7:40 am
September 2, 2021
cogent infotech
Social Listening & Analytics
Social Listening & Analytics
Case Study

The Challenge

The Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC) is a non-profit trade association that aims to empower its members to succeed in business development, government relations, talent retention and increased visibility. PTC attracts technology-based businesses to the Pittsburgh area and seeks to improve the regional economy through job creation and financial growth. PTC believes that its work has been successful, but it was exploring ways to engage more with its varied audience.


Cogent provided social listening consulting services to spot trends in conversations and profiles of those interacting with the client’s social media accounts and provides action plans based on these insights.

Cogent crawls the web using the right keywords to capture relevant data and intelligently process this data to remove spam. A rigorous methodology eliminates noise. This balancing of data collection and manual filtering is key to Cogent service, resulting in data accuracy that no tool can provide without human intervention and is what adds the most value. Cogent then employs an Automatic Sentiment Algorithm (ASA) on the clean data to determine sentiment and brand health quickly. This process allows brands to unlock their potential by identifying areas where sentiment may be countering growth. Platforms can listen to social media, but Cogent goes beyond collecting data to providing action plan based insights.


Initial analysis indicated that the potential online reach was around 5 million which included reach from news articles in addition to social media. When dialed down to Twitter and Instagram, the reach was tightened to around 500,000. However, overwhelmingly large numbers of social mentions of PTC - 90 percent - were on Twitter. There was a small but noteworthy number of mentions on Instagram as well, with about 5 percent of overall social mentions. The analysis also helped identify influencers who were talking about PTC.

Demographic analysis revealed that 37 percent of those interacting socially with the PTC brand were female. Word cloud analysis, where keywords are weighted to give an idea of interest and relevancy, revealed a relatively large amount of women-based keywords, such as “women in tech” and “moms can code.” This led to a conclusion that although fewer than half of those interacting socially with PTC are female, they are active and vocal about encouraging tech careers and businesses for women


Social listening also identified weighted interests from its audience based on their Twitter profile. “Technology,” “success” and “Pittsburgh” were the top interests of all viewers, while PTC’s female audience also expressed interest in “exercise,” “family” and “food topics.”

Beyond demographic breakdowns, Cogent was able to analyze the geographic location of social media users, even pinpointing sub regional location of Pittsburgh-based users. This helped to gain insight into the national reach of PTC’s efforts to raise awareness of Pittsburgh as a tech-savvy location for businesses and talent. In addition to insights from the Greater Pittsburgh area, the next most active geographic region was New York City/New Jersey

metropolitan statistical area, which came as a surprise to PTC. This motivated PTC to look for companies located in NYC areas that might be interested in expanding to Pittsburgh.

Cogent also compared PTC’s online performance with The Arizona Tech Council due to its comparable size and scope. Insights into Arizona’s audience numbers and social media activity.


The following five potential steps were identified:

Establish an event focused on startups, trends and business climate for food technology, as PTC’s followers noted considerable interest in entrepreneurship, technology, food and coffee.


Involving students from Pittsburgh-area institutions, such as Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh and others in PTC economic development efforts. There is a generational aspect to this step as well as a focus on technology talent. Local Pittsburgh companies and college students could help facilitate discussions on how to perpetuate technological innovation. A dialogue about employment opportunities could help to retain these college students in the Pittsburgh workforce after graduation, thereby lessening the potential for “brain drain.” College students can also help to drive social media growth for PTC, as younger generations are highly active on social media platforms. The buzz generated by these college students could also help identify Pittsburgh as a national hotbed for technology employees. Cogent further recommended that PTC heighten its engagement with the younger generation by creating a simple but informative mobile app and through hosting hiring and networking events.


Publish white papers on Pittsburgh-centric technology trends. Cogent recommended further analysis to identify tech buzz in the region that may be eluding PTC. By applying social listening more broadly, PTC could gain an understanding of technology interests. It was also suggested that two test white papers could be published to provide an A/B testing to pinpoint the direction of technology interest in the area. This social media intelligence would help to fuel future economic development activities and events to ensure relevancy.


Improve website and other online content based on follower interest. The insights into follower demographics and interests provide invaluable direction for future actions and can help to subtly drum up more interest and brand recognition by explicitly targeting these interests in materials. For example, since “succeed” was a high-frequency keyword identified in word cloud analysis, incorporating success goals and stories into content was seen as paramount. PTC’s website contained language as to how it helped its members. Cogent consulting team recommended strengthening this language into a statement about how PTC helps its members succeed. These subtle changes are examples of the power of social listening when applied to a practical action plan.


Since active lifestyle interests were also identified, Cogent recommended community events that connected to PTC’s follower interests. Cycling or running events, for example, might reverberate with the vocal Pittsburgh female technology follower. Such events could be coordinated with local businesses as well to bolster Pittsburgh-centric business initiatives.

Through social media intelligence, Cogent was able to identify numerous opportunities for PTC to increase its audience and engage it with relevant content. To accomplish this, more than a technological platform was required.

Cogent expertise in marketing and social media insights powered action plans for future growth and success.

Cogent services also go beyond providing suggested courses of action. Based on these recommendations, Cogent technology consultants continue to help clients reach their goals, which may involve working with one or more of the recommendations.

Stay tuned for our next insight and connect with us on social@cogentinfo.com


This is some text inside of a div block.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Related Case Studies