Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

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.

The New Social ROI

socialmedia-roiIn this blog, we’ve focused on the ROI ((return on investment) of social media, which makes sense given it is a topic that continues to attract a lot of attention.

Once again, it’s time to look into the ROI of social media once , and see how it’s evolved and where perceptions lie.

ROI matters and to think social media provides little or no return on the investment is flat out wrong.

Much of what social media has changed in the advertising, marketing and communications landscape is evident every day. What isn’t evident is how social media has evolved the ROI.

ROI has historically been a very straightforward equation. What the bottom line is in regards to the amount you invest. Sounds simple, right?

Social media changed the game by proving the value of conversation, communication and eventually leveraging the power of your audience to have a positive affect on your bottom line. Sounds less simple now, right?

The ROI is there, and organizations who use social media properly feel a pronounced return. It’s how we perceive the return that needs to change.

Audience building, conversation, insight, and of course, profits is the return you will receive. The first three are what lead to the last one, and the return just takes a bit more time.

It’s a new return on investment with social media, but it still pays great dividends. Digital marketers need to be selling the new ROI to their organizations, and keeping expectations intact.

Most can’t make the connections on their own, because it is such a radical change. It exists but is just a different road to get from point A to point B.

The problem lies in the perception of social media for those who haven’t bought in. Maybe the recent activities of social networks going public have helped quell that negative perception somewhat.

If not, the onus is on the digital marketers or digital marketing teams to prove ROI and show how the data, insight and connection to your audience does matter and will affect the bottom line.

Does Social Media Struggle to Grow with Audience?

facebook_twitter-e1383624551877More than ever, it appears social networks are running into problems with specific age groups who are outgrowing their platforms.

Many believe, for example, Facebook faces a crisis when it came to teenage users, while a recent article by All Things D, suggests Twitter might be facing the same demographic challenges.

What does Twitter do as a big part of its user base gets older, and moves on to other social networks?

This is also a problem for digital marketers, who invest time and money in Twitter and other social networks. It doesn’t lower Twitter’s value if you are seeking this age group, but it can be limiting.

Brands don’t necessarily have to grow with their audiences but they do need to invest in the right social networks to get the best results.

The question might also be, do you know what social networks appeal to what ages? Or do you just make assumptions without any research?

We have the habit of thinking that social media is just for “kids” (other than LinkedIn) but that has never really been the reality. Research is key as is removing any pre-conceived notions about users when it comes to social media.

Digital marketers need to understand the sandbox in which they are playing in, and who the users are. You can’t just target Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest if the demographic group you want to reach aren’t engaged there.

The key lessons are staying on top of user trends to see how your audience adapts as they get older. This can be a Pandora’s Box because as users become potential new customers for your organization, they then have to be targeted.

It’s not an easy task but nothing in social media is if you want to do it right.

If you do want to grow with your audience,  your digital strategy has to reflect the data that shows  users grow out of certain networks and into new ones.

Honouring Nelson Mandela Through Social Media

Nelson MandelaLast week the world lost a true hero. A man that stood for human equality and justice for all. A man who brought democracy to everyone in South Africa. Nelson Mandela.

Mandela’s life story is quite incredible. He spent the majority of it fighting to make sure that everyone in his home of South Africa got a fair say in politics and fair chance in life. Some of his actions to help make this happen were not taken lightly by the government and led to his imprisonment for 27 years. But that never stopped his campaign for equality. After being released from jail, Mandela went on to become the President of South Africa in the first ever multiracial election that allowed blacks and whites to vote evenly. This triumph also made him the first black man to hold office in South Africa. After stepping down as President he devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy and awareness to further human rights for everyone around the world.

He continued this revolution almost right up until he passed away at the age of 95 on Thursday.

Since the world learned of Mandela’s death there has been an astounding 14.9 million mentions of his name or tribute hashtags such as #RIPNelsonMandela across social channels. We found these mentions in 90,465 blog posts, 179,827 online news articles, 50,353 forum postings and 14,678,311 tweets. There has also been incredible 18,064 videos that have mentioned Mandela in their title or description since Thursday.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Activity Summary

Looking at these mentions plotted out over the past five days we can see that there was a collective of mourning tweets on Thursday when the news broke. These Twitter mentions continued at a high level over the following days overshadowing all other social channels.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Popularity Chart

When we remove Twitter from the popularity chart though, we can see that Mandela was being mentioned quite a lot through other channels. The difference here being that while Twitter was able to spread the news in real-time on Thursday, most news sites and blogs took the time to write lengthy pieces about the man that got published the following day.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Popularity Chart for Blogs, Forums and Online News

Mandela’s fame and influence had spread across the world throughout his lifetime, and this shows when we explored where mentions of him were coming from. The pie chart below shows where mentions about Nelson Mandela were coming from with all social media channels combined.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Country Distribution

However, to get a better sense of how Mandela’s influence spread across the globe, a look at the geo location heat map of tweets shows that no corner of the Earth was not saddened by the news of his passing.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Twitter Geo Location Heat Map

And people across all channels had nothing but fantastic things to say about Mandela’s incredible life. The most retweeted tweets about Nelson Mandela come from a range of sources from One Direction’s Harry Styles and Justin Bieber to Barack Obama to trusted news sources like ABC News and the BBC to The Nelson Mandela Foundation.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Most Retweeted Tweets

Key conversations from blogs show that people were telling the story of his life and mentioning his many accomplishments in furthering a just society for everyone.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Key Conversations from Blogs

These same of conversations were also coming from online news sources.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Key Conversations for Online News

Now that all of these stories of a great man’s life through struggle and triumph have been brought to major attention, let us hope that the world never forgets what Nelson Mandela stood for and what he taught us all.

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela.