Melissa Fares is a social media reporter for Reuters. Based in the New York office, she covers stories that affect — and are affected by — social media trends. She uses Keyhole analytics to track breaking news, develop story ideas and supplement articles with comprehensive data.
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Melissa wants to find out which hashtags and keywords were trending in relation to breaking news stories, and this task introduces a set of challenges.
- As journalists compete to break news while social trends rapidly grow and pass, Fares needs a tool to monitor online conversations in real-time. Platforms that don’t offer live tracking can’t keep up with a newsroom’s fast pace, she says.
- Covering state-, national- and international-level news creates a need to know where social media trends develop and gain steam.
- Unravelling the context of social media trends is what helps Fares add detail to her articles and think up other story ideas. Therefore, she not only needs to monitor online conversations but also track related hashtags and keywords while identifying influential users.
Keyhole helps Melissa by:
“I really do value Keyhole. It was one of the first platforms that I came across for navigating the social Internet, and it’s proven to be highly user-friendly and a pure joy to use. I even use it in my free time.”
Developed New Story Ideas
“Keyhole has taken me in a lot of directions that other platforms haven’t,” says Fares.
The tool identifies the most popular hashtags and keywords used with your tracked terms. This feature helps Fares find new trends and track data associated with them, helping her either craft stories or add more detail to articles.
“It points me towards the side conversations that are being held, helping me understand why they’re related… We’re always interested in taking the story further and investigating how people are reacting to what’s being said,” she adds, “That’s where Keyhole has been super, super useful.”
Wrote Articles Using Keyhole Analytics
Fares has used Keyhole data to write stories ranging from the health effects of bacon to the United States presidential election — one of the most popular being about Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.
By tracking hashtags and keywords relating to the Republican candidate, she identified which five states were talking most about the ban.
“It’s interesting to know that California was talking so much about the ban. Why California? We don’t necessarily know, but without that information from Keyhole, there would have been readers who might not have related to the story.”
Collected Social Data in Breaking News Situations
“(Keyhole) is everything a journalist wants to use in a breaking-news situation since it’s quick and easy to use,” says Fares.
Inputting a keyword will quickly generate data by analyzing a sample of relevant posts, updating in real-time. Unlike other tracking tools, there is no need to authenticate your Twitter or Instagram account. You also don’t have to fill out a complex form to start your search.
“You want to spend time on Keyhole. It’s fun. It’s exciting.”