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Published February 11th 2011

Brandwatch Tutorial – Session 7: How can I make my data more relevant?

Welcome to the seventh instalment of the Brandwatch tutorials. As we reach the half-way point of this series, we are going to look at a common and extremely important aspect of Social Media Monitoring: data quality. Brandwatch prides itself in the quality of the data it provides, with low spam, no duplication of mentions, etc. But there are several techniques which you, as a user, can employ to make sure you get the most out of it.

Click here for 2 short videos that accompany this post.

Query definition
If you want to increase the relevancy of the mentions found for your query, the first port of call is the query’s definition. This is usually a two-step process:

  • First, tune the query definition to be tighter focused on your brand. If you were to track Orange (the mobile company), setting a query definition of “Orange” would clearly bring back many irrelevant results. The more you refine the definition to focus on the actual mobile company, the better the data would be.
  • Then, understand what you want to track, that is, which mentions you want to find. Your current query definition may tight and correct, but it may still pick up mentions you do not really need to see. For example, if you are tracking a particular company, and this company does sponsor a sport event, you may well want to ignore mentions of that event, as they are not a core part of what you need to track.

Brandwatch does provide a comprehensive set of query definition operators, which you can use for both points above. Bryan wrote an excellent post on these operators, which is well worth reading!

Language and Location
Although Social Media is a global phenomenon, and brands are increasingly international, Social Media Monitoring exercises are typically focused on a particular language and/or country.

As such, when you define your query, remember to only select the language(s) that you are interested in. There is little point in collecting Chinese mentions of your query if you are focusing on the English-speaking world. If you limit your query to one or a few languages, the Brandwatch language classifiers will do the hard work of removing mentions from other languages.

Similarly, you may only want to collect mentions from one or a few countries. Brandwatch offers two ways to do this:

  • Use the ‘location:’ operator in your query definition. For example, append ” location:uk” at the end of your definition to only get mentions from websites based in the United Kingdom
  • All workspace components can be restricted to include (or exclude) a group of countries. You will first need to create a country group, by clicking on the Setup button (top-right of the screen), then on ‘Create a location group’. There you will be able to specify which country or countries to include in your group. Then in any component, click on the ‘Controls’ button and then on ‘Filter options’, and using the ‘Locations’ or ‘Exclude Locations’ drop-down you will be able to restrict the component to the country group, or to exclude the country group. Remember to click on ‘Load data’ after any change in the filters.
Setup panel to create a Location group, and drop-down to restrict a component to a Location group

Setup panel to create a Location group, and drop-down to restrict a component to a Location group

Note that you can also apply a ‘Locations’ or ‘Exclude Locations’ filter to a whole workspace, using the ‘Controls’ of that workspace. This will apply the filter to all components within the workspace.

Similarly to the above, you may realise that you are in fact only interested in certain sources, or types of sources – or that you do not want to include certain (types of) sources.

Again there are two ways to do this:

  • You can restrict any component, or a whole workspace, to a particular type of source (blog, twitter, forum, news, video or general), using the ‘Page type’ drop-down in the filters.
  • Or, you can create a site group, using the ‘Controls’ button, in a very similar way to how you would create a country group. Then you can restrict any component (or a whole workspace) to that site group, in cases where only a few important sites do interest you. More often, you may want to exclude a site group, after finding that certain sites do contain mentions of your brands, but not particularly interesting ones. Excluding these irrelevant sites should simplify your analysis.

That is all for this seventh tutorial. You may remember that the Brandwatch tutorials are a 14-part series. The first half of that series, which we have just completed, focuses on ‘Snapshot Reporting’: how to find out what was said online about a query over the last few weeks or months. The second half of the series, starting with the next tutorial, will focus on ‘Ongoing Monitoring’: how to track and respond to what is being said online now.

As always, do Contact Us if you have any questions.

Video tutorial (part 1): how to refine your data by defining your query differently

Video tutorial (part 2): how to refine your data using filters

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