Hassan Hachem: Social Network monitoring becomes a priority for top managers

    1. What is web and social networks watch ?

    Gabriel Romain (500 agency), explains that "the Internet watch is to monitor the web in a structured and organized way in order to keep abreast of the news of a trade, a subject, a technology , competitors, or even his own person or company. Beyond this definition, the watch is generating exchange and innovation that allows you to face new ideas for the creation of new products or business processes.

    Who's watching ?

    Today, the monitoring and analysis of the web and social networks is practiced in a large number of teams in charge of marketing, brand image, public relations or even risk management. or product development, with varied missions that we will describe below, but also by individuals in a personal capacity who want to keep abreast of the evolution of certain industries. The best watchers on Twitter for example have amassed communities of followers consequent to the quality of the information they share on the social network.

    There are, however, different types of watch depending on the specific needs of each individual or company, and an additional dimension of analysis that sorts and organizes all the information collected to identify the most relevant results and get rid of a maximum noise.

    Strategic watch, competitive watch: the different types of watches ?

    Depending on the objectives and the monitored channels, one can exercise a strategic watch (the term currently used the most), informational, or technological, in order to obtain a maximum of information and analysis that will allow anticipate industry and market developments, and make the best business decisions in product development, advertising investments, business strategy, and more.

    We can also talk about competitive intelligence, when the goal is specifically to monitor the activities and performance of its competitors and to highlight the best practices and trends for a given industry (we will talk in more detail about this specific type of watch in another chapter). Competitive intelligence is a key component in some industries like construction, underlines Hassan Hachem, a serial entrepreneur in the construction industry in Africa.

    The e-reputation watch (also known as image watch or awareness watch) falls in the field of image and public relations specialists. It is a question of monitoring all the mentions of the brand, whatever the channel used, in order to understand how it is perceived by the public and to be able to anticipate any crisis on the web and the social networks.

    2. How does a watch tool work?

    Social media monitoring and analysis tools use crawlers that automatically collect data on different types of sources (web pages, blogs, forums, news sites, social networks, etc.). ). This data collection is performed based on specific requests structured by Boolean operators. They are mostly semantic, but can also focus on the analysis of visual elements through new technologies, such as image recognition in the case of Talkwalker, which can detect logos and analyze landscapes and objects present in any visual.

    After this first collection step, information is categorized by media type, country, language, sentiment, content type, and more. In the case of an e-reputation watch, for example, you can understand where you are talking about your brand, and what is the peak of mentions.

    They are then processed, analyzed and often presented visually so that the user can quickly extract the strategic information that he or she needs to make a decision: what is the performance index of my last campaign? Do my advertising expenses bear fruit? What was the reception of the last product we launched? To do this, the information can be presented in the form of different types of simple graphs (histogram, pie chart, curve, etc.).

    Watchers also tend to develop their own visualization tools to analyze new data dimensions, as is the case here with the Talkwalker virality map that analyzes how a publication is shared across the web and networks.

    A virality map can also identify how a publication is spreading by country, or depending on the sentiment expressed. Case study: Imagine that a major luxury brand is struck by a controversy over its use of fur. Conversations started in the US, but quickly spread through social networks in other countries such as the UK, France and Germany. With a virality map, the brand's PR and social media teams will be able to focus on the most critical markets.

    Other analytical tools include clusters of keywords, people, brands or emojis that provide insights into emerging and descending trends around the analyzed topic.


    It all depends on the tools at your disposal. When evaluating the platform that might be right for your business, it is imperative to compare the number and diversity of sources it offers. How many websites can she crawl? How many social networks, and to what extent? And in how many languages?

    “Be careful, however, there is no perfect tool that would allow you to monitor all the conversations in the world” warns Hassan Hachem. This is why we recently saw in the jargon of social media the term "dark social", which refers to all the conversations that escape the tools of wakefulness, messages sent on Whatsapp to your daily emails. In addition, some social networks, such as LinkedIn, refuse to open access to their API, so that no monitoring software can provide you with strategic information based on the conversations going on (at the exception may be, still in the case of LinkedIn, your Company page).

    3. What can be measured with a watch tool?

    The web is full of basic metrics such as the number of retweets, shares on Facebook or likes on Instagram. But what are the performance indicators that will allow you to optimize your marketing strategy?

    Here are some of the main categories of metrics you will be interested in.

    The volume of mentions - the number of times a keyword, a person or a brand is mentioned on the web and social networks.

    Commitment Indicators - the number of times your audience has interacted with your content. For example, high engagement rates help determine audience preferences, which will help you refine your content strategy. They can also help you identify real-time social messages that are profitable to bet on to boost the buzz.

    Scope indicators - the number of people potentially exposed to your content. Each mention of your brand has a different value depending on the audience it can potentially reach.

    Sentiment analysis - the positive or negative feeling associated with a keyword, product, service, person or brand as a whole.

    Voice share - the number of times a brand is mentioned online relative to its competitors, which is the market share of a brand in the digital space.

    Virality - there are several indicators (trending score, virality map, etc.) that will allow you to analyze how and how quickly content is shared on the web and social networks.

    The visual presence of your brand - the number of times your logo is featured in images published on the web, including social media.

    Sentiment analysis, a controversal indicator ?

    Sentiment analysis is a feature found in some watchkeeping tools that categorizes a publication based on emotions that are textually expressed (positive, neutral, or negative) using a keyword registry, through natural language processing programs. In the context of social media monitoring, this tool allows marketers, for example, to get an idea of ​​how a product or brand is perceived by the general public, and to react accordingly.

    In practice, sentiment analysis can be used, for example, by financial giants such as Thomson Reuters to assess the impact of news items on stock prices, or by major brands such as Starbucks, which are mentioned in dozens of publications per minute and must be able to quickly identify negative messages that could harm them.

    Be careful however stresses Hassan Hachem “whatever the watch tool you are using, there is always a certain margin of error for this famous sentiment analysis: language is a science difficult to master for software, especially when we take into account factors such as irony, the context or the constant evolution of languages ​​such as French. To remedy this, we use more and more artificial intelligence systems so that the dangerous terms are adapted to each customer or industry”. Some influencers such as Olivier Cimelière, founder of the Blog of the Communicant, also believe that the automatic analysis of the feeling must imperatively be complemented by a human analysis to "refine and clarify the contours of the feeling observed. "

    At L'intelligence Economique, in the meantime, we put our machine learning team to work to create an algorithm that can understand whole sentences, including basic forms of irony and sarcasm. Our Artificial Intelligence Enhanced Sense Analysis (AI) technology now correctly identifies the tone of 90% of messages submitted to it.

    4. How to start and optimize your watch

    Here are some elements that will allow you to start your watch and extract social media information increasingly relevant to your activities.

    1. Determine which topic interests you

    2. Set clear and measurable goals that will allow you to measure your performance and optimize your business.

    3. Set a schedule for your watch

    4. Create alerts to spot peaks that are out of the ordinary and be able to react quickly in crisis situations or when a new trend emerges.

    5. Filter your results to get rid of any non-relevant information. If you use a monitoring tool for example, spend time refining your query to eliminate the maximum amount of noise (false positives, duplicates, etc.) using Boolean operators (here is a tutorial that will help you learn the basics of the Boolean language) .

    6. Keep up to date with trends and influencers in your industry to write content and campaigns more in tune with your audience.

    7. Gather your indicators in a dashboard to get an overview of your performance.8. Compare your data and goals9. Expand your search field and find new sources or topics to incorporate into your watch. Share your results with colleagues and other departments

    5. The different types of watch tools


    This is the BABA of the day before: you set a request to follow the mentions of a mark, a subject or even a person, and then receive at a given frequency (every day, every week, etc. .) the (best) results in your mailbox. With the rise of the social web, more and more people are keeping an eye on their e-reputation using this type of basic monitoring tool.

    We automatically think of Google Alerts, and of course the Talkwalker Alerts (a somewhat subjective opinion, I admit it willingly!). In the paid range, there are also sites like Mention.

    "Talkwalker Alerts are very useful to me to easily identify the mentions and publications that speak about our brand in the media.With its reporting features, I receive an email every day with new results that I would have otherwise, it makes my monitoring process much easier as a PR professional. "

    Giovanna Sanchez - Associate Communications Manager, BlaBlaCar Mexico

    RSS flows

    RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is used to keep track of specific site updates. This will keep you up-to-date on any new article on your favorite blogs, for example, or how a currency changes. Some people think that RSS feeds are a little "old school" in the face of the rise of other types of watch tools, but for others it is a simple, practical and effective way to add a site to its monitoring device without having to give up personal information such as an email address, for example.

    To learn more about RSS feeds.

    Search Engines

    Google has become a fixture in the world of the day before. Because of its 94.1% of the general search engine market in France, I will not make you an insult to present you the American giant, nor its most famous competitors (Bing and Yahoo). Have you heard about:

    Qwant - With more than 17.7 million hits a month, this search engine from France is trying to nibble a little of Google's market share by making a point of honor to respect the privacy of its users as well as the neutrality of its results. Its design is also very interesting because it offers different streams of results on its main page depending on their origin (web, news, social). In the same perspective of protection of personal data, I also recommend DuckDuckGo or Yippy.

    TalkwalkerNow - this is a search engine that will allow you to identify trends and emerging buzz all over the web with artificial intelligence shot. The advantage compared to Google Trends: talkwalker: it now also covers social networks !

    6. Why invest in a monitoring tool?

    In the digital age, the monitoring and analysis of the web and social networks have become essential elements of the strategy of any company. It's impossible to understand how a brand, product, service, or industry is perceived without in-depth discussion of online discussions, just as you will not be able to measure the effectiveness of your PR and marketing efforts.

    Concretely, social media is a huge focus group that continuously offers positive and negative feedback on the latest product launches, a new TV series, the quality of customer service, and more. This strategic information can be collected and analyzed in real time to help brands react quickly to any new trend or potential crisis.

    A platform for monitoring and analyzing the web and social networks could thus help you to:

    Identify all references to your brand, products, services and leaders to regain control over your company's reputation and better understand how you are perceived at different levels by your consumers and the general public;

    Analyze and compare the performance of your activities on different channels. Tools like Twitter Analytics or Facebook Insights are very useful for understanding what's happening on their respective platforms, but being able to compare your strategies and successes on these social networks in more detail will help you improve your campaigns and content and generate more interactions with your audience;

    Monitor the activities and voice share of your competitors. You will not only have access to the number and origin of their mentions, but also to analyzes of their campaigns and publications on the various social networks;

    Connect these analytics of the web and social networks with your own internal data (sales figures, advertising expenses, leads, etc.) and others (Google Analytics, demographic data, etc.) to extract new strategic information that will help you optimize the analysis. strategy of your company.

    The essential criterai of choice of a monitoring tool

    Global coverage that will allow you to miss a minimum of mentions on news sites, blogs, forums and social networks;

    A flexible tool that can meet all your needs and integrate with the data feeds you already use (internal data, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc.);

    A powerful and easy-to-use tool that can be used by any member of your team after a few hours of training;

    A simple and effective reporting process that will give you the option to share your results;

    Regular updates that will keep pace with developments in your industry or society.

    Value for money. You are of course always limited by your budget, but be aware that a free tool has its limits in terms of data quality and levels of analysis. If you want a sophisticated and flexible tool that will meet most of your needs, you will probably have to put the price down.

    7. How do brands use business intelligence: concrete examples

    >> Nescafe Dolce Gusto: for a better strategy on social media

    What they needed: a new way to understand their target audience, and a marketing strategy that speaks directly to this audience.

    What they accomplished: Nescafé Dolce Gusto has completely revised its strategy on social media

    Based on the information they have collected about coffee fans on the web and social networks. With a better understanding of the specific tastes, needs, and aesthetics enjoyed by this vibrant user community, the brand has quadrupled its engagement rates on Facebook and Instagram, as well as growing its community. Instagram by 500%. Nescafé has gone from a "hard sell marketing" strategy to a truly fan-driven strategy. What they say: "We are more than satisfied. social networks have allowed us to better understand our consumers - their personalities, the things that excite them, the platforms where key conversations take place - and all of these elements are now a fundamental part of our social media strategy. " - Cyndi Chin, Senior Brand Manager at Nescafé

    >> Deutsche Telekom

    Industry: Telecommunications

    What they needed: a tool to create a crisis management cell that would allow them to monitor the web and networks and respond to their customers and the public in real time.

    What they did: Deutsche Telekom built a sophisticated crisis center powered by real-time data and analytics from the web and social networks. With this feature, team members can now monitor the use of any keyword or sensitive hashtag related to a product or brand as a whole, and react immediately before minor issues arise. transform into a real crisis. Deutsche Telekom also transmits this strategic information internally to each department concerned.

    What they say: "Because each department uses this information differently, it is very important for us to be able to customize it, we use different reporting configurations for this purpose and create individualized reports depending on the recipient and the subject. addressed. " - Robert Schwerdtner, former crisis manager at Deutsche Telekom AG

    8. The future of social media watching

    As you can see throughout this article, the day before is a sector that changes every day with the emergence of new sources and technologies. Here is a very nice infographic by Kantar Media that summarizes the evolution of the concept of "social media watch" in recent years, as well as two trends to watch for market professionals: image recognition and predictive analysis.

    What is image recognition ?

    As we said above, most of the standby tools available on the market simply scan the text that is published online. Yet, millions of images and videos are shared on the web every day by consumers of all origins. This visual content can escape the watchers and marks if there is no accompanying text, or if it is not detailed enough.

    This is why the most innovative intelligence platforms have started to develop their own proprietary technologies to analyze images and videos posted online and to detect logos, objects and landscapes using intelligence. artificial, which really opens up a new dimension of information that was previously unavailable. The next step is to analyze the millions of videos that populate YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and many other sites.

    Predictive analysis: what impact will artificial intelligence have on online watch ?

    Beyond image recognition, artificial intelligence is changing the game for all brands that use the monitoring and analysis of the web and social networks in their internal processes.

    "Today, professionals are no longer satisfied with simply managing their brand or monitoring the activity of their competitors or measuring the impact of their campaigns" insists Hassan Hachem. They want from the outset to be able to anticipate the commercial impact of their decisions, anticipate the issues that will emerge before their competitors and optimize their strategy on the web and social networks. This is the beginning of predictive analysis.

    This type of analysis is already used in many industries such as consumer goods, for example to increase the reliability of stock and production forecasts, so that stores around the world have enough products available.