Becoming a Brandwatch Boolean wizard

Brandwatch, the social intelligence platform, hosted their annual Query Masterclass in London last week, allowing agency and brand clients alike to meet, share tips and giggle about the wildcard operator.

The day’s line up saw Brandwatch’s Brightonian-based brethren chat queries beyond keywords, how to build quick and dirty searches on the fly and welcomed clients to chat influencer outreach and how Brandwatch can help forecast commercial peaks and troughs, based on social conversation. All in all, a top day of insight, intrigue and industry.

Still, I had a number one take away, and here’s where it all started…

Brandwatch’s Ben Hackett hosted a session in the morning about query building beyond just keywords. Now, we know the strength of a robust Boolean is kickass keywords, but Hackett blew our minds (well, mine) with the possibilities of thinking beyond these simple fundamentals in social conversation.

Brands often start basic, with a Boolean looking at the conversation “about their brand,” containing keywords around brand name(s), slogans, and various hot topics about products and services. But, rarely does this encapsulate all there is to see. A tweeter sharing a link to one of your YouTube videos, with a single emoji as the tweet contents, or even nothing at all, is just as relevant as an Instagram containing all your brand names and slogans in hashtag form. Yet, simple Booleans would probably only pick up the Instagram.

By focussing on the link collateral your brand owns, the relevant and sharable links that would more than likely form part of organic conversation on social, we can get a whole new picture.

An example around this (brilliant) Honda advert was given.

So, a keyword-based Boolean search for this advert campaign may look something like this:

((Honda OR Stepping OR HR-V) AND (precisely AND pleasingly AND perfect) OR hashtags:NewHRV)

It hits on some of the most likely tweeted keywords, but it doesn’t consider the links. Now, by including the links: operator and key links from the advert campaign, Hackett was able to not only demonstrate an additional stream of conversation, but one with higher conversation volume during the first few days of the campaign. When consumers were first hit with the brilliant ad content, they were sharing without much commentary, only reverting to commentary and “keywords” later in the week where link-only conversation died down and more traditional social chatter dominated.

An impressive take-away in itself, but I’m not finished yet.

Cut to the afternoon and my colleagues and I had query surgery with Brandwatch’s Gemma Cooper. Cooper is a self-confession data geek and Boolean wizard, so what I’m about to say is close to godly.

We taught Gemma a new use of the links: operator.

At The Co-op, whenever we link, we try to use UTM tracking as a means of presenting a more robust picture of social referral and why/when someone is referred to our sites from social. We have various categorisations and these include one for links within organic content and one for links within paid content.

By using the links: operator combined with the “” operator, we are able to single out links from our paid content, via the relevant UTM tag, and create a rule that categorises conversation generated from paid-social, therefore enabling us to present a holistic view of both paid-for impressions (via Twitter Ads, for example) and the potential further “free” reach of that content – for the first time.

We were all a little too excited!

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2 thoughts on “Becoming a Brandwatch Boolean wizard

  1. Giles Palmer (@joodoo9) October 29, 2015 / 11:14 am

    thanks for making time to write that Jordan and I love that you taught Gemma a new use for links: – that’s more that i could do! cheers

    • jordanjmcdowell October 30, 2015 / 6:40 pm

      Thanks for reading Giles!

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