Is your social media listening really real-time?

Share This Post

The Power of the Firehose

To quote the great philosophers and performers Cypress Hill, when the shit goes down ya better be ready.

In this day and age, when there is a crisis situation, a new product launch, or some outrageous event has occurred, consumers go to their favourite one-to-many social media platforms to announce, discuss and meme-ify: Twitter and Reddit. Unlike Facebook and Instagram where conversations are typically closely held between friends or within a group, what you post on Twitter and Reddit can be picked up and amplified virtually instantly. 

If your business or client is on the receiving end of the internet’s interest, you want to know about this ASAP. As in right now, as it’s happening. Not tomorrow. Or in next week’s dashboard.

This is where the concept of Firehose data comes in. Both Twitter and Reddit provide Firehose access so that as content is being posted to the platform, it’s available to be processed and fire off any alerts if it veers into territory you care about (brand/company names, executives, category/product, government policy etc etc.). And we’re talking about all the data, not just a sample of what’s being posted. All of it. As it is happening. Our partner Brandwatch is one of the very few social listening technologies with this level of Firehose access.

Why should you care?

Your speed-to-action is tied to the first step – knowing there is something going on in your realm of interest. Only once you have the data, can you formulate a response and action. With many of the world’s leading news organisations using Brandwatch, it’s better to be prepared so you don’t first learn of a situation when a journalist reaches out for a comment. 

Things are going well? You want to be on top of that in good time as well. Share customised dashboards that surface and highlight relevant insights and data points also that update in real-time. You may even save yourself a tonne of meetings or ‘meetings about meetings’.

Although Meta doesn’t offer the same kind of Firehose access, Brandwatch now has access to 200,000+ Facebook public pages, which means you don’t need to specifically trawl content from hand-selected Facebook pages to tap into this significant online community.

Leveraging this data in Brandwatch, large organisations are able to better identify potential risks from relevant stakeholders, the audience sentiment in response, and do so with greater accuracy and speed to protect brand reputation. From a government/policy affairs and risk management standpoint, this all makes for an ideal tool for corporate communications professionals to tailor your listening to what is relevant to you. 

This wide access to Facebook pages is a game-changer for anyone leveraging social data for responsive, relevant research (and check out our Agile Insights page where we dive deeper into using this data, along with panel and search data for a range of insights outcomes).

Not all social media analytics are made equal, especially if it’s an add-on feature to a social media management tool, rather than dedicated social listening at a market-level scale.

Some give you far more confidence in the quality of their data and ability to pinpoint key conversations than others. In turn, the quality and speed of the data give you confidence to create more effective messaging and engage with stakeholders effectively. “

Brandwatch is essential for corporate communications professionals who want to stay ahead of the game. We can help you go even further by layering smarter Google search data, with tools like RapidTracking from one of our other data partners, Pi Datametrics, which can show your team the changing search results page every two hours so you can know if your turning the dial on the media cycle or when someone else is.

So how does your platform stack up? Whenever your social media analysis/monitoring platform contract is coming up for renewal, reach out to us and understand how it compares to the best consumer research platform in the industry.

More To Explore


Ground Control turns 4

Ground Control launched in Melbourne on March 1st, 2020. There was a whiff of COVID at the time, but we certainly were not expecting to


Business moves quickly. You need information and updates in real time on what's happening to your business, industry and competitors.



Crisis Control brings together your team on the right information as it happens using live dashboards, data firehoses, smart categorisation, trend detection and realtime alerts to inform time critical decisions and get ahead of the issue.

Key Technology
  • Full Twitter and Reddit Data Firehoses for news as-it-happens.
  • AI-powered trend detection to understand drivers of conversation.
  • Customisable realtime dashboards and alerting.
  • 495 million publically available posts daily across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Online news, Forums, Blogs, Reviews and websites.