The Age reports that Gillard tops twitter’s list today and that
It is a result Julia Gillard will hope repeats itself on election day.
Being popular isn’t just about noise
Getting high volume on Twitter doesn’t mean you’re going to sell more widgets, or get more votes, it just means more people are mentioning you.
What you’d want to know is how much of that volume is positive, if it’s mostly positive that’s a good thing, if there’s lots of negative that’s a bad thing.
How do you track sentiment?
It’s something the social media industry has been struggling with since social media listening tools we first created. Each of them has their own patent pending sentiment algorithm that somehow tells you if a particular mention of a brand is positive, negative, neutral or mixed.
We’ve been doing listening for clients for a couple of years, and still to this day have found NONE of the sentiment tools reliable, so we take a large sample, read and categorise them.
Why’s it so hard?
Slang, sarcasm, jokes, responses to positive, saying one brand is crap but the other is better… and the list goes on.
So I’ve run a few tests, using some freely available tools, to illustrate the point, but you should decide whether Julia’s achievement is actually a good thing or not.
Twitter Search – The latest mentions of Gillard
Social Mention (Searches more than just Twitter)
So don’t blindly trust the latest sophisticated sentiment algorithm, test the heck out of it and probably just do it manually.