What else can we learn from social media?
How your company and brand are portrayed is an obvious use of social media. Another application is understanding a new market. If your targeting either a new audience or entering a new category, understanding the language is key.
Working with a client on understanding a new category segment we found the following:
1. The sophistication of the language is very different, even when talking about the same thing.
2. Language and terminology can be perceived as either a barrier to entry or a protective shield around a club of those in the know.
3. There appears to be a trickle down effect of language -certain sources often create phrases or 'sound bytes' that work there way into the vernacular. (It would be interesting to trend the adoption of these over time - like a diffusion model.)
4. The hard part is identifying the appropriate terminology. Since social media monitoring typically works with a list of key words it becomes an iterative approach to find the next set of words.
Linguistic and semantic skills are required to leverage social media this way.