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Published September 2nd 2014

Using the Power of Hindsight: 3 Uses of Historical Twitter Data

Find out how you can use historical Twitter data to discover powerful insights for your business. We've got three examples right here.

Last month, we announced our new capability to offer full historical data all the way back to the first ever tweet in 2006 with Brandwatch Twitter Hindsight. Pretty epic stuff.

But what can you do with all that data? That’s a whole eight years worth of Twitter history, which could be a bit daunting if you’re not sure where to start with it.

But it’s also an opportunity: looking back will help you better plan in the future, and we all know the power of hindsight!

Here are a few ideas for potential uses of Hindsight data, to get the idea juices flowing:


1) Discover where the competition have failed

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You might be aware that your competitors are growing or falling in share of voice over the past month, or even year. But do you know how they’ve performed historically, in comparison to you?

Do you know when they joined Twitter, how their strategy has evolved, and how their audience has responded? Better yet, how about being able to know what their big hits have been – and their big fails?

By analysing the full 8 years of Twitter history of your competitors against your own, you can not only understand how the landscape has changed – and is likely to change – but also learn from the successes and mistakes of the competition.

You can also analyse how the audience response to each brand has evolved over time to better understand their change in share of voice. Perhaps they’ve lost particularly influential fans over the years, or they’ve started to align themselves better with their audience’s interests to increase engagement.

The possibilities for discovery are extensive and powerful.


2) Predict the next big thing

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I’m a big lover of food, so the thought of being able to predict the next big food trend excites me enormously (cronuts are so last year!). But historical data analysis can help you with trend projection and prediction within any industry.

By tracking conversation surrounding a specific topic, rather than a brand, you can analyse the history of chat about a particular industry. That means you can analyse the rise and fall of past trends and better understand the lifespan of those trends and how they have developed.

Using tools such as topics clouds, top authors analysis and date comparison charts mean you can better understand how a trend grew, who were they key players, and how the conversation evolved.

You can then use this analysis to build models to help predict future trends, whether that’s to find out the next hot bakery item or a growing demand for a specific product feature.


3) Find your diehard fans

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In all likelihood, there are tweeters out there who have been using and loving particular products for years. And chances are, they’ve been tweeting about them too.

With Hindsight, you could look at the top authors for your brand over the past 8 years – and discover those diehard fans who’ve been with you from the start, those who might be losing interest who you could try to re-engage with, and emerging fans that might prove valuable.

We all know the benefits of influencer marketing, and of engaging with and rewarding your biggest fans – and with historical data, you can discover those who truly love your brand, through thick and thin.

And who wouldn’t want to know that?


Of course there are plenty more uses for Hindsight – the potential is huge and the possibilities are incredibly exciting (you should see our Insights team, they’re over the moon!).

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more uses and examples of how Hindsight data can benefit your business. Do you have any great ideas for using historical Twitter data? Let us know in the comments.


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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.