Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Talk Of The Scottish Referendum In Social Media

The Scottish ReferendumThis Thursday is going to be a big day in the United Kingdom.

On Thursday the people of Scotland will be voting on referendum that would see Scotland breaking off from the United Kingdom and England to become it’s own country. Of course, this is a huge deal for everyone in the United Kingdom.

People have been talking about this referendum for almost two years, but now that it’s getting down to crunch time, we thought it would be interesting to see what people have been saying for the past month in social media around it.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, we searched through social channels for people using the referendum’s official hashtag, #IndyRef, and social conversations that contain both Scotland AND referendum for the past 30 days.

Our search came up with over 2.7 million results. Our search terms showed 9,403 blog posts, 36,161 online news articles, 8,160 forum postings and 2,673,318 tweets that have been talking about the upcoming referendum vote.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

While, of course this has been part of a great deal of conversation, especially in the United Kingdom, for a few months, when we looked at these mentions spread out across the past month, we can really see the referendum talk ramp up in the past few days as the vote becomes eminent.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

As we’ve mentioned a few times already, this is news around the world, but especially in the United Kingdom. When we looked to see where conversations about the Scottish referendum were coming from, it wasn’t surprising that the majority of it came from the United Kingdom. 59.9% of all the conversation was actually coming from the United Kingdom. Interestingly enough, the two largest “colony” countries also seem to be keeping an eye on what’s going on with Australia accounting for 3.5% of the conversation and Canada with 3.4%.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

However, many people around the world outside of the colonial countries are keeping an eye on what’s happening and also talking about it. A look at our geo location heat map of tweets that have surfaced in the past month that meet our search criteria shows that people around the globe are in fact interested in what’s going to happen on Thursday.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets

Since we were already looking at Twitter, we decided to dig in and see what hashtags were being used most when people were tweeting about the Scottish referendum. When we look at the list below of the top 10 hashtags being used we can see that five of the 10 seem to be on the #VoteYes side, which is the side vying for Scotland’s independence. On the flip side of that, only two of the top 10 hashtags being used seem to support Scotland staying part of the United Kingdom; the #BetterTogether and #NoThanks hashtags.

Sysomos MAP - Top Hashtags on Twitter

For one last idea of which side of this referendum might be winning, we decided to compare the #VoteYes and #NoThanks hashtags side-by-side over the past month. When we did this, we found that #VoteYes hashtag has a commanding voice in the social space over #NoThanks with 87% of those conversations.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Overall Activity

There seems to be a lot of chatter pushing towards Scotland becoming it’s own country on Thursday, but social talk is only one thing. Only the votes will really tell.

For a much better (and funnier) explanation of what the Scottish referendum is about and what’s been happening, here’s a great (and hilarious) video from Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver:

What do you think is going to happen on Thursday?

Build Awareness through Social Media

Donations-590x250With the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and with the many causes that have flooded and leveraged social media to fundraise, it’s important that organizations ensure that they have raised awareness along with capital.

Social media offers the unique opportunity to know more about your charitable campaigns beyond the amount of dollars raised.

For instance, ALS’ wikipedia page views are up 18% since the Ice Bucket Challenge commenced. The Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t alone in this field, even though it has fully dominated most newsfeeds this summer.

Race for the Cure, The Big Dig, Charity Swear Box, amongst others have all raised funds successfully on social media. The hope beyond money is that the message of why these campaigns exist gets across to a large and engaged audience. Essentially, to go viral in some capacity.

Each campaign must monitor and measure their website analytics, where users are interacting with their website, Wikipedia and any other satellite websites where information of their cause is kept.

On top of all of this, you need to closely monitor social media activity. Every tweet, post and comment must be part of your measurement and determining success.

An interesting point to note is that the ALS Wikipedia page in other languages has generated an increase in traffic, proving that this sparked interest from around the world.

This is not to say that the money raised isn’t the real cause, but the real value lies in increasing awareness which can lead to ensuring spikes in fundraise don’t take nosedives in the future.

Social media has the power to get a message out to the large group of people and have it expand from there. This has to be part of the intention when crafting these online campaigns.

Once the Ice Bucket Challenge subsides, it’ll be fascinating to see how the next few campaigns handle the challenge. As well, will people have gotten the message of what the Ice Bucket Challenge was really about.

Filtered Feeds And The Future Of Social Advertising

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

What a Filtered Twitter Means for the Future of Social Media

Twitter users were outraged this week – shocking, we know – to learn that Twitter announced possible plans to switch to an algorithm-drive content feed. If adopted, using Twitter would feel more similar to the user experience on Facebook, which also uses an algorithm-driven feed to filter the content that appears on users’ homepages. The result would eliminate the aspect that many users believe to be Twitter’s greatest strength – a raw stream of information and opinions filtered only by which users choose to follow.

As GigaOm points out, users are not pleased:

Twitter1

 

The real question for social media users to ask, however, is not how this change may affect Twitter, but what it means for the future of social media? Facebook and Twitter, the behemoths of social media, have found an effective model for generating revenue from ad dollars, which means we better get used to seeing promoted content across all of our social feeds. The social media advertising industry in the U.S. is projected to be $8.4 billion in 2014 – and grow to $15 billion by 2018.

The Future of Social Advertising

Although we’re all accustomed to incessant and irrelevant Internet advertising by now, consumers will no longer have to suffer through months of banner ads trying to sell them dietary supplements or jeggings after one regrettable Google search. Today, advertisers are finally equipped to actually bring consumers content they desire, or will desire.

More data about consumers’ preferences and desires exists on social media today than ever before. But while advertisers previously lacked the ability to harness such information to deliver worthwhile content, Sysomos’ social technology has progressed to a level where marketers can dive deep into communities of users. This allows them to produce specifically tailored content from what they say, what their friends say and what is said to them – all in real-time. This new technology allows social advertisements to finally deliver to consumers the content they’re actively interested in, and even predict their preferences. It’s the right content, to the right person, at the right time.

So does Twitter’s move to filtered content signal the world’s pending takeover by advertisers? Maybe – but at least we’ll be too engaged on social media to notice.

Social Media Finds its Voice Against CeeLo

CeeLo-Green-Deletes-Twitter-After-Rape-CommentsSocial media is vocal and when it is time to let a brand, user or celebrity (who can be labeled as both user and brand) know how it feels, it can become relentless.

As discussed many times in this blog, all digital marketers and celebrities need to not just be careful of what they post, but also really consider the message they are sending.

Recently, musician and television personality CeeLo Green used Twitter to share his controversial beliefs on rape. The comments won’t be repeated here but needless to say, Twitter responded in kind.

The response was fast and harsh causing CeeLo to remove the tweets and deactivate his account but not before screenshots of the conversation made the digital rounds.

The real consequence for CeeLo was after news of this story surfaced, TBS canceled his TV show after only 1 season. A great reminder that social media carries very drastic real world consequences.

So many great lessons for digital marketers and PR practitioners, but it’s unfortunate that it comes at the expense of such harsh and false comments.

While most would never post on this issue unless for very specific reasons, the lesson is that social media is always vigilant and always on guard. Just as important to take away from this is that the consequences do not end in the online world, they will continue to follow you around.

As always suggested on this blog, organizations should stay far away from these topics, regardless of how vehemently strong the stance might be. If for some reason they pertain to your cause than enter very carefully.

Watching Twitter opinions congregate, mobilize and attack is really one of the great sights to behold in this day and age. It never ceases to surprise, and we should all be curious as to where it will wield its power next.

New Twitter Rules After the Death of Robin Williams

article-2723742-207FF52400000578-54_634x422In the wake of Robin William’s shocking suicide last month, social media exploded with memories, kind words and warm wishes for his friends and family. Unfortunately, some of the tweets directed at his children were less than kind and thoughtful.

In light of his daughter, Zelda, being the victim of the harsh and cruel attention by certain users, Twitter has changed its rules as to what it deems to be inappropriate .

The new rule allows the family of the deceased to have hateful or inappropriate material removed. The Williams family worked with Twitter to create this rule and, unfortunatel,y it is a necessary one.

How big of a topic was Williams’ death on Twitter? There were about 63,000 tweets a minute on August 11, showing the range and power of Twitter and how many users were deeply affected by his death.

The posts that led to the rule change involved users sending Zelda Williams Photoshopped images of her father’s corpse and his cause of death.

Twitter is a newsfeed first and foremost but it also doubles as a place to share, reflect and learn. Williams’ death illustrates both  aspects, but it was wise of Twitter to create new rules to protect the loved ones left to read all of the messages.

All users and organizations know you are at the mercy of whatever is posted. There’s not much you can do when reading about a trending topic. You can ignore, retort or hope that others will come to your aide and defend.

The reality is that Twitter and all social media is a free medium where opinion flows every second in real-time. You have to be willing to absolve everything shot your way, but in this case it was too sadistic and personal.

Twitter is best served as a great and powerful newsfeed and arena for discussion. These negative moments are going to happen but Twitter should be applauded by not hiding behind that fact.

Millions Talk About The #ALSIceBucketChallenge While Raising Millions

Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and others take the #ALSIceBucketChallenge

Last week on on the blog Mark wrote about the virality of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. And viral it has been.

The Ice Bucket Challenge caught on and spread super quickly across social media this past month. And why not? It was fun (kind of), it raised awareness for a good cause, it gave people a fun way to spread the word that they were into and it raised a lot of money for a charity that wouldn’t have usually seen that much (according to Wikipedia ALS has raised over $100M across a variety of charities).

With it’s great numbers in terms of fund raising, we thought that it would be interesting to take a look at what kind of numbers the #ALSIceBucketChallenge put up in terms of social mentions.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, we looked for mentions of #ALSIceBucketChallenge, #IceBucketChallenge and “Ice Bucket Challenge” and found more than 21 million mentions between the beginning of August and yesterday. First, we found 51,537 blog mentions, 106,478 online news articles, 96,353 forum postings and 21,114,062 tweets that have talked about the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

Interesting to note; on Twitter all of those tweets equal out to 25,875 tweets an hour about the Ice Bucket Challenge. As well, it’s interesting to see that both men and women are tweeting equally as much about the Ice Bucket Challenge with women slightly beating out the men.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

A lot of the sharing has been done though videos posted to Facebook. Because we only have access to public status updates, we found 821,080 statuses mentioning the challenge (but we’re positive there’s A LOT more that aren’t public).

Sysomos MAP - Facebook Public Status Activity

But not all of the videos have been shared just through Facebook videos. When we looked at YouTube we found that 402,806 videos have been uploaded in that same time period that had been tagged with or mentioned the Ice Bucket Challenge in their title.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

The Ice Bucket Challenge has also been extremely popular on Instagram. A search for the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge showed over 2.4 million posts to the photo and short video network.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

In addition to that, just #IceBucketChallenge also showed over 1.4 million more Instagram posts.

Sysomos MAP - Instagram Activity Summary

So, where are all of these mentions of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge coming from? It appears that almost half of all Ice Bucket Challenge mentions are coming from the USA. However, when we look at our geo location heat map of tweets about the challenge we can see that the charity phenomenon has really gone global.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Twitter Heat Map

If only we could achieve numbers like this for other charities as well (and I’m sure we’ll see many attempts in the near future).

BONUS: I took the #ALSIceBucketChallenge last week, so if you want, you can see the video here.

Did Canada Commit a Twitter Faux Pas?

canada-geography-tweet-russia.siCanada might have gained many followers with their recent tweet to Russia and its tongue in cheek nature, but did they do the right thing?

The tweet in question was a mocking jab at Russia equipped with a map  that outlined Russian territory and what was not Russian territory. The tweet was labelled as a geography lesson after Russian trooped crossed the ukraine border and later claimed they did so accidentally.

The tweet came from Canada’s official Twitter account, was posted by a delegate working out of Brussels and has been shared more than 10,000 times. 

Much of this stems from earlier events in March where Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula under much scrutiny and controversy.

Regardless of whether one respects Canada’s bold stance on the issue, and their forthright and direct communication on the subject, should they have done this?Twitter is many things to many people, brands and organizations. It can be a tool of diplomacy but might not be the best tool for antagonism.

While Canada’s Twitter account can be applauded on some level, could their message have been sent more professionally and earnestly? The answer is yes but clearly that was not their intention.

There’s no doubt they were trying to stoke the fires of an already explosive situation.

It would never be highly recommended for other nations to go down this route. Social media is a great tool to connect with citizens, less so to combat other nations or to mock them.

The reason being is that online actions have offline consequences. Canada opened itself to some kind of Twitter retaliation (not necessarily from Russia directly) and that’s unfortunate when the account should be devoted as a two-way communication pipeline to its citizens.

Diplomacy is an area of social media that is vital and proven. Canada has an exemplary record in social media, and let’s hope this was simply accidentally and not a reflection of  activity to come.

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.

The Social Backlash Towards The Teen Choice Awards

TEEN CHOUCE 2014: Logo.In the world of social media, honesty and transparency is key and non-negotiable. This should be apparent to everyone who understands the medium and how to communicate within it.

For some reason, this approach was not clear to those who run the Teen Choice Awards. The backlash erupted after it was revealed how winners are picked.

Once fans discovered the award ceremony dedicated to performances, shows and movies geared towards teens was rigged, the digital gloves came off.

The lowdown is that teens vote for their favourites on teenchoiceawards.com. Then, the Teen Choice Awards gets to select the winner from the top-four vote getters.

How big did this issue get? The hashtag #TeensDontHaveaChoiceAwards was the top trending topic.

The whistleblower in the instance was Vine celebrity Cameron Dallas, who exposed the show to his 3.1 million Twitter followers. Dallas was a winner who claimed he found out about this six days before the awards show was to air.

Voters were up in arms on Twitter, referring to the awards as The Producer’s Choice Awards, and tweeting up a storm about the hours they have wasted in their lives voting for something that didn’t matter.

How the TCA rebounds for next year remains to be seen. Right now, it needs to repair its relationship with its fan base and voters and repair its overall image on social media.

This is a huge lesson for every brand in social media. You must always be transparent, and that doesn’t mean a quick disclaimer for legal purposes.

As important is if you ask people to care and invest their time, you have to be genuine about how their involvement matters. Pretending it matters has to potential to blow up in your face.

How TCA will engage fans for future voting will be interesting to watch, but right now they have a lot of work to do to fix a broken relationship.

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.