Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Did Social Media Betray Michael Brown?

0819_ferguson_social_970-630x420As the story of Michael Brown and the ensuing conflict and mounting tension between citizens and authorities in Ferguson, Missouri continues, it seems social networks have been either flooded with the story or left on the sidelines.

This incident paints a rather vivid image of how people connect and engage with certain networks. Maybe some issues just feel out of place whereas others blend naturally in.

Twitter has seen high activity of people sharing their thoughts, feelings and documentation of the events. While on Facebook, it has received far less attention – an alarming lack of activity in some regards.

This is by no means a reflection of the event itself, but really demonstrates and cements the belief that Twitter is first and foremost a news source and a place for people to gather and discuss world events.

It has been fairly well documented how Facebook seems to be absent of activity regarding Ferguson. Other networks as well seem to have content about everything but Ferguson.

This is a very important lesson for digital marketers everywhere. Each network has it’s own purpose and personality, and not everything will translate well across multiple platforms. 

It’s really up to users to how they want to use a network, and that in turn will define it. Facebook lends itself very well to aggregating the news and opinions but Twitter seems ripe for more debate and sharing of news stories.

A story of this calibre feels like it should be plastered and talked about in every corner of social media. Instead, it was mainly concentrated to one area, which of course just happens to be one of the giants of the industry.

What events like Ferguson prove is that Twitter is the home to important news stories, opinion and discussion. 

Social media is the tool to make build awareness and share stories. Why some work better than others is really just based on the user and perception.

It might be upsetting to some to see what was being shared on other networks while Twitter was full engulfed in the Ferguson situation, but by no means are users responsible  for this in any way. Every big story finds a home somewhere in social media.

How The 2014 MTV VMAs Sparked Over 9 Million Social Media Posts

This post originally appeared on the global Social Media Week blog.
vma-2014

Ever since the days when MTV played music videos 24/7, the MTV VMAs (the popular short form of Video Music Awards) have been a really big deal to the younger generation of music fans.Since the first VMA in 1984, music artists have known that the youth of America, who primarily dictate the ever changing state of current popular music, will completely accept them if they receive a coveted “moon man” statuette to put on their mantel.

While the MTV VMAs have always been a big deal, as social media came into its own, it gave way for a whole new platform for people to connect over the “super bowl for youth,” both for fans and artists. It’s given them a way to turn this event into an interactive experience. Whether it be by live tweeting what they’re seeing to creating gifs for Tumblr of their favourite moments from the show just minutes after they happened live.

Social media has become a huge piece of the VMA puzzle, so we thought it would be interesting to look a little bit more into the numbers behind it.

Using Sysomos’s industry leading social media monitoring and analytics software, Sysomos MAP, we looked across social media channel from Sunday through Monday (to see the day of the show and the follow-ups the day after) for mentions of the VMAs (and other major variations of it).

In just those two days well over 9 million pieces of social content were created that made mention of the VMAs. First, we found that the VMAs were mentioned in 7,953 blog posts, 15,053 online news articles, 3,928 forum postings and an impressive 9,190,842 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary Around VMAs

We then took those numbers and plotted them out over the two days on our popularity chart and saw something very interesting that speaks to how people are using different elements of social media. First off, a look at the chart below shows that Twitter mainly drove all conversation around the VMAs, by so much that it actually out shadows the three other channels. The other thing that we can see is that Twitter surged on the day of the show as people live tweeted their way through the red carpet, performances, and the actual awards.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart for VMAs Across Social Channels

However, when we remove Twitter mentions from the chart we can see that while blogs, forums and online news were talking about the show on the day of, they really surged on the day after by posting all of their follow-up to the VMAs content. What this tells us is that Twitter is used mainly for the real-time as it happens insights, while most other mediums seem to be better for reactions after the fact.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart of VMAs Without Twitter

But these weren’t the only social channels where the VMAs were popular. When we looked at video content created over those same two days that were tagged with or had VMAs in their description, (across sites like YouTube, Vimeo and others) we found 7,367 different videos.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary of VMAs Videos

On Tumblr, a network known for its visual content and a favorite place for youth to share gifs, we found 295,647 different posts that were VMAs focused over Sunday and Monday.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of VMAs on Tumblr

Even Instagram users created 494,581 pictures that were tagged with the #VMAs hashtag.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of VMAs on Instagram

Other interesting things to note about the social popularity of the VMAs; when we looked a little bit deeper at the people tweeting about the VMAs, we found that the awards seemed to be more popular with females. Only 35 percent of all the tweets about the VMAs over Sunday and Monday were created by men. Women produced the remaining 65 percent.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of VMAs on Twitter

That also speaks to how certain artists are seen. From looking at cultural events in the past that youth are involved in, we’ve seen many times over that artists like Justin Beiber and One Direction get retweeted frequently. However, when we looked at the most retweeted tweets around the VMAs, all of the top six are from members of the band 5 Seconds of Summer. Are these guys the new 1D?

Sysomos MAP - Most Retweeted Tweets Containing VMAs

When we looked at where mentions of the VMAs were coming from across all channels we found that 59.4 percent of all mentions came from the USA. That’s not very surprising seeing as the awards show is American based (MTV does a separate VMAs for their European market).

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution of VMAs Mentions Across Channels

While the USA did out shadow the rest of the world talking about the VMAs, a geo-location heat map of Twitter mentions reveals that the rest of the world was also engaged in the event. The USA still shows the most Twitter mentions, but we can also see on the map that Twitter users around the world were participating in the conversation.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets About The VMAs

So, what was everyone actually talking about? A look at our buzzgraph (which shows words being commonly used in the conversation and how they’re connected) and word cloud show that almost all of the talk was around peoples’ favourite artists that were attending, winning or performing at the VMAs. The two artists that seem to stand out the most though are Beyoncé, who did a 16 minute performance and received the MTV Michael Jackson Vide0 Vangard award (a lifetime achievement award), and Miley Cyrus, who’s Wrecking Ball won video of the year and was accepted by an unknown man named Jesse who spoke to the audience about homeless youth in America on behalf of Miley. The only thing that did not fit in with the category of artists is the appearance of Suge Knight in the text analytics. However, Knight’s name appears because of an incident at a VMAs pre-party that left him injured and made headlines all day on Sunday.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph of Conversations Around The VMAs

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud of Conversations Around The VMAs

The Summer of the Ice Bucket Challenge

dm_140806_headlines_icebucketThe summer of 2014 has been a big one for social media, but nothing has defined it more than the Ice Bucket Challenge; a campaign to help raise awareness and money for ALS research.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has dominated many social networks, especially Facebook where videos of those who accepted the challenge has filled user’s newsfeeds.

The idea is pure gold for digital marketers and PR companies. Best of all, it’s simple and easily went viral because it was for a compelling cause.

All people had to do was turn on a recording device, give a quick message which includes nominating others for the challenge, dump ice water on their head and upload to Facebook and other networks.

Pretty brilliant when you consider the concept and its popularity. The reports suggest that the ALS Association who is credited with the campaign has raised over 70 million dollars whereas normally they raise around 2 million by this time of the year.

Of course, the celebrity involvement didn’t hurt.

The danger now lies with those who plan on imitating the campaign. For other organizations who are looking for a boost in fundraising, copying this challenge might leave you feeling like ice water was poured over your head.

This is a classic example of catching lightning in a bottle. Altering it to fit your cause (since the use of ice water is meant to replicate the feeling ALS has on your muscles in some small way), will only have most people ignoring you altogether.

For digital marketers and PR practitioners, you need to try to get one step ahead and figure out how they can utilize social media and its rabid user base to elicit donations and awareness.

The Ice Bucket Challenge will be a digital marketing case study for quite some time and the desire to imitate will be there. You have to resist or risk having it blow up in your face.

Can Online Popularity Predict Emmy Winners?

This post originally appeared on the Social Media Week global blog.

 

Seth Myers Hosts The 66th Annual Prime Time Emmy AwardsOn Monday night many viewers will be tuning in to see if their favourite TV shows are also the worlds best shows when the 66th Prime Time Emmy Awards go live to air. This year’s show will be hosted by Seth Myers (of Late Night With Seth Myers and formally of Saturday Night Live) and is the biggest night of the year for those involved in the television industry and TV show fans alike.

The fans play a huge role in the TV industry because unlike movies that most people see once, fans of TV shows tune in (in most cases) once a week to catch up with their favourite characters and stories. They form a bond with these shows and anxiously wait for the next episode to air.

And social media has also played a huge role for television in the past few years. The ability to connect with millions of other people that are watching and discussing the same show you’re watching in your living room makes a TV show into an event in its own right. Social networks have deffinitely taken notice of this. Perhaps the best example is Twitter, who is usually the network that sees the most traffic around television shows as they air live, who has created a whole ad unit around being able to target people for promoted tweets that are talking about a TV show as it’s airing.

With this much invested in the social space for television, we got curious and wanted to know if the online popularity of a show can predict if it will win an Emmy. So, using our industry leading social media monitoring and analytics software, Sysomos MAP, we decided to look at talk around some TV shows that are up for Emmy’s next week to see how popular they’ve been online and compare our results to the actual winners.

We decided to focus just on specific shows for this fun study. The following will be a look at the popularity of TV shows that are up for Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie. For each category we will show you the number of mentions each show received between August 20, 2013 and August 20, 2014. After looking at the numbers of mentions that each show received, we’ll make our pick for the predicted winner of the category. After Monday night we can come back to these predictions and see if they were accurate.

We now present you, without commentary, the data around each nominated show and the predicted winners;

 

CATEGORY: Outstanding Drama

Breaking Bad

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Downton Abbey

Game Of Thrones

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Game Of Thrones

House Of Cards

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for House Of Cards

Mad Men

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Mad Men

True Detective

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for True Detective

Side-By-Side Comparison

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions for Outstanding Drama Shows

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Over Time Comparison of Outstanding Drama Shows

AND THE WINNER IS…

Breaking Bad

 

 

 

CATEGORY: Outstanding Comedy

Big Bang Theory

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Big Bang Theory

Louie

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Louie

Modern Family

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Modern Family

Orange Is The New Black

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Orange Is The New Black

Silicon Valley

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Silicon Valley

Veep

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Veep

Side-By-Side Comparison

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions for Outstanding Comedy Shows

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Over Time Comparison of Outstanding Comedy Shows

AND THE WINNER IS…

Big Bang Theory

 

 

 

CATEGORY: Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie

American Horror Story: Coven

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for American Horror Story: Coven

Bonnie And Clyde

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Bonnie And Clyde

Fargo

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Fargo

Luther

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Luther

Treme

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Treme

The White Queen

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for The White Queen

Side-By-Side Comparison

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Mentions for Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Over Time Comparison of Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie

AND THE WINNER IS…

American Horror Story: Coven

 

What do you think about these predictions? Can online popularity actually predict an Emmy winner, or do certain shows just lend themselves better to online talk and memes than others? Let us know in the comments.

Shark Week Puts Up Impressive Numbers Despite Backlash

Shark WeekAnother Shark Week has come and gone.

Everyone’s favourite week of television devoted to the worlds most cunning killing machine has just finished running for it’s 27th time. Yes, Shark Week has been an annual event on Discovery Channel since 1988 making it the longest running cable television programming event in history.

With such a long running history that pulls in millions of viewers a year, we were curious just how popular the event was on social media. To find out, we did a little digging on the social media numbers behind Shark Week by looking up mentions of it using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.

We looked for mentions of #sharkweek OR “shark week” OR #sharkweek14 OR #sharkweek2014 and found 2,138 blog posts, 3,296 online news articles, 692 forum postings and 1,647,658 tweets between August 10-17.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

During the same time period we found 85,772 posts on Tumblr of all sorts that also made mention of Shark Week.

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Activity Summary

And on Facebook, we were able to find over 17,000 public status updates that were talking about Shark Week.

Sysomos MAP - Facebook Activity

These are pretty impressive numbers. But as we did a little more digging, we found that people didn’t seem to be as in to Shark Week as you might have thought. When we looked at how some of those numbers above played out over time in our popularity chart we found that Shark Week was a big deal when the week kicked off, but then tailed off as the week went on. Sunday August 10th was the first night of Shark Week and was the day that saw the most people talking about it. As the week progressed though people were talking less and less about Shark Week.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

Another disturbing thing that we found while looking at the numbers around Shark Week was that people seemed to be complaining about it. When we looked at the sentiment around the entire week of shark related programming we actually found that only 11% of the conversations about Shark Week came through as positive. At the same time, a whopping 40% of Shark Week conversations had a negative connotation.

Sysomos MAP - Sentiment Summary

Some of this negative talk may have been due to some of the programming that has come into play over the years during Shark Week is fictional stories about sharks, while it was traditionally a week about learning real facts about sharks. This year Shark Week kicked off with a special called Submarine Shark. The story was based off the tales of a giant shark in South Africa that was actually made up by reporters in the area to see if they could fool readers. The tale grew into an urban legend with people claiming to catch a glimpse of the shark, but no evidence ever surfacing. People felt duped because they thought they were watching a documentary about a real shark and took to social media to complain about it. However, Discovery Channel never claimed that any of it was real and the the Shark Week Twitter account even asked it’s followers if they believe that the shark exists.

Despite people’s feelings about getting tricked or knowing that some of the programming was fictional, there’s no doubt that the talk in social media definitely put up some good numbers and did its job of raising awareness for a week of “killer” programming.

Hotel Issues Fines for Bad Reviews

union-street-ghSocial media is an honest medium for the most part. It’s a place where people go to connect and chat, and where they will tell their networks about their experiences – both positive or negative.

Business owners have been thrown into a new world, one where their fans, customers and potential customers are constantly discussing them. It’s not easy but it is a fact of doing business for now and the foreseeable future.

What you can’t do is fault or punish those who speak poorly of you. This might be the biggest indication that you don’t quite get social media.

A New York City hotel recently fined guests who gave them poor reviews. Union Street Guest House was backpedalling recently, as news of their policy towards negative reviews hit the web and went viral.

A hotel guest came forward and publicly posted how the hotel came after him to collect the fine after a negative Yelp review. The hotel has a clause that stipulates $500 will be held from deposit for any negative reviews posted online.

Needless to say, social media was not kind to the establishment and those who run it. It might be important to note that this hotel currently has a 1.5 Yelp rating.

This is a definitely a no no in social media, and if you are getting negative reviews or word-of-mouth than the thing to do would be to invest your energy in fixing your product or service, not dusting off the pitchfork and trying to collect fines.

Social media can be an enormous boon to your business, and negative posts should be seen as an opportunity.

With social media you now know what your customers are thinking, and if they aren’t satisfied than you have a place to connect with them and try to change their perception.

Everyday we are treated to examples of businesses that use social media to propel them to great heights. This is one of the more unfortunate examples, and one that should not be repeated.

Collective Mourning and Robin Williams

Robin WilliamsWe’ve talked numerous times on this blog about how social media can bring the world together over a single event.

Whether it was a finale of a much loved TV show, a sporting event, or, the unfortunate death of a beloved public figure, there seems to be a want for people to connect (if it’s just by sharing the experience or actually talking about it) over these events.

The latest event like this that we’ve witnessed was with the sad news of Robin Williams passing on Monday night.

Within minutes of the news becoming public social networks were flooded with mentions and talk of the actor. There are few people in the world who could say that they didn’t enjoy at least one Robin Williams film, whether it was a children’s favourite like Aladdin, something that made everyone laugh like Good Morning Vietnam or even a dramatic portrayal such as Williams in Good Will Hunting. The man had entertained the entire world at some point or another and we all knew that and it brought us together over his passing.

But an interesting article in the New York Times on Tuesday asked the question of why we collectively mourn through social media? While there was no definitive answer to the question because it could be many reasons; from showing respect to just feeling the need to express yourself about something or someone that moved you, but part of the answer may be so people can say, I was there, I was part of that… (sorry to call it this, but for lack of a better word) event.

And many many people were part of this event.

A simple search on MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, for mentions of Robin Williams or the most used hashtag around the talk of #RIPRobinWilliams shows just how many peoples’ lives he touched, when many had never actually met the man.

At the time of writing this (on Wednesday afternoon) there have been millions of mentions across social channels. We were able to find mentions in 29,914 blog posts, 66,700 online news articles, 14,548 forum postings and 7,199,489 tweets all since Monday night when the news broke.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

In addition to those channels, we also found 14,151 videos that have mentioned the actor in their title or descriptions since Monday night.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

On Tumblr, the number of mentions in the same time frame showed 3,240,930 postings of various sorts.

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Activity Grid

And the #RIPRobinWilliams hashtag has even been used 383,690 on Instagram.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

None of these are insignificant numbers.

After seeing these numbers it’s hard to call this anything but an event that brought the world together in a collective manner. But why?

We don’t have the answer and you may not either, but we want to know your opinion in the comments. Is the death of world renown person an “event”. Has it always been? Or has social media changed our idea of what an event is or can be?

Let us know below and let’s start a conversation about this.

Fans Get Funny In Extra Extra Innings

Extra InningsI grew up on baseball thanks to my dad and grandfather. I love the sport, but I’ll also be one of the first people to admit that the game can sometimes be a little slow (especially compared to some other fast paced sports like hockey and basketball).

A regular baseball game takes 9 innings to play. On average, that will take about 3 hours to play. So imagine how fans felt when TWO baseball games over the past weekend went to 19 innings (which take a very long time to play).

On Saturday night the Boston Red Sox were in Anaheim to face off against the  Los Angles Angels. This game was tied 4-4 going into the 19th inning when the game finally ended thanks to a walk-off homerun from the Angels’ Albert Pujols. Being a night game, this specific game went until after 1am in the morning on the West Coast. That means if you’re a Boston die-hard fan, you had to stay up until 4am local Boston time to see your team lose.

Towards the end of the game, some fans started to get a little bored and maybe a little loopy, and even the reporters there to cover the game had hoped for an ending to come. Alden Gonzalez, beat reporter covering the Angels came up with this great tweet:

But if that wasn’t enough for baseball fans, the very next day the Toronto Blue Jays faced off against the Detroit Tigers in an afternoon game that also went to 19 innings to finish. This game as well took over 6 1/2 hours to play, so many fans were late for dinner despite having showed up at the ballpark just after lunch (for a 1:07pm start).

Taking a note from Gonzalez, baseball fans started to make jokes about how long this game was taking. What made this game different was that one of the people who started the trend of jokes on Twitter about the game used the hashtag #BeforeThisGameEnds. The hashtag quickly caught on and was actually trending on Twitter… probably sometime around the 14th inning.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, I did a quick search and found that the #BeforeTheGameEnds hashtag was actually used 1,875 times on Sunday alone to make some jokes about things that might happen before the Jays vs Tigers game finally ends.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

I also took a look at some of the most retweeted tweet that came from this funny hashtag and thought I’d share some of the better ones. Some of the jokes on the #BeforeTheGameEnds hashtag focused around baseball jokes that most fans would laugh at; such as:

Some of the jokes that were being slung made reference to other big sporting news:

Some of the tweets on the hashtag were just trying to be funny without any of the sports references; such as:

And, as is usual for Toronto fans, we started to make jokes about ourselves (and our sports teams in general) with tweets like:

Which is a reference to Toronto still being one of the few teams left to still use Astroturf on our baseball field.


Which references just some of the star Blue Jays that happen to be injured and not playing currently.

 

And, of course, no round of jokes about Toronto would be complete without someone getting a Rob Ford joke in:

So, while a 19 inning baseball game may take a long time to play and may not have a ton of action, it’s nice to know that social media can give fans watching a way to connect and have a good time with one another.

Sharing — It’s Based On Emotions

positive_realismTo truly understand social media, we need to keep delving into the emotional underpinnings of what and why people share.

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison examines the outlets used by people based on the emotional content of the message.

Researchers found people were most likely to share positive events via texting and Twitter.

These mediums are easy to access via smartphones when they are happening, and are non-intrusive — recipients can reply whenever they like.

About 70% of the events that people experienced and shared were conveyed via new technologies.

Study subjects — 300 university students who kept track of their communications via a daily diary — revealed that sharing using new technologies enhanced the emotional impact of these events.

So much for the good news, literally.

When experiencing negative events, people were more likely to pick up the phone and interrupt friends or family to share.

Add this tidbit to what Facebook recently discovered in its (debatably unethical) study that found a lot of negative information in a person’s newsfeed can inspire them to be negative themselves — and on the flipside good news triggers positivity.

Again and again, positive energy is demonstrating considerable social media power.

While research keeps fine-tuning our understanding of just how emotions work online, in the meantime the message is clear: good news travels fast online.

 

 

Social Media gets Hit by Another Sharknado

sharknado-2-bannerEvery large film studio, tentpole franchise or network television show feels entitled to not just the most profits, but the most buzz, including in social media.

The reality is that while most of these projects are heavily discussed online, sometimes it’s smaller fish that take a shark like bite out of the competition.

When Sharknado first aired, the film generated an amazing amount of online chatter. At the height of its popularity, it was mentioned in social media 5,000 times a minute. That’s impressive when you consider it was conceived as a silly B-movie.

These numbers made it the most discussed program on television. It didn’t matter if it was cable or broadcast, the world was talking about an Ian Ziering movie about tornadoes that carry deadly sharks that terrorize Los Angeles.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (yes, that’s the title) grabbed hold of peoples’ imaginations and the creativity of social media again. The tweets were relentless, and it’s easy to believe that Syfy has another hit on its hands.

The message is clear: the biggest budgets and marketing pushes don’t always equate to the greatest social media success.

This can be said about any product. Dollar Shave Club has a huge social following, one that might rival competitor Gillette, because it’s digital marketing and communications gets the world talking.

Maybe it isn’t about the money spent but knowing your brand and what you are selling. Syfy doesn’t pretend that Sharknado is “12 Years a Slave” but with sharks. It knows its audience and what they want to see.

Get creative and be inspired. You don’t need millions of dollars and the most compelling and polished product to get the digital social worlds ramped up. You just need something that makes users want to talk about it.

Not an easy feat, but well worth the trouble.