Friday, July 17, 2009

tracking language trends on Facebook

July 17, 2009

I'm probably a little late to the game, but I've just discovered a tool on Facebook that will help me track the popularity of my "10 Nicknames" note. (Quick refresher: the "10 Nicknames" note is a fun little experiment I cooked up to see if I could knowingly create viral content on Facebook). The tool I'm going to use is called Lexicon and it includes a search function that creates a graph displaying the the frequency of discussion for a topic.

Facebook says:
  • "Lexicon is a tool to follow language trends across Facebook. Specifically, Lexicon looks at the usage of words and phrases on profile, group and event Walls. For example, you can enter "love, hate" (without quotations) to compare the usage of these two words on Facebook Walls. You may enter up to five terms, where each term can be a word or two-word phrase consisting of letters and numbers."

When I'm ready to take a look at the data for my note (probably in a few more weeks), I can just input the key terms into the search box and see if there was a spike in usage for related language.

Huzzah! That's so easy! I love it! I exclaim a lot!

Then, once I have my fancy graph, I can decide whether or not to release my second note test (a boring note instead of a fun one). Based on the data from both notes I can hopefully create a baseline for future tests.

Here's a fun example from some of their suggested search terms. It is a side-by-side comparison of "party tonight" and "hangover." Notice that there's a spike in chatter about parties on the days leading up to New Year's Eve, followed by an even larger spike in talk of hangovers on New Year's Day.

Good times.

You can learn more about Facebook's other marketing tools on the Marketing Solutions page.

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