TRACKING TRENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

NICK KOUDAS, professor & NILESH BANSAL, PhD student, Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough

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THE PROBLEM

At any given moment, the world of social media is abuzz with conversations about companies, brands and current events. But what exactly is being said? And is the overall tone good or bad?

THE INNOVATION

Nick Koudas and his PhD student Nilesh Bansal developed software that uses key words to do a real-time search for information on social media. The resulting content is then analyzed to determine what people are saying about a product, service or
issue, and if their opinions are positive or negative.

THE APPROACH

In 2007, Koudas and Bansal went public with their invention and launched Sysomos, a social media monitoring and analytics company. Greek for “everything together,” Sysomos was acquired three years later by Marketwire, a news release distribution company. Today, the Sysomos team has grown considerably, and serves 70 per cent of Fortune 500 brands globally. Koudas and Bansal work part-time for the company, serving as its president and chief technology officer, respectively.

THE IMPACT

By providing access to billions of social media conversations, both here-and-now and historical, Sysomos gives corporations, marketers, advertisers and public relations agencies an insider’s view of themes and trends as they emerge on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Knowing how their brands are perceived in the marketplace can help companies better engage with, and respond to, their customers.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Koudas and Bansal plan to use their knowledge of the commercialization process to bring other technologies to the market in the future.

“To really understand how your brand is doing, you have to know what people are saying and how they are saying it.”
– Nick Koudas

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