Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Old Technology Meets Social Media on Record Store Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

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

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity

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

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

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

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

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

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Geo Location Heat Map

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

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Mention Types

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

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud

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

What Brands Connect Best with Younger Audiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easter weekend is here.

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

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

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

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

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

The Sweetest Easter Candy Of Them All Infographic

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

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

An Interesting Real-Time Social Aspect To The London Marathon

london marathon

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

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

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

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

Sysomos MAP -  Country Breakdown

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

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Gender Demographics

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

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

Sysomos MAP - Most Retweeted Tweets

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Regular Social Media Audits

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

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

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

1. How are our social media efforts going?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is There a Place For Anti-Social Media?

cloak-appThis might not come as a shock to most digital marketers, but social media is constantly changing and, sometimes, in strange ways.

The latest trend might be the oddest one yet.

Anti-social media is something that seems to be gaining steam, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. In fact, there could be hidden opportunity there.

Anti-social media is defined by a network (Web based or app) that lets you not connect to people. The best example might be Cloak.

Cloak uses location technology to help you avoid your connections. You link it to Foursquare or Instagram, and you can flag people you want to avoid.

In simple terms, it allows you to avoid people that you want to avoid. If a “flagged” person gets too close, you receive an alert and can then avoid them or allow fate to take its course.

In even simpler terms, it’s the anti-Facebook. A real option for those who do not want to connect or engage.

If Cloak is the one that will make this market take off, remains to be seen.

Putting Cloak aside for a moment, you could consider this to be a new digital philosophy or  movement that has to be monitored by digital marketers. And, of course, it has to be seen if it can be leveraged.

This doesn’t mean your audience or potential audience is disconnecting from social media. It just means the networks are getting creative and users might be interested in something new and exciting.

Social media is about connecting, there’s no arguing about that. Whether you are connecting to other users, information or content. This won’t change, but there might be room in the game for “others”.

Digital marketers would be best to start thinking of tactics now that could help them connect with the anti-social crowd, because it might be growing.

Follow the Great Content From Our Social Intelligence Summit Today

Want to kick off your 2014 by hearing  insightful social strategies, trend predictions and perspectives from some of today’s social media leaders? Well, you’re in luck.

Today in Las Vegas we are hosting the Social Intelligence Summit, an invite only event that will feature talks, panels and sessions from marketing leaders from some of the world’s biggest brands. Some of these brands include Twitter, Google Cloud Platform, WCG, Unilever, Visa and more.

Don’t worry if you can’t be there in person, because you can still tune into the conversation happening today between 2-4:45pm PST (5-7:45pm EST) by following the #SocialIntel14 hashtag on Twitter. For more information on the event and the speakers see the full post over on our blog’s new home.

And don’t forget that all full content can now be found on our new home, the Marketwired Social Blog. Bookmark that page to easily find it, or you can subscribe to the new RSS feed by clicking this link and have all future content delivered right to you.

We’re Moving. Come With Us.

Today’s post comes from Kurt Heinemann, Marketwired CMO

Moving truck

The Sysomos blog is getting a big upgrade and moving to our parent company, Marketwired.  All the same great content you have grown to expect plus more will now be at The Marketwired Social Blog.  Make sure to add the new RSS feed to your reader or app so you get the latest posts, insight and information.  We will be migrating all of the historical blog content to the new location so you will always be able to reference and locate all the content you have read here.  All new blog posts from Mark Evans, Sheldon Levine, Jim Delaney and many others will be on the new Marketwired hosted blog at http://blog.marketwired.com/category/social from today going forward.

We will post a reference link and headline to the new articles here for the next few weeks to make sure you have the time to subscribe to the new RSS feed and bookmark the new blog.

Thank you your continued support of our community and we’ll see you over at The Marketwired Blog.

- Kurt Heinemann, CMO, Marketwired

What Everyone will be Whispering about…

whisperTo start a new and exciting social network, you need to land upon an unique angle to attract the spotlight.

The amount of times  that brands have attempted to unveil the “next Facebook” is astounding, and generally has been a losing notion.

Digital marketers shouldn’t be looking for the next Facebook. They need something unique, new and a place  their audiences want to spend time on.

When something fits this bill, they should stop and take notice. From the networks that have popped up over the past few years, Whisper.sh might have the best opportunity of finding and engaging an audience over the next year or two.

How come? The reason may be it mirrors current society, user behaviour… and  it is quite unique.

So what is Whisper.sh you ask?

It’s a new social network that’s starting to get lot of attention. Basically, it allows users to share secrets. It’s similar to a digital version of Post Secret but with comes with an extra level where users can connect, share and converse.

It’s also an evolution of the very popular meme; a tactic beloved by digital marketers. Most important, it’s the anonymity that lets Whisper to differentiate itself.

The fact people can stay anonymous is a big departure from Facebook and Instagram. Whether this is an angle that can be replicated by others in an innovative way is something that only time will reveal.

Whisper is clearly catching on as illustrated by the three billion page views a month. The key question is what brands will be first to find the best way to connect with users through whispering? It is difficult to speculate what brands will jump soon but it interesting to consider.

Digital marketers tend to speak more into a megaphone than whisper, so it will be a challenge for them to use something that’s more subversive and off-brand than they might use.

Of course, this isn’t to say that it can’t be done.

In social media, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

WestJet Thinks Outside the Box to Drive Social Success

westjet christmas miracleWith many brands firmly on the social media bandwagon, it’s increasingly difficult to rise above the crowd.

It wasn’t that long ago that simply being on social media was enough to provide a brand with differentiate. That first-mover advantage has quickly disappeared as having a social media presence has become table stakes for many brands.

So, now what? How do brand enjoy social media success when everyone else is battling for the spotlight?

The most straightforward approach is simply being super-engaged to attract and nurture a large community. By throwing in some interesting content, interactivity and some free goodies along the way, brands can have various degrees of success.

But if brands really, really want to stand out, they need to be creative and think out of the box. At the same time, they have to be willing to experiment and leverage social media as part of an overall marketing plan.

A great case study is WestJet Airlines, which recently set up a video terminals at airports in Toronto and Hamilton that gave flyers the opportunity to tell Santa want they wanted for Christmas.

When these people got off the place in Calgary, their requests – big-screen televisions, cameras, etc. – were waiting for them in the baggage area.

To capture the reaction, WestJet set up 18 cameras in Calgary’s airport. It then posted the videos on YouTube, and purchased ads on Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic.

The videos went viral and has attracted more 18 million views, providing WestJet with a huge social media and marketing win at a much lower cost than what it would have cost to advertise on television.

“In a social media environment, the sharing of it almost becomes the point itself: ‘Look what this company did, I find it engaging, I want to tell you about it,’” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s vice-president of communications and community relations, told the Globe & Mail. “It goes exponentially from there. It’s very alluring to marketers to say how can I engage in that?”

The key lesson for brands looking for social media success is exploring different ways to attract the spotlight. Not every brand has the budget or creativity to match WestJet but it should not stop brands from trying to be distinct or, at least, interesting when it comes to social media activity.

At the end of the day, brands are battling for attention on the social media stage. It’s a noisy, distracting and competitive marketplace so the ability to somehow capture the spotlight is becoming more important.