OUR INSIGHTS

Aprio Digital uses Brandwatch to track conversations from recent protests

The Aprio Digital team has added a nifty and insightful platform, Brandwatch to its service offering. Brandwatch is a social media analytic tool that tracks billions of conversations happening online every day, including blogs, news, forums, videos, Twitter posts, reviews, images and Facebook posts. The tool allows brands and companies to understand consumer insights, trends, influencers, and brand perception.

 

To test the tool, Aprio Digital conducted an internal project to gather data that analysed the recent protest action that took place in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021.

 

We created a dashboard (see screenshot below) and started mapping the online conversation from 1 July 2021. Over the two-month period (1 July – 1 September) there was a total of 2.09 million mentions, a reach of 5 261,45 million, almost 40 million impressions and 179,77 thousand unique authors. From this, we were able to determine that men were the most active, contributing 64% of the conversation and women 36%.

 

The highest volume of mentions was between 8 – 16 July 2021 which was the peak of the protest action. We found that Twitter was the most active platform during this time, accounting for 95% of the content sources with a total of 245 331 thousand tweets at the peak of the protests. (note: Facebook was not included in the study).

 

This in comparison to news publications, there was a total of 3,984 mentions at its peak, which totals only 4% of content sourced from news channels other than Twitter. Gauteng was the region with the most impressions around the protest, with over 30 million impressions, which meant that the highest single post was seen over 30 million times, from 27 June to 29 August 2021.

 

The relatively low number of news mentions compared to the enormous explosion in tweets indicates the power of digital in extending the conversation, once it is set by the news agenda. During a time of chaos, having a transparent, factual and stable news source is essential in rectifying misunderstandings and providing trustworthy information.

 

Aprio Digital was able to track the sentiment around the protests. While all emotions were heightened during these times, ‘sadness’ recorded the highest spike, with over 60,000 mentions that deduced this emotion. Interestingly, the ‘surprise’ sentiment almost didn’t feature – might this be a worrying indicator that South Africans have become accustomed to this sort of activity in the country?

 

This analysis indicates the importance of understanding online conversations. Through our Brandwatch offering, we can provide strategic advice and direction by tracking online conversations, accessing reputations of brands or campaigns and delivering in-depth analysis and insight reports.

 

The graph below illustrates the heightened emotions experienced during the time of the protest action

 

 

The dashboard below was created for the protest action during July-September 2021

 

 

 

Text box -Key insights from our Brandwatch analysis of the mid-July 2021 protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng:

 

  • Aprio Digital created a dashboard using Brandwatch and started mapping the online conversation from 1 July 2021.
  • Over the two-month period (1 July – 1 September) there were 2.09 million mentions, a reach of 5 261,45 million, almost 40 million impressions and 179,77K unique authors.
  • Interestingly the highest volume of mentions was between 8 – 16 July, at the peak of the protest action.
  • We found that Twitter was the most used platform during this time, accounting for 95% of the content sources with a total of 245,331 thousand tweets at the peak of the protests.
  • This in comparison to news publications, there was a total of 3,984 mentions at its peak, which totals only 4% of content sourced from news channels other than Twitter.
  • Gauteng was the region with the most impressions around the protest, with over 30 million impressions, which meant that the highest single post was seen over 30 million times, from 27 June to 29 August 2021.
  • The main topics around the protest were Jacob Zuma, looters, President Zuma, Looting, malls, shops businesses, government, support president, court and Nkandla.
  • We were also able to track the sentiment around the protests. ‘Sadness’ recorded the highest during this time, with over 60,000 mentions that deduced this emotion. Interestingly, the ‘surprise’ sentiment almost didn’t feature (see graph).
  • Men were the most active with 64% of the conversation while women led 36% of the online discussion.

 

For more information about Aprio Digital’s service offering, contact Thomas McLachlan on thomas@aprio.co.za or the team at Aprio Digital on digital@aprio.co.za .

 

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