Human coding, machine learning, semiotics, trends analysis
Seeking Cultural Relevance
Twitter is ‘what’s happening in the world’. It’s the home of the hashtag. The place where new movements are born and where the biggest cultural events play out in real time.
With it playing host to so much conversation, if any media owner can claim authority over providing cultural insights, it’s Twitter.
No surprise, then, that brands and media agencies look to them for guidance on how to navigate culture. But unravelling all these conversations to uncover insights that are not just interesting, but genuinely useful, is a pretty huge feat. That’s where we came in…
+ A blended methodology that analysed huge quantities of social data from a semiotic and cultural angle, taking a three year view on what is changing
+ From billions of tweets we generated the top 3,000 hashtags, clustering them by theme
+ We benchmarked these themes against Crowd DNA’s library of trends and used social listening and Twitter’s categorisation tools to uncover more specific conversations within each
+ After removing commonplace topics like sports and politics, we analysed further to identify significant growth areas and contextual shifts in conversation, revealing trends with a consistent upward trajectory
+ We interpreted all of the conversation areas through a cultural lens, using semiotics to analyse language, visuals and sentiment
+ The final step was to run nationally representative surveys in the UK and US, to size the trends and to test and demonstrate their traction, appeal and longevity
18 Trends, Six Core Themes
We arrived at 18 trends within six core thematic areas, with each then meticulously evidenced and contextualised, creating an incredibly rich source of material.
The work has been shared at Cannes Lions’ Twitter Beach and through a main-stage panel discussion at Advertising Week New York City.
Our work with Twitter has unpacked and made sense of culture in a unique way, turning it into a powerful currency. Stay tuned for further instalments. And, in the meantime, you can check out the work, including downloadable trends reports, here.
"This has been one of the most impactful research projects we've ever conducted at Twitter. We had all the data and some of the insights, but Crowd DNA interpreted this and developed a structure for organising the trends. We so appreciate their wider cultural insight knowledge and rigour in data exploration and analysis."
Lisa Cowie, agency lead at Twitter