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Published August 24th 2017

One Set of Soccer Data, Three Lessons From Social Listening

The Brandwatch React team analyzes the data surrounding a soccer game between Arsenal and Leicester, finding some valuable social listening lessons.

As an avid soccer fan, I am super psyched for the new season. The exorbitant amount of money spent on new signings across clubs promises more drama and action for fans throughout the world.

There’s no reason why any fan shouldn’t get hyped about the new season kicking off, unless you are an Arsenal fan – like myself…

I have to deal with the constant jokes of Arsenal finishing fourth and Wenger being a specialist in failure. There’s not much to cheer about other than the signing of Lacazette from Lyon. We haven’t spent as much as our rivals, injury problems continue to persist and there are constant rumors of our key players like Sanchez and Ox leaving the club. Last week’s epic Premier League opener against Leicester pretty much sums up being an Arsenal fan – frustrating at some times, yet euphoric at others

Having been in Brandwatch for about two weeks, I was really interested in how a social listening tool can be incorporated into soccer games. So I went ahead and did it, focusing on a game between Arsenal and Leicester, and I found the insights fascinating.

Here are three lessons that brands can learn on social listening that some soccer data can teach us:

1. Social media reflects real-time events

Take a look at the highlights of the game against the mention volume during the time period of the game.

Timeline of events

19:45 Kick off
19:48 Lacazette scores. ARS 1-0 LEI
19:51 Okazaki scores. ARS 1-1 LEI
20:15 Vardy scores. ARS 1-2 LEI
20:34 Welbeck scores. ARS 2-2 LEI
20:38 Half time
20:49 Start of second half
21:00 Vardy scores. ARS 2-3 LEI
21:27 Ramsey scores. ARS 3-3 LEI
21:29 Giroud scores. ARS 4-3 LEI
21:41 Full time

Spikes in mentions are in sync with the timing of the goals flying into the net. The highest peak in the mentions came when Giroud scored an outstanding winner in the 87th minute.

Social listening lesson: Brands can use social intelligence to monitor spikes in mentions about their own brand and specific marketing campaigns, and be the first to be notified about potentially reputation-harming trending events, in real time.

2. Emotions can be captured with social listening

We often take our thoughts to social media, and these thoughts are usually accompanied by genuine emotion.

It is good news then that, with social listening tools, we are able to break down our mentions by sentiment. Take a look at how people felt throughout the game.

Given that Arsenal’s fan base is significantly larger than that of Leceister’s, it can be said to a certain extent that the above sentiment reflects the feelings of Arsenal fans more than Leicesters’. It was a roller coaster of a game. Look at how livid we were at 9 pm, when Vardy put Leicester 2-3 up, and how thrilled we were at the final whistle! Like I said before, welcome to the life of an Arsenal fan.

Social listening lesson: Customer retention is a huge part of any business. Use social listening tools you can check how your customers feel about your products, customer service, and marketing campaigns. React quickly to customers who feel negatively towards you to reduce churn, or audiences sharing negative news about your brand and potential crises.

3. Social listening can track key topics of interest

We have learned that fans felt negatively throughout the game. But what exactly were they mad about? Social listening tools can find out with topic analysis. Based on the frequency of mentions, we can see what audiences are really concerned about.

Not pleased about the referee, mad at Xhaka for misplacing his pass that led to the goal, our Centerback issues, ‘same old shit’ – typical Arsenal fans.

We are also able to look into the share of voice of key topics surrounding the club.

There wasn’t much talk around the subject of transfers or signings right after the match, although that’ll definitely change as we approach transfer deadline day.

Breaking down the data by issues of interest is easy. Using Brandwatch Analytics you can use rules to search for keywords relating to the different subjects and categorize the data to analyze later.

Social listening lesson: Social listening tools are able to retrieve trending topics of interest, giving companies better insights into the conversations that matter to them, including how they change. By categorizing mentions and monitoring them over time, brands can see how they measure up against competitors or how each of their products are doing on social media.

Just one last question to answer from our soccer data

How did our dear manager Arsene Wenger fare after the game?

…Yup. Not very well.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email us at [email protected] for more information

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