Back to school can be one of the most fun times in social media since the demographic of publicly accessible sites such as Tumblr and Twitter skew young. Taking a look at kids going off to college, I was curious what they had to say about their dorms. Here’s an analysis of mentions of “my dorm”:

As you’d probably expect, kids talk about their dorm as their moving into them in the late summer. But I was surprised to see they talk about their dorms again when they return from winter break. In 2014 we also saw an interesting spike in the midsummer. It turns out a tweet from @ImGirlCode went viral:


But at NetBase we’ve always prided ourselves on taking you deeper than the buzz metrics. What’s the sentiment and more importantly, what’s driving that sentiment? Here’s an analysis using our advanced Natural Language Processing which Dr. Wei Li and team have honed for the last 10 or so years in English and 40+ other langauges.

First, let’s examine what kids liked about their dorm:


Here are some actual verbatim quotes from the sources:



And from a negative standpoint, here are the top things students don’t like about dorm life:


Apparently, the “smell” is something kids both hate and love about their dorms. Probably the underlying problem is that dorms smell bad but students find clever ways to make their dorms smell better.

These kids certainly know how to make their dorms smell good! Marketers should pay attention to these things kids like and dislike about their dorms. It’s an easily addressable market with clear pain points (cleanliness, temperature, smell), and characteristics that students enjoy (cleanliness, having a view, and smell). I think there’s a lot of innovation potential with the area of views now that digital display technology, drones, and virtual reality make seeing something previously out of reach, within view. How about drone cams tied to sunset at a student’s favorite park bench back home? Maybe it could help kids adjust to their new lives beyond the nest.

Good luck to all students everywhere, have a great school year!

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