Synthesio’s Trend Detection & Insights Series, Part 5 (see parts 1, 2, 3 & 4): Consumer trends change. While that’s always been the case, with the huge presence of social media in our day-to-day lives, interests are changing faster than ever. As a brand, you need to stay on top of these changing social media trends.

Keeping up with the times is important, but it’s not easy. With millions of mentions being published every day, manually identifying and analyzing which topics are shifting up or down in volume among consumer trends is impossible.

That’s ok! With advances in data science and artificial intelligence, your Social Media Intelligence platform should be doing it for you.

What is a Topic Shift?

A topic shift is when mentions, interactions or impressions related to a specific topic experience a significant shift in volume.

If you’ve been following our Trend Detection & Insights Series, you may remember the post we published about Topic Peak Detection. In that post, we discussed the challenge in identifying peaks that are statistically significant, or in other words, important to your brand.

The same challenge applies to identifying topic shifts. Just like with peaks, any mentions timeline can appear like a shift in volume is taking place around a certain topic:


However, that shift in volume may be well within the norm for that topic and not be indicative of a true social media trend. Simply put, it may not be information that is important to your brand.

Identifying significant Shifts requires conducting statistical analysis.

Thankfully, you don’t need to be a statistician to do that. You just need a Social Media Intelligence platform that can.

Today, thanks to advances in data science and machine learning technology, Social Media Intelligence programs can and should be able to detect which shifts are indicative of a significant social media trend, in a statistical sense, using an algorithm that is tailored to the conversation volume for the topic in question.

Your Social Media Intelligence platform should conduct this type of analysis on all of your data, across all of your topics, to identify which shifts are truly significant and require your attention — automatically, and in real-time.

Identifying Shifts is not enough.

Beyond alerting you about the existence of a shift, your Social Media Intelligence provider should be able to explain why, where, and how the social media trend took place. Just like the detection of the shift itself, the generation of an in-depth report for each trend should be generated automatically.


Why Your Brand Needs to Know About Topic Shifts

If one of your monitored topics is experiencing a significant shift in attention online you need to know that in real-time. A topic shift can inform you about many items including:

A Campaign’s Performance.

If you’re running a campaign, you want to know how it’s doing. A topic shift can let you know that your campaign is generating volumes, mentions, or engagement that is significantly greater than average for that topic. The report that’s generated by your Social Media Intelligence platform for that trend can let you know if the mentions making up that trend are mostly positive or negative in sentiment, giving you valuable feedback on your campaign while it’s still running. If the campaign is doing well, great. If not, you’ve found out before it’s too late, and now have time to change course.

An emerging brand that could become a threat to your business.

Being able to start a company online has made starting a business easier than ever, which means that most brands have to deal with new competitors all the time.

What if you could find out about an emerging brand as soon as it started to get traction? With a Social Media Intelligence platform capable of detecting shifts in topics, you can.

New consumer trends.

What do your customers like? It’s an important question, and one that used to take a lot of work to answer. Of course, by the time you’d gotten to an answer, it could have changed. With a Social Media Platform that provides topic shift detection, that’s no longer a challenge. You’ll be alerted to new consumer trends when they take place, and the report generated will tell you the rest.

Are you ready for your job to get easier? Learn more about shift detection and other signal types.