The Consumer Intelligence Blog - Infegy

Are You Analyzing Social Data Wrong?

State of Social Media 2021: Part 2

Is your team missing key insights on your online audiences? You might not be considering how consumers talk on different social media channels.


Here’s what you should know:


  • consumers talk differently about your brand and their lives depending on the channel
  • there’s a discrepancy in documented users and active users on social channels
  • social listening helps you listen across all the channels for brand mentions including review sites, social platforms and forums


Quick example? Consumers are often more positive or negative depending on which channel they are talking. Our social listening analysis of the top social channels reveals this: Pinterest and Instagram lead in positivity, while Twitter and Reddit conversations are the most negative.


sentiment analysis by social media channel, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Reddit, with social listening

All of these channels, regardless of positive or negative sentiment, have advantages and disadvantages for analysis, depending on your goals. Let’s dive deeper into these 3 learnings - a.k.a. reasons you might be missing on key social media insights.


Consumers Talk Differently About Their Lives Depending on the Channel and It impacts Your Brand Immensely

Over the years, we’ve documented in social insights reports how consumers talk differently on each channel.


For example: Beauty consumers talk about routines on Twitter, favorite products and brands on Instagram, and Tips and DIY on Pinterest.

Social media analytics of conversations by channel with social listening


So, it’s no surprise that when we looked at social media conversations over the last year, we saw major differences in how people conversed online.


Here are just some of the top learnings about how different consumers interact on various social networks from our channel insights report:


Sentiment By Channel

  • Instagram and Pinterest conversations are the most positive
  • Pinterest moved up two spots from 2019 to 2020 to lead with the most posts with positive sentiment.
  • Twitter remained the most negative of all platforms in 2020.

Emotions and Themes

  • Joy is by far the top emotion expressed on Instagram and Pinterest. Reddit and Facebook uniquely have high percentages of posts expressing Anticipation and Trust respectively.
  • Overall, the top themes expressed on social channels are Promotion, Quality, and Intent. Facebook and Instagram have a significantly higher number of posts expressing Promotion.

Age Distribution By Channel

  • Well-established platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have the highest share of older millennials (35-44).
  • TikTok isn’t just for kids: 48% of users fall in the 19-24 or 25-34 age range.
  • Microblog style platforms like Twitter get the highest share of the 19-24 age group.


It’s clear you might be missing out on data on the types of consumers talking on which channels. Next we’ll look at one specific channel that breaks common assumptions about how different age groups talk online.


Do You Know About the Discrepancy in Documented Users and Active Users on Social Channels?

If you’re only taking into account documented users on each channel, you might be missing out on a key understanding of the social media audience landscape. If you think one channel has more or less users in your target demographic than it does, you could be reaching the wrong audience or missing the right one.


What you need is data specific to your unique situation as a brand or business and determine where your audiences are most likely to be hanging out online.


Analysis with social listening found the total number of users on those channels differed from the number of users who were actively talking on those channels.


For example, 35% of Instagram conversations are from those in age group 19-24, leading all other age groups - even though that group is technically a smaller number of users, according to Instagram:


Instagram usage and data vs. Instagram analytics social listening data

Even though Instagram reports a certain percentage of users in this age range, the percentage of ACTIVE users in this age range is larger, according to social listening analysis. There are more people aged 19-24  talking on Instagram, and on a more frequent basis, than the provided data would suggest.


What this means is that, overall, there are more and better insights available about this group on Instagram than elsewhere. Of course, you’ll need to look at the data for your own brand and audience across all channels to learn what works best for your team’s strategy.


Only by analyzing and listening to the conversation on all the various channels will you be able to understand the correct audiences accurately.


Are You Listening Across All Channels for Brand Mentions -- Review Sites, TikTok, Instagram, Forums?

A big miss for many brand teams is analyzing content from other sources aside from the traditional social media channels.


Social listening doesn’t just include Twitter, brand pages on Facebook, and Instagram hashtags.


Consumers talk all over the web, and not analyzing those conversations can create a huge gap in your understanding of consumers, their thoughts, feelings, wants and needs.This can have a significant impact on your brand strategy, audience targeting, and analysis of product feedback.


Sources such as blogs, review sites, article comments, forums like Reddit and less mainstream social channels such as Tumblr or Weibo offer unique insight into the consumer psyche.


Inside our channel insights report, we looked at several different channels aside from the ole standbys like Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget TikTok! (Only one social insights platform can analyze conversations on TikTok).

Age distribution by social media channel, different age groups on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook


When analyzed over the course of a year, the social media conversations that exist all over the web help build a map of what consumers think and predict how they might behave.


Looking at the social media analysis of all online conversations using social listening provides a fascinating view into how consumers talk online, the brands they mention, and the emotions and themes they express. Go here to see the full report!


Only through social listening with platforms like Infegy Atlas can you continuously track the online conversation specific to your brand or business on each channel and work around channel bias.


Sign up for a customized demo to learn more about how social listening can help your team!




Be sure to check out Part 1 of this series: State of Social Media 2021: What Social Analytics Can Teach You About Consumer Behavior