poetry readers; or say within games you’re looking for game enthusiasts vs. game developers; or perhaps within photo & video you’re only interested in comparing DSLR photographers to people interested in iPhoneography. The list goes on.

As you run your search, make sure you don’t limit yourself to just one keyword, but also its variations, synonyms and related keywords, to have a decent sample size for your final audience.

Targeting on Twitter with Precision

We’ve only mentioned CSV exports in passing, but these can come in handy more often than you think. The advantage of the CSV file format over newer formats (like Excel’s XLS and XLSX) is its widespread compatibility across other software.

In fact, you could open a CSV file in almost any application, including basic text editors. (After all, a CSV file is just a text file that uses special characters to determine where one cell ends and where the next one begins, something that most applications can interpret).

One smart use of this is Tailored Audiences via Twitter Ads. Through Tailored Audiences, you can target custom groups of Twitter users. For example, you could target a group of people who have expressed interest in your brand or products.

You could target the attendees from your last event with unique marketing messages, or you could remarket to specific influencers who are thinking of going for your competitor. One way to use Tailored Audiences is by uploading a list of Twitter user IDs or Twitter usernames in TXT format or (you guessed) CSV format.

That means that you can run quick searches in Brandwatch Audiences to identify and target sets of users who are influential, active, or quite vocal about a particular topic. Once you’ve found your audience of interest, you can export it as a CSV file, then import it into Twitter Ads and run your campaign.

For more information on how to run Tailored Audiences, check out their help centre page here.

Find Twitter Imposters

Brandwatch Audiences can help you protect yourself against accounts that operate on slander, defamation, character or brand impersonation, and unauthorised use of your company assets (including your logo).

It’s not uncommon for companies to find themselves dealing with fake accounts impersonating them. These can be from angry customers slandering customer care accounts with their “do not care” accounts (e.g. @BTCareNot vs. @BTCare), or from people creating parody accounts of your brand or brand execs, like the most followed parody account for Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, @JonyIveParody.

Companies are often unaware of these accounts until it’s too late. So, how do you track them down before they start doing any damage?

Brandwatch Audiences lets you search for your brand name in bios. This search will return any authors that fit those criteria. Add them to an author list in Brandwatch Analytics. Then, make sure you already have an author list of all your brand owned accounts, including the social accounts of your execs and other notable people working for you. (If you don’t already have it, it’s time to create one.)

Anonymous green men

Once you’ve done that, create a dashboard that includes the author list from Brandwatch Audiences but excludes the “official” author list you have with your brand accounts. This serves two purposes:

  • You may find genuine accounts that you forgot about, possibly because they’re not in use anymore (in which case, decide on whether there’s still a need to keep these inactive accounts);
  • Doing this exercise, you’ll find who else is portraying to be from your company when they’re not. Once you’ve whittled down to the fake accounts you’re looking for, execute your internal process – whether it involves the social manager reaching out to the accounts, or whether it’s the role of the PR team in your company. Either way, if there are any visible breaches (like unauthorised use of your logo), not only can you execute change, but you also have enough ground to contact Twitter to get the account removed, due to their impersonation policy (which you can find here).

Bear in mind that while you can request permanent suspension of Twitter accounts impersonating you, Twitter allows parody, commentary, and fan accounts to exist. You can read their stance on this on their official help page here.

This, And So Much More

Now, those were only five examples of things you can do with Brandwatch Audiences. This tool has so much potential for it to be more than just a directory of the over 200 million users on Twitter.

If you were looking for an excellent tool to search for people, audiences and segments in the same ways that you can search for mentions, topics and conversations via Brandwatch Analytics, you’ve now found your answer – in Brandwatch Audiences.

Get a free demo of Audiences today.

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