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Social Media Monitoring Charts Ebb and Flow at CES

Social Media Command Centers, Increasingly Sophisticated Real-time Social Media Monitoring at Ces May Be a Sign of Things to Come

Social media monitoring at CES2014 in Intel booth

Social media monitoring at CES2014
The FleishmanHillard “Black Box” display at CES displays visualization of social media monitoring data.

With more than 3,200 exhibitors, 150,000 or so registered attendees and more news than anyone can manage over a five-day period at International CES, it’s increasingly difficult for companies to break through the noise and analyze success.

Enter the social media command center, a tool some companies use for social media monitoring. While many companies may be watching their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, Intel and FleishmanHillard, on behalf of the Consumer Electronics Association, are two that are using increasingly sophisticated monitoring tools and visual displays to see what is happening real time.

Among the findings confirmed by both Intel and FleishmanHillard using different analytic tools? Samsung and Intel have consistently been the most talked about brands at CES 2014, along with Audi and Google.

The use of real-time analytics is not new, but presenting the data visually and tracking it at big trade shows and events allows companies such as Intel to understand what is happening and what’s working.

social media monitoring at CES2014
Bryan Rhoads, global content strategist for Intel, and Chuck Hemann (right), a data scientist who is director of analytics for WCG, view social media data in the Intel booth at CES.

Inside a small room on the second floor of the Intel booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), two large screens display charts and graphs that are being updated regularly from a back-end data system that uses the Sysomos social monitoring tool. The stream of data analytics is not available to the public, but Intel’s social media and PR teams monitor the data as do executives who pop in and out to see what is trending. There has also been a steady stream of Intel partners and customers. Data was being displayed showing specific brands, trends, topics and keywords, as well as activity on the company’s own social properties. One monitor was displaying every tweet with the #CES2014 hashtag, a rapidly moving screen with thousands of tweets by the hour.

Among the interesting data points aside from overall brand share of voice were the trend leaders associated with wearable technology, one of the hot topics of the show. According to Intel’s dashboard, Intel, Samsung and Google were the consistent leaders associated with wearables, along with Apple, which was not even at the show. At one point during the week, Android, mobile, Samsung and Intel were among the top keywords being used among all of the conversations associated with the #CES2014 hashtag. No small feat with more than 100,000 tweets from all over Las Vegas and beyond.

Bryan Rhoads, global content strategist for Intel, said the monitoring room was an important way of seeing whether Intel’s messages are getting across and whether specific content efforts are working.

Social media monitoring at CES2014 in Intel booth
Becky Brown, director of media for Intel, looks at the social media visualization in the Intel booth at CES.

“It’s really about being responsive to our audience,” Rhoads says. “Social is the way people are communicating and we need to make sure we are providing the right content. This can provide real-time feedback on how your company is doing and how your messages are getting across in an un-biased way.”

It also allows the company to identify potential issues that need to be addressed quickly before they go viral. In the case of Samsung, the data inside Intel’s command center was showing Samsung tracking very well with 18 percent share of voice on the first day of CES. But a closer look at the data indicated about 20 percent of that was related to film director Michael Bay’s unexpected walk off during Samsung’s press conference. A story on The Verge about the incident had been shared more than 3,700 times even before the day was over, which contributed to the overall share of voice, but perhaps not in the best light. Nonetheless, the overall breadth of Samsung’s news and extensive innovation in everything from tablets to dishwashers showed it was among the top brands on social media.

Sony, for its part, broke through on the second day of the show after #SonyCES was used widely during the company’s keynote address.

Real Time CES2014 Hashtag Stream
A monitor in the Intel booth continuously updates with the thousands of tweets that are posted every hour with the #CES2014 hashtag.

Ironically, Facebook was not a big factor in the social media monitoring of the conversation at CES, and not just because Facebook back-end data isn’t publicly available. Chuck Hemann, a data scientist who is director of analytics for WCG, the agency that built Intel’s dashboard, said as a general rule, when people share content at a big show like CES they are sharing via Twitter. Syomos provides access to the “full Twitter fire hose,” Hemann said.

Don Moxley from FleishmanHillard agreed that Twitter was the primary social vehicle at CES, but the company’s “Black Box” display on the floor of the North Hall at the LVCC did show Facebook ‘likes.’ FleishmanHillard was partnering with BuzzRadar to build its data sets and visualization.

Hemann said the challenge in doing this type of real-time social monitoring was not to get caught up in the visuals, as all the graphs and colorful displays can easily be distracting. “There is a difference between visualizing data and analyzing,” he said.

Visuals or not, Rhoads says this kind of tracking has become standard operating procedure now for Intel and will likely be for other companies as well. “All brands are looking at this type of data now and if not, they will be soon,” he said.

This content was originally published on the Intel Free Press website.

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