Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

A Season Of Social To Predict A Super Bowl Champion

Super Bowl XLIXThis weekend is Super Bowl XLIX. The New England Patriots are squaring off against the Seattle Seahawks to find out which NFL team reigns supreme this year.

As we do with other sports, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the social media buzz around each of the teams using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, over the course of their season. Usually we would look at the buzz around the teams from the start of the season up until today. However, due a little controversy surrounding one of the playoff games from this season (you may have heard of something called “deflategate” going around) we thought that one team would for sure get an unfair advantage in terms of mention volume, while the other team would get one because of the negativity around their opponent. So, for the analysis below we only looked at the regular NFL season which ran between September 4 to December 28, 2014.

We searched for both teams names, nicknames and Twitter handles over the course of the season and found a staggering difference in the amount of social conversations around each team. In terms of overall mentions, the Patriots were in 7,177,831 social conversations over the season. The Seahawks, however, were only part of 4,285,927 social conversations.

Sysomos MAP - Compare Overall Mentions

Even when we broke it down to look at the mentions over individual channels, the Patriots always came out on top. The Seahawks got beat out in mentions across blogs, online news, forums and tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Compare By Source

It becomes more evident when we look at the mentions of both teams plotted out over time. A look at our popularity chart gives a good visualization of just how much more the Patriots were talked about than the Seahawks. Especially on game days, which are all the spikes in conversation you see below.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart

When we pulled up the sentiment around the two Super Bowl combatants we once again found that the Seahawks had come up short compared to the Patriots. The talk around the Seahawks was only 27% positive while also being 30% negative. In the meantime, the talk around the Patriots was 47% positive and only 19% negative.

Sysomos MAP - Sentiment Comparison

If social media talk could predict a Super Bowl winner, it’s probably safe to say that New England Patriots are guaranteed a win on Sunday. However, fan popularity doesn’t win games, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Who do you think’s going to win?

Just for fun, we also wanted to compare the two teams on Twitter to see how the stats swayed so far in  the Patriots favour since Twitter saw the most action. When we compared the fan bases of the two teams we found something interesting about the loyalty of football fans. The Seahawks have 797,000 followers while the Patriots have 1.1 million and out of all those fans, only 9.7 of them overlap. When people have a team, they only care about what’s going on with that team.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Follower Comparison

While that’s not a huge revolution, it does also help to explain this next piece of data we found that probably explains how the Patriots got so far ahead.

When we compared where people were tweeting about the Patriots and the Seahawks from, we found that New England has a very spread out fan base, while Seattle’s is more local. Looking at the states where mentions of the teams were coming from, you can see that Seahawk tweets were coming the most from Washington State, which makes sense. But when you look at where mentions of the Patriots were coming from, Massachusetts only makes up some of the tweets, while their “other” bar on the chart is through the roof, meaning that Patriots have fans spread out much more across the US than the Seahawks did.

Sysomos MAP - US States Tweets Comparison

So, in case you missed it above, the Patriots are obviously a more popular team. But again, popularity doesn’t necessarily win Super Bowls…

Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD) 2015 Social Media Summary Report

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Community Manager Appreciation Day Tweets

Did you hug a community manager on Monday? Even virtually?

If you did, you weren’t alone.

This Monday was the 5th annual Community Manager Appreciation Day. A day to celebrate the tireless people that work hard (probably harder than you think) to make sure that their brand’s communities and audiences are constantly informed, entertained and engaged. And celebrated they were.

We had the fine folks on the Sysomos Reports team take a look at the social media activity around Community Manager Appreciation Day and wanted to share their results with you.

Some of the highlights you’ll see in the report include:

  • Community Manager Appreciation Day and the #CMAD hashtag were used over 18,000 times
  • Over 17,000 of those mentions came from Twitter
  • All of those tweets had an potential reach of 154 million eyeballs
  • Community Manager Appreciation Day was celebrated across all 7 continents
  • And this was the most retweeted tweet about Community Manager Appreciation Day:

 

 

Check out the whole report for yourself here:

We want to hear about your Community Manager Appreciation Day in the comments. Did you thank a community manager for their hard work? Who was it? Are you a community manager that got an awesome surprise on Monday? What was it? Let us know below.
BONUS: I took part in the 24 hours of community management panels that happened on Community Manager Appreciation Day with a panel on “community management services,” and if you missed it (because it was at 5amEST) you can see the recording on the My Community Manager YouTube page.

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day! #CMAD

Community Manager Appreciation Day

Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day, a day to thank the many community managers out there that work tirelessly (and sometimes at insane hours) to make sure that brands and their audiences are always getting the best experiences possible.

Over the past few years the role of a community manager has become more prominent as more and more companies see the value in having one. However, what’s interesting about the role is how it’s defined differently for every company that has one.

In pretty much every organization the day-to-day activities of a community manager will vary, but one thing will always remain constant; the community manager is a connection between a company and their audience. They act to help both the inside and the outside of their organizations and usually have a great handle on what’s going on on both sides of the fence.

This is so important in our modern world where everyone with an internet connection has a voice. Someone needs to listen to all of those voices and make sure they’re being heard. This means relaying what’s going on in the world to people inside their organization as well as letting their external audience know what’s happening inside the organization.

The community manager is sometimes overlooked as just the person that “plays on Twitter all day.” But this is hardly true. A community manager needs to be a wealth of information with their finger always on the pulse of pretty much everything going on in the world and find ways to relate that information to further the happiness of their many communities (the internal and external ones).

There’s also many ways that people can go about performing community management. Below is a presentation that I gave to open CM1, a community manager focused conference in Toronto, about a year ago. Inside you’ll find a few ways to look at how you can go about managing your community and I also give some insight into how I go about being a community manager.

So, if you work for a company that has a community manager or if you know one out there in the world, let them know you appreciate them today. Presents are always welcome, but even a heartfelt “thank you” will surely warm their heart.

To all my fellow community managers out there, thank you for being awesome and furthering our profession. On behalf of the entire Sysomos team, we salute you all.

Interesting Moments Beat Out Actual Awards At The 72nd Golden Globes [Infographics]

72nd Annual Golden GlobesLast Sunday night we started our way into “Awards Season” for 2015 with the airing of the 72nd annual Golden Globes.

As is the new norm, award shows generate a large audience interested in seeing their favourite celebrities and how their favourite TV shows and movies fare, but also those who want to be part of the global conversation around a large event through social media.

A lot of people are taking notice of this phenomenon and are interested in seeing how the social conversation around events like this play out. Especially when it’s compared to what is actually happening at the events and who is taking home the awards.

Our friends over at Way To Blue, a global digital communications agency, were keeping an eye on what was happening at the Golden Globes and on the social media activity around it. Using Sysomos to analyze the social media action and compare it to what was happening at the awards, Way To Blue put together two great infographics that we wanted to share you with you all today.

The team at Way To Blue broke down the Golden Globes into two categories; TV shows and movies, and produced an infographic around each.

The team started by looking at the movies and film actors that were up for nomination at 2015 Golden Globes. Some interesting things to note from their findings was that in most cases, the winner of a category also managed to garner the largest amount of social media chatter during the Golden Globes. However, there were a few anomalies that cause this to not always be the case.

Michael Keaton won the award for Best Actor in a Comedy Film for his part in Birdman. Keaton gave a moving speech while accepting his award and it caused mentions of his film Birdman to spike to a greater level than the movie that beat it for Best Comedy, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Another actor who stole the spotlight was Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch was up for Best Actor in a Drama Film, but lost to Eddie Redmayne. However, Cumberbatch was caught photobombing others at the awards show, which people are now dubbing “The CumberBomb.” Being caught doing this led the actor to be mentioned more through social media than anyone else in the Best Actor in a Drama category, but also stole the evening as being the most mentioned event from the entire show.

Way To Blue - Golden Globes Social Media Analysis for Films [infographic]

 

Way To Blue also produced a separate infographic around the television awards side of the Golden Globes. Again, most of their findings found that social media chatter largely mirrored the winners of the evening in terms of actors or what films were being mentioned the most. However, there were a few exceptions to the rule again.

The most notable difference in television categories came from the Best Drama Television Series category. At the Golden Globes, The Affair took home the award, but it’s competitor House of Cards saw more social media talk around it as after it’s lead actor, Kevin Spacey, took the award for Best Actor in a Drama series got followed by a network commercial for season 3 of the show. House of Cards is wildly popular and the announcement of the new season had fans excited and talking about it.

Way To Blue - Golden Globes Social Media Analysis for TV [infographic]

The anomalies in what was being talked about compared to the actual winners at the 72nd Golden Globes shows that while the awards and their winners are a very important to the audience trying to be involved from where ever they are though social media, but interesting moments are still the attention grabbers. You don’t always have to come out on top to produce the attention that you want.

The #NBABallot Campaign Is Seeing Great Numbers From Engaged Fans

#NBABallotIt wasn’t too long ago when to vote your favourite player into an All-Star Game for any sport you had to go to a game and try to poke out those little holes in a ballot card. But gone are those days.

As social media becomes more prevalent throughout almost everything we do, sport leagues have taken it as an opportunity to keep all of their fans involved, regardless of if they physically attend a game or not.

The NBA is currently doing this by inviting fans to vote for their favourite players to appear in the All-Star Game this year via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The NBA is asking fans to post on one of these social networks with the hashtag “#NBABallot” along with the player they want to vote in. The NBA is then monitoring these channels and adding the results to their website voting and text message votes. They’re also allowing you to vote once a day, so some

And basketball fans around the world seem to be loving it.

As of right now, there’s still six days left for people to cast their votes. However, the NBA is already seeing a great response to this campaign. We used MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to see just how well this campaign has been doing so far.

Starting from December 10th up until yesterday (voting started on the 11th), we found the #NBABallot hashtag used across 1.8 million tweets.  That means that people have been voting for their favourite players at an average speed of 2,210 an hour over the past 33 days. Those are some pretty engaged fans.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

What’s more is that it’s not only engaging people in the United States. The United States only accounts for 57.3% of all the votes cast so far. Votes are coming in from around the world. A look at our heat map of where tweets are originating from shows that people around the world are interested in the NBA and are casting their votes.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets

Over on Instagram the hype is quite large as well. A search for the #NBABallot hashtag on Instagram shows us that it’s been used their 207,670 times.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

In a great move by the NBA and all of the teams around the league, we can see some examples above of pictures to help go with fans votes to make it as easy as possible to cast a vote on the network. All a fan needs to do if they don’t have a picture of their favourite player is download a pre-made picture, which are designed to grab attention and encourage more people to vote and use the hashtag, and upload it to their own account.

Unfortunately, due to Facebook’s privacy settings we couldn’t get a great amount of data behind how many people are posting the #NBABallot hashtag, but if Twitter and Instagram are any indication, we think it’s safe to assume that they’re seeing large numbers as well. You may even have some basketball friend’s of your own who are making posts like these:

Facebook Voting for #NBABallot 1

 

Adding the social voting component to the All-Star Game voting process a few years ago was a great move by the NBA. They realized that their fan base extended past the people that could come into the arena and punch the little holes. It even extended past the United States. By giving fans around the world a chance to participate in this event and making it easy as possible for them, the NBA is solidifying their global audience.

And for those of you wondering which players are being voted for the most, only the NBA knows for sure as they are the only ones with access to all of the numbers. However, according to their last count on January 8, Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors are leading the league in total votes respectively in first and second place. We thought it would be interesting to see how they faired against each other on Twitter. So we searched for mentions of their names along side the #NBABallot hashtag and found that Twitter mimics the NBA’s count with James leading the way 105,727 tweets, but Curry isn’t far behind with 89,132 tweets of his own.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Comparison

 

Sysomos Staff Makes Social Media Predictions for 2015

Looking ahead in our crystal ballWith the year coming to a close tomorrow we know that you’re all looking forward to what 2015 is going to bring.

Here at Sysomos, we’re no different. We got some great things planned for 2015, but we also look forward to what surprises may come. And just like all of you, we’ve been trying to figure out as much of the year ahead that we can before it actually happens.

It’s not just our marketing department though that’s thinking about what’s going to happen in the world of social media for 2015, it’s our entire company. Everyone from our account management departments to our product and labs teams has an idea of what they think is going to happen next year.

We thought it would be fun to ask them what they think is going to happen in social media in 2015 and they were more than happy to share their predictions.

So, in no particular order, here’s some of our Sysomos team members’ social media predictions for 2015:

Candy Casillas (Enterprise CSM): Image and video content will dominate networks. The industry will be focused on providing analytics around image recognition. Clients will expect more predictive analytics. Modelling social data along with more traditional forms of data will also be very hot in 2015.

Alex DiRenzo (Social Media Specialist): I think influencer identification will continue to be a hot topic for businesses invested in social. Finding your influencers, listening to your influencers and being heard by your influencers is becoming increasingly important in social monitoring and is starting to trump just straight mention collecting and static reporting. I also feel that the big social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.) will continue to find new ways to monetize their platforms by making them more attractive to advertisers.

Lisa Kamitakahara (Product Manager): Companies will focus on improving social ROI from paid marketing and advertising programs and will leverage real-time location and mobile friendly video formats to drive this. Location based technologies like Beacon, NFC and BLE will become essential to delivering the right content at the right time to the right audience. TV will get smarter and more targeted – TV metadata, household billing/service purchase history and location provides a goldmine of addressable advertising inventory (think political advertising in key states/provinces, hyper targeted regional advertising eg. Car Dealerships, etc).

Nick Somers (Account Executive): Facebook will continue to frustrate companies (the pay to play model is a lit stick of dynamite), Instagram will boom in 2015 & everyone will scramble to find a way handle it. At least 2 major social brands will get hacked & have a crisis on their hands. And Apple will develop their own social channel for their fanboys.

Kristina Pyziak (Enterprise Account Manager): Image based social media listening is going to be huge in our industry in 2015.

Brendan Macdonald (Account Executive – Agencies): I believe big things are coming for Twitters Mobile platform (ironically also called MAP) in 2015. Twitter has a full team dedicated to this product and I believe the success of their Advertising revenues rests in the success of MAP. With smartphones basically becoming mini laptops, consumers are doing everything from this one device and this means they are also doing it faster. If Twitter can successfully optimize the mobile offering then I think they will start to rival Facebook in successful advertising and their product/platform in general. Marketers are starting to realize the power of paid campaigns on Twitter and if they can measure the ROI back to Mobile activations then this will be a big thing in the marketplace. Further to the above I think mobile payments and e-commerce will be huge developments within social. With Snapchat releasing Snapcash and Apple releasing Apple Pay I think e-commerce and mobile payments through any platforms (including social sites such as Facebook and Twitter) will become very real as well. The potential to measure successful engagements with promoted tweets by giving the consumer the ability to purchase will be very powerful data for marketers and easier access to the consumer.

Nick Patsiopoulos (Director, Product Management): I predict that 2015 will show the emergence of at least two new social networks that present the first real threats to Facebook’s dominance.

Hayley Neal (Social Media Specialist): The rapid growth of social media took numerous people, groups and industries by surprise- but was also expected by many. I believe that what happens in the social space in 2015 will play an even bigger part in a business’s creation of content, how they identify brand advocates and the search for influencers, as well as reporting around how people are connecting to the social space. Content will be very important for a company to find trends, key words and even aid in crisis management. My overall prediction for 2015 is “There’s an app for that” will have an even greater meaning to us as the mobile world is found to be exploding. Having the ability to connect on a PC, as well as on a mobile device, gives people the resources to connect to their business of choice whenever and wherever they like. Businesses will respond to this and we will see a spread of their message through the digital mobile world even more than in 2014.

Marta Montero (Social Media Specialist): Under the guidance of Twitter’s new leadership team and ever-changing landscape of ad targeting, Twitter will finally “get” advertising on their platform and profits will soar as a result.

Tracy Ruggles (Director, Product Management): Someone will figure out how to analyze a network for virality, apply social engineering principles, and produce viral hits at will. This will, in turn, wizen up the general populace and undermine the mathematical models behind virality, e.g., a self-aware network that will resist its own autonomic behaviours.

Anastasia Kedrova (Social Media Specialist): 2015 will be the year of images and image analytics.

Gustavo Chavez (Enterprise Social Media Specialist): I predict that 2015 will truly become the year of the Influencer. I see an increasing amount of forward-thinking enterprises, agencies and advertisers incorporating more formal strategies to transform peer influence into peer advocacy. B2C brand will be focusing more on consumers or external fans, while B2B organizations may emphasize on the successful execution of internal efforts such as Employee Engagement programs.

Mike Downing (EVP, Sales): Companies will force the issue….how will social drive revenue or increase customer satisfaction which results in revenue for my business. It will become a requirement and companies will begin to measure how they implement with very strict KPIs.

Nate Pallen (Social Media Specialist): More buy-in and spend on social media content will be followed by a huge increase in spend on paid amplification. Brands/advertisers will be looking at new ways of targeting, engaging, and measuring users.Social media networks will continue to shift focus to mobile experiences. Potential breakout sites will focus on images, images, images.

Me, Sheldon Levine (Community Manager): On top of  agreeing with most of my colleagues’ predictions above, I think that even though we see a lot of maturity coming in the social media space, a lot of people are just at the beginning. Even some of the ones we think are advanced. That’s why I think 2015 is going to be the year of experimentation in the social media space. I think that this coming year we’re going to see a lot of companies trying new and strange things, some of which will work and a lot that won’t. However, the big commonality in the failed and successful ones will be that professionals will be really smart about how they measure the outcomes of every interesting new thing they try.

 

Well, if you read through all of those predictions, thank you. We hope that you and yours have a fantastic new years and an amazing 2015, both in business and your home life.

We also want to know what you think is going to happen in the social media world in 2015, so leave us a comment below and let us know YOUR social media predictions for 2015.

 

Best of 2014: Can Vine 2.0 Make Six-Second Videos Sexy?

Vine, the 6-second video network, came into our lives in late 2012. But this year they made some major updates to how the service works in an effort to attract more users and uses.

While this update did make the service more attractive to certain people, we still wondered if this update was enough to make 6-second videos work for personal branding and business.

We asked this question and it became one of our more popular posts of 2014. We’re still interested to hear what your thoughts are on the matter, so let us know in the comments.

This post was first published on May 5, 2014:
How much information can be delivered in a six-second Vine video?

People and brands who use Vine seem to be believe it’s an ideal vehicle for quick information blasts.

To be honest, I’m not convinced.

vineEven in a world plagued by short attention spans and the need to multi-task, six seconds seems, well, really short.

As someone who hasn’t embraced Vine, it’s hard to see how six-second videos deliver much value.

Nevertheless, Vine has lots of users who will be happy about the some new developments.

1. You will now be able to watch Vine videos on a desktop computer rather than only on a mobile device.

2. Vine’s Website has some new features, including navigation options that makes watching videos easier. This includes a popular now feed.

3. A search bar that lets users to search for video content by tag, person, or location.

The refreshed Website and new features are clearly aimed at making Vine more accessible and user-friendly.

At the end of the day, however, it really comes down to how individuals and brands see Vine fitting into the digital worlds.

Many people watching online videos that last less than minutes. For many videos created by brands, the sweet spot seems to be 60 to 120 seconds. [For insight into optimal length of a marketing video, check out this The Next Web post.]

So what about six-second videos? Is there a place for micro-videos? Do they have the potential to engage, entertain or educate?

If so, what is their core value? In other words, how do Vine videos fit into someone’s personal branding or corporate marketing arsenal?

Admittedly, I’m skeptical about Vine’s potential use cases. But it could be that Vine’s distinctness could make it an interesting option for brands looking to go against the grain.

When everyone is pounding away using the same digital and social tools, doing something against the grain may be a difference maker.

What do you think? Are you a Vine fan, or believe it delivers value?

Best of 2014: John Oliver Gets Spreading Information In The Social Age

A little over a month ago we set out to write a blog post about the popularity of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. However, along the way, we learned that John Oliver and his team are really masters of content in a social media world.

The team at Last Week Tonight has managed to get long form content shared more than almost any outlet we’ve ever seen and it showed us that content can come in many forms and lengths, but the key to getting it shared is really what’s inside the content.

Check out the lesson we learned from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that quickly became one of our staff favourites of the year.

This post was first published on November 11, 2014:
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):

 

Best of 2014: Peter Shankman on Customer Intimacy

In June this year we held an event in San Francisco for some of our clients that we called Social and the Customer Intimacy Imperative.

We were very lucky to have the great Peter Shankman join us as our keynote speaker for the event where he imparted his wisdom (and great humour) on us and our guests. But before he spoke with us live, Peter did a great Q&A with us on the blog about how companies and customers interact, specifically through social media.

This was one of our more popular posts of the year, so here it is again for your enjoyment.

This post was first published on June 12, 2014:
Q&A with Peter Shankman, Social Media Specialist and Keynote Speaker at Social and the Customer Intimacy Imperative

Peter ShankmanNext week, leading social minds from some of the biggest brands in the world will gather in San Francisco for Sysomos’ Social and the Customer Intimacy Imperative. We sat down with the event’s keynote speaker, social media specialist and author Peter Shankman, to discuss the role of social media to build loyalty in the age of the ADHD consumer.

Q: Thanks for letting us pick your brain today. So how do companies achieve customer loyalty through social media?

PS: The first thing to understand is that customers have an overwhelming, burning desire to be loyal. But in order to be loyal, customers need to be loved first – they need a reason to be loyal.

The fact is, consumers today expect to be treated like garbage – like a number. But if you treat me one level better than a number, I’m yours for life. Take last week for example. I needed to find a place in Miami to watch the Rangers game and a local bar replied to my tweet. Just the fact that they did that made me want to go there to watch the game.

Shankman_Tweet

Q: Can a company use an interaction like that to measure success?

PS: At the end of the day, it must translate into revenue to be a success. Revenue comes with loyalty, but it doesn’t come with clicking a “Like” button.

Q: Are companies then misguided to rely on “Likes” and “Follows” as a measure of customer loyalty?

PS: The concept of “Liking,” “Friending,” “Following,” and “Fanning” is going away. The last time you friended someone in the real world was 2nd grade when you asked, “will you be my friend?”

If you go to a restaurant a lot you don’t need to “Like” it, you already do. The key for companies is to create an exceptional customer service experience, or as is often the case, an experience that merely reaches one level above what’s expected. Do that and customers will like you; they will love you; they will come back; they will bring friends and they will drive new revenue.

Q: Can you give an example from your career of how you created a customer experience that exceeds expectations?

PS: Take HARO for example. HARO succeeded in part because every user felt invested and that if they ever had a problem they could email me directly. When we used a customer’s suggestion, we sent an email saying ‘Hey Mark, we implemented YOUR idea.’ Even if 8,000 people had suggested the same thing, we sent an email to each one. When you do that customers become invested, and they will spend more money and be motivated to tell you exactly how you are doing.

Q: Do companies engage enough in two-way communication with their customers?

PS: The biggest misconception that companies have is that they can rely on analytics and numbers without ever talking to their customers. Why not call 10 customers each morning and ask them how they’re doing? Take advantage of all the people at your disposal who have given you their information.

Q: Is that how you stay in touch?

PS: I just listen as much as I can. I look at what people are doing.  What kind of phone are they using? What kind of apps are they using? There’s a wonderful service I use called Product Hunt, which sends me an email each morning with the best products and services voted on by its members. There are about 15-20 apps and services that are built into my life that I use on a regular basis.

Q: What applications do you find most effective to connect with people?

PS: Facebook is the network where people try too hard, Twitter’s the network where people won’t shut up and LinkedIn’s the network where people seriously need to take off their tie and have a drink. That being said, if you put all three together you get positive benefit from them. For me though, nothing in my life ever precludes me from checking email. Email is first. Email is the killer app. Email will never go away.

Q: Any parting words of wisdom?

PS: At the end of the day, the goal for the people you follow and the people who follow you is best summed up by Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs: We covet what we see every day.

 

The keynote speaker at Sysomos’ Social and the Customer Intimacy Imperative event on June 17th, Peter Shankman is currently a Principal at Shankman|Honig, a consultancy designed to help corporations, businesses, and retail operations create stellar customer service that resonates in our new “conversation economy,” driving revenue, repeat business, and new customers. An entrepreneur, author, speaker, and worldwide connector who is recognized nationally and globally for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, Marketing, Advertising, creativity, and just about everything else, Peter is also founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide.

Best of 2014: What’s the ROI of Sharing Content on Social Media?

Social media is a great place to form relationships with customers, potential clients and other people.

This is something we hear all the time. But if social media is meant for forming relationships, why is there so much content sharing going on through all the different networks?

This was a question we tackled in this staff favourite post from earlier this year when we explored why people curate and share content in social media.

This post was first published on November 10, 2014:
SharingFor all the talk about social media being a place to engage and have conversations, sharing content is probably what most people do the most.

The question is why so much sharing?

What is it about social media that makes it such an active medium to share interesting articles, photos, infographics, videos, etc. with other people?

Is it vanity? Is it goodwill? Is it a way to reward interesting, weird, different or high-quality content? Is it about personal branding?

It’s probably all of the above, as well as many other reasons. The reality is social media is a super-easy way to share content, while human beings are inherently information disseminators.

Telling people information about things we have found, seen or read is part of our personal make-ups. It’s what we do, so social media only serves to facilitate and accelerate this activity.

That said, a recent survey of Canadians using Twitter and Facebook showed some interesting differences in how we use different platforms.

On Twitter, for example, 79% of respondents said the reason they shared content was to endorse it. On Facebook, endorsing content was only cited by 32% of respondents.

Many of the other categories ranked fairly closely with the exception of “gain followers/build a brand”. Only 2% of Twitters users said they shared content to achieve this goal, compared with 11% of Facebook users.

One of the more interesting trends to watch in 2015 is how content curation will become more popular and valuable for brands and individuals.

While there are many reasons to share content, there is more interest in how shared content is packaged and tracked, and how it can deliver better ROI.

Platforms such as Pressly, which allow brands to create destinations to share their own and curated third-party content, will likely gain more traction so brands can have more control shared content.

At the same time, you will likely see more services such as Snip.ly, which lets people add a small “branding widget” when they share content via social media. It’s a way to gain a little more of the spotlight, other than the goodwill of sharing content.

In many respects, the social media sharing economy is evolving and moving in interesting directions. While people will continue to enthusiastically share, there will also be more ways to capitalize on this activity.

share social media