Lately, my associates and I have been doing quite a bit of social network visualization research for clients, typically using raw social data and comprehensive, fee-based custom tools. While these are great for deep analysis and strategic planning, sometimes a simple free tool can do the trick if all you are looking for is quick high-level insights. I would like to point out two such tools today, both of which rely on the Twitter API.
Use this tool to quickly visualize a network based on a Twitter hashtag (now available in widget form as shown below using the Canadian Politics hashtag as an example)
3 sample uses:
- To see a bird’s eye view of how interconnected (or isolated) a hashtag community/discussion really is. This could be useful to gauge level of influence and reach.
- To find related hashtags. This is particularly useful if you’re tuning into an event and want to see if you’re using the most popular hashtag in terms of reach (e.g #olympics)
- To quickly set benchmarks for specific and measurable social media engagement objectives. For example, “to increase the correlation of #hashtag1 with #hashtag2 by X% within X months”. This would be useful if one of your broader organizational goals is to build bridges in your community.
Use this tool to quickly visualize a network based on a Twitter username
3 sample uses:
- To quickly see who a particular user has recently been engaging with. Very useful for identifying the influencers of your identified influencers.
- To quickly see which discussions and hashtag communities they tend to participate in the most. Probably the best way to get a quick contextual idea of how a particular account engages on Twitter.
- To see the same information for the 1st and 2nd degree networks of the accounts identified above. This is a great discovery feature, that allow you to find accounts and communities you may not have come across using linear search alone.