Audience Analysis 101: Behind the Vegan Lifestyle
Carol Feigenbaum |
 05/21/18 |
5 min read

Much like VH1’s Behind the Music series, audience analytics with sentiment analysis give you behind-the-scenes access to any segment you care to explore. Let’s take a look at those living a vegan lifestyle to illustrate how to find and use audience insights.

Start with Conversation Volume

A great starting point with an unfamiliar audience is to use a tool like NetBase Pro to look at Engagements for your search terms – in this case, vegan and #vegan. This gives you a sense of when these terms got a lot of attention, so you can then look at WHY.

Not surprisingly there was high engagement on April 22nd, Earth Day. But April 18th saw lots of sharing of a story about a toddler having an allergic reaction after ordering a Pizza Hut pizza with dairy-free (vegan) cheese and receiving the wrong order.

Luckily the child was okay, and Pizza Hut is now reexamining their allergen policies to ensure something like this won’t happen again.

But aside from being a surprise for Pizza Hut, what does this post tell you? That some people choose (or are forced to) a vegan lifestyle due to food allergies. So that’s one bit of crossover to explore further.

Look for Coinciding Topics

Where topics cross over you have potential audience segments. These may reveal common interests that align with your brand, creating opportunities for you to join the conversation and increase brand awareness.

So what other segments of vegans are out there?

A look at Popular Posts reveals some interesting topics in the top 6:

What do we learn here? If we look at the engagements, comments and likes for the first two posts we see there’s a lot of interest in vegan ice cream and Coachella:

So this is one potential segment to work with.

The next two posts reveal similarly high engagement:

And the Bellamy Young post had 19.2K Engagements, 172 Comments, and 19.1K Likes. So we’ve got a few potential segments we can work with:

  • Vegans who like ice cream and Coachella
  • Vegans who like fashion and Miley Cyrus
  • Health-conscious vegans in the L.A. area
  • Vegan fans of Bellamy Young who love animals

This last point might seem obvious – aren’t people vegans because they love animals? But we already know from the Pizza Hut story that there are other reasons people may adopt a vegan lifestyle. So this should drive home the importance of never assuming, and relying on your social data instead.

Meanwhile, these posts have something else to offer.

Building an Army to Share Your Messaging

The engagement these posts generated points to potential influencers in the vegan audience. YouTube vlogger and actress Teala Dunn’s Coachella ice cream post got the most engagement, with 174.4K likes and 271 comments. So if you’re a vegan ice cream brand, you’d certainly want to talk to her.

And of course Miley Cyrus and Bellamy Young are big names in the music and acting worlds respectively. Peta is clearly using Cyrus’ name to further their cause, and the Humane Society is surely thankful to Young for shining a light on their event.

But influencers don’t have to be celebrities, as evidenced by the engagement of Mayshadwoman’s post. Entrepreneur Nezha Alaoui may not have the social clout of Miley Cyrus, but she’s got plenty of her own. Learning more about her would likely reveal other audience segments of note.

Channels and Content Help You Engage

It’s worth noting that the top 30 posts for the terms vegan and #vegan were all on Instagram.

They were primarily image posts, with a few videos in the mix, which tells you what this audience responds to, and where they like to hang out online. This doesn’t mean other channels aren’t also valuable, but clearly Instagram is a major hub for these conversations.

Still, until we add sentiment into the mix, none of our data can be taken to the bank.

Putting Your Data in Context with Sentiment Analysis

Engagement and comments are great – but unless you read every single comment, you don’t know if they’re positive or negative. That’s what sentiment analysis tools are for.

Sentiment for our terms is at 52% – positive, with moderate passion. Of note are the high positive and negative spikes on April 29th. You want to know what those are about to understand what gets the vegan audience excited in both directions.

Interestingly enough, both the positive and negative spikes stemmed from a viral story about a vegan woman buying a dairy ice cream cone for a crying child. Since the woman springing for the treat is a popular vegan blogger in the U.K., one Twitter user, @ 7AnthonyDagher7, felt she should be brought to task for the kindness.

Some in the vegan audience agreed with him, but many more agreed with the woman, known on Twitter as @itsallzara.

Now let’s look at what drives sentiment with the vegan audience overall.

Looking at Sentiment Attributes gives you an idea of which conversations get the most traction:

For additional insight, look at Emotions:

Words like love, delicious, awesome, amazing, etc. correlate with the high passion of this audience. But there are some detractors as well. Be sure you understand both sides of the coin before diving into the fray.

Finally, look at Behaviors for insight into the actions this audience takes:

Obviously “eat” is a major term, but what about others that stand out? Terms like want, buy, use, need indicate a lot of love, and point to those already enjoying a vegan lifestyle. Terms like try and switch could represent those considering “going vegan.” What’s inspiring this change? That’s what you need to uncover.

And what of the negative terms? They clue you in to what prevents some people from adopting or maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Further investigate terms like “not trust,” “ban,” “not find,” “not offer,” and “not afford” to see if there’s a competitive advantage your brand can employ here.

Audience Analysis is an Ongoing Effort

Audience preferences are fluid. Trends change, preferences change, and brands must adapt with these changes. Continuous monitoring of social sentiment is crucial to staying aligned with your audience. The steps above will help you put together a comprehensive picture of your audience – no matter what the category.

VH1 couldn’t do any better.

Want to learn more about how sentiment analysis helps your brand. Get in touch and we’ll show you!



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