Archive for the ‘Samples’ Category

John Oliver Gets Spreading Information In The Social Age

Last Week Tonight with John OliverYou can debate back and forth for days on whether Last Week Tonight is a news program or a comedy and entertainment show… or even both. But one thing you can’t debate is that John Oliver has been instrumental in opening the eyes of his viewers to subjects that they should probably know more about.

And when we say viewers, we don’t just mean the people who watch his show live on HBO, we mean everyone that has seen the numerous clips from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight since it debuted at the end of April this year.

Yes, the show we’re talking about is an HBO program, which means that viewers need to subscribe to HBO through their cable company to see the show live as it airs on Sunday nights. However, what John Oliver’s show has done that not many other shows do, especially ones on premium cable subscription channels, is found a way to make his interesting content very sharable by putting all of his segments up on YouTube.

And this is why we say that John Oliver gets it. He knows that if you want your content to spread it has to be three things; interesting, entertaining and sharable. Last Week Tonight is all three of these, which is why it got so popular so fast.

We used MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to dig a little deeper on the social phenomenon that is is John Oliver’s brand of entertaining news.

Since Last Week Tonight debuted at the end of April this year, the show’s name or John Oliver have appeared in over 818,000 social media posts.  Mentions have appeared in 14,496 blog posts, 17,346 online news articles, 26,152 forum postings and 760,222 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

There has also been, over the same time period, 11,973 videos posted that have John Oliver or Last Week Tonight mentioned in their titles or descriptions. And, to add to that, only 83 of those videos come from the show’s own YouTube channel.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

While the number of mentions that John Oliver and Last Week Tonight have received since their show debuted is by no means an astronomical number, it’s really what was in those posts and how many people saw them that mattered. And what was in them, was videos from their YouTube channel.

You see, John Oliver and Last Week Tonight knew that not everyone has an HBO subscription. So they made their content easy to find and share somewhere else, the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube. And it’s been working for them.

We pulled up some of the stats from the Last Week Tonight YouTube page. What we found that the channel has over a million subscribers. Even better though is that the 83 videos posted to the channel have amassed over 150 million views. That’s not bad since the channel has only existed for just about 6 months.

Sysomos MAP - YouTube Channel Analysis

Even more impressive is when we looked at which of his videos were the most popular. The top five most popular videos from the channel weren’t the short funny little two minute videos. All five of them were the show’s longer form feature stories that average around 14 minutes in runtime.

Sysomos MAP - Most Viewed Videos On Last Week Tonight's YouTube Channel

Even more interesting though is when we go back to the social mentions of John Oliver and Last Week Tonight we started talking about. When we look at those mentions on our popularity chart, which plots out the mentions over time, we can see a bunch of large spikes in conversation. All of them, including the largest spike on August 18th, happen on Mondays, the day after the show airs on HBO. People would literally be waiting for the videos to go up the next morning so they could see them and share them.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

So, what can you learn from John Oliver and Last Week Tonight?

The main take-aways we see here is that there is no magic length for how long a blog post or a video should be to optimize how much your content gets shared through social media. Your content should be as long as it needs to, as long as you can keep it interesting, entertaining and make it easily sharable. If you can do that, people will be anxiously waiting for your content so they can see it and share it.

And now, just for fun and so those of you not familiar with the show can understand what we’re talking about, here’s one of our favourite clips from the first season of Last Week Tonight (of course it has to do with the internet):

 

Taylor Swift vs Spotify

Taylor Swift - 1989There can be little debate that Taylor Swift is the hottest thing in music today (I mean, come on. That “Shake it off” song is so just happy and catchy).

There’s also little room for debate that the music industry is very different today than a decade ago, with streaming services being favoured more and more over actually buying albums.

If both of these things are true, then why has Taylor Swift decided to remove all of her music from Spotify, the largest of the streaming music services?

Last week, Swift released her latest album, 1989. However, users of streaming services like Spotify noticed that the album wasn’t on any of the streaming services on the release date. While disappointing, this isn’t very uncommon. A bunch of artists have chose to hold off on adding their albums to streaming services for a few weeks after release to drive initial album sales. And this tactic worked for Swift, as she saw over 1.3 million album sales in the first week, making 1989 the biggest first week for an album since Eminem’s 2002 The Eminem Show.

However, not releasing her new album to the streaming services was just the first step. On Monday, Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalogue of music off of Spotify. A move that many are questioning and talking about.

We decided to look at the conversation around this topic using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, by searching for mentions of Taylor Swift and Spotify that have appeared together in the past 3 days. In that time we found just under 80,000 mentions across social channels like Twitter, blogs, forums and online news sites. By no means is this a large amount, but it does start to show that the topic is on people’s minds.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

There’s also been 249 videos created over the past 3 days that mention both Swift and Spotify in their title or descriptions. Many of these videos question why the artist would do such a thing and many more plead for Taylor to put her music back up so they can listen to it.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

This cry is being heard around the world. When we looked at where all of the talk was coming from we found that the United States was making the most noise about the subject (over 52% of it), but a lot of other countries were also talking about. Under the pie chart is a heat map of where tweets mentioning T-Swift and Spotify were coming from and you can see that Twitter users across the globe are talking about this.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets

We also looked at some of these tweets that were happening. The most retweeted tweet that we’ve found on the subject comes from Spotify’s own Twitter account. Spotify made a very clever tweet of a playlist they put together trying to get Taylor Swift to come back to them.

 

While the numbers that we’re seeing right now around this subject aren’t earth shattering, they do make us start to think about this new world we’ve embraced.

With so many companies these days seeing the value in being social, sharing and streaming their content, why has the biggest artist in the world right now decided to go the opposite route? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments.

Will this be a permanent thing? And if so, will Spotify be able to shake it off? (See what I did there?)

#GamerGate: Lots of Noise, Not A Lot of Clear Direction

man_yelling_at_computerThere’s a not-so-secret war happening online as we speak.

A lot of people can say that they’ve heard of or seen the #GamerGate hashtag, but not too many people can say for certain what it’s about anymore.

To be fair, there was a clear set of events that set off #GamerGate, long before the movement even started using the hashtag. However, the war has grown and mutated since then in so many directions. People entrenched in #GamerGate have a good idea of what they’re fighting over, but those outside don’t seem to have a clue.

While the intent of this post is to look at how #GamerGate has spread across social media, it’s important to explain some of the background, which I will attempt to do without upsetting either side of the argument.

Around the middle of August, the ex-boyfriend of a female game developer wrote a blog post about how his ex had cheated on him while they were together. In the post he named some names of some men that he believed she had cheated on him with. Usually, a post like this would mostly go unnoticed on the internet. However, of the names named in the post many were notable names in the gaming world, such as game journalists and game award judges, and they had all been known to say good things and/or promote the female game developers games.

This brought light to the gaming industry that maybe they weren’t getting the un-biased judgement they thought they were around game reviews and awards. This started an uprising within the gaming world where average gamers started calling people out and demanding for some ethics from the gaming journalists.

At this point, there started to become two factions of this fight. The first faction was just fighting others and calling for a reasonable standard of ethics in the industry so regular consumers felt that they were getting fair reviews of games they wanted to spend money on. The second faction was saying that gamers were just upset because women had become part of gaming culture and that people were attacking them trying to keep it a “boys only club.”

It was during this initial uprising the actor Adam Baldwin (from Firefly and Chuck) tweeted the hashtag #GamerGate on August 27th referring to the controversy and the hashtag took off from there.

After this point in the story the water becomes a bit murky. The hashtag #GamerGate grew into a larger thing with many fights happening on many sides. Some are using the hashtag to fight the fight of ethics in gaming journalism. Some are using it to fight against what they believe is misogyny in the world of video games. Some are fighting for what they believe are feminists trying to ruin their gaming culture. And some are fighting just to fight.

It actually has gotten very messy with some people getting personally threatened or attacked and a lot of name calling on either side. I’d prefer not to go in further details. However, if you’d like a good look at what else has happened in the #GamerGate saga, I’ve found this article on Know Your Meme seems to have a fairly unbiased timeline you can follow.

Now, back to the original point of this article….

With so much of the #GamerGate war happening online, I thought it would be interesting to use MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to look at just how big it’s gotten.

As I stated above, the hashtag #GamerGate didn’t exist until the end of August, despite the whole controversy starting two weeks before that. However, since the time the hashtag came into play it’s been used almost 4 million times across social media channels. I was able to find 5,130 blog posts, 3,414 online news articles, 38,606 forum postings and 3,842,346 tweets all making mention of #GamerGate.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

In addition to those channels, there has also been 11,165 videos created in this time that make mention of #GamerGate in their title or description.

Sysomos MAP - Summary of Video Activity

While some movements start out strong and then start to fade, the opposite has been true for #GamerGate. A look at our popularity graph, which plots out all of those mentions over time, shows that the #GamerGate hashtag has actually gained popularity since the end of August when it started being used. This seems to be due to two main factors. The first is that more people are starting to hear about the movement and are trying to get in on the action on all sides of the fight. The second, which correlates to the largest spike we can see in the chart below came when a well known feminist speaker had her life threatened by someone claiming to be part of the #GamerGate movement, which garnered a lot of attention from mainstream sources. The second large spike came from another threat that was aimed at a woman speaking about looking for social equality, which again spiked more main stream sources to look at the #GamerGate controversy.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

Interestingly, when I looked for the most retweeted tweets about #GamerGate, I found that the majority of them had to do with the fight of the sexes going on within #GamerGate. However, the second most retweeted tweet was a plea from someone asking that #GamerGate be used only to talk about the initial cause of the whole thing, ethics in gaming in journalism. Unfortunately, it’s the fighting and few bad things that have happened in the sex war faction of #GamerGate that has garnered the most attention around the whole issue.

Sysomos MAP - Most Retweeted Tweets

When I looked at some text analytics around the #GamerGate controversy, I found that you can actually see all of the different kinds of fights going on within. Both our buzzgraph and word cloud reveal that there is a lot of talk about both the journalism aspect that started the whole thing and the sexism (on both sides of sexism) that is coming to the forefront. I won’t comment on either, but see the word cloud and buzzgraph below to see for yourself.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud

While it’s hard to know what #GamerGate is really all about anymore, and I’ll let you make up your mind about this, one thing is for sure; no one is happy about any of it. A look at the sentiment from all of the #GamerGate conversations across social media shows that an overwhelming 40% of all conversations is negative.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment

Again, my intention of this post was not to be in support of any side of this, but simply to show the world how big #GamerGate actually is despite many people not even knowing what it is about.

2014 World Series Social Prediction

2014 World SeriesWhile baseball may be known as the sport of the summer, everyone knows that the real excitement doesn’t even start until October.

In October the top teams play and vie for their chance to be in the MLB World Series.

Well, those teams have all played and starting tonight we will all bare witness to the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals kick off their best of seven series to see who will be crowned the 2014 World Series champions.

It promises to be an incredibly exciting series. The Giants have been a powerhouse team for the past few years. This will be their third trip to the World Series since 2010 and they won both of their previous times here. On the other side, the Royals haven’t even made it into the MLB playoffs in 29 years, but battled their way through this year and now have a chance to take it all.

It’s really very exciting.

As we’ve done in previous years, we thought it would be fun to take a look at both of these teams and how they’ve appeared in social media over the 2014 season using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to see if that data can predict a World Series winner.

First, we started our assessment by looking up mentions of both teams over the course of the season (March 22 to October 20). In that time, we found the Giants mentioned in over 10 million social media conversations. They appeared in 191,057 blog posts, 563,685 online news articles, 279,624 forum postings and 9,737,47 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for the San Francisco Giants

Meanwhile, the Royals were mentioned in almost 7 million conversations. We found the Royals appear in 80,985 blog posts, 280,674 online news articles, 242,175 forum postings and 6,287,126 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for the Kansas City Royals

For perspective, we’ve also brought those numbers up as a pie chart for side by side comparison. This shows that out of both teams the Giants lead the way of social mentions with 61% of the conversation while the Royals make up the remaining 39%.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Comparison

As well, side by side in a channel breakdown, you can see that the Giants clearly got more mentions in each individual medium.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Comparison by Source

A look at mentions of both teams shows that throughout the entire season the Giants had a more vocal fan base. The Giants saw more volume of conversation throughout the entire season aside from when the Royals found that they were moving on past the regular season. When the Royals moved into the playoffs there was a huge spike in mentions of the team due to the fact this was the first time they had been in the post-season in 29 years.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Comparison Over Time

The number of mentions don’t mean everything though. Because of this, we also dove into the sentiment around each team… and actually found some interesting results.

Throughout the season the Royals showed a 83% favourable rating. We found that 27% of the talk about the Royals was positive while 17% was negative.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment of the Kansas City Royals

When we looked at the sentiment around the Giants though, we found that most of it seemed to be in the neutral range (which was strange, so we ran the query multiple times but always came to the same results). The Giants showed a 96% favourable rating. There was an odd 1% of positive sentiment around the Giants and only 4% negative chatter.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment of the San Francisco Giants

What does this all mean though?

Well, technically all it means is that the San Francisco Giants have a much more vocal fan base than the Kansas City Royals. In fact, earlier in the season the Royals coach called out the fans for not showing enough support for their team.

However, if we want to use this data to try and predict a World Series winner, we would have to crown the Giants to take it all. Their fans have been more vocal about the team both in terms of volume and favourable talk.

So, our prediction is that the San Francisco Giants will take the World Series over the Kansas City Royals.

But since this isn’t a real science around actual player performance, only time will tell who will really walk away as the 2014 World Series champions.

Who do you think is going to take the World Series this year?

Just How Popular Is Ello?

ElloEllo seems to be the favourite new kid on the social media block as of the past few weeks. Yesterday on the blog Mark even wrote about how many users are claiming they’re moving over to Ello to “escape” Facebook.

But is it really possible for Ello to replace Facebook?

In my personal opinion, I’d say not quite. For one thing (and this is my personal thought), I think that Ello feels a lot more like Twitter currently than Facebook. And secondly, and probably most importantly, in order for Ello to actually replace Facebook in people’s lives, the exodus over to the new network would have to be enormous. The only way that Ello could replace Facebook is if all of your friends and contacts that you’ve connected with over the years all moved there. That will take a very long time… if it happens at all.

But even with my personal thoughts on Ello, I wondered just how popular Ello has actually become in the past few weeks?

On September 26th, just as Ello was starting to go viral, Vox (along with many other sources) reported that the network was receiving 31,000 invite requests an hour. That seems pretty popular to me.

To investigate further, I decided to see what conversations were happening on other social networks about this new social network (very meta, I know).

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, I looked up mentions of Ello over the past month. One hindrance to my search though was that I could only search for English conversations because “ello” in Spanish translates to “it” making it a very common word. So, please keep that in mind when looking at the information below.

If you follow the big names and outlets that talk a lot about social media, you may feel like you’ve been over hearing about Ello. However, when I conducted my search for conversations about the new network I found less than 350,000 mentions of it. In the past month, Ello only came up in 3,042 blog posts, 3,321 online news articles, 3,716 forum postings and 332,692 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

While those numbers may not be as big as people who are hearing about it nonstop may expect, it’s also interesting to note that the majority of those conversations have only happened in the past two weeks.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart Without Twitter Data

Since Ello is being dubbed the “anti-Facebook” it made sense for me to also search public Facebook data to see how much it was being talked about there. Again, the number of Ello mentions I found there was not quite as large as I initially thought it was going to be. That said, it has still accounted for 28,598 mentions in public status updates. Also interesting is that if you look at the three examples in the screenshot below, you’ll notice that a lot of the mentions are people posting a link to their new Ello account on Facebook. It’s interesting because people feel the need to use Facebook to tell their friends that they’ve joined the “anti-Facebook.”

Sysomos MAP - Facebook Activity Summary

As with any new social network, people want to understand it and why they should consider grabbing real-estate there. To help with that, there’s already been just over 1,000 videos created that try to explain Ello to others.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

So, what are people saying about Ello so far? A look at both our buzzgraph and word clouds around the network show that “Facebook” seems to be one of the most used words when people talk about Ello. There is also a significant talk about Ello’s “manifesto”. This manifesto is what seems to be the appeal behind Ello, as it states that people will have more “privacy” as they will never sell your “data” for “advertising.” However, that’s also making people question how the network will stay in “business” for a sustained amount of time.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud

The other thing that I found interesting about the apparent popularity of Ello revealed itself when I used our Influencer Community tool to see the groups of people that were talking about it. If you’re anything like me, and I assume you might be since you’re reading this blog, you probably follow a lot of sources online that talk about news and trends in the digital and social media space. Well, those are the types of sources seem to be the ones who are perpetuating the talk of Ello. If you look at the big blue community, it’s filled with popular sources for social media news like Forbes Tech, Gigaom and Medium, but also with social media influencers such as @briansolis and @AmyVernon. So, while it may seem to people who work in and follow the social media space that Ello is all the rage, it may really just be the social media people getting each other excited in a big circle.

Interesting as well is that the second largest community I found, in orange below, is a big group of celebrities (mostly from the music industry). When I investigated that group a bit further it seems that fans are tweeting to find out if their favourite celebrities are on Ello yet and where they can find them there.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Influencer Communities

While the real fate of Ello is still up in the air, being that it’s only been popular for a bout two weeks now, it does seem to have a lot of fans. A look at the sentiment around the network shows that it’s 86% favourable.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment Summary

So, what do you think about Ello so far? Is it going to replace Facebook or is it just going to see some hype for a little while and then fall off? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

More On Timing Your Social Media Posts…

TimingYesterday here on the blog, Mark wrote about a an infographic that told people the best times to post to different social networks. The makers of that infographic, SurePayroll, are not the first people to try to tell the world about these “best times to post.” Buffer, the app that helps people share articles spread out over time, has made posts about this before and we even put out a report a few years ago that contained information on when Twitter users are most active, which could give you a good idea of when to post.

Seeing things like this give people a good idea as to when the majority of Twitter users seem to be most active, which could be a good place to start testing if those times work for your brand. However, I’ve personally always been a proponent of really knowing your audience, which means finding out what times are best for THEM specifically and not just everyone.

An example I’ve used many times when speaking to people about this topic is brands that focus on a younger demographic. While many reports and infographics show that peak times to tweet are somewhere between 9am-3pm Monday through Thursday, that’s not great timing for brands to reach teenagers as they should be in school at that time and (hopefully) not checking Twitter.

So, after reading yesterday’s post, I decided to put my theory to the test and to show the world.

In both our MAP and Heartbeat software we have a great feature that we call “Best Time To Tweet.” This feature looks at all of the people following a brand (usually your brand) to see when these specific followers are most active on Twitter. We then lay out a graph for you showing these levels of activity and suggest that some of these most active times of your followers would likely be the best time for your brand to tweet.

I picked a couple of interesting brands to highlight as an example below and show that each brand will have a unique best time to tweet that they can only really know by understanding their audience. The graphs below show that followers of a Twitter account are more active when the squares on the grid are a darker shade of blue.

In the sense of fairness, I started by analyzing my own Twitter handle. I live in Toronto and do a lot of my tweeting with the world during business hours. So, it was no surprise that a lot of my followers are active during those times too. As you can see, most of my followers are very active between 9am-5pm(EST) on weekdays.

@40deuce@40deuce's Best Time To Tweet

I then looked at our @Sysomos handle. While we have a lot of followers from around the world, it still seems that our followers are most active during business hours as well.

@Sysomos@Sysomos's Best Time To Tweet

But what about consumer based brands? Their target audience and followers may not be people doing business during business hours.

I started by taking a look at @CocaCola, a brand known around the world. Coke has no specific demographic as they want to reach anyone interested in a refreshing beverage from around the world. When I analyzed their Twitter followers, it appeared that they were most active in the afternoons, which is probably a good time for people to take a break and grab a Coke. So for @CocaCola, it might be best to tweet at people looking for that break.

@CocaCola@CocaCola's Best Time To Tweet

To test my theory about kids being in school during what others say are the peak times to tweet, I looked at the @DisneyChannel, a channel with children’s programming all day in the US. As it turns out, their followers are being most active on Twitter between 1pm-10pm(EST). That shows that their fans start to become active on Twitter when school is ending, so for them to tweet in the morning may not make sense, but hitting up that after school crowd would.

@DisneyChannel@DisneyChannel's Best Time To Tweet

I then started to experiment a little bit more with this.

The next brand I decided to look at was the @WWE, who has a very active Twitter account all day every day. When I analyzed their followers it turned out that they are most active on Monday nights between 8pm-10pm. That also just happens to be the time that RAW, their flagship TV show airs. So, for the WWE, it pays for them to be the most active while people are watching and tweeting along with RAW.

@WWE@WWE's Best Time To Tweet

Next, I looked at @TacoBell, the Mexican fast food chain. Now, Taco Bell is known to have a stereotype of having a special affinity from a late night crowd of teenagers and college students. However, it may not actually be such a sterotype. When I analyzed their account to see when their followers are most active, it turned out they were tweeting the most between 8pm-midnight almost all week long. So, rather than shrugging off that stereotype, it may actually be better for them to embrace it and to tweet when their followers really are most active.

@TacoBell@TacoBell's Best Time To Tweet

Some friends of mine on Twitter suggested that @EAT24 is a great brand to follow on Twitter. I had never heard of them (because they are US based and not in Canada where I can use them yet), but they’re an app that makes ordering pick-up or delivery food easy for people across the US. As it turns out, being an app for food they want to be available when people are hungry. When I looked at their followers, they were most active from about 11am-1am(EST), all times when people are hungry and thinking about ordering food. Interestingly, Friday afternoons are when their followers are most active, which also just happens to be when people are thinking about ordering food for Friday night after a long week when they don’t want to cook.

@EAT24@EAT24's Best Time To Tweet

Lastly, I decided to get a little worldly. I looked at the account for @Westpac, a bank in Australia. Australia is currently 14 hours ahead of my Eastern Standard Timezone. So, when I analyzed their followers to see when they’re most active it wasn’t surprising to find that their best time to tweet was in the middle of my night.

@Westpac@Westpac's Best Time To Tweet

Now, these are just a few brands on Twitter. Every brand will see that their fans or followers are active during different times of the day. Also, different social networks see activity at different times of the day. For some of these networks where you may not be able to see follower analytics as easy, testing may be the best way to find out when your best time to post to them would be.

So, we want to know, how do you know when the best time to post to a social network is for your fan base? Let us know how you determine it in the comments.

Talk Of The Scottish Referendum In Social Media

The Scottish ReferendumThis Thursday is going to be a big day in the United Kingdom.

On Thursday the people of Scotland will be voting on referendum that would see Scotland breaking off from the United Kingdom and England to become it’s own country. Of course, this is a huge deal for everyone in the United Kingdom.

People have been talking about this referendum for almost two years, but now that it’s getting down to crunch time, we thought it would be interesting to see what people have been saying for the past month in social media around it.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, we searched through social channels for people using the referendum’s official hashtag, #IndyRef, and social conversations that contain both Scotland AND referendum for the past 30 days.

Our search came up with over 2.7 million results. Our search terms showed 9,403 blog posts, 36,161 online news articles, 8,160 forum postings and 2,673,318 tweets that have been talking about the upcoming referendum vote.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

While, of course this has been part of a great deal of conversation, especially in the United Kingdom, for a few months, when we looked at these mentions spread out across the past month, we can really see the referendum talk ramp up in the past few days as the vote becomes eminent.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

As we’ve mentioned a few times already, this is news around the world, but especially in the United Kingdom. When we looked to see where conversations about the Scottish referendum were coming from, it wasn’t surprising that the majority of it came from the United Kingdom. 59.9% of all the conversation was actually coming from the United Kingdom. Interestingly enough, the two largest “colony” countries also seem to be keeping an eye on what’s going on with Australia accounting for 3.5% of the conversation and Canada with 3.4%.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

However, many people around the world outside of the colonial countries are keeping an eye on what’s happening and also talking about it. A look at our geo location heat map of tweets that have surfaced in the past month that meet our search criteria shows that people around the globe are in fact interested in what’s going to happen on Thursday.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets

Since we were already looking at Twitter, we decided to dig in and see what hashtags were being used most when people were tweeting about the Scottish referendum. When we look at the list below of the top 10 hashtags being used we can see that five of the 10 seem to be on the #VoteYes side, which is the side vying for Scotland’s independence. On the flip side of that, only two of the top 10 hashtags being used seem to support Scotland staying part of the United Kingdom; the #BetterTogether and #NoThanks hashtags.

Sysomos MAP - Top Hashtags on Twitter

For one last idea of which side of this referendum might be winning, we decided to compare the #VoteYes and #NoThanks hashtags side-by-side over the past month. When we did this, we found that #VoteYes hashtag has a commanding voice in the social space over #NoThanks with 87% of those conversations.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Overall Activity

There seems to be a lot of chatter pushing towards Scotland becoming it’s own country on Thursday, but social talk is only one thing. Only the votes will really tell.

For a much better (and funnier) explanation of what the Scottish referendum is about and what’s been happening, here’s a great (and hilarious) video from Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver:

What do you think is going to happen on Thursday?

Lots Of Hype Leading To Today’s Apple Announcement

Tim Cooks Reveals New Apple ProductsSeptember is the new Christmas if you’re an Apple fanboy (or girl).

If you watch the world of tech you’re likely aware that Apple will be making a big announcement today. September has become the annual time when they show off and release the latest version of the iPhone to the world. A lot of people have been waiting a while for this announcement as the phones are supposed to get an all new design, probably get larger and will likely have a bunch of fancy new bells and whistles.

But the phone (or possibly phones if the rumours are true) isn’t the only thing that people are excited to hear about today. It is also rumoured that Apple will be unveiling their first piece of wearable technology, which is expected to be called the iWatch. As well, earlier this year Apple showed off iOS8, the software that the new phones will run, and they have a tendency to release new mobile operating systems on the same day or within a few days after these September announcement events.

There’s a lot to look forward today.

Since a lot of people have been anticipating this day for quite some time, we thought it would be fun to look at the hype leading up to today in the social media world using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.

We started by casting a wide net and looking for mentions of Apple and a bunch it’s already popular and newly expected products like iPads, iPhones, the iWatch and iOS. Doing a search for mentions of these things over the past six month shows a whopping 538 million results. We found 2,504,900 blog posts, 3,973,049 online news articles, 13,136,384 forum postings and 518,580,160 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

If we look at those mentions over time, we can clearly see that there’s almost never a lull in talk about Apple and its products. We can see that there was a large spike in activity around the beginning of June when Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, took the stage at their WWDC (World Wide Develop Conference) to announce iOS8 to the world. The second spike we see around the beginning of August is a strange one. After we did bit a research into the spike it appeared to be a few days of a flurry of tweets that were promoting a game for iPhones and iPads called Big Business HD, but we’re not quite sure why (no offence to the game makers).

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

We then looked into which countries seem to be the most interested in Apple and their products. Not surprising, the most mentions of Apple and Apple products came from the United States. They accounted for 33.1% of all mentions. The next closest countries were China with 12.6% of mentions and then the UK with 6%. However, you can also see that a lot of other countries are represented in the pie chart below as the world seems to be in love with Apple.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

For a better idea of how world-wide the talk about Apple is we pulled up a geo location heat map of where tweets about Apple and their products are originating from. In this image we can see just how wide spread the talk is throughout the globe.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets

All of this data shouldn’t be so surprising though. Everyone knows that people love Apple products (and love to talk about them as well). So we wanted to also know which of the upcoming announcements today people are most looking forward to.

Here we compared talk specifically about the iPhone 6, iWatch and iOS8 to see what people were going to be most excited to hear about today.

Looking at talk of these three things over the past six months we found that the iPhone 6 has been talked about the most coming in with 7,888,715 mentions. That’s not too surprising seeing that iPhones are big sellers and people are more worried about their phone than what operating system their running on that phone. That said though, iOS 8 came in second with 3,222,731 mentions over the past six months, which is still a significant amount of chatter. The iWatch only racked up 1,645,256 mentions showing that people are still excited to find out about it, but don’t seem as concerned with owning a wearable device as they are with a phone.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Comparison

When we looked at the talk of these specific products over time, that spike in mentions when iOS 8 was announced in June becomes much more apparent. It’s also interesting to note how over the past month as we got closer to today talk about the new iPhone 6 that is likely going to be announced today has been steadily on the rise.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Overtime Comparison

One other interesting thing we noted while comparing talk around the products was where they were talked about. The iPhone 6 dominated social conversations in each channel we looked at, except in blogs. On blogs, the iWatch seems to be of the most interest. A theory as to why this may have occurred is that bloggers have a bit more room to speculate over things that reporters that write for online news sources and on Twitter you just get the general public, who is more interested in the phones than anything else. But that’s just a theory. What do you think?

Sysomos MAP - Comparison by Source

Are you excited to hear what Apple announces today? Let us know what you’re most excited to hear about. Is it one of the three things we looked at? Or will it be “one more thing” that Apple will sneak in that no one was expecting?

Millions Talk About The #ALSIceBucketChallenge While Raising Millions

Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and others take the #ALSIceBucketChallenge

Last week on on the blog Mark wrote about the virality of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. And viral it has been.

The Ice Bucket Challenge caught on and spread super quickly across social media this past month. And why not? It was fun (kind of), it raised awareness for a good cause, it gave people a fun way to spread the word that they were into and it raised a lot of money for a charity that wouldn’t have usually seen that much (according to Wikipedia ALS has raised over $100M across a variety of charities).

With it’s great numbers in terms of fund raising, we thought that it would be interesting to take a look at what kind of numbers the #ALSIceBucketChallenge put up in terms of social mentions.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, we looked for mentions of #ALSIceBucketChallenge, #IceBucketChallenge and “Ice Bucket Challenge” and found more than 21 million mentions between the beginning of August and yesterday. First, we found 51,537 blog mentions, 106,478 online news articles, 96,353 forum postings and 21,114,062 tweets that have talked about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Interesting to note; on Twitter all of those tweets equal out to 25,875 tweets an hour about the Ice Bucket Challenge. As well, it’s interesting to see that both men and women are tweeting equally as much about the Ice Bucket Challenge with women slightly beating out the men.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

A lot of the sharing has been done though videos posted to Facebook. Because we only have access to public status updates, we found 821,080 statuses mentioning the challenge (but we’re positive there’s A LOT more that aren’t public).

Sysomos MAP - Facebook Public Status Activity

But not all of the videos have been shared just through Facebook videos. When we looked at YouTube we found that 402,806 videos have been uploaded in that same time period that had been tagged with or mentioned the Ice Bucket Challenge in their title.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

The Ice Bucket Challenge has also been extremely popular on Instagram. A search for the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge showed over 2.4 million posts to the photo and short video network.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

In addition to that, just #IceBucketChallenge also showed over 1.4 million more Instagram posts.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

So, where are all of these mentions of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge coming from? It appears that almost half of all Ice Bucket Challenge mentions are coming from the USA. However, when we look at our geo location heat map of tweets about the challenge we can see that the charity phenomenon has really gone global.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Twitter Heat Map

If only we could achieve numbers like this for other charities as well (and I’m sure we’ll see many attempts in the near future).

BONUS: I took the #ALSIceBucketChallenge last week, so if you want, you can see the video here.

How The 2014 MTV VMAs Sparked Over 9 Million Social Media Posts

This post originally appeared on the global Social Media Week blog.
vma-2014

Ever since the days when MTV played music videos 24/7, the MTV VMAs (the popular short form of Video Music Awards) have been a really big deal to the younger generation of music fans.Since the first VMA in 1984, music artists have known that the youth of America, who primarily dictate the ever changing state of current popular music, will completely accept them if they receive a coveted “moon man” statuette to put on their mantel.

While the MTV VMAs have always been a big deal, as social media came into its own, it gave way for a whole new platform for people to connect over the “super bowl for youth,” both for fans and artists. It’s given them a way to turn this event into an interactive experience. Whether it be by live tweeting what they’re seeing to creating gifs for Tumblr of their favourite moments from the show just minutes after they happened live.

Social media has become a huge piece of the VMA puzzle, so we thought it would be interesting to look a little bit more into the numbers behind it.

Using Sysomos’s industry leading social media monitoring and analytics software, Sysomos MAP, we looked across social media channel from Sunday through Monday (to see the day of the show and the follow-ups the day after) for mentions of the VMAs (and other major variations of it).

In just those two days well over 9 million pieces of social content were created that made mention of the VMAs. First, we found that the VMAs were mentioned in 7,953 blog posts, 15,053 online news articles, 3,928 forum postings and an impressive 9,190,842 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary Around VMAs

We then took those numbers and plotted them out over the two days on our popularity chart and saw something very interesting that speaks to how people are using different elements of social media. First off, a look at the chart below shows that Twitter mainly drove all conversation around the VMAs, by so much that it actually out shadows the three other channels. The other thing that we can see is that Twitter surged on the day of the show as people live tweeted their way through the red carpet, performances, and the actual awards.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart for VMAs Across Social Channels

However, when we remove Twitter mentions from the chart we can see that while blogs, forums and online news were talking about the show on the day of, they really surged on the day after by posting all of their follow-up to the VMAs content. What this tells us is that Twitter is used mainly for the real-time as it happens insights, while most other mediums seem to be better for reactions after the fact.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart of VMAs Without Twitter

But these weren’t the only social channels where the VMAs were popular. When we looked at video content created over those same two days that were tagged with or had VMAs in their description, (across sites like YouTube, Vimeo and others) we found 7,367 different videos.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary of VMAs Videos

On Tumblr, a network known for its visual content and a favorite place for youth to share gifs, we found 295,647 different posts that were VMAs focused over Sunday and Monday.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of VMAs on Tumblr

Even Instagram users created 494,581 pictures that were tagged with the #VMAs hashtag.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of VMAs on Instagram

Other interesting things to note about the social popularity of the VMAs; when we looked a little bit deeper at the people tweeting about the VMAs, we found that the awards seemed to be more popular with females. Only 35 percent of all the tweets about the VMAs over Sunday and Monday were created by men. Women produced the remaining 65 percent.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of VMAs on Twitter

That also speaks to how certain artists are seen. From looking at cultural events in the past that youth are involved in, we’ve seen many times over that artists like Justin Beiber and One Direction get retweeted frequently. However, when we looked at the most retweeted tweets around the VMAs, all of the top six are from members of the band 5 Seconds of Summer. Are these guys the new 1D?

Sysomos MAP - Most Retweeted Tweets Containing VMAs

When we looked at where mentions of the VMAs were coming from across all channels we found that 59.4 percent of all mentions came from the USA. That’s not very surprising seeing as the awards show is American based (MTV does a separate VMAs for their European market).

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution of VMAs Mentions Across Channels

While the USA did out shadow the rest of the world talking about the VMAs, a geo-location heat map of Twitter mentions reveals that the rest of the world was also engaged in the event. The USA still shows the most Twitter mentions, but we can also see on the map that Twitter users around the world were participating in the conversation.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets About The VMAs

So, what was everyone actually talking about? A look at our buzzgraph (which shows words being commonly used in the conversation and how they’re connected) and word cloud show that almost all of the talk was around peoples’ favourite artists that were attending, winning or performing at the VMAs. The two artists that seem to stand out the most though are Beyoncé, who did a 16 minute performance and received the MTV Michael Jackson Vide0 Vangard award (a lifetime achievement award), and Miley Cyrus, who’s Wrecking Ball won video of the year and was accepted by an unknown man named Jesse who spoke to the audience about homeless youth in America on behalf of Miley. The only thing that did not fit in with the category of artists is the appearance of Suge Knight in the text analytics. However, Knight’s name appears because of an incident at a VMAs pre-party that left him injured and made headlines all day on Sunday.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph of Conversations Around The VMAs

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud of Conversations Around The VMAs