Social Pulse: The Way We See COVID-19 Relate to CX & the Globe

By: Nicole Martin, MPH

March 25, 2020

Clarabridge Analytics
Clarabridge Engage
Customer Experience

A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) titled Managing Epidemics, identified three focus groups: Community Engagement, Risk Communication, and Treatment. These three areas translate to the three pillars of our analysis. Each component and story ties directly to a pillar, with intersection and overlap with other pillars, industry verticals, and trending topics in the media. This structure streamlines the chaotic nature of social media, enabling us to focus on the critical friction points we need to track as we learn more and this event continues to evolve. 

Date of Data Pull: 3/24/2020 10:31AM
Source: Twitter, API Connectors
Current Volume: 2,326,384
Date Range: March 12, 2020- March 24, 2020
Tweets Related to COVID-19 & Supplemental Topics Classification Models Used: WHO Framework Model, Emotions Model, & Industry Specific Models

The Findings

Pandemics at their core put pressure on every system: social norms, the economy, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. These systems interact, and, combined with human nature, lead to limitations in our ability to treat disease and further prevent its spread. Leveraging our platform’s ability to understand and categorize unstructured text, we followed the WHO framework and built out three pillars to understand and analyze how the world reacts to COVID-19: Behavior/Communication, Emotions, and Prevention/Treatment.

Behavior/Communication (or Community Engagement): 

Behaviors we are experiencing reside in this pillar, broken down by industry and subjects of social dialogue. The graph below shows current themes in our project (composed of aggregated public Twitter data). As our data grows and diversifies, our topics become more granular with more specificity nested in subcategories. For example, the Economy, a currently trending top topic, has subtopics related to paid leave, the stimulus, and unemployment.



Emotions (or Risk Communication): 

Feelings communicated via public Tweets and interpreted by Clarabridge reside in this pillar. Last week’s article gave a snapshot of the public’s emotions and how intensely people express them. One of our key objectives in this project is to understand how people perceive the world and monitor changes in societal perception over time. Emotional analysis gives context to the successes and failures of the socioeconomic and health risks caused by COVID-19.



Above shows a breakdown of emotions within the economic subcategory.  “Anger and frustration” and “fear and confusion” dominate conversations related to the current unpredictable economic situation in the same way they dominate conversations related to COVID-19.

Prevention/Treatment (or Treatment): 

Keywords associated with Prevention/Treatment, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promoting mitigation (more commonly referred to as “social distancing”), live within this pillar. Prevention/Treatment consists of categories related to vaccine conversations, care access, and personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages. Categories vary by word choice when an individual tweets, so if a person chooses to say “Safe at Home” instead of “Quarantine,” our model organizes the tweet into the “Safe at Home” category. Though we recognize individuals may describe experiences differently than issued protocols in their states, our categorization model allows us to understand how people interpret policies and mandates.

Leveraging Clarabridge’s capabilities, we analyze the intersection of social behaviors across prevention/treatment topics, facilitating interdisciplinary insights. Thus we can see how prevention measures directly affect people’s emotions related to new employment situations (be it loss of a job or work from home) or health risks

Below highlights what prevention/treatment topics occur when people mention the economy or U.S. government. We can see how people feel in relationship to these topics and the intensity of their emotions.



By integrating the pillars together, we see that the strongest emotions relate to economic topics and social distancing, exemplifying the friction between individualism and collectivism as we try to follow protocols. Snippets of the conversations shown below illustrate the internal challenges we face as we try to adopt a more collectivist outlook and lifestyle.

In the midst of all this chaos, children in their
new classrooms have the opportunity to travel
to the wizarding world and discover their magic: 

Multi-faceted perspectives will allow us to discover the trends of the market and society over the next coming weeks and ultimately see how we as a society change.

What’s Next

Later this week we will be discussing how the new trend —social distancing—is impacting various behaviors in our lives. We will explore how people feel about the distance, solutions and coping skills currently trending, and their desire/need for innovation to help adapt to this “socially distant” lifestyle. With our embedded knowledge of customer experiences and the organizational framework discussed above, I will start to identify transformations already happening in this new world as well as places where voids continue to persist. We will uncover the opportunities for innovation to fulfill needs and continue to change the way we live.

Other Articles in This Series:
Social Pulse: An Opportunity to Create Trust with Consumers
Published April 9, 2020

Social Pulse: A Craving for Understanding
Published April 2, 2020

Social Pulse: How is the World Reacting to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Published March 20, 2020

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Nicole Martin is currently a consultant at Clarabridge. Prior to Clarabridge, Nicole received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from The George Washington University. During her time at GW, Nicole wrote her graduate paper on sexuality, sexual behavior, and mental health. In addition, Nicole taught as a Graduate Assistant for the Biostatistics Department at The George Washington University. During her time at Clarabridge, Nicole has worked with healthcare accounts to enrich their analytic capabilities, created customer journey maps for property and casualty insurance companies, and continued to support innovation for clients across various industry verticals.


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About The Social Pulse Series

Clarabridge has embarked on an independent research project to actively analyze the “emotional pulse” of social media users worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort’s main goal is to assess how people are feeling using Clarabridge’s Natural Language Understanding to glean insights from millions of unstructured data records. We hope to inform the public, provide insights to the scientific community and educate Clarabridge customers. The analyses in this series leverages Twitter data collected beginning March 12th using keywords such as “coronavirus,” “covid19”, and “covid-19” from Twitter. We continue to refine data collection and models as the situation evolves.

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Questions about Coronavirus? Check out the following resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Directory of Local Health Departments