Posts Tagged ‘analytics’

Putting Social Intelligence To Work – A #SMWLA Presentation

Social Media Week Los Angeles #SMWLAYesterday at Social Media Week LA (#SMWLA) we had the distinct honor of presenting to a packed room of eager social media folks on how they can use social intelligence to make their businesses better.

Our very own Jason Harris, Nicolette Martin and Josh Graham spoke to an attentive audience about the theory of what social intelligence is (which we’ve covered here on the blog many times before) and, more importantly, how companies can apply it to their everyday work, supported with actual use cases from some of our amazing Sysomos clients.

In the presentation our team covered why social listening is important, but also why companies need to move past just listening. Turning that listening into true social intelligence is what will help companies to better understand their audiences and customers and, in turn, make overall better decisions that will make their business better.

Some of the topics covered in this presentation include using social intelligence to:

  • Benchmark
  • Take the guess work out of what your company is doing by supporting decisions with actual facts and stats
  • Guiding merchandising decisions
  • Crisis communication
  • Influencer marketing
  • And, of course, keeping your customers happy

Each of these topics is backed up with specific use cases of how actual companies were able to do these things using Sysomos software.

We invite you to view the presentation for yourself in the SlideShare below:

 

If you’d like to learn more about how you can put social intelligence to work for your company, we’d love to speak with you. Feel free to request a demo of our Sysomos software and we’d be more than happy to teach you more.

Stanley Cup 2015: Who Is The Social Media Fan Favorite?

2015 Stanley Cup FinalTonight is a big night if you’re a hockey fan. At 8pm(EST) the Stanley Cup finals start where we’ll see the Chicago Blackhawks face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning to see which team will take home The Cup this year.

Both teams have had an exciting season and an even more exciting post-season. In the last round of the division playoffs, both teams took their series to 7 games before winning their chance to play for the sacred Stanley Cup. And now that both the Blackhawks and the Lightning have made it to the finals, this series also promises to be a great one for the fans to watch.

Last week we took a look at which team was the social media fan favorite for the NBA Finals, so we thought it only fair that we do the same for the NHL this week.

Using our Sysomos MAP social intelligence software we looked for mentions of both the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning across social media from the beginning of the NHL 2014-15 season (which started on October 8, 2014) up to this morning. What we found was that the Blackhawks saw a lot more action on social channels than the Lightning. Looking across all social channels, we found that the Blackhawks were mentioned in 4,212,437 posts over the season. At the same time, the Lightning only received 1,579,467 mentions.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Mentions Comparison of Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Looking at those mentions plotted out over time on our popularity chart, it actually seems like both teams mentions seemed to have followed the same pattern in terms of mentions. Both teams saw minor spikes and valleys over the course of the season and then much larger ones as they went into the playoffs. However, while their patterns look similar, you can still see that the Blackhawks saw much more action over all, showing that they seem to have a much more socially engaged fan base.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Popularity Over Time Comparison of Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

What was most interesting though, was that when we broke these mentions down to look at them by individual channels, there was a huge discrepancy. When we compared how each team fared across different channels we found that the Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to be getting mentioned more across blogs, forums and in online news articles. Usually by about 40,000 or more mentions. However, on Twitter, the Chicago Blackhawks were definitely more favored and received almost 3 million more mentions than the Lightning. This Twitter support for the Blackhawks was so large though, that it lead to them seeing way more mentions in the overall total above.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison By Source of Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

But mention numbers aren’t everything. We also have to look at the context of those mentions to really see how the Lightning and the Blackhawks are really being perceived in the world of social media. To do this, we explored the sentiment around each team. When we did this, the race got a whole lot closer.

We started with the sentiment around the Chicago Blackhawks. Here we found that they had an overall favorable rating of 81%. Overall mentions of the Blackhawks over the course of the season showed that 24% of those mentions were positive, while 19% were negative. On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Lightning had an over favourable rating of 79%, which came from seeing 26% of their mentions as positive and 19% being negative. A very close race.

Overall Sentiment for the Chicago Blackhawks

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment for the Chicago Blackhawks

Overall Sentiment for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Looking at the stats above we’re going to make the official call as the Chicago Blackhawks being the fan favourite to take home the Stanley Cup this year. The Blackhawks seem to have way more mentions over the course of the season by fans and a slightly better favorable rating.

Of course, being a fan favorite doesn’t necessarily mean that one is a better team than the other when it comes down to actually playing, so we’ll just have to see who’s going to be the Stanley Cup Champion as the series plays out.

(However, my personal bias as a Chicago Blackhawks fan makes me really hope that our prediction comes true. Go Hawks Go!)

If you’d like to learn more about how our Sysomos MAP software works, please request a demo.

Use Social Intelligence To Design Content Your Audience Wants

Content production and content marketing is key in today’s ‘attention economy’. There’s a reason that you keep hearing the phrase “content is king.” People are addicted to content, whether its writing, pictures, videos or more, people love sharing content, so it’s imperative to produce amazing pieces that resonate with your audience.

Companies need to almost be media companies these days in that they need to constantly be producing content from commercials to blog posts, photography to tweets, online videos to magazine ads and everything in between. But with so much content that needs to be produced, how do you know what’s going to work best?

The secret to creating great content that your audience is going to eat up is getting to really know them. And social intelligence is a great way to go about learning about your audience and what they want.

Discover how they like their content

We mentioned a lot of different kinds of content that people can be producing these days, but the truth is, you don’t have to be doing ALL of them. In fact, depending on your audience, you probably even shouldn’t be doing it all. What you should be doing is learning about which content is going to do the best job of bringing in your audience. This is a twofold process.

First, you want to start searching for your brand name or topics around your industry to discover where people are talking. You may find that these things are being talked about on just one social network or several. Whichever the case, the places where your brand or topics around it are being mentioned are the places you’re going to want to start exploring.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Activity Summary of Social Channels

Sysomos Heartbeat - Activity Summary of Social Channels Minus Twitter (digging deeper into other channels)

Second, when you’ve determined where the conversation is already happening it’s time to learn about HOW they’re happening. Each social network works differently and different topics do better in different forms on each of those networks. For example, you might find that on Twitter a lot of people are sharing pictures that relate to your brand, while on Facebook videos are much more popular. Doing research on what kind of content does well and where it does well will help you to determine what kind of content to create and the best places to use it.

Find what they’re interested in

Once you’ve determined what kind of content you should create, the next step is to actually start creating it. This is where things get a little more tricky, because you need to really figure out what content is going to resonate best with your audience. But it doesn’t have to be when social intelligence is on your side.

It’s a good assumption to start by believing that your audience has some kind of interest in your brand already. Now how can you figure what else they like so that you can tie it back to your brand? Again, the answer is with some research, and text analytics are always a great tool when trying to figure out what people are interested in.

Twitter is a great place to start because a lot of people will tell you right in their bio what they’re in to. Our Sysomos software has a great tool that will actually let you see a word cloud of your followers’ bios. By looking at something like this you can pick out themes that seem to stand out, meaning that a large population of your audience are likely also interested in and talking about the larger words in the word cloud. Below is a word cloud for @redbull‘s Twitter followers. We can see that some words that stand out in the word cloud include “sports,” “music” and “Instagram.” All of these things (plus more) are definitely subjects that Red Bull focuses a lot of their content on, and it makes sense, because we now know for sure it’s what their audience likes.

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud of @redbull's Twitter Followers' Bios

But since Twitter isn’t the only place your audience might be, it important to explore other channels and see what people are talking about there. Just noticing what people are talking about around your industry can give you great ideas for what themes you should be focusing your content on. As an example, we pulled a buzzgraph to see what people were talking about around HBO on blogs over the past few weeks. No real surprise here, but we found that Game of Thrones has been a big topic around the company recently, so it makes sense that HBO is creating a lot of content around the show currently.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Buzzgraph of Talk Around HBO on Blogs

Using text analytics every few weeks across the channels that your audiences are most active in will give you a good idea of where their thoughts and interests are heading and you can constantly adjust your content to fit in with your audience every time you do this.

Create things that help

One other thing that we can recommend is to create content that helps your audience. People always appreciate content that helps them in some way or another. It doesn’t matter if you’re a software or a food company, you can always make something that helps or teaches your audience. The best part is that this type of content will usually keep your audience happy, satisfied with your brand and coming back for more.

As a software company ourselves, it’s very easy for us to produce helpful content. In fact, we have an entire portal within our Sysomos system (which is a place we know our audience is very active) dedicated to content around how people can understand and use our software better. Inside the portal we have a collection of both articles and videos (which are the two mediums we found our customers find easiest to consume) that help them to do their jobs better. We used our own software to determine what issues our customers were trying to solve with our software and then started to create content that is going to answer those questions for them.

Sysomos Support Portal

But not every company is a software company that can produce how-to content. That doesn’t mean that you still can’t be helpful to your audience. A great example of a brand creating content to help their audience is Chobani Greek Yogurt on their Pinterest page. No one really needs a how-to document on eating yogurt or an infographic on how to choose the flavor that’s right for you, but there’s more that people can do with yogurt outside of just eating it on it’s own.

That’s why on Chobani’s Pinterest page you can find a ton of recipes of other dishes that can be made using their yogurt. The company learned that their customers liked to cook and that people go to Pinterest to find recipes, so they made a place where they are able to help people create all kinds of fantastic dishes that incorporate their product. They’re helping their audience to be better all-around cooks and made sure that their brand was inserted into it. Content like this is very helpful to people and had a natural fit for their product. Start thinking about all the ways your  brand can help people.

Chobani's Pinterest Page of Recipes

All of these things above are ways that you can create content that is going to resonate with your audience. All it takes to get going is using a little bit of social intelligence to learn more about your audience and then creating the content that is going to work best with what you’ve found from your research.

Learn what your audience really wants from your content with Sysomos. Contact us to learn how.

Who Is The Social Media Fan Favorite To Win The NBA Finals?

NBA Finals 2015It’s official; we now know which two teams are headed to the NBA Finals. As of Wednesday night the Golden State Warriors clinched their chance to play against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who secured their spot in the NBA Finals a few days earlier.

This series is going to be quite interesting for basketball fans to watch as the Warriors were arguably the best team in the NBA over the 2014-15 season while the Cavaliers, with an all-star lineup, are one of the most popular NBA teams. This is bound to be a heated matchup.

While basketball reporters and analysts are already starting to make their predictions on who’s going to walk away as the champions once the series kicks off on June 4th, we decided to take a different approach to choosing a winner by using our Sysomos social intelligence software to see who the world favors based on social media chatter.

We started by comparing the share of voice between the Warriors and the Cavs over the course of the 2014-2015 NBA season up to this morning. We mentioned above that Cleveland was probably the most popular team currently in the NBA and looking at the share of voice between them and Golden State helps to make that very apparent. From October 18th up to May 29th the Cavaliers have been mentioned over 12 million times across social media channels. At the same time, the Warriors have only been mentioned 5.2 million times.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Across Social Media Between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors

And it’s not that the Cavaliers have been favored on one channel that threw them into such a major lead as we’ve sometimes seen before. When we broke down the mentions of each team across the different channels we found that Cleveland had a greater share of voice than the Warriors on every channel. On blogs, the difference in mentions of the teams was around 30,000 mentions, and that was the social channel where the two teams were the closest in terms of number of mentions. In forums, the Cavs were mentioned over 150,000 more times than the Warriors, while on Twitter the difference was nearly 7 million.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice by Source

We then decided to see if the difference came at any specific time during the season. It could have been possible that the Cavaliers ran away with mentions after a stellar playoffs performance. However, when we plotted the mentions of each of the two teams over time we found that the Warriors were consistently discussed less than the Cavs over the entire season. Even when they secured their place in the NBA Finals, Golden State didn’t generate the levels of social media talk as Cleveland did.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Comparison Between the Cavaliers and Warriors

Finally, in our quest to determine who the social world thinks is going to walk away as the NBA Finals champs we looked at the sentiment surrounding each team. this is where things got a bit more interesting. While the Cavs did see a much larger portion of mentions over the season, they also seemed to have received more negative mentions than the Warriors. Over the course of the 2014-15 NBA season 23% of the talk about the Cavaliers was positive, but 22% of the talk was also negative. this gave Cleveland an overall 78% favorable rating. On the other side, 50% of all the mentions of the Warriors were positive, while only 9% were deemed negative. This gave Golden state an overall 91% favorable rating.

Overall Sentiment for the Cleveland Cavaliers

Sysomos MAP - Sentiment Around The Cleveland Cavaliers

Overall Sentiment for the Golden State Warriors

Sysomos MAP - Sentiment Around The Golden State Warriors

Based on what we’ve seen above it’s obvious that the Cavaliers are clearly the fan favorite in this matchup. Despite having a better favorable rating, likely because of their phenomenal playing over the season, the Warriors just don’t seem to have the same amount of people behind them to take the championship.

We’re making the official call of the Cleveland Calvaliers as being the fan favourite to win the NBA Finals this year.

But what about the star players?

Lebron James vs Stephen Curry

Both the Warriors and the Cavaliers have some stellar players, but one on each team seems to stick out to most fans; Stephen Curry and Lebron James. As an added bonus to our analysis we wondered which of these two NBA stars was more popular with the fans. Each is a phenomenal player and both are recognized as such. However, when we did a share of voice analysis around mentions of Curry and James, we again found that one had run away with the recognition of being a fan favorite. Across social media channels we found Stephen Curry mentioned 7.2 million times over the course of the season, but Lebron James dominated him by over 10 million mentions, racking up an astounding 17.7 million mentions.

We guess there’s a reason they call him “King” James.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Between Lebron James and Stephen Curry

The Voice Season Finale: Winners Are Not Always Social Media Fan Favorites

Sawyer Fredericks Wins Season 8 of The VoiceSeason 8 of The Voice has just come to a close and Sawyer Fredericks has officially been crowned the winner, or, the man with “The Voice” if you will.

After 13 weeks of gruelling competition, it all came down to four finalists battling it out during this week’s finale that spread itself over Monday and Tuesday night. Millions tuned in to both nights to cheer on their favourite singer and see which one would actually win. Not only did they tune in with their TV’s though, but they tuned in through social media as well.

The Voice has a large contingent of loyal fans that not only watch the show, but interact with it through various social channels, including Twitter which lends itself very nicely to the real-time feeling that people can have in sharing the experience together no matter where in the world they may be. We thought it would be interesting to leverage MAP, our social media intelligence engine, to see what happened over The Voice’s finale through social media.

We started simple and just looked at mentions of The Voice over May 18 and 19, the date of the two finale episodes. Our search included the show name, it’s hashtag that it used throughout the season (#TheVoice) and their special #VoiceFinale hashtag that they were promoting for these two episodes. Over Monday and Tuesday we found that The Voice was mentioned in almost 250,000 social conversations. It appeared in 1,343 blog posts, 6,069 online news articles, 2,109 forum postings and 235,807 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Social Media Activity Summary Around The Voice's Finale

Most of the activity around the show came from Twitter, which makes sense for the reason given above, so we dug a little deeper into the channel. Here we found that Tuesday’s show, when the actual winner of The Voice was crowned garnered much more attention than Monday night’s broadcast. We also found that women are much more inclined to tweet about the show as they made up 72% of all of The Voice related tweets, while men only accounted for 28% of them.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary Around The Voice's Finale

But the overall show hashtags aren’t the only hashtags that The Voice promotes. During the season, every artist that performs gets their own hashtag so fans can show their support for their favourite. These hashtags are usually along the lines of #TeamWhoever, but occasionally a performer gets something unique that the fans come up with on their own. We took a look at these hashtags over the two night finale as well. In this case, Koryn Hawthorne and Sawyer Fredericks went with just #TeamKoryn and #TeamSawyer, respectively. The other two contestants, Meghan Linsey and Joshua Davis, had additional hashtags; #MegaFans for Meghan and #DavisNation for Joshua.

We looked at how those hashtags got used through the two night finale of The Voice and found that Fredericks hashtag was used the most, which should come as no surprise as he won the whole contest. However, it appears that despite him winning, he may not have actually been the fan favorite. As it turns out, over the two nights, Sawyer’s hashtag only got used in two more mentions than Joshua’s. That’s a pretty close race. See the final tally for the singer’s hashtags below:

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions of The Voice's Finale Contestants

When we looked at the use of their hashtags from the previous week through the finale shows we noticed that Sawyer may not have been the fan favourite to win at all. A look back to the second last episode shows that there was a huge amount of popularity around Koryn which seemed to fizzle out as the week went on and through the finale. As well, Joshua seemed to be getting more hashtag love during the previous week’s episode and all through the week right through the Monday night finale episode, but was then overtaken by Sawyer on the Tuesday night… but just barely.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Comparison of The Voice's Finale Contestants Over Time

If we look at that same time period in terms of share of voice between the singers, it looks like the fan favorite would have been Joshua who’s hashtags had over 5,000 more mentions than Sawyer who came in with the second most.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of The Voice's Finale Contestants' Hashtags Over the Final Week

But the singers aren’t the only ones that vie for the publics love. The coaches, who are all famous artists already, also try to get the fans of The Voice to help support them and their team throughout the season. This season the coaches included Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell. Only three of these coaches had someone from their team competing in the finale though, as Pharrell had two people from his team, but Christina had none.

So, which coaches team got the most love during the finale? When we analyzed the use of the coaches Twitter handles and team hashtags over the two night finale we found that it was a super close competition. Pharrell, who had Sawyer and Koryn representing his team, saw 27,302 mentions. In a very close second place though was Blake Shelton, who was Meghan’s coach, with 27,263 mentions over the finale.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions of The Voice's Coaches Over the Finale

Interestingly though, when we ran the same search around the coaches over the course of the entire season of The Voice, it turned out that Pharrell may have been the list popular coach. When we looked at the numbers for each coach across the season we found that Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera were the coaches that were talked about the most. Adam Levine had the most amount of mentions with 655,945 across the entire season, while Christina Aguilera was a close second with 647,383. Pharrell came in last in terms of mentions with only 542,529. Although, a look at how each week played out, it seems that each coach had weeks when their team excelled.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity of The Voice's Coaches Over the Season

Sysomos MAP - Share Of Voice of The Voice's Coaches Over the Season

On top of all these people that appear on the show, Nissan actually plays a big part in the show as it’s main sponsor who powers the show and it’s companion app. So, how did they fair? We searched for mentions of Nissan along side The Voice and then their two hashtags they were pushing through the show, #VoiceTailgate and #RedThumb (for their campaign to not text and drive). As it turns out, Nissan actually saw large bumps in mentions of them whenever The voice was on, especially towards the end of the season.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity of Nissan with The Voice Over the Season

Nissan saw a big bump in conversations for the finale as well, but it turns out that their largest spike in conversation came the week before Mother’s Day when they ran this ad for their #RedThumb campaign:

Overall, it seems that The Voice’s two day finale was a huge success. We’ll end off our analysis by showing you the overall sentiment around the finally, which came in with an 88% favorable rating.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment of The Voice Finale

@POTUS; The President Of The United States Gets His Own Twitter Account

It’s barely been 48 hours since the @POTUS handle appeared on Twitter, but it’s already been able to amass quite a following.

@POTUS, short form for President Of The United States, belongs to none other than Barack Obama… for now anyways. The Twitter account came into being on Monday May 18, 2015 and the President sent this as his first tweet:

While the account @BarackObama has been around since Obama’s first run for presidency in 2008, it has mainly been run by the President’s staff, with the odd tweet from the man himself which were marked with a “-bo.” This new account will actually belong to the president and allow him to tweet his presidential views all on his own.

It’s no surprise that when the account surfaced, many people and news organizations flocked to follow and try to interact with the President. Just over 24 hours since the @POTUS account sent it’s first tweet it has managed to amass about 2.2 million followers. At the time of writing this, the actual number of followers is 2,181,335 and still growing. We got curious about just how the account spread like wildfire and managed to attract so much attention in just a short period of time, so we did some analysis using MAP, our social intelligence software.

We started by looking at how the President’s first tweet from the @POTUS account spread using our Tweet Life analysis. This function looks at a random sample of 4,000 retweets of the original tweet in question and shows how it travels through the Twitterverse and shows us who helps to amplify the message. In the case of this tweet though, many users were pointed towards it from the press who were giddy to see the new Presidential account. Many people flocked to follow the new @POTUS account and then retweeted his first ever tweet spreading the news to their own networks. The 4,000 tweets we analyzed played out like this: Sysomos MAP - Tweet Life Spread of @POTUS's First Tweet We only analyze 4,000 retweets to get an accurate sample of how the spread played out, but the tweet actually received over 250,000 retweets. The full amount of retweets likely played out very similarly as news about the account spread. We found that the half-life for this specific tweet, the time it took to get from the original tweet being posted to it’s 2,000th RT, came in only 3 hours and 31 minutes. What this tells us is that the reaction to the President joining Twitter moved swiftly and gained momentum very quickly. Part of the reason that this account gained such momentum was due to the fact that every news organization and popular Twitter account wanted to be one of the firsts to welcome @POTUS to Twitter.

After we analyzed how the President’s first tweet spread we looked at how the communities of influence were interacting over the news using our Influencer Communities tool. It’s very interesting to see how the Twitter communities interacting with the new @POTUS handle became divided. The first community we can see is represented by blue. In this community we can see the actual @POTUS handle and it’s surrounded by other insanely popular Twitter accounts like @BarackObama, @TheEllenShow, @MTVNews and even @MileyCyrus saying hello and welcome to Twitter. The second community, represented in green, is news organizations and news makers, such as @TIME, @NYTimes and even @JimmyFallon who were all making note to their followers that the account now exists. The orange community is more made up of official government and government focused accounts who were tweeting about @POTUS. Finally, and possibly most interestingly, is that the red community seems to be mostly made up of right leaning Twitter accounts, like @JebBush and @FOXNews, who all had a negative tone towards the new @POTUS account. Sysomos MAP - Influencer Communities around @POTUS Knowing that this new account has already racked up over 1.8 million Twitter followers, we were curious as to who exactly was following @POTUS, as in the 24 hours since the account came into existence it already managed to earn itself a Sysomos Authority Score of 10/10.

Sysomos MAP - Bio Info for @POTUS

While the Twitter handle belongs to the current leader of the United States, we first noticed that people all over the world are interested in following him. Only 38.3% of the accounts followers identify as being in the United States themselves. The second largest contingent comes from the UK making up 6.6% of @POTUS’s following, followed by Canada at 3.1%.

Sysomos MAP - Followers by Country of @POTUS

We also found that more men seem to be interested in what @POTUS has to say than women. 65% of @POTUS’s followers are male while the remaining 35% is females. Sysomos MAP - Followers by Gender of @POTUS We then looked at the Sysomos Authority Score of @POTUS’s followers. Because of the wide appeal of following the leader of the free world we found that the majority of accounts that started to follow fell in the range of middle to low authority scores. These are people that use Twitter, but wouldn’t be considered “power users.” These are lickely the people who use Twitter to keep up with celebrities, news and other interests, but may not be very active on the platform themselves. Which would make sense that they would add @POTUS to their lists of accounts to follow. There are still accounts with high Authority following @POTUS, but it seems that the majority of followers fall into the general population.

Sysomos MAP - Authority Score of @POTUS follwers

This is even more evident when we pulled up a word cloud of @POTUS’s follower’s bios. Here we can see that these followers identify with a wide variety of topics and backgrounds. See for yourself: Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud of @POTUS's Follower's Bios So, it seems that a lot of interest has been generated by this new @POTUS account. Just over 24 hours old and the number of followers waiting to see what Barack Obama has to say continues to grow, even as we write this. And why wouldn’t they be, as you can already see Obama’s humour shining through the account with this little exchange he had with former President Bill Clinton yesterday:

Beefing Up Agency Margins Through Social Intelligence

Beefing Up Agency Margins Through Social IntelligenceAny one who has ever worked for a creative or communications firm – or even attempted to start their own – knows the financial side of the agency world can be a tricky beast. Agencies are mostly considered “services”, and the margins for companies in the services space are often razor thin.

Most agencies operate on a retainer-billing model where they charge clients either a recurring monthly fee (for example, $15K/month), or an agreed-upon amount based around a project or campaign (like, $25K for work around a product launch or trade show). The retainer amounts and length of engagements vary from firm to firm, but the point is, most agencies bill in terms of monthly retainers and project fees.

And within these monthly retainers, the agency often outlines, explicitly, what services the client will receive in exchange for their monthly fees, along with an estimate of how many hours the agency team members will spend servicing their account. For example:

——

The Mitch Agency charges Company X $20,000/month for communications work. Scope of work includes:

-$6,000: [40 hours (@ $150/hour) for media pitching, placement and reporting]

-$3,000: [15 hours (@ $200/hour) for communications strategy]

-$3,000: [12 hours (@ $250/hour) for content creation for web site, news releases and blog]

-$1,500: [10 hours (@ $150/hour) for crisis communications, alerting, and awareness]

-$1,500: [5 hours (@ $300/hour) for media training of executives and public-facing staff]

-$5,000: for misc. costs, such as travel, subscriptions, tools, ad hoc requests, etc.

Total: $20,000/month (80-plus hours/month)

——

Keep in mind, the above scope of work is very, very basic and non-descriptive. But this is typically how many firms determine client costs, and how they lay them out.

The tricky part to all of is the hours’ piece. While an agency may designate 40 hours/month on a retainer sheet for media pitching, placement and reporting, in actuality, that agency may spend 50 hours accomplishing this task. This overage could be for a number of reasons — it may have been a particularly busy month on the pitching front; there was an unexpected story that boosted visibility; or the firm just didn’t do a good job of tracking its hours.

Regardless of the reason, the agency is now in the unenviable position where they either have to charge the client an unexpected fee for the additional work, or, simply, the agency has to eat the cost (which they’ll often do to avoid aggravating the client). And rather than pocketing the $20,000 for the client work and netting $3,000 (after overhead costs), the agency now pockets the $20,000 but loses $1,000 because of the extra costs it incurred to keep the staff working and lights on during those extra ten hours.

Again, this is an overly simplified example. But the gist here is, agencies have very thin financial margins because they’re selling strategy and human-generated services, which are much more vulnerable to human error and loss of profitability then if the product sold was something tangible and transactional, like software, cars, real estate, etc.

Social intelligence reporting can greatly improve agency margins

So, how can an agency offset its thin margins, while at the same time stay current in its offerings and diversify its product set? Easy. That agency can begin selling and packaging social intelligence.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Executive Overview Sample Dashboard

From what I’ve seen in the market the past year, it’s safe to say most companies are doing very little in terms of collecting and analyzing social intelligence that directly impacts their business. Sure, that company may have a Twitter feed, Facebook Fan Page, and LinkedIn microsite. But when it comes to making light of the trillions of data points in the social sphere, those organizations are doing next to nothing.

Even more surprisingly, very few firms have the tools and the know-how in place today to help companies understand and take advantage of this expansive data set. This represents a GIGANTIC market opportunity for all kinds of agencies – communications, digital, marketing, advertising – to begin collecting social data on behalf of their clients, and then report back those findings to their clients on a weekly/monthly/quarterly or annually basis.

Using another basic example, let’s say a small agency works with a dozen clients who each pay, on average, $8K/month in retainers. This amounts to $96K/month in retainer fees for the agency, or just under $1.2M/year.

What if the agency introduced to all its clients a very simple set of monthly social intelligence reports, where the firm billed each client at the modest rate of $750 each?

Sysomos Heartbeat - Demographic Research Sample Dashboard

If we do the math – $750/report x 12 clients x 12 months – that agency just grossed an additional $108,000. This represent a 10% increase on top of what it was just earning on its old set of standard services.

Better yet, the margins in selling the social intelligence reports are, likely, far better than normal agency offerings, as the only incurred costs to the firm are (a) the data and platform fees (which are extremely reasonable in today’s market), as well as (b) the fast time it can take to extract social data and productize it by way of a report.

Bottom line

Most communications agencies operate in the services space, and as a result, they are subject to thin margins due to the fact that they’re selling strategy and counsel, which are not tangible things. Agencies can improve their bottom lines, not to mention, expand their suite of services, by investing in social intelligence software, and then re-selling this data back to their client base. Social intelligence reporting is a relatively untapped market, it’s easy to productize, and can be quite lucrative.

How social intelligence benefits Human Resources

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

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?

What Exactly Is Social Intelligence?

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