Social Media Research part 2: Our Findings

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Continuing on from Part 1: Finding new solutions for Calderdale, as part of the Active Calderdale Strategy we are trialing new and emerging technologies, to find innovative ways to get the borough moving. Social media listening research is one such technology.

The outcome

Given the number of questions in our brief, and the size of the search query which collected data for over 2 years, it won’t surprise you to learn that the report generated by Visformatics was packed with information. You can view the full report here.

The key breakdown of the findings is as follows:


There were over 15,000 mentions gathered over the two-year period. These numbers tend to stay fairly steady, with periodic spikes. The largest peaks are around the Tour de Yorkshire each year.

Mentions could be grouped in many ways, such as the most popular activities mentioned in the Calderdale region:

Activity TypePercentage of mentions
Walk and Run21%
Football and Rugby18%
Swimming 6%

Cycling, walking, football and rugby are clear favourites. You could also break down the mentions to understand which wards were talked about most. This showcased a huge disparity, with the Central locality mentioned significantly more than any other.


The research has successfully identified 3,776 unique authors who mentioned physical activity in some way over the last 2 years. The retrospective report grouped these into local government affiliated accounts vs. the rest. This approach gave us some useful insights into the ways in which the local government accounts post content compared to the rest of the borough. An example of this would be the mentions of a physical activity type by local government compared to by the borough at large.

Whilst the insights might not be too surprising, i.e. that the council would post about swimming more than football when they are responsible for managing the swimming pools, there are potential other uses for this tool, which we will outline win part 3.

The main benefit of listing all of the authors in Calderdale is that we’re able to see who are the most influential. We’ve managed to pick out hundreds of accounts which can be included in research going forward, and could be potential allies for us to spread our messages.


It has also been possible to pick out which hashtags have been used the most over the two year period. This will help us to understand which hashtags are useful for us to us to help spread our key messages and campaigns online.

The results were packed with some interesting features and insight, but it’s through the proper application of these insights that we will see success. We've outlined our next steps in Part 3: What's Next?