Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Superman Meets his Match in Social Media

baldwin_statue.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoIt seems that Superman was no match for the strength, speed and power of social media, which erupted after DC declined to allow the Superman logo to appear on the statue of a young fan who died from abuse at the hands of his grandparents.

Jeffrey Baldwin died in 2002 from septic shock and starvation. Years later, a Kickstarter campaign was used to raise $25,000 for a sculpture to be created in his honour. The statue was to have Jeffrey dressed as his favourite superhero, Superman.

DC Entertainment decided not to allow the statue to use the Superman logo, citing trademark laws and other legalities. 

Needless to say, social media erupted in a fury leaving a mark on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. While it took too long according to some, DC did reverse their decision.

Once again, the power of social media was on display. Brands need to be on high alert and recognize that every decision they make is now under the digital microscope.

It’s easy to fault DC in this instance along with the other entities who own parts of the trademark, but social media users were particularly vigilant.

While you can respect DC’s initial decision in some part for various reasons, one of their missteps was not seeing the onslaught coming once the decision was made public. 

Brands, especially those who are historic or operate on the global stage, need to be prepared and ready to protect their reputation across social platforms. 

The message will always be to have protocol in place that can help a digital marketing or communications staff deal with any crisis. Constant monitoring is essential all of the time, but if you know arrows are about to be shot your way then you need to be right on top of it.

DC might not have been prepared, and they did the right thing in the end. This is an important lesson for brands. 

Which Hashflags Waved Highest During The World Cup?

After a super exciting 32 days, the World Cup is finally over.

Not only was the game play throughout the tournament exciting, with 171 goals scored to tie for the most goals scored during a World Cup, but the social activity around the event was a whole event itself to try and keep up with.

One of the cool things that was abundant in the social media world during the World Cup was Twitter allowing users to display “hashflags” for the countries they were supporting. Launched just a days before the tournament started, Twitter allowed users to display country flags right in their tweets by simply typing in a # with the three-letter country code beside it.

List of all Hashflags from Bleacher Report

We thought that the hashflags were a genius way for both Twitter to get a little more involved in the World Cup (past the tremendous amounts of real-time talk during the matches) and for fans to show their support for the team they were cheering on. But how much were these hashflags used?

We took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to find out just how many times each hashflag was raised. We plugged in the hashflag hashtags and searched over the 32 days of the World Cup to find out.

What we found was actually quite interesting. As it turns out, how a team actually performed during the World Cup didn’t always correlate to how often their hashflag was used.

While Germany took home the World Cup, their hashflag was actually beat out by Argentina’s who came in second in the tournament. This may not be so surprising after seeing our post last week that showed Germany wasn’t getting as much support in social media from their homeland as Argentina was going into the finals.

The United States also showed great pride for their team during the tournament with their hashflag being the fourth most used of the 32 teams, beating out the Netherlands who actually placed third in the tournament.

For the full counts of each hashflag, see the chart below:

Total Counts For Country Hashflags Over 32 Days of World Cup Play

We also put all of the hashflag count numbers into a pie chart so that you could visually see the difference in the share of voice each country’s hashflag garnered throughout the World Cup.

Share of Voice for All World Cup Hashflags

We also thought it would be interesting to look at how each of the hashflags was used over time. It’s no surprise here to see that each country’s hashflag would spike in usage on days when they played a match. Below is a chart of all 32 team’s hashflag usage spread out over the 32 days of the world cup. Unfortunately, 32 teams in one chart makes it incredibly hard to read, so below that we’ve also broken down the charts to only include 8 teams, or 2 groups from the original group play round, at a time.

Popularity Chart of All World Cup Hashflags

Popularity of hashflags for Groups A & B

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups A & B

Popularity of hashflags for Groups C & D

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups C & D

Popularity of hashflags for Groups E & F

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups E & F

Popularity of hashflags for Groups G & H

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups G & H

Lastly, we hope that you were keeping an eye on our Sysomos #WorldCup Hashtag Tracker during the tournament. This dashboard was used to visually show where mentions of the official #WorldCup hashtag were coming from. In addition to showing where the hashtag was actually being used over the course of the tournament, we were also keeping a running tally of which countries were using the official hashtag the most. Now the the World Cup is over, we have the final tally and without further ado, here’s the top 10 countries that used the #WorldCup hashtag over 32 days of play:

Sysomos #WorldCup Hashtag Tracker - Top 10 Countries

We’re curious if any of these numbers above surprise you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

What Goes Viral?

stock-partyThis past weekend, a teen from Mississauga did what lots of teens have done in the past: announced a get-together on Facebook. Somehow, this innocent announcement of a small, private event spiralled out of control. The word spread via social media, the party eventually developed its own hashtag, and even a paper flyer went out (put together by persons unknown).

The teen’s parents ended up calling the police when droves started arriving at their home. For four hours, if you can believe it, police stationed themselves at the house and turned prospective partygoers away. The cops even sent out their own social media messages, warning visitors that they’d be met with a police cruiser upon their arrival. They claimed their word prevented even more visitors. But still.

This party gone wild is yet another example of a social media message inexplicably going viral and having real-world consequences. There are other viral instances no one wants: the politician saying something sexist, the athlete caught on video, drunk at a party. Marketers, meanwhile, would love to know just how to command an audience in the millions for their story, video or image.

So academics and social media groups have put their minds to studying the phenomenon; trying to crack the viral code so those who want to go big can do so. Here’s what the research says:

-Positive material spreads faster than negative, according to one study. Rage has the most velocity, according to another.

-Evoke emotions: shock, awe, pity, alarm. Further to the above, really — emotional content is what people want to share.

-Be practical. Service-style information gets traction. Makes sense: we all want to know how to do stuff like get healthier, live better and make more money.

-People share what they think others want to know or hear about. This really puts the social in social media.

-Studies are showing that long posts attract the most links. Meanwhile, multimedia content is more likely to go viral than text-based material.

-Be funny. Humour has been working in traditional advertising for decades. In online content, it’s key for everything but the most serious content.

If that seems like a lot of bases to cover, that’s because it is. In truth, we don’t yet fully understand what turns a get-together into the biggest party in town. But we’re getting closer to understanding the odd modern phenomenon that is viral content.


Avoid Trendjacking at all Costs

XHK0Kyo-360Every day in social media there is a topic that grabs the attention of users across all platforms. For the past month it’s been the World Cup along with strife in the Middle East.

Last Friday though, the topic of Lebron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers was all the rage. Users from all over the world and many popular platforms were discussing it and its implications as the story continued to break.

For brands who wants to build their social media presence, it’s always a good idea to get involved in these conversations where appropriate.

What you always want to avoid is what is commonly referred to as “trendjacking”. This is where a user or brand elbows their way into an online conversation and tries to take over. It never feels natural and organic and has the potential to do more harm then good.

This doesn’t mean you have to get involved in every conversation and it is sometimes best to stay away from the serious stuff unless it directly correlates. When entering into more serious territory it’s best to not promote in any way.

If you are a digital manager or managing the social media account of a brand, than by all means get involved in big stories of sports, culture or community. The idea is to be part of the conversation without hijacking it.

Your content or posts need to be original and relevant, and the ultimate goal is to get involved without turning other users off.

The Lebron James signing is a great example because many brands on Twitter kicked into creative overdrive in order to take advantage of the increased activity. Some brands prospered from it and saw their clever posts retweeted, and others had to delete their tweets before the digital ink dried.

One of these brands was Tide, who came up with a funny tweet about how their product can “wash away the last four years”. It is believed they removed it because by using an image of Lebron’s jersey they could have encountered from legal trouble.

Just remember, it’s okay to get involved but as a brand you have no ownership over a conversation.

Facebook Feeling the Heat over Psychological Experiment

Facebook-Emotional-Manipulation-400x300Facebook is in full-on apology mode after they secretly conducted a psychological experiment on 700,000 users which manipulated their newsfeeds.

Many believe it was scientifically unethical along with violating the rights of Facebook users.

The experiment that was conducted was part of a larger ongoing study stemming from 2012, where researchers randomly selected close to 700,000 of Facebook’s 1.3 billion user base.

From there, they displayed either more positive or negative posts. Then they observed whether this prompted users to write more positive or negative posts themselves.

Not only was the research done in a secretive manner, it was also communicated rather poorly afterwards. The communication of the research may have been the biggest impetus for the backlash. 

The issue now is why did Facebook even attempt to control or alter its user’s emotions? There’s no clearcut answers, especially since Facebook is being very tight lipped beyond continually saying they are sorry.

The information is valuable from a scientific and societal aspect, but there are potential ways that it could have helped Facebook when it came to selling ads or boosting posts.

The information could potentially be implemented into their monetized advertising strategies. Of course, this is just a theory.

There’s a great lesson here for digital marketers. When it comes to users and your fans, be honest and try not to get caught with your pants down after the fact.

Users protect their rights and are very vocal when they feel violated. Digital marketers need to recognize this and ensure that they are respectful of user’s rights and in no way attempt to deceive them.

Facebook arguably built the world’s largest and most passionate user base, and they also got bit by it.

Do you think this is a lesson learned for Facebook or do you expect to see more “psychological studies” at some point in the near future? Are you now worried that your newsfeed might be manipulated?

World Cup Finals: How Argentina and Germany Look in Social Media

World Cup 2014As of yesterday evening (in our local time zone) we now know that after 28 days of World Cup fever the entire world will be watching Argentina and Germany play in the finals.

This year’s World Cup has a been a very exciting one. Both in terms of the matches played and also the social media activity that has been going on during the tournament. This World Cup has seen a flurry of social media activity from fans cheering on their team to some incredible memes based on events during the tournament.

But what has the social activity around our two final teams looked like? That’s what we wanted to find out as we get set for the final match this weekend. So, we took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to explore the mentions of Germany and Argentina.

The first thing we did for this quick analysis was to look at number of mentions of each team from the start of the World Cup (on June 12) up until yesterday. Here we found that Argentina has a greater share of voice across social media channels beating out Germany 61% to 39%. However, neither team seems to be lacking in mentions as Germany amassed 22,680,311 mentions in those 28 days, while Argentina saw 35,378,525 mentions.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Comparison

Where all of those mentions were coming from is the interesting part though. When we broke down those mentions of each team by source, we found something very interesting. When both Germany and Argentina were being talked about in blogs and in online news articles, the two seemed quite even. In both blog posts and online news articles the split was 51% to 49% with Argentina getting just a few more mentions than Germany. Then, when we look at forum postings, we find that Germany mentions bested Argentina by almost 150,000 mentions. However, when it then came to Twitter (which is the leading social network for real-time World Cup chatter), Argentina saw almost 13 million more mentions than Germany did.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Comparison by Source

The difference in Twitter mentions seems quite staggering at first, but then we found something interesting. We took a look at where mentions of each team were originating from across all channels.  When we looked at the mentions of Argentina we found that the country making the most noise was (not surprisingly) Argentina. Almost a quarter of all Argentina mentions came from their own country who has been showing their support throughout the World Cup.

Sysomos MAP - Breakdown of Mentions by Country

But then when we looked at where mentions of Germany were originating from, we found that most of them weren’t coming from Germany. In fact, Germany doesn’t seem to be that active in supporting their team… at least through social media. Germany actually came in 4th in terms of mention of their own country behind the USA, UK and Spain. That lack in social support from their own country can help explain the huge difference in mentions of each country.

Sysomos MAP - Breakdown of Mentions by Country

Some may argue though that it’s not the number of mentions that a team gets, but rather the intention behind those mentions. To understand the intentions behind those mentions we looked at the sentiment around each team. According to industry leading sentiment analysis engine Argentina has seen a 80% favourable rating during the World Cup. 22% of all mentions about Argentina have been positive, while 20% have been negative.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment

While Germany hasn’t seen as many social mentions during the World Cup as Argentina, they do have a much better favourable rating, coming in at 81%. While their favourable rating comes in just 1% higher than Argentina, the details show that they actually seem to have a larger percentage of their mentions being positive. Germany has seen 27% of all their mentions being positive and only 19% negative. So, just because they aren’t being talked about as much, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are worse off than their final rivals in any way.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment

One last interesting chart we want to share with you is our popularity chart, which shows the mentions of each team spread out over the time of the World Cup so far. We just found this one interesting because you can actually see what days each team played on just by looking at how their mentions spike on game days. Take a look:

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Comparison Chart

So who do you think is going to win the World Cup this year? Argentina or Germany? The team with the most social mentions or the team with the most positive sentiment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

And, for some more World Cup social media fun, be sure to check out our Sysomos #WorldCup Hashtag Tracker which is showing off where tweets containing the official #WorldCup hashtag are originating from in real-time.

The Real Currency of Social Media

social_currencyThe majority of popular social networks are free and you should always expect them to be free. While this creates large user bases and high levels of activity, the social networks prosper from the activity.

Much like the world outside of social media, nothing is ever actually free. In fact, social media is only free because users and their activity are the real commodity. 

Data in the form of what users post, tweet and publish is what social networks and organizations who communicate, market and advertise on them deem to be valuable.

If a social network knows you are engaged or recently had a baby or work in a certain industry or even that you like fashion, well that data becomes invaluable in terms of selling the network as a viable advertising platform.

So you can see how a user technically becomes the currency of social media, and why all of the past talk of certain social networks charging a membership fee was completely fabricated.

Most social networks have privacy settings and options to tailor or remove ads. They don’t even target your directly but just the market segmentation that you fall into.

In many ways this is a good thing. You are going to be targeted by advertisers in social media, so why not have ads that might actually appeal to you.

This doesn’t mean the ads that appear are always a perfect fit, this is all dependent on your activity. Ultimately, it is based on something you did on the network.

The argument about selling any type of data will always exist, but a user does have control over what they post or what is even made public. The current advertising model might actually be the perfect medium between both sides – the advertiser/social network and the user.

Next time you are logged into your favourite social network, look at the ads and how they seem to be oddly tailored to you or some of your recent activity. 

Sysomos MAP and Heartbeat Updates: Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook

Let’s just say we’ve been busy. Very, very busy. 

At Sysomos, we’re always working behind the scenes to make our technology better. Whether it’s delivering greater speed and accuracy, or more data and more potent analytics, our ongoing mission is to provide you with the best social intelligence out there — so that you can make the kinds of business decisions that drive future success. With that in mind, we’d like to share some of the major enhancements we’ve made lately, including the addition of Tumblr to our ever-expanding data set.

We’ve put Tumblr on the MAP. 

Earlier this year we announced our partnership with Tumblr. Today we’re thrilled to announce our all-new Tumblr integration, which gives you the ability to glean insights from the full breadth of Tumblr’s data, has been added to MAP. In fact, you can search for mentions using text-based queries among all eight Tumblr data types — from photos, text, audio and video, to quotes, answers, links and chats. And you can evaluate those mentions using Overall Sentiment, Word Cloud and Buzzgraph analytics. Perhaps best of all, you can get started right now.

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Search Results

Sysomos MAP - View Tumblr Posts

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Buzzgraph


You’ll love (not just ‘Like’) more Facebook results in MAP.

Enter search terms as usual and you’ll notice something right away: a lot more Facebook results. Why? We’re now pulling in tons more Facebook data. More data = more results. And that’s the kind of math everyone loves to do.

Run YouTube Analytics without skipping a Heartbeat.

You can now view no less than 17 of the most popular YouTube Channel metrics — including Geographical, Playback, Traffic Sources and Device, as well as Basic and Daily metrics — right from within the Heartbeat platform, without having to log in to YouTube.  All that’s required is a one-time permissions process in which your YouTube Channel administrator (maybe that’s even you) grants Heartbeat access to retrieve the metrics. Here’s a sample of how some of these new metrics will look in your Heartbeat:

Sysomos Heartbeat - YouTube Views

Sysomos Heartbeat - Youtube View Duration By Country

Sysomos Heartbeat - Youtube View Duration by Device


As always, if you’re already using MAP or Heartbeat please contact your account team with any questions.

If you’re not already using MAP or Heartbeat, please feel free to contact us to learn more about these great new updates and our software overall.

Was Gallup’s Social Media Poll Flawed?

gallup-on-social-media-_-social-jumpstart-1192x600In a recent blog post, we looked at the results from a consumer gallup poll, The State of the American Consumer, which did not paint the rosiest of picture of social media, especially from the marketing and communications perspective.

Essentially, the results showed (not necessarily proved) that consumers do not rely on social media to make buying decisions. It is a finding that seems to go against popular opinion and other data.

The biggest issue with the survey is the fact the findings are from late 2012 and early 2013. As most know, a year or longer in the world of social media can feel like a decade. Things move that fast.

These finding would have been tough to swallow last year or the year before, even more so given it is 2014.

In fairness, the last year and a half has seen Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Snapchat all grow in terms of their advertising capabilities and user base. 

Vine was a complete non-factor in late 2012, and it is now a part of most user’s daily or weekly activity, as well as most brands’ digital campaigns.

The methodology of the report includes issues about the questions that were asked and the fact it was sent to potential respondents via traditional mail.

The question now is why bother? It would be important to consumers, companies, users and social networks to have this information. Why create and disseminate something that is so inherently flawed.

The data seems to be dated, which undermines the findings. There were suspicious elements of this research, but now it seems like it is not a worthy analysis of social media and consumer behaviour.

This would be a tough poll to base any present or future social media marketing and communications decisions on. Like with many elements of social media, it is best to proceed with caution.

The World Cup Rocks the Social Media Landscape

Santos v Atletico MG - Brasileirao Series A 2014This one might not exactly be filed in the surprised post, but it still deserves mentioning and honouring: the 2014 FIFA World Cup set a social media record recently, which is quite the accomplishment when you think about it.

This was predicted back in early June, and there weren’t many experts and pundits who disagreed. The activity has been relentless and through the roof. The Luis Suarez memes alone could force Twitter and Facebook servers to break from exhaustion.

It’s staggering to actually think about the millions of users online, all around the world, in many different timezones, all logged into one network talking about the same thing.

Passion is such a driver of social media, and there are few who are more passionate than football fans. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can all attest to this as being true.

Consider this, prior to its June 12 kickoff, 90% of the world had contributed 19 million social mentions across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and Flickr.

Just how globally loved is the World Cup? Asia is producing the most social activity with a 48% share, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For individual countries, Germany has had the most Twitter engagement.

Not to be overlooked is the social popularity of the individual players, which trumps most professional athletes around the world. Many of the players themselves have millions of followers, most of whom make up the World Cup audience.

It might have helped that this year’s tournament is taking place in Brazil, a country with a high level of social media activity. There are over 86 million active users on Facebook, and roughly 10% of its population is on Twitter.

While the Super Bowl is the annual king of social media, the World Cup should destroy its numbers in everyway and everywhere besides the U.S. 

Gaudy numbers indeed and there’s still two weeks left to go!