Sysomos MAP Gap Analysis: Gatekeeper of Omnichannel Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is a cornerstone of omnichannel research. It is vital to know what your competitors are doing, where they are doing it, and how successful they are. Understanding how your competitors are performing and uncovering their tactics can help shape your brand’s strategy. Sysomos MAP (Media Analysis Platform) is an amazing feature-packed SaaS that offers an incredible amount of data. In this post, we’ll dive in and show you how to run a Sysomos analysis, but first, let’s walk through why brands should incorporate a competitive intelligence strategy into their repertoire. [Disclosure: AIMCLEAR‘s relationship with Sysomos is “Customer.” Each year AIMCLEAR negotiates a deal and pays Sysomos to use their products.]

Competitive intelligence is an extremely valuable tool for marketers, SEOs, brand managers, and other marketing professionals. It can uncover competitors you didn’t know existed, reveal trends you weren’t aware of, determine what type of content performs best in your space, unearth communities you hadn’t marketed to yet, and the list goes on. There are a few tactics we like to use when we run a Sysomos MAP Gap Analysis.

How to Conduct a Sysomos Analysis

For this example, we will use iFixIt, a site that offers teardowns of pretty much all Apple products as well as parts.

1. Create an initial query. Aside from the straight brand name, we check out their website for any other usernames, brands, or aliases. We find that their social media accounts are ifixit and ifixityourself. The query will thus be ifixit OR ifixityourself. It is a good idea to increase the timeframe to a few months as well to get more data.



This is what Sysomos uses to search for mentions across the web. It is important to include all possible iterations of the brand to ensure maximum results. Don’t forget to include common misspellings or nicknames as well.

2. Now, we are going to dive in to the results a bit to make sure we aren’t including any extra or irrelevant mentions. Scroll down to look at the word cloud and buzzgraph, which show words that commonly appear near the query.


All of these keywords are related to our intended query, so there is no need to adjust it yet. However, zerlegt is a German word, so let’s limit this query to only English results, which will clean up the data a bit.


This also drops the sheer amount of mentions to sift through considerably.


Since Twitter is showing the most activity, we will check that out next. “Most Retweeted” is where we head first because it often showcases prominent irrelevant data.


Again, all of these results are relevant, so there is no query adjustment needed yet.

Be sure to take a look at hashtags too.


This is a very important step because it shows us where we may be scraping information unrelated to our query. We only want relevant data to show up; otherwise our results won’t be useful.

3. Everything still looks good, so now we can begin the actual report and data analysis. If you do find irrelevant data, you can exclude it using the AND NOT operator, so your query would be (ifixit OR ifixityourself) AND NOT refrigerator. Sysomos uses Boolean query handling that allows you to target very precisely. For more details check out their blog post.

4. Moving back to the dashboard, the first section we look at is the popularity graph to see where the brand is seeing spikes in mentions.

Hovering over the data will show the specific mention numbers and dates.


From here we can see that September 19th saw a huge spike in iFixIt mentions.

Mention spikes can offer a lot of insight into a brand; they can point out events such as recalls, promotions, conferences, product changes, and press releases. A spike originating from a conference might reveal one that you haven’t attended, but should consider.

5. Now, change the query date range to September 19 to determine what caused those spikes.


iFixIt received some blog and news mentions and quite a bit of Twitter activity that day. Let’s check out the top Twitter mentions.


It looks like iFixIt opened up the newly released iPhone 6+ the day before, resulting in a lot of chatter about its battery, RAM, and other internals.

Checking in on blogs, we get a confirmation of where the hype stemmed from.


After finding a spike it is important to drill into it by adjusting the date. It is much easier to find the reason for a spike this way instead of trying to sift through a larger period of data.

6. After checking out all the spikes, we return to the original query timeframe and look at blog info. We find that “Most Mentions” offers the best insight, especially when looking at competitors and who is talking about them the most.


These are the blogs that mention your query the most often. They are going to be great places to advertise on, pitch guest posts, or just get involved with. They can also reveal spammy tactics, which can present itself as nonsense blog names with no authority and a high number of query mentions.

7. Social Media is our next tab, starting with Twitter. Top Sources gives us the best competitive intelligence about who is talking about the brand.


There are a few things to note about the Top Sources area. First, this data comes from a random sampling instead of the entire data set. Scanning the full set would take too much processing time and energy. You can adjust how much of the data is scanned, but you’ll wait longer for the page to populate the more you increase it. Second, it is automatically filtered by users with an authority of 5 or higher. This metric is created by Sysomos and is based on followers & following data, number of tweets, and number of retweets. You can adjust this to 0, 3, or 7, but we usually leave it on the default value. Third, the actual number of mentions is listed in a separate table below the user list.


While Most Retweeted doesn’t offer as much insight, it is always a good idea to check out just in case there is anything particularly good, bad, or surprising.

Remember to take a look at hashtags to get an idea about the subjects surrounding your brand/competitor. Since our query essentially hasn’t changed from when we checked earlier we don’t need to go back into it.

Top sources and hashtags are great information to have, especially when running Twitter campaigns. You can easily export the list of top sources and then import into Twitter for handle targeting. Hashtags showcase topics that you may want to include in your tweets to increase visibility.

8. The other important section of the Social tab is Forums. Scrolling to the bottom of the Top Sources heading we can see which forums mention our query the most often.


Note that this is only taking into account forums with an authority level of at least 3.

These forums are great places to check out and read more about your competitors. You can find complaints that may apply to your own product, or raves that could dictate new features.

9. The last section we look at is Traditional Media, aka news sources. Just like Forums, this only looks at sites with an authority level of at least 3.


This section is a good spot to see where competitors are getting local and national news mentions, as well as where they submit press releases.

Well, there you have it folks. There are many other features available in Sysomos MAP that will aid in whatever research you are doing, but the preceding was what we at AIMCLEAR look at for in competitive intelligence reports. All of these results are available in Sysomos either as Excel data or PDF exports, so giving this data to clients is a piece of cake. Also, queries are stored in the URL so you don’t need to worry about recreating reports; you can simply bookmark the page and return to it anytime.

Please remember that this is by no means an exhaustive list of Sysomos’ capabilities or competitive intelligence. This is just a piece of the puzzle, which could also include sources like AdWords, Google Analytics, SpyFu, and other platforms.

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