3 odd things IBM learned about people from studying Twitter

Before IBM officially opened its new tweet analysis tool for business on Tuesday, it was testing the tool out with 100 companies.

And in just a few short months of doing that, IBM learned some surprising discoveries, it said.

For instance:

Bad weather can make people want to ditch their telecom service. IBM explains: “By combining Twitter data with other information like rain, wind or snow that triggers service interruptions, IBM identified the correlation between weather events, angry Tweets and customer defections.”

The more a customer shops at a particular store or eats at a particular restaurant, the more likely they are to stop shopping there when employees leave. It stands to reason that you would get to know the people at a place you patronize often, but IBM found that really loyal customers get so attached to employees that they complain on Twitter about having to “start over” if a favourite employee leaves. If they don’t feel like employees know them, this can really impact revenue because the loyal customers are the ones who spend the most money.

Psychoanalysing the tweets of popular fashion bloggers can help clothing manufacturers predict which items will be big commercial hits and which won’t. Or as IBM explains it: “By using psycholinguistic analytics from IBM Research to extract a full spectrum of psychological, cognitive and social traits from Twitter data that influential fashion bloggers generate — combined with operational data such as sales and market share information — manufacturers can better understand why some products sell well while others don’t.”

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