Social Media Monitoring and the Twitter IPO: What Were They Tweeting?

Social Media Monitoring and the Twitter IPO: What Were They Tweeting?

Leslie Nuccio
8 November 2013

Conan O’Brien may not be a billionaire, but he did manage to craft the most RT’d tweet about the Twitter IPO.

Social media monitoring is heavily dependent upon Twitter data, so I thought it might be fun to check out the social sentiment around the Twitter IPO. As we’ve found with so many newsworthy events (Prop 8, for example), a funny tweet from a celebrity summing up how everyone else is feeling became the hero of the word cloud, as Conan O’Brien won the day with the most RT’d comment.  Bravo, sir: you have captured our attention, made us laugh and subtly disassociated yourself with nerdiness in the process.

But let’s get back to the sexy, sexy data around the Twitter IPO.  We’ve talked a lot about social media monitoring strategy, and putting that strategy in action starts with the word cloud.  The word cloud is the first thing I look at when I want to understand the overall themes surrounding whatever topic it is that I’m tracking. In the case of the Twitter IPO, this is the word cloud:

This word cloud sums up the chatter surrounding the Twitter IPO. It was the word “nerds” that interested me, and clicking into it revealed the details around that term: in this case, Conan O’Brien’s vastly RT’d tweet.

Now, I’ve looked at enough of these to know that seeing “conanobrien” probably means that he said something funny that was RT’d a whole lot, but I didn’t realize how completely he dominated the chatter until I clicked into the word “nerds.”  Conan’s tweet is all over this result: nerds, myspace, yardsale.” Two of the more interesting words in this cloud, though, are the words “modest” and “chaos” – words that, thematically, any communications person at Twitter is going to want to understand.  Here’s what happened when I clicked in for more detail on “chaos”:

Digging deeper into the top-level themes, we see the content specifically surrounding the word “chaos” in the original word cloud. Twitter has a Memeingful IPO

 

There’s nothing hugely earth-shattering in this detail, though I was admittedly tempted by the “meme” result and went in to find that the meme of the day was NYSE Bubble Gum Guy, immortalized by a bunch of folks relegated to watching the frenzy from the sidelines. Well done, gum enthusiast.  You’re in the big leagues now with Grumpy Cat.  Play your cards right and you, too, might be flown to Mashable’s SXSW lounge in 2014, to be photographed and petted by the digerati and random film celebrities.

Now, what was interesting from a brand management standpoint was looking at the actual tweets that led to the term “chaos” to trend in the first place:

Well done, Twitter PR team: the word “chaos” surfaced specifically as having been intentionally avoided, with comparisons to Facebook’s IPO that their PR and Investor Relations team won’t find particularly flattering.

 

The other theme I found to be worth a closer look in the original word cloud is the word “modest,” which isn’t usually a word that one associates with a highly-anticipated IPO in which a bunch of folks who are a lot younger than most the world’s wealthy instantly add an embarrassment of zeros to their net worth.  Here’s the story there:

 

Surprised to see the word “modest” trending in a word cloud about an IPO that creates instant billionaires? I was, too: I can’t imagine that this was common social sentiment around Google or Facebook’s IPO.

 

The term “modest” theme surfaced in 2 ways: over the pricing of the shares themselves, and in everyman chatter from those considering making a small investment in the company – an endeavor made accessible by the $45 public market strike price (their issued strike price being $26, one that was only accessible before public trading hours by investors).  By comparison, Google shares are over $1000.  Facebook’s shares, though, are around the same price and they IPO’d at $38.

What this means is that Twitter’s pricing and their messaging platform around the IPO has given the company an air of accessibility and public market democracy, and for a business that depends so solidly on the democratization of information flow, this is a pretty great win for the Twitter brand management folks.

So congratulations, Twitter: your IPO raised more money than Google’s did, without engendering any notable backlash against a bunch of young guys for becoming very, very rich very, very suddenly.  (Of course, Biz Stone hasn’t left the country and changed his citizen status, either, so… well, there’s that.)  Overall, the communications team should be pleased, and not just because at least a few of them might now be on the waiting list for a new Tesla.