Bar-graphs are simple ways to show an analysis of the good v the bad, the positive v the negative. We all learnt about them in Junior school maths class, but they’ve been used to great effect recently when it comes to the web.
On Monday I caught a few minutes of ITV show This Morning and noticed that they were using a views graph on the bottom of the screen to gauge audience reaction.
What was most fascinating was watching it go up and down as different comments were made (presumably as live as they could get it). They should definitely display the viewers opinions more often.
This Morning has a blossoming social presence on The Hub, (though I think looking at some of their Facebook messages, this channel hasn’t necessarily been set up/monitored properly).
Building a TV show around opinion
Recently the BBC build a whole show around current public opinion. Free Speech have bar graph The Power Bar (see photo below) which let viewers know everyone else’s opinions on debates. This analysis was based on Twitter and Facebook feedback.
A bar-graph has great effect giving the audience four choices. Whose opinion do you agree with?
(While we’re on the topic, could someone please do something with the public comment on Jeremy Kyle’s shows? I know you’ve got a Twitter feed, but make a graph of opinion. Ask people what they think about the sister who’s having her brother’s baby (for example). Come on ITV, people would love it!)
The brand bar-graph
Bad barometer or brand barometer?
Lots of companies shy away from sharing their customer’s real views let alone telling everyone else what their real customers think. They imagine the fall out will be a disaster. But people are obviously talking about you in the social space even if you’re not displaying it.
Marketing channel Brand Republic use a Social Brand Barometer to analyse companies. You have to subscribe to accesss some of the material but their analysis of Audi is available as well as Virgin Money.
Brand Republic’s barometer is a simple way of organising material about a subject for an article, but you could potentially create a simple social analysis bar-graph for your customers to show how well you’re doing in comparison to your competitors them.
The most memorable example of an opinion barometer in my opinion, and I’ve often mentioned mentioned them in the past, is First Direct, who collected positive and negative thoughts from their customers in a lovely graphic. Unfortunately by displaying information in these bar graphs.
Infographics: Don’t just use a bar graph!
Bar graphs are often used in ‘so-called’ infographics to display simple information. Infographics have been gaining popularity for some time and are great ways to display complex information to an audience in an enjoyable, bite-size way. In a proper infographic, the image depicts the results. Read Visua.ly’s explanation of What is an Infographic?
“They’re data visualizations that present complex information quickly and clearly.”
A data visualisation is “a general term used to describe data presented in a visual way” but it’s generally considered that the image should reflect the data not just look pretty. For examples of what is not an infographic check out this great Tumblr “Because information laid out in messy, colorful, meaningless images are not infographics.”
If you have a graph on cats for example obviously the size of the cat image should accurately reflect the number of cats.
But I digress…
Lots of mobile phone apps use line or bar graphs to present simple data. How long do I sleep each night? How much do I weigh each day? How far have I run every day before the marathon? They’re a great way to show the data, and fit on the tiny screen as well as the large.
People have been using bar graphs for yonks. But they really come into their own on the web. They’re easy to view on a mobile, easy to understand and so pretty!
There’s a couple of uses for bar graphs in modern social marketing. What others can you think of?