Facebook, Horsemeat and Burger King – The World is Talking and Synthesio is Listening

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Facebook, Horsemeat and Burger King – The World is Talking and Synthesio is Listening


topcelebsSXSW Global ReachAt the same time as immersing ourselves in China Listening Month and SXSW, and getting thousands of views for our infographics on Mashable (thanks, Mashable!) Synthesio’s data has been used by journalists across the web on a big variety of topics in the past two months.

If you’ve ever wondered about the effectiveness of social media monitoring to help track, manage and benchmark Crises, online reputation, product launches and other big news, then read on!

In February, our monitoring showed that the Burger King Twitter account hack was actually ‘good’ news for BK, which gained 30,000 new Twitter followers in one day. Our stats were picked up by many publications, including The Wall, The Drum, Real Business and AdRants.

horsemeatAs we moved into March, the hot news story in the UK and across Western Europe was the discovery of horsemeat in the ‘beef’ products sold in many supermarkets, and in IKEA’s iconic meatballs. The UK’s leading Retail magazine – The GrocerThe Times and Marketing Week all ran with our data which showed that the real losers in the scandal were Tesco and IKEA, whose online reputations plummeted in line with their food sales.

A brighter note was struck a week later, when Samsung launched the S4. Our monitoring showed the launch was a huge global success, with our statistics being used by many publications including The Telegraph and Mobile Entertainment.

The excitement and positivity generated by the S4 launch was in marked contrast to the rather muted response to the Facebook Phone launch, which generated less than a sixth of the buzz of the S4. Our global monitoring data showing this ‘meh’ reaction from the online community was picked up by many sites including Digital Spy, New Media Knowledge and Silobreaker.

Two big UK based political stories have also played out in the news in the last few weeks – the UK Budget, and the death of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, which made huge waves across the world and generated unprecedented levels of emotion – both good and bad. In fact, we’ve never seen an online footprint like it for a news story! The New York TimesThe Independent and the Belfast Telegraph all included our sentiment analysis stats in their coverage of early reactions to the news.


Behind the scenes, our UK team also ran an interesting experiment around the Grand National – one of the UK’s highest profile horse races – to see whether we could use social media monitoring to predict the winner. By comparing the odds offered by bookies with the Social Reputation Score generated for each horse via our dashboards, we were able to identify the top six horses we felt were worth a punt on, out of the field of forty. How did we do? Well, we picked three out of the top five runners – Teaforthree, Oscar Time and Rare Bob – but failed to predict the win by 66-1 outsider Auroras Encore. However, we’re pretty excited by the results … and guess what we’ll be doing prior to next month’s Kentucky Derby!

If you’re interested in gaining access to the dashboards created to generate the data for any of the stories mentioned above, then let us know !

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