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February 05, 2008


Paul Barba

Very interesting! I think this reveals a lot about the limitations of social media monitoring. Listening doesn't help much when people aren't talking. It suggests the need to engage your audience more: let them know you really want to hear what they think about your ads, let them know that if they post their opinions on their blogs you'll find it.

I wonder what this says about the blogosphere. Are sites tending to fit very tightly into niches and not wander outside them to speak on something like super bowl ads? Do bloggers perceive that people wouldn't be interested in their opinions on commercials? _Are_ regular people interested in bloggers' opinions on commercials?


your stats could use some work. you approximate the baseline count and then claim that the terms had a "maximum yield" of 260 posts. for two of those terms there were maxima before the super bowl happened...i'm not convinced it's not noise.

these posts about blogpulse trends are pretty uninformative.

Matthew Hurst


Perhaps you didn't read all the post before leaving a comment. Note the paragraph at the end: 'I'm not putting this forward as a particularly scientific analysis...' Further, if it is noise, that goes even further to say that analysing this data for Superbowl commercial commentary is weak.

Matthew Hurst

@Paul Barba,

I don't think this does reveal a lot about the limitations of social media monitoring. This post is about the expectations that are set by the industry towards a very specific event. Social media monitoring is a very healthy, viable and validated industry.

Paul Barba

I wasn't saying SMM isn't a viable industry, but I do believe this reveals a limitation in it. The Advertising Industry obviously really builds up Super Bowl Ads. From news articles to press releases to jokes in commercials, the idea that Super Bowl Ads are important is communicated.

Then what do we see (assuming the graph is reflective of actual coverage)? People didn't talk about the ads on their blogs. In at least this situation, advertisers weren't able to convert hype into a Social Media response. This means that talking something up won't always generate content, which means you can't monitor (or benefit from) that content. If audi really wanted to learn how people were reacting to their super bowl spot, they'd need a new strategy.

This might mean there isn't a strong advertising-themed community out there to pick up on the industries overtures. It might mean that conversations shift on more specific events: product releases, etc. It could mean any number of things. But my interpretation of it is that shows a limit to industries abilities to influence the topics of conversation online. Which isn't a bad thing, but is significant if you want to start conversations on your products.


I found it somewhat interesting that although the Audi add was considered one of the best of the Superbowl, when you look up the several versions of it on YouTube each one only has a few thousand views (at least from the videos I was able to find). This number pales in comparison to the more popular videos on Youtube. You would think that if Super Bowl advertisements were such a big deal that one of the best adds from the most viewed Super Bowl in history would receive more buzz online. Do you think that the audience of the Super Bowl is not typically the type of audience that participates in social media? My gut feeling says that it would not be so, but who knows...

Matthew Hurst

@Nate - interesting to look at the YouTube stats. Probably worth looking at the stats for all the ads. One of the problems with YouTube is the large number of duplications, making accounting tricky.

As for audience type - I think this was part of my intuition in making the original post. I'm not saying that Social Media Analysis is broken, just that expectations in certain markets need to be recalibrated. I guess it is a key question that companies like BuzzMetrics and others need to answer (possibly before selling specific targeted services against an event like the Superbowl).


Yes, I very much agree with both your comments. The YouTube stats obviously aren't any hard evidence, just something I noticed after a quick glance. I agree with you that companies may need to make a more detailed evaluation of their customer markets and the areas they are going to focus marketing in to determine whether the usefulness of social media analysis for them. I also think that right now we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg as far as what will happen in the future with regards to social media analysis.


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