March 28, 2018

This social media research is going to use AI to save brands from social media backlash

By Luke Christou

Social media research firm Fizziology is going to use artificial intelligence to detect sudden changes in social media conversation, using the tech to monitor topics, brands and projects.

Named VelocityWatcher, Fizziology will use the technology as a monitoring system for clients. The system will analyse conversations, sorting messages into categories, such as comedic or complaints, and notify clients when changes occur.

VelocityWatcher will read conversations outside of brand social channels, making it easier for brands to track wider opinions outside of their automatic social media feeds.

According to Fizziology, it is the first company to provide real-time monitoring of organic social conversation.

The application could be of use to a range of clients, including marketing departments, PR firms and ad agencies.

Why it matters:

News travels fast on social media. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram connect billions of people, which often allows complaints to escalate into PR disasters.

The likes of H&M and Pepsi know all too well how social media can intensify backlash.

A H&M hoodie sold in South African stores, deemed to be racist, became a global issue after finding its way onto social media. Likewise, Twitter fuelled the negative response to a Pepsi ad that referenced the Black Lives Matter movement last year.

However, having access to a tool like VelocityWatcher will allow brands to spot and resolve their mistakes sooner.

What was said:

Fizziology co-founder Ben Carlson said:

“Most people don’t tag the brand, sports team, person, or company they are talking about in social media. In fact, we find that 70% of social conversations take place without using a brand’s handle or official hashtag.”

“We created VelocityWatcher so that clients can be alerted to changes in the entire social conversation beyond what they are currently seeing through owned social accounts,”

“A negative story that catches fire in social media can hurt brand value and impact customer sentiment in just hours. Speed – knowing what is happening as it is happening – is critical for both digital marketing success and for crisis management.”


Fizziology works across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, YouTube, Sina Weibo and blogging platforms to analyse user response to brands.

The company works with brands in the media and entertainment, sports, travel and tourism and lifestyle industries.

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