Synthesio’s Trend Detection & Insights Series, Part 7 (See Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.) Understanding consumer behavior has always been a challenge for brands. Today social media intelligence providers need to go further than just collecting consumer conversations from social media trending topics. And how? By automatically surfacing viral content and statistically significant online trends that are relevant to your brand – as such trends can lead to potential insights about customers’ habits and expectations

You’ve probably got a bunch of keywords and topics that you’re monitoring, and a platform that aggregates mentions with those keywords. Most social media intelligence platforms can show you how the volumes of mentions have changed over time in a visualization that looks something like this:

But looking at a mentions timeline or share of voice widget isn’t enough to know if there’s potential viral topics or viral content.

Why not? Why not just pick out the topics with the largest peaks, or maybe the largest share of voice? Surely those are the topics that are going viral. Or are they?

When we’re talking about something going viral, we don’t just mean that there are a lot of mentions related to that topic. We mean that the mentions volumes about that topic are growing, and are growing quickly. In other words, topic virality demands above-average topic velocity. 

And, unless you’re a statistician, that’s probably not something you can get from a mentions timeline, or even a raw data set. 

That’s why we’ve created the Trends Landscape Matrix.

However, thanks to advances in data science and machine learning technology, social media intelligence programs can and should be able to detect numerous social media trends – including viral content or topics that are likely to go viral. A Trends Landscape Matrix can evaluate your topics’ mention volumes and velocity to determine if a particular topic will be going or has gone viral. 



Viral Content is great! Or is it?

So let’s say one of your topics has gone viral, or is on its way to going viral. That’s great, right? Well, that all depends on the content of the conversations driving those impressive mentions volumes.

To understand a trend, you need to know if the conversations surrounding that topic are positive or negative, and even more importantly, what people are saying.

In the past, social media intelligence programs were limited in the amount of instant insights they could provide to answer these questions.

Sure, you could consult a mentions stream and try to get an idea of what people are actually saying in relation to your topic. But that consumes an inordinate amount of time and, more likely than not, provides you with half baked conclusions. 

That’s why we’ve created a Context Network Map.  

Today, social media intelligence platforms should be using advances in data science and artificial intelligence to perform something called topic extraction

In other words, your social media intelligence platform should be able to analyze every topic-related mention and uncover the words that appear often in these mentions, even if you did not query for them.

In the example above, Paris Fashion Week was on its way to going viral. But in what context? 

Fortunately, with a modern social media intelligence platform, those insights are never more than a couple clicks away: 


Identifying viral content topics and context words is not enough. 

Beyond alerting you about the existence of a social media trend such as a viral topic or context keyword, your social media intelligence provider should be able to explain why, where, and how the trends took place. What made something gain enough traffic to go viral? Just like the detection of the topic itself, an in-depth report for each social media trend should be generated automatically.



Why being aware of viral content and their context is important for your brand.

Naturally, marketing professionals always need to stay on top of consumer perception of their brand, products, competitors, and industry at large. Among other things, identifying a viral topic and understanding its context can inform you of:

A Crisis

Imagine that, one morning, you see that mentions volumes surrounding one of your products are growing. Hopefully, that’s because your audience is loving your product but, as every brand knows, that’s not always the case.

In your context signal, you see the words “defect“ and “malfunction” are often appearing in the conversations. Those are the words driving the virality of your topic. It’s not an ideal situation, but now you’re alerted of the situation as it’s just picking up traffic. Now you can do something about it. 

Your Competitor’s Strategy

You’ve been alerted about a peak in mentions surrounding your competitor. Why is their content going viral so quickly? Consulting the context signal, you see that the mentions are surrounding an event your competitor is attending or campaign they’ve launched. Now, you’ve got a leg up on the competition and can form a strategy before it’s too late.

A Political Or Social Justice Trend That Could Impact Brand Or Product Perception

Political trends and activist movements take hold quickly in the age of social media. Using context signals, you can immediately understand if any of these trends are impacting conversations surrounding your brand or product. Then you can get ahead of these trends and help you develop products and marketing strategies that cater to what your consumers care about.

Get a Leg Up on Viral Content and Topics

Are you ready to take your brand’s Social Media Intelligence to the next level with state-of-the-art trend detection? Learn more about AI-powered trend detection.