Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

#MyNYPD Doesn’t Go Quite As Planned

NYPDHashtag campaigns don’t always go as planned. We’ve seen it happen before. We’ll likely see it happen again.

One of the more memorable occasions of this happened a few years ago with McDonald’s. We won’t go into the details, but if you don’t remember it you can read about it here.

This week we saw it happen again with when the New York Police Department launched a social media campaign to try and connect with it’s community. On Tuesday, the NYPD asked people to post friendly pictures of themselves with officers around the city and to tag them with the hashtag #MyNYPD. However, what happened next was the exact opposite of what the NYPD was trying to achieve.

Instead of people posting friendly pictures of the cops in their neighbourhood, people started posting pictures that featured police brutality, mostly from during the Occupy Wall Street days. And, of course, when the internet got wind of this, the whole world started talking about the #MyNYPD hashtag.

We decided to take a look at how the hashtag traveled through social media using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.

The NYPD launched their hashtag campaign on Tuesday (April 22nd). Over the course of two days we found that the hashtag got used or appeared in over 153,000 social media conversations. Between Tuesday and Wednesday we found the #MyNYPD hashtag in 456 blog posts, 1,513 online news articles, 225 forum postings and 150,922 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Since the hashtag was meant to be used to promote photos, we also checked for its use on Instagram. Here we found the #MyNYPD used to tag 1,182 photos.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity

It’s also interesting to note how word of the hashtag spread through the different social channels. When the hashtag debuted, it was meant to be a Twitter thing. If we look at the popularity chart below we can see that it took off on Twitter on Tuesday and kept going (although slowing down just a bit) into Wednesday.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

However, when we take Twitter out of that chart so we can see the other channels we can see that both online news sites and blogs started to catch wind of the hashtag on Tuesday, but most of the coverage about it didn’t really come into play until Wednesday. This shows that Twitter is great for real-time as they happen things, while channels like blogs and online news can be a great way to recap what had already happened in real-time and in a longer format than 140 characters.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart Without Twitter

While the idea behind the #MyNYPD social campaign was to connect with citizens in New York, once it caught on, it spread much further.  A look at this heat map of the United States shows that the greatest concentration of the hashtag’s use on Twitter was coming from New York, however, it was also being used across the country.

Sysomos MAP - Country Heat Map

However, the hashtag and news of its use didn’t just stop with the United States. A look at our geo location map of tweets shows that the hashtag spread and was then getting used or spoken about by people around the world.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Geo Location Heat Map

While some people did start using the #MyNYPD hashtag in a malicious way, not everyone was posting brutality pictures of their own. A closer look at the tweets that contained the hashtag actually show that it was more likely that people were spreading what a few malicious people were tweeting. A look at the types of tweets we found that contained the hashtag shows that 75% of all the tweets over the two days were actually retweets. Only 23% of the tweets with #MyNYPD were original tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Tweet Type

The last thing we looked at was who were the people spreading the hashtag the most. Not super surprising was that the top two Twitter accounts that were using the #MyNYPD hashtag the most were accounts that seem to be very anti the NYPD in general. The top two accounts that tweeted the hashtag the most were an account called @CopWatch, who tweeted with #MyNYPD 255 times in the two days we examined and @OccupyWallStNYC.

Sysomos MAP - Top Twitter Sources

While the NYPD had nothing but good intentions when they came up with this campaign, once it got out to the public it was out of their hands. Just like everything else in social media.

So, should all companies and organizations be wary of starting hashtag campaigns? Could this happen to anyone? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook: The Mega-Advertising Machine

As Facebook moves into new areas and introduces new features, there is a strong underlying theme: the company is becoming an advertising machine.

According to Adobe’s Social Media Intelligence report, clicks on Facebook ads climbed 70% year-over-year and 48% quarter-over-quarter, while ad impressions increased 40% and 41% respectively.

facebook advertisingThe growth and impressive performance of advertising on Facebook is a long, long way from the concerns that surrounding Facebook after its much-hyped initial public offering.

At the time, many people were worried that Facebook wouldn’t be popular with advertising, particularly on mobile devices. Today, those fears have disappeared, while Facebook’s stock has soared.

Facebook’s success reflects the growing interest in social advertising as brands increasingly look to connect with consumers via social media.

“Social networks will continue to make changes to entice marketers to invest in brand pages, advertising, and overall social strategies” the Adobe report said.

“To get the most out of social media investments, marketers will need to adapt to frequent algorithm changes and should look to make more pinpointed investments into targeting and management of social media ad and post spends.”

As advertising becomes more entrenched within the social media landscape, it is important to remember the concerns about whether consumers would accept them on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

This kept many brands on the sidelines or, at least, cautious about social advertising’s ability to meet business goals.

Today, social advertising is not only alive and well but thriving.

It would not be a surprise to see social selling gain traction as well as brands seek to encourage consumer to make purchases via social media. After all, social media is where consumers are engaged and present so why wouldn’t purchases eventually become part of their day-to-day activity.

Clearly, Facebook’s advertising machine reflects a growing trend.

 

Old Technology Meets Social Media on Record Store Day

record-store-dayRemember before there was streaming music there was MP3′s? Before that there was CD’s? And before that was tapes, and 8-tracks? And even before those was the original form of recorded music that came on vinyl records?

Well, tapes and 8-tracks will likely never make a come back, but vinyl records have never really disappeared. In fact, in order to celebrate the fact that they’ve never left, once a year stores and music labels alike celebrate the original form of recorded music on Record Store Day.

While Record Store Day was only started in 2007, it has quickly become a holiday that music lovers and those who believe in the true lo-fi sound have come to embrace as a favourite day of the year. Even music labels have gotten in on the action and they produce special edition and re-prints vinyl albums to be sold as a special on this day, which comes on the third Saturday of every April.

What’s really interesting about Record Store Day though is how people embrace this old technology, but use new technology to help spread the word about it. One of the ways people have been spreading the word of Record Store Day is through social media.

As a music lover, and owner of a few vinyls myself, I thought it would be interesting to use MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to look at the social media chatter around Record Store Day this year, which just passed last weekend.

Looking for mentions of “Record Store Day” or their official hashtag of “#RSD14” on April 19, I found over 144,000 mentions through social channels. We found 661 blog posts, 738 online news articles, 807 forum postings and 141,878 tweets mentioning Record Store Day on it’s official day.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Over on Instagram, people were taking pictures of all their awesome finds and the festivities of Record Store Day as well. The official “#RSD14 was used here 15,357 times.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity

Those numbers were just for Record Store Day alone. If I also look back to the week leading up to Record Store Day, the number of mentions increases by another 100,000 mentions as people prepped and promoted for it.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

What’s cool about Record Store Day is that even though it’s been around for only a few years, it’s managed to find a name for itself all around the world. A look at the country breakdown of where we saw mentions of Record Store Day coming from on the 19th show that people all over the world were talking about it. The USA seemed to have the greatest share of voice about it, owning 52.3% of the conversation, but we can also see that people were talking about in the UK (16%), Canada (4.7%), Spain (4.1%), Italy (3.1%), the Netherlands (2.8%) and Germany (2.3%).

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

To get a better sense of just how widespread Record Store Day is across the globe, take a look at the geo-location heat map of tweets below from all the mentions of on April 19th.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Geo Location Heat Map

Something else interesting that I noticed about people talking about Record Store Day on Twitter was how they were talking about it. There was almost an even amount of people tweeting their own thoughts about Record Store Day as there was people retweeting messages about it.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Mention Types

Lastly, I decided to pull up a word cloud and buzzgraph to see what people were talking about on Record Store Day 2014. There’s no surprise to see that a lot of conversation was being has around the words “vinyl” and “vinyls”. However, we can also see some less generic words in there and even some artists who had some Record Store Day releases like “Bruce” “Springsteen,” “DMB” (which is short for the Dave Matthews Band) and one of my favourites, David “Bowie”.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud

So, what do you think about Record Store Day? Did you celebrate? Do you think it’s hipster like ironic that people are using new social media technology to discuss the old school technology of records? Let us know in the comments.

What Brands Connect Best with Younger Audiences

The belief that social media is simply a digital hangout for teenagers should be put to rest. So who’s doing well in engaging the youth? pizza hut

According to this recent study by Headstream in the U.K., Pizza Hut is the best at building and engaging younger users. Greggs is second and Starbucks and McCain round out the top ten.

The article claims it might not be the most well deserved win, but that’s another post for another time.

Brands that need to connect with younger users do seem to have an edge. It’s a user base that is engaged, active, willing to share and promote and constantly plugged in to the brands they like and admire.

There’s never only one way for a brand to successfully engage younger users, but there are strategies and tactics that seem to work time and time again.

Humour seems to be a big driving force, as well as valuable and relevant content. Pizza Hut’s puts its humour on display, and offers its fans a lot of promotions and rewards.

It seems to have found a good balance between promotion and content. This is substantially different than how a brand would connect with consumers via TV, radio and print.

The key is finding your voice. Whether it’s expert or casual it has to appeal to younger users and encourage them to join in on the conversation. It’s probably best to avoid having an authoritative voice, since you don’t want to sound like a parent. If anything, you want to sound like a cool uncle or friend.

If you need to connect with young consumers, there is a lot of potential but it is still heavily competitive. Find your voice and get to work.

What Is The Sweetest Easter Candy In Social Media? [Infographic]

Easter weekend is here.

Whether you celebrate or not, there’s one thing that everyone seems to get excited about around this time of year; all of the candy.

But we’ve noticed that when it comes to candy every person has their own personal favourite. Some people can’t wait to open a giant chocolate bunny, while others crave mini chocolate eggs. However, when it comes to Easter there seems to be two big players in the candy game; Marshmallow Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs.

We thought that it would be fun to put these two Easter treats in some head to head competition to see which one is sweetest Easter candy of all.

Using our social media monitoring and analytics software we looked at month worth of social media talk about Easter candies to see which one rained supreme.

First, we pitted the coveted candies of Easter, Marshmallow Peeps and Cadbury Creme Eggs, against each other to see which was being talked about more as we head into Easter weekend. But then, to be fair, we also looked at five more Easter treats to see how they stacked up. Our results can be found in the infographic below:

The Sweetest Easter Candy Of Them All Infographic

We were just as surprised as you likely are now to learn that Jelly Beans get talked about the most in social media.

But we want to know what your favourite Easter candy is? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet to @Sysomos and let us know if you’re on #TeamPeeps or #TeamCremeEgg.

Major League Baseball Jumps on Snapchat Bandwagon

tumblr_n17b9v35KE1s76zjeo1_500Snapchat has been gathering a lot of steam lately with organizations and digital marketers. Recently, McDonald’s jumped on board trying to connect with its audience on this promising new network.

Snapchat  landed another big fish when Major League Baseball (MLB) entered the fray at the beginning of this year’s spring training.

MLB’s reasoning was straightforward: our audience is there and Snapchat’s more casual nature fit well with the atmosphere of spring training.

The more organizations and brands  flock to Snapchat and other social media networks that seem to reside on the periphery, the better it is for them and their audiences.

Of course, the biggest winner is going to be the services themselves, as they try to build clout and monetize.

Digital marketers have to be flexible, nimble and willing to jump feet first into new things.

Strategically speaking, digital marketers need to seek out their audience and not wait for their audience to come to them. Setting up shop on the popular networks is vital, but testing the waters on others is just as important.

For MLB, they are really starting to follow the path established by other professional sports leagues. The effort being made by MLB to engage its audience should pay off.

Snapchat is a unique tool for communicating and it allows organizations to develop relationships if they use it accordingly. The opportunity is there, and the best practices are starting to emerge.

MLB seems to be using Snapchat as a more casual vehicle than it does other networks. Its ability to adapt to the network is paramount.

Trust me when I say this is not replacing Twitter or Facebook. They all work well in conjunction. The modern digital strategy involves many networks and tactics geared to the nature of the specific platform.

What new networks are tempting you these days? Will you give them a try?

The Social Media World Is Calling For Spring To Come

Spring or Winter?

For some people it feels like spring will never come. It’s been a long winter for a lot of people and if you live in Canada or the Northwestern part of the United States you thought it was gone, but it came back with a vengeance this week.

For fun, we thought it would be interesting to see how people were talking about these confused seasons in social media using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.

We stared by asking how many times have people mentioned either winter of fall through social channels in the past two weeks. First, the season that everyone hopes to never hear from again, winter. In the past two weeks we found winter mentioned 1.9 million times. Winter is still being talked about in 85,031 blog posts, 173,035 online news articles, 127,810 forum posts and 1,537,737 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

On the other hand, the want for spring became evident when we searched the same time frame for mentions of spring. Here we found that spring has been mentioned 7.3 million times in the past two weeks. Spring has come up in 172,515blog posts, 260,097 online news articles, 183,915 forum postings and 6,743,403 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

That’s quite the difference. When we look at the two side-by-side in a share of voice comparison, spring accounts for 79% of the conversation while winter makes up the remaining 21%.

Sysomos MAP - Share Of Voice Comparison

In fact, when we look at those mentions compared over time, in the last two weeks talk of spring has been constantly dominating over talk of winter. Even on Sunday’s when everyone watches Game of Thrones and feels the need to mention that “winter is coming.”

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Comparison

So, what are people talking about when they talk about spring? Well, according to our buzzgraph it appears that people are hoping for spring to come and winter to go away. There’s a lot of talk around the snow that people have been seeing  despite the fact that it should be spring. We also see a lot of calls for “warm” and “warmer” weather.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph

We’re pretty sure that these conversations in social media are likely representative of how people now talking about the seasons in social media feel as well. So, here’s hoping that everyone gets their spring soon.

Anti-Bullying Video Uses Sharing to Deliver Message

share_it_to_end_it-600x431Video sharing and the small number of videos that go viral are an important part of social media, as well as the overall success of organizations that want to leverage it.

It’s a popular and proven tactic but when you can find a way to get creative with more than just the content, then you increase the chances of getting your message across.

The best example of thinking outside of the box and not just focusing your creativity on the content, is this anti-bullying video produced by the Singapore Against Bullying for Children and Youth.

The more times it is shared, the shorter the video becomes. This drives home the message that bullying can be eradicated through communication and education. Pretty amazing, right?

The video is great but it compels more users to share, simply because there’s an tangible element to the “share”. It doesn’t hurt it is such a topical and important subject.

For digital marketers, there’s great lessons here but the big one is after you create great content, you need a proper answer to the question, “how do I get it out there?”

Relying on your network and your fan base are proven ways as is investing money and buying ad space. What this anti-bullying video proves is there are other ways, rather ingenious ways.

This isn’t to say you should copy what this organization did, but you have to think bigger than content in this day and age. Organizations have only started to peel away at the true capabilities of social media.

The other important aspect to take away from this anti-bullying video is how you share can reflect the message you are delivering. That’s the true beauty of what this Singapore organization accomplished. Everything aligned perfectly.

Up until this post, most organization worked hard to create a great video and hoped that it would go viral. Now, the power shifts and an organization can layer tactics for sharing and dissemination, much like it did in terms of producing the video.

This is a big deal. It is up to digital marketers and communicators to take the baton and run with it.

An Interesting Real-Time Social Aspect To The London Marathon

london marathon

This past Sunday the London Marathon was run. The annual event brought out out thousands of runners from across the UK and other parts of the world. While this race happens every year, there was something a little extra special happening this year.

Was it the number of people using social media? Not really. However, there was quite a large amount of social activity around the race. Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, we found that on Sunday alone the marathon garnered over 214,000 mentions through social channels. Most of these happened on Twitter as 211,779 tweets were sent by people participating in the marathon, watching it, or just wishing people good luck.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Was it the number of countries talking about the London Marathon? Again, not really. But it is interesting to note that while the race was being run in London, only 49.3% of the social media mentions of it came from the UK. People around the world seemed to be interested in the marathon. 14.2% of social media mentions about it came from the Netherlands. Another 11.9% came from the USA and 4.8% of the mentions came from Kenya (likely because Wilson Kipsang, a Kenyan, won the marathon and set a new course record by 11 seconds).

Sysomos MAP -  Country Breakdown

Was it because of a gender bias? Not in the slightest. A look at who was tweeting about the London Marathon showed us that both men and women were tweeting almost equally about the event. Men accounted for 51% of the tweets about the London Marathon while women made up 49% of the tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Gender Demographics

What made the London Marathon exceptionally interesting this year was how many people set new world records during the race. And The Guinness World Records team was on hand to personaly verify records in almost real-time.

When we looked for people talking about all these records we found that both serious records and records that seemed a little more “interesting” seemed to be catching the eye of the social media world. Below is a look at some of the most retweeted tweets about these records. As you can see, the serious record of fastest time held by Wilson Kipsang was the most retweeted tweet about a world record. However, the second most retweeted tweet was about a man that ran the course in a fireman’s uniform (and set a new record for the fastest person to do it).

Sysomos MAP - Most Retweeted Tweets

Here’s some more of the interesting records set during this year’s London Marathon:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This presents a new and interesting realm for social media in real-time. Having the Guinness World Records team on hand to verify records and then share these new world records with the world instantly opens up a whole new world for people. It’s one thing to try to set a world record, but with people now always using social media for instant gratification, people are now going to want to know right away and want the world to know as well. It makes you wonder how many events will now invite the Guinness World Records team out to be there first-hand when records are trying to be set and get people talking about them right away.

This also enters an interesting realm of real-time marketing. But is it marketing for the London Marathon? The Guinness World Records Book? Or both?

What do you think about setting records and having them verified and shared in real-time with the world? Will we see digital marketers trying to jump on to this bandwagon anytime soon?

Also, for a full list of all the records set at the London Marathon on Sunday, check out Guinness World Records blog post about the event.

The Importance of Regular Social Media Audits

One of the realities of social media is it’s a constant march forward. Every day, brands share, post and engage to drive awareness, thought leadership, a competitive presence and, often, sales.

With such a focus on day-to-day activity, it can be difficult to take a step back to get some valuable perspective.

social mediaWhile monitoring activity is part of this process, bigger questions need to be asked on a regular basis:

1. How are our social media efforts going?

2. What’s working? What’s not working?

3. How can we improve engagement, the content being shared, leads, etc.?

4. Are certain social channels performing better than others? If so, why?

These questions require brands to spend time reflecting and thinking about how they’re doing social media and whether the time and effort is generating the expected ROI.

This is particularly relevant to brands leveraging a variety of social media services, including those with multiple accounts on a particular service.

One of the advantages and disadvantages of social media are the lower barriers to entry. It means that, over time, a brand can accumulate a broad social media portfolio – all of which demand attention.

This makes it necessary for brands to review how each social media account is performing and, as important, how are they performing against other social media channels.

While making improvements is a primary focus, another consideration is getting a handle on whether weaker parts of a brand’s social media portfolio need to be eliminated.

At some point, it may not make sense for a brand to keep going with the same social media mix. It means making changes to come up with a better and stronger social media presence.

In some cases, it could mean putting more of an emphasis on existing social media accounts. In other cases, it could involve embracing a new social media channel to connect with target audiences in different ways.

At the end of the day, it’s important to carry out regular social media audits. This is an invaluable to ensure a brand’s investment in social media is generating the right returns. Like any marketing activity, brands have to assess how social media is performing against other opportunities.