Ensuring the Best Data For Our Customers

By Jason Harris - April 17th, 2015

Sysomos Twitter CommunitiesAt Sysomos, we pride ourselves on the quality of our data and of our data science. For the last eight years we have enabled our clients to leverage social intelligence to help power their business decisions and keep them aware of trends, insights and discoveries.

We’re also proud to partner with some of the most exciting companies to provide access to real-time conversations as they hit social networks.

One of our valued data partners is Twitter.

With a recently announced change to Twitter’s API, we wanted to ensure our customers that it’s business as usual for Sysomos.

Through our work with Twitter, we have been and continue to be a Twitter Certified Partner. This gives us complete and direct access to Twitter data.

As a part of our ongoing relationship with Twitter, Sysomos is able to leverage the benefits afforded to Twitter Certified Partners including:

  • Insights into Twitter’s product direction
  • The ability to work with new products
  • An open dialogue with and direct communication to the Twitter team

Upcoming Changes to the Facebook API

In addition to Twitter, Facebook is also changing the way it provides data to the marketplace. As of April 30, Facebook is making changes to the data they offer to analytics companies to help protect the privacy of their users. (See important update below)

It is important to note that this deprecation will affect all social listening platforms that rely on this data. Only public Facebook data will be affected – Facebook fanpage data will still be available in Sysomos.

While public status updates will no longer be available from Facebook, Fanpage data continues to be accessible. Post April 30th Sysomos customers will now be able to search this data within Sysomos. Data collected from Heartbeat via existing integrated Fanpages will also remain in your Heartbeat and will continue to collect mentions without change.

Update Apr 30, 2015: We have extended our access to Facebook public posts until at least June 19th. Customers will continue to see Facebook data in MAP and Heartbeat for the time being.

Engineering a new solution

In the wake of this Facebook API news, we’re taking a two-pronged approach to ensure the best data for our customers. First, we’ve held ongoing discussions with Facebook and are working on new ways to use Facebook’s available API’s within our platform.

Also, through our longtime partnership with Datasift (a preferred data provider that is working with Facebook) we are investigating integrations including using a new data set called Topic Data.

Our Partner and Data Science teams are very excited about exploring future ways to ensure the most complete data sources for our customers.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Sysomos representative.

How social intelligence benefits Human Resources

By Sheldon Levine - April 15th, 2015

It’s a common misnomer that social media is solely a function of their company’s marketing or communications department. While marketing is likely the group that holds the keys to a company’s social media accounts, to think that they’re the only ones who could benefit from social intelligence would be a mistake.

Here at Sysomos we truly believe that any part of a company can benefit from social intelligence, especially if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

So, how do departments across your organization see the benefits of listening and learning from the social media space? We’re going to explore this in a series of posts.

Today we’re going to start with your HR department.

Finding the right talentFinding the right talent

Finding candidates to fill roles in your company can sometimes be challenging and time-consuming, but it doesn’t always have to be that way when the right people are under your nose… if you know how to find them.

Social intelligence can help you narrow down your field of candidates. Start by thinking about what someone who would fit the role would be talking about in social media.

For example, if the open position that you’re looking to fill is that of a community manager, you may want to look for people who are talking about community management in social. Make a list of community management related words and phrases and start searching for the people talking the most about it.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph around community management

Even if remote working isn’t right for your company right now, social intelligence can also help you find local candidates. All you would need to do is narrow your search for these people to a specific region. Our Sysomos software will let you monitor for people all the way down to a city level, making finding a local candidate even easier to find through social media.

Use Authority Score to find the cream of the crop

Next, they can narrow down those people that talk about community management to find people with a high authority score on the subject. However, the highest ranking authorities on the subject may have that score because they already have a job they love doing that. That’s not a reason to not pursue them as a hire, but it may make them a bit harder to recruit. But you don’t always have to go after the people with the highest authority score, you can also search for those with a medium level score. This means that they probably know what they’re talking about and that people listen to what they have to say, but their role may not be the most visible and they may be open to learning about new opportunities to further their career.

An authority score allows you to see a person’s influence on a specific social channel. People with a higher authority score are usually more engaged on that channel and are also more likely to be engaged by others. You can run a search on a subject, such as our community management example, and then look for the people with the highest authority score on the subject to flush out great candidates. Not only can you view your candidates authority score, but it might also be interesting to also take a look at what the authority score of their followers is. Are they already being listened to by people with authority? That may make them more intriguing.

Sysomos MAP - Follower Authority Breakdown

Once you’ve narrowed down a few good candidates, social intelligence can help you to further narrow down that list. Listening to the people on your list for what they talk about through social media and even how they talk can be a great indicator for if that person would seem like a good culture fit within your organization.

In just a few easy steps your HR department can utilize social intelligence to help find great candidates for your organization without having to wade through giant piles of resumes.

Keep watching our blog as we update this series with ways that other departments in your company can utilize social intelligence to do better work and make their jobs easier.

Would you like to know more about how to get the right social intelligence to the right people in your organization? Contact us and we can help.

Game of Thrones Makes A Social Splash, But Not As Big As The Walking Dead

By Sheldon Levine - April 14th, 2015

Game Of ThronesOn Sunday night TV viewers were thrilled as Game Of Thrones made its triumphant return with its season 5 debut. HBO’s Game Of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on television in recent years, and its popularity was trumpeted through social media by fans and brands.

We got curious about just how much of an impact Game Of Thrones had on the social media world, so we decided to investigate for ourselves using MAP, our social media intelligence research and analytics software.

Looking for mentions of Game Of Thrones and associated hashtags (such as #GameOfThrones#GoT#GoTseason5 and a few others) across social media channels and found that the show garnered over 898,000 mentions on Sunday alone. Mentions of the show appeared in 1,646 blogs, 4,283 online news articles, 7,312 forum postings and 885,733 tweets on Sunday alone.

Sysomos MAP - Game Of Thrones Activity Summary

With Twitter being the most active channel that people were using to talk about Game Of Thrones, we dug a little deeper to find that the show was being mentioned in 36,906 tweet per hour over the course of the day. The bulk of those, of course, came right before the show as people were getting excited about it and during the actual broadcast.

Sysomos MAP - Game Of Thrones Twitter Activity Summary

We also noticed that people around the world were tweeting their excitement for the shows return. As you can see in the Twitter activity above, the majority of the Game Of Thrones talk was coming from the United States, but countries from around the globe seemed to be talking about it, like Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Mexico and France. Below is a heat map that shows just how wide spread talk of the show’s return spread across the world.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Game Of Thrones Mentions on Twitter

 

But it wasn’t just the fans who were showing their excitement for the show’s return publicly. Brands were trying to get in on the action as well. Using our search for the most retweeted tweets mentioning Game Of Thrones we came across a few brands trying to capitalize on the show’s popularity. Such as the NFL, who had the most retweeted Game Of Thrones tweet from a brand, with this one about the actor who plays Gregor Clegane, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who apparently almost signed to play with the Indianapolis Colts:

But other brands were also trying to generate impressions using Game Of Thrones, like Stolichnaya Vodka:

Chili’s Bar and Grill:

Arby’s:

And even the World Of Warcraft videogame:

 

To be fair, not all the talk was necessarily waiting for the show’s actual debut. Over the weekend the first 4 episodes of Game Of Thrones’ fifth season somehow got leaked online. Apparently some fans just couldn’t wait until Sunday night to see the show as talk of the leaked episodes started late on Saturday night and carried over into Sunday as more and more people became aware. This likely isn’t a big surprise as Game Of Thrones was noted as being the most pirated TV show of 2014. However, when we looked for mentions of the leak along side Game Of Thrones over the course of the entire weekend, we found that it didn’t make as much of an impact on the overall talk as one may have thought, only garnering 74,615 mentions across social channels.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of Game Of Thrones Leak Mentions

But was this actually a good performance in terms of season debut? This is something else we wondered, so we decided to compare Game Of Thrones mentions on its season debut day to a few other recent popular television debuts. We pitted it against the season premieres of The Walking Dead, The Americans and Mad Men. What we found was that Game Of Thrones had a fairly good showing for social media activity on its season debut day beating out The Americans and Mad Men on theirs, but it fell about half of a million mentions short of The Walking Dead on its season debut.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Activity Summary

Interestingly though, when we broke down the social channels to see where conversations around each of these shows was coming from we found that Game Of Thrones was talked about more across blogs, online news sites and forums, but the fans of The Walking Dead blew Game Of Thrones out of the water in terms of tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison by Source

And while we comparing things, we also thought it would be interesting to see how Game Of Thrones season 5 premiers did compared to season 4, which debuted on April 6, 2014. In 2014, the show’s premiere saw 699,489 mentions across social channels. That means that this year they upped their numbers by 200,000, which is quite impressive and just shows how the popularity for the show is still growing.

Sysomos MAP - Game Of Thrones 2014 Premier Activity Summary

Did you watch Game Of Thrones on Sunday? More importantly, did you tweet about it?

How I turned March Madness into Sysomos #MAPMadness

By Tyler Watson - April 8th, 2015

As a Social Media Specialist on the Agency team here at Sysomos, I have spent A LOT of time utilizing our software for many different verticals and unique use cases. As an avid sports fan, I have spent A LOT of time following many different professional and amateur sports leagues and events.

As any avid sports fan knows, the NCAA basketball tournament known as March Madness is a huge event. It is also a very popular topic within social media. The overall mentions of “March Madness” dating from the beginning of the year until March 18th (the day before the madness begins) is shown below.

Sysomos MAP - March Madness Social Media Activity Summary Pre-Tournament

This is a ton of conversations!

So when it came time to enter our Sysomos March Madness pool and build my bracket, it only felt natural to combine this incredible pool of data with my direct problem of selecting the winning bracket.

So that’s exactly what I did…

Using the Compare tool in our Sysomos MAP platform I selected my entire bracket based on share of voice.

By running simple queries such as “Wisconsin Badgers” AND basketball vs. “Duke Blue Devils” AND basketball, I made my picks from each of the 64 matchups by selecting whichever team received more Share of Voice with regards to mentions in the social sphere.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Comparison

I had some concerns around the software selecting only the favourites in each matchup but after some review I noticed that the results pulled from MAP had selected the underdog in 11 different matchups; most notably predicting that the Michigan State Spartans would make it to the final eight.

Looking at the “Popular Picks Bracket” on Yahoo (my fantasy sports host site of choice) the Michigan State Spartans were not, on average, selected past the Round of 32.

My finalized bracket can be seen below.

Pre-Tournament Bracket Picks Based on Sysomos MAP Data

Upon tournament completion my bracket (shown below), selected entirely by our MAP platform, finished with 45 correct picks out of a possible 63 to output a 71% Winning Pick Percentage (WPP).

To be fair, this was slightly under Yahoo’s average of 47 correct picks delivering a 76% WPP and further still from Yahoo’s top finisher, who selected 54 correct picks with a WPP of 86%.

This was however, enough correct picks to win the Sysomos pool and have a year’s worth of bragging rights over my colleagues.

Post Tournament Bracket Results

For a round by round breakdown feel free to follow me on Twitter (@TylerWatson9293).

Now this is a very “outside of the box” use case for our platform but an excellent example of the many creative ways our software can be used to achieve success. Through creative Boolean strings and a broad knowledge of the different features within MAP and Heartbeat the sky is essentially the limit to the different insights we can extract from Sysomos’s extensive database of social content.

For any and all Fantasy Sports inquiries please feel free to e-mail me directly (twatson@sysomos.com). I have a Heartbeat built specifically for capturing mentions of Fantasy Football, Hockey, and Baseball and avidly use it for advice on starting line-ups, waiver pick-ups, and potential sleepers.

For information on other use cases and creative methods of using our software please feel free to contact us or reach out to your dedicated Social Media Specialist.

Change Your Listening Strategy To Listen For Real Insights

By Sheldon Levine - April 7th, 2015

Listen in social media to answers for your questionsBy now, social media monitoring is table stakes for just about any company. Many companies know that people are out there talking about their brand across any multiple of social networks. They’re saying what they like about your brand, what they don’t like, what they’re doing with your products, asking questions and much more.

Monitoring for your company or brand is great and allows you to be reactive around what the social world is talking about in terms of your brand. But what can you do if you want to answer questions about your business beyond “what are people saying about us?”

Last week, Amber wrote a great post outlining what true social intelligence is. Social intelligence goes beyond just monitoring for your brand (but you should keep doing this as well) to help you really understand your audience and make accurate predictions to what they need in the future, both in terms of content you provide and what they want from your products or services or how to make them better.

So, the big question then becomes, how do you monitor differently to get true social intelligence out of the social data that you’re collecting?

The trick to doing this is to not go in to social monitoring thinking that if we listen to everything the answers will just show themselves. Instead, what you need to be doing is going in to your monitoring strategy with specific questions in mind already and then base how you’re listening on finding the answers to those questions.

For example, let’s say that you’re a large coffee chain and you want to know how you can make your customer’s experience with your employees even better. Listening for just your chain’s name will likely give you some conversations around your customers’ experience, but it will be mixed in with every other conversation about your brand. Instead, try setting up your social media monitoring to look for specific cues from your customers about their experience with your staff. Using a monitoring software like Sysomos that allows your to narrow your search down using complex searches and organizing tags will make this much easier.

If you’re setting up your monitoring to know how your customers’ experience is, you’ll want to monitor for mentions of your brand name and customer experience related words. Searches like Starbucks AND (barista OR employee OR “behind the counter”) will help you to narrow down on the conversations just about your staff and your customers. From there, you can look through these posts or use text analytic tools to surface the key things that people are talking about. You can see what people like and don’t like, or what they wish you would do in the future. You can even get more specific to find things to fix by just focusing in on the conversations from this bucket that are negative in sentiment. What are the negative things people are saying about your staff? Now, what can you do to fix those things?

Sysomos MAP - Negative Word Cloud Around Starbucks Employees

But social intelligence can go way beyond just monitoring for your brand. Also think about your products and services in a more general sense. Think about what kind of questions to ask to make your specific products or service better than your competitors.

For this example, let’s say that you’re a smartphone manufacturer and you need your next phone to be a big hit. How do you know what consumers want from their phones? In order to get your answer, think about how your audience in social media would answer that question. You can try monitoring social media with a query like “I wish” AND (phone OR smartphone) to find conversations about what people wish any phone would do. Look for the trends in what people are saying they wish for. You can then take their answers over to your R&D department and say “This is what people want, how can we make this happen?”

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph of Smartphone Wishes

These are just two examples for how you can approach social intelligence through monitoring.

The important thing to remember here is to not just jump into social media monitoring so you can only react. Think about what questions you’re interested in answering and then approach your monitoring with queries that will help you find those specific answers.

And if you ever need some help, remember that Sysomos can help you with your monitoring to find the answers to your most important questions. Request a demo today to find out how.

The Elite Eight Brands of March Madness [Infographic]

By Sheldon Levine - April 3rd, 2015

NCAA March MadnessThis weekend every college basketball fan will be watching the semi-finals of March Madness as the final four teams square off to determine who will play in the championship game on Monday. And while we’re down to only four schools now, last weekend’s Elite Eight face-off gave us some inspiration for an infographic.

Anyone watching the tournament knows how each of the teams is doing already. We wanted to know how each of the official March Madness sponsors was actually doing. Especially in the world of social media as people tweet and create content along side the real-time action of the games.

To do so, we ran each official sponsor’s name and any official campaign hashtag through our Sysomos social intelligence engine to see how many times they have been mentioned throughout the tournament. However, to keep things fair, the brand’s name or hashtag also had to be used in conjunction with talk of March Madness (such as the #MarchMadness hashtag or other March Madness talk). That means that if a campaign hashtag was used on it’s own, it didn’t make it into our official count. This was done to offset any mentions of the brands that are officially sponsoring March Madness from any other talk outside of the tournament conversation.

We put our results into the infographic below listing out our Elite Eight Brands of March Madness based on their number of mentions and favorable sentiment rating. Check it out and see if your favourite brand made it to the Elite Eight:

The Elite Eight Brands of March Madness

Listen To The Top Content Marketers On The Content Pros Podcast

By Jason Harris - April 1st, 2015

Content Pros

When you work in any field, it’s hard to stay connected to the thought leaders and advanced topics that you typically have to go to a conference to be exposed to.

A new podcast for content marketers has been launched by our own Amber Naslund, SVP of Marketing for Sysomos and Chris Moody from Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Rather than focusing only on theory and high level thinking, Content Pros is twice-monthly podcast that features interviews with heavyweights in the content marketing answering the questions you want answers to.

Content Pros is 8 episodes in and has featured amazing shows with the likes of Jason Falls, Ann Handley, Jason Miller and many other luminaries. The shows are about 30-40 minutes long and a fantastic mix of fun conversation and hard hitting tips and topics that will enlighten you with every episode.

Also, for each Content Pros episode, the website features a visual note taker for every episode! They’ve partnered with Chrysallis Studios to create videos capturing the key points of Content Pros episodes.

Here’s an example:

Personally, I love podcasts because I can listen to them while on a bike ride, driving or walking to work.

Content Pros is available in iTunes, on Stitcher and via your favorite podcasting app. Sysomos is a proud sponsor of the podcast series we hope you subscribe today!

What Exactly Is Social Intelligence?

By Amber Naslund - March 31st, 2015

It’s not uncommon for people in the tech world to create a new term when they feel like an old one has lost its lustre.

But in the case of “social intelligence”, we really are referring to the next generation of how social data informs your enterprise far beyond “brand watching”, listening or monitoring.

The Social Intelligence Continuum

What’s so different?

We all know how social media has revolutionized the web. In fact, you could argue that social media now is the web, since the construct of social pervades nearly every corner. The static web is all but extinct.

So we’ve taken the unfiltered, dynamic voices of the web and amplified them exponentially.

The difference between “now” and “then” is a function of two important things: 1) scale; and 2) customer relevance.

How Data Has Grown Up

When people talk “Big Data”, what they’re really referring to is the huge masses of unstructured data that comes from the complex social interactions that make up the web today. It’s impossible to just run that kind of data through a spreadsheet.

Sysomos processes several terabytes of data in a day, and that adds up to several petabytes of data in a year, and it is ever-increasing as the universe of the web continues to expand.

Applying the sophisticated math and science to make sense of that data and deliver something meaningful and actionable in a dashboard is no small feat, and Sysomos is one of the few companies in the world that is working with data at this scale.

So when we talk about Intelligence, we truly mean moving the needle from simply finding “hits” on a mention of a keyword to understanding the historic patterns in the data and using that information to not only predict what could happen next through predictive analytics, but get in front of future events.

Why is being predictive so darned important?

Customer needs have evolved far beyond just needing a response to a tweet (though we still have work to do to make that a mainstream best practice, but that’s for another post).

Frankly, the real promise of social – the one we all talked about back in 2006 or so – hasn’t really been fulfilled.

We promised that social would create for customers a more personalized, relevant, real-time world.

Now, data science like we’re doing at Sysomos is finally allowing us to deliver on that promise by observing and analyzing patterns in information, behaviours, preferences…and helping companies deliver exactly the right content, offer, or product in the moment when someone needs it, where it’s most appropriate.

It’s not just about listening anymore.

Social intelligence brings about an age of understanding influence, measuring community dynamics, predicting future outcomes, and applying those learnings to create mass relevance through products, experiences, and business operations in real-time.

We can not only become the early warning system for business threats and opportunities, but the engine for customer advocacy inside the business.

We can pinpoint the trends AND use that information to help access the “dark” side of social, including the silent majority of people that never publish content but use the web to inform their buying decisions and lifestyles.

And most importantly of all, delivering this level of customer experience and relevance means that we help future-proof companies. We are arming them with the information they need to constantly skate to where the puck is moving, make smart pivots, stay the course when warranted, and shape a business dynamically around the ever-more sophisticated and connected consumer.

That’s a heck of a lot more than the “show me when someone mentions my brand” stuff we started with.

The future is here, and it’s a socially intelligent one.

Are you ready to meet it?

If you’d like to get a taste of what Sysomos’ social intelligence solutions like MAP and Heartbeat can do to move beyond brand mentions and create relevance for your customers, sign up for a demo of the smart, new Sysomos today

Live From Stubbs: An Interview With Amber Naslund

By Sheldon Levine - March 27th, 2015

Live From Stubb'sWhile our team was down in Austin for SXSW we had the pleasure of getting to meet and speak with a ton of great people from clients to friends to new friends we made on the street. The conversations that happen during SXSW is one of the greatest pleasures we get from attending. One of the conversations that was had down in Austin was recorded for your viewing pleasure though.

Amber Naslund, our SVP of Marketing, was invited to speak with Aaron Strout and Kyle Flaherty as part of their ongoing Live From Stubb’s interview series.

During the interview Amber speaks about the evolution of the social media space. She notes how the social intelligence space has changed from being about listening and reporting on what’s already happened to also include a shift towards predictive social intelligence; what’s going to happen and what are the things your company needs to get in front of. The interview also hits on the topics of big data and small data and what companies need to be doing with all of that information they have at their fingertips, what today’s marketers need to be successful and her book, The Now Revolution, and how it may be more relevant today than it was when her and Jay Baer wrote it in 2011.

On top of all the great business talk Amber has with Aaron and Kyle, we also get to learn a little bit more about what Amber does outside of work, like her love of rescuing pit bulls and that she plays the flute (which we didn’t even know until we saw this).

Watch the whole interview below:

Three Intelligent Ways Agencies are Leveraging Social Data with Sysomos

By Mitch Schneider - March 24th, 2015

As a senior member of the Sysomos sales team, I have the pleasure of interacting with many different types of organizations, from smaller, hungry start-ups to the world’s most influential brands.

I also get the chance to speak and meet often with digital agencies, and it’s truly awesome to see what many of these firms are doing with social intelligence. In this post, I wanted to share three of those things, with the hope that your own agency or organization could better leverage social data to make sounder business decisions and move the needle.

Comparative Analytics

Everyday, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social sources detail billions of online conversations, ranging across infinite topics and ideas. Many of these conversations cite specific brands, products and services, and smart agencies can easily filter and corral these mentions to construct real-time market analysis for a brand and their competition.

By determining and visualizing such metrics as share of overall voice, share of voice across individual sources, brand sentiment, geographic breakdown, etc., agencies can quickly educate their client base on competitive benchmarking, relevance of social sources, tonality, and much more.

Share Of Voice

Competitive Share of Voice mentions for three luxury car models.

Influencer Identification

Remember the days when star athletes or celebrities influenced our purchasing decisions? I’m thinking back to Michael Jordan and Gatorade, Mark Wahlberg and Calvin Klein underwear, and even the old Marlboro Man. We valued these celebrities for their talents, looks or style, and because of this, we often bought their products, or, at the very least, considered buying them.

Today’s influencer isn’t necessarily featured on a Wheaties box or has a million-dollar smile. Rather, today’s influencer could be anyone – you, me, your mother-in-law – and that influencer is someone who knows a lot about a specific brand or product, and is well-connected with their audience.

Knowing who the influencers are in your industry and engaging them can be VITAL in amplifying your message and selling your product or service. Agencies are among the best organizations I’ve seen at influencer reporting, and they’re detailing follower/following info, authority score, frequency of mentions, etc. to identify these people who shape conversations.

Identifying Influencers

Major Influencers on Twitter for the Audi A5.

Crisis Management

An organizational crisis can occur at any moment, and social media is often the first place to report on a pending disaster or issue. While it’s near impossible to predict when these types of events will happen, there are social measures that can be put in place to quickly identify and determine the severity of a pending crisis.

One thing agencies do to manage crises is set-up e-mail alerts for all their clients, and set keyword volume thresholds to immediately alert the team in the event their client is being talked about more than normal across social media channels. Taking this a step further, an agency may establish alerts to notify them when trigger words like “danger”, “trouble”, “accident”, etc. are used in conjunction with their client’s company name or product.

After a crisis has been identified, firms will often try to determine velocity around an issue – meaning, how quickly a topic is spreading on social media – and the validity of the source that first reported on it. Both velocity and source validity can easily be discovered if you have access to a proper social intelligence platform.

Gauging a potential crisis

Popularity spikes can be used to determine velocity and isolate information around a pending crisis.