Yesterday, social media and marketing researcher and scientist Dan Zarrella debuted a new way to see into the minds of Twitter users with TweetPsych. Using two linguistic analysis methods, TweetPsych analyzes the content of a user’s last 1,000 tweets and builds a psychological profile based on the content.
TweetPsych uses the Regressive Imagery Dictionary and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count methods. Regressive Imagery Dictionary (RID) is a content analysis tool composed of 3,200 words and 43 categories that measures the amount and type of primordial (the subconscious, such as thoughts in dreams), conceptual (logical and rational thought) and emotional content. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) is a text analysis software program that calculates the degree to which people use different categories of words across a wide array of texts. Basically, it measures the cognitive and emotional properties of a person based on the words they use.
To create TweetPsych, Zarilla combined the two systems with a Porter algorithm and built his own analysis infrastructure. TweetPsych compares the content of a user’s tweets to Zarilla’s baseline reading and shows the areas where users stand out. From his website:
“The service analyzes your last 1000 Tweets; as such, it works best on users who have posted more than 1000 updates. It is also better suited for running analyses on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than simply a content distribution platform. It takes a few moments to analyze an account the first time, but subsequent views of a profile will load faster.”
Although it’s still evolving, TweetPsych can provide businesses with interesting insights into regular consumers. It’s essentially like the new focus group, or demographical study, but minus the drawbacks of crowd mentality, influenced answers or dishonesty. With Twitter, businesses can now communicate directly with consumers and use TweetPsych to analyze them. Protected user profiles, however, cannot be analyzed.
Clearly, social media is producing new ways to gather information and gain insight on users. So why not use it to your advantage for your business? The possibilities could be endless.