Foursquare is Media's Favorite; Gowalla Heats Up the Battle

16 Dec
2009

As you know, I love data and measurement. In my last post, I started to explore the importance of measuring impact that your brand is having on social media outlets, such as blogs, microblogs, forums, etc. In another post, I discussed the dichotomy of needing to have a long-term marketing strategy, as well as short term tactical initiatives. There are great tools out there to help you monitor and measure what’s going on with your brand or product, so you know exactly who is talking about it, so you can join the conversation, as well as measure sentiment (how people feel about it) and coverage (how many people are talking about you, and how many people are reading and commenting on what’s been written).

I had a chance to test-drive Community Insights from Biz360 (disclaimer: I scored a free account so I could write this post; it is a premium-priced product geared at business customers). I wanted to compare side-by-side two competitive companies in the location-based services space: Foursquare and Gowalla.

One of the most important tasks is defining your keywords correctly. I was looking for mentions of Gowalla and Foursquare specifically within the mobile and location-based space, so I defined it as such. My reach numbers weren’t huge as a result, and Gowalla’s numbers may be even statistically insignificant, but I was able to discard users’ “check-in” tweets that do not hold much factual information. Right off the bat, you can see that Foursquare has a higher share of coverage (number of mentions) than Gowalla. This makes sense, because Foursquare is a more mature product. You can also track how much coverage each product got each day this year. You can see that Foursquare had the heaviest publish date on 12.3.09. As a brand / product / community manager, you should be asking yourself what the qualifying event was, and do a more detailed drilldown of just that day, to see what sources drove the conversation on that day, and what the sentiment was.

share of coverage coverage

Even though Gowalla is gaining steam in the market (in terms of install base and media coverage), Foursquare is still receiving more positive sentiment than Gowalla, and both products mostly talked about in blogs vs. microblogs, which makes sense based on our filters of “mobile” and “location”.

foursquare at glance gowala at glance

Another interesting tidbit is to track sentiment over time. As you can see below, that spike in coverage for Foursquare on 12.3.09 was mostly positive, while Gowalla received some negative press on 12.11.09.

foursquare sentiment chart gowala sentiment chart

Finally, if you have enough data, you can run a discovery report, which will show you a topic cloud depicting the most discussed topics around your product.

foursquare discovery

Remember, by adding extra search filters (location and mobile), we narrowed down our search to mostly full-length content that would mention the product in the context of location-based services and mobile. What happens when we remove those filters? Well, first of all coverage numbers increase dramatically, as Foursqare has almost 33K mentions, and Gowalla has about 10k. A similar share of coverage is present (see below).

share

As you can see below, sentiment became more neutral across both products, and dominant source became microblogs. This makes me think that this is because the data is muddled a bit with users checking in on Foursquare and Gowalla and having it update their Twitter accounts.

foursquare at glance gowalla at glance

When we remove microblogs as a platform, this is what we get (see below). Foursquare becomes mostly positive, and Gowalla becomes mostly neutral. I am thinking this is because it’s a newer platform, and people haven’t had a chance to get to know it yet. If I was the Gowalla community manager, I would dig deeper to get more insights on the neutral sources.

foursqare sentiment exc microblogs gowalla sentiment exc microblogs

I took a bit of a deeper dive to understand what the most heavily mentioned keywords were for each of the products (see below). Most buzz around Foursquare had to do with its new blackberry application, love from Robert Scoble and something called Brociety. Looking at the same for Gowalla, you can see that most of the buzz is around its cool icons, and its recent funding raise.

foursquare topics gowalla topics

As you can see from our very basic analysis, Foursquare currently has more mindshare, and more positive sentiment towards it than Gowalla. However, Gowalla mentions are growing at a faster velocity, so it will be important to go through this exercise every month to understand how mindshare and sentiment are changing, and who the key blogs and communities are discussing the products.

Also, like Biz360 are great for tracking actual articles and blogposts that speak about a chosen keyword or topic. You can sort them in order of reach and impact, so that you know which ones you should read, address and comment on first. For a community manager, this is a true goldmine. It also helps you take a team approach towards community management, by being able to assign these instances to people on your team.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
  • http://thedreaminaction.com/ Ryan Graves

    Great post, you really do break down the measurement aspect very well. I was very happy to see the positive sentiment around 4SQ :)

  • http://thedreaminaction.com/ Ryan Graves

    Great post, you really do break down the measurement aspect very well. I was very happy to see the positive sentiment around 4SQ :)

    • http://themaria.me/ themaria

      Thanks Ryan! I am a huge fan of measurement, data and location-based services, so this post was very fun to write!

  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments()

  • http://maria.me themaria

    Thanks Ryan! I am a huge fan of measurement, data and location-based services, so this post was very fun to write!

  • Pingback: Maria Ogneva()

  • Pingback: Eric Andersen()

  • Pingback: Eric Andersen()

  • Pingback: Eric Andersen()

  • Pingback: Jeff Cutlerâ„¢()

  • Pingback: Barry Sellar()

  • Pingback: alexstil()

  • http://www.allaboutnortel.com Mark Evans

    Maria,

    If you're interested in taking a look at another social media monitoring/measurement service, check out Sysomos' Heartbeat and MAP products.

    Mark Evans
    Director of Communications
    Sysomos Inc.

  • http://www.allaboutnortel.com Mark Evans

    Maria,

    If you’re interested in taking a look at another social media monitoring/measurement service, check out Sysomos’ Heartbeat and MAP products.

    Mark Evans
    Director of Communications
    Sysomos Inc.

  • http://www.allaboutnortel.com Mark Evans

    Maria,

    If you're interested in taking a look at another social media monitoring/measurement service, check out Sysomos' Heartbeat and MAP products.

    Mark Evans
    Director of Communications
    Sysomos Inc.

  • Pingback: Maria Ogneva()

  • Pingback: Chad Catacchio()

  • Pingback: Exciting announcement: I am the social media director for Biz360 | Social Silk()

  • Pingback: Magnus Söderberg()

  • http://blasterous.com blasterous

    Great post – thank you for taking the time to put together such a thorough analysis.

  • http://blasterous.com/ blasterous

    Great post – thank you for taking the time to put together such a thorough analysis.

top