Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

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.

The #SMmeasure Chat Gets A New Home On It’s 4 Year Anniversary

So much to measureFour years ago, when Sysomos became part of the Marketwired family, we wanted to do something to bring our two online communities together. The result was a weekly Twitter chat that focused around discussing issues about social media and the measurement and analytics associated with it that we called #SMmeasure.

Almost every week for the past four years we’ve gathered fantastic groups of people on Twitter to chat. Some of these people have been joining us for all four year, some have joined us for short periods of time and moved on and new people keep joining in on the discussion every week. These people range in knowledge from those who have just started working with social media and want to learn how to measure it and some have been in the industry for years and join to help others and get new ideas from different perspectives. No matter who has been in the chat though, every one of these people has been fantastic and we thank each and every one of them (and you) for being part of the community.

If you haven’t ever participated in the chat, we invite you to join us any Thursday at 9am(PST)/11am(CST)/12noon(EST) on Twitter.

Something that has really blown us away over the years about #SMmeasure is how it evolved so naturally. What started off as a weekly chat with some likeminded people blossomed into a full-blown community of people who share ideas and articles through the use of the #SMmeasure hashtag all week long. Some of the people that share over the hashtag don’t even participate in the chat; they just found it a good way to communicate about measurement in the social media world. To them (and you) we say thank you as well.

Today, we’re going to evolve the #SMmeasure chat just a tiny bit more. For years we’ve posting the chat’s questions on the Marketwired Facebook page and using the @Marketwired Twitter handle to help amplify the questions in the chat. But in our effort to focus in on our communities’ needs on both sides of the Marketwired and Sysomos families, we’ll be handing most of the #SMmeasure duties over to Sysomos.

From next week forward (because this post is appearing on both the Marketwired and Sysomos blogs today) the questions for the #SMmeasure chat will be posted on the Sysomos Facebook page. As well, the @Sysomos Twitter handle will be taking a more active role within the chat starting today.

Now, since we’re talking about the #SMmeasure chat on the blog today, we also thought we’d post today’s questions on the blog as well. And, because we’re also celebrating four years of #SMmeasure, we thought we’d take the questions from our first two chats (we hadn’t figured out yet that 5 questions was optimal for the hour long chat yet, so those two combined give us 5 questions) and look at how everyone’s thoughts and ideas on social media measurement have changed since 2010. You’ll also notice how some of the discussions we had back then have become irrelevant in four years and how others are still being discussed and debated. We think it will make for a very interesting hour.

So, without further ado, here’s the questions for today that were also our questions for the first two #SMmeasure chats in 2010:

  1. What are the most important elements to measure in social media?
  2. What tools do you use to measure social media?
  3. What’s more important to you; followers/fans vs. brand mentions?
  4. Which ranks higher on the priority list; growing followers/fans vs. growing discussions?
  5. What would you rather have; a few key people mentioning your brand vs. having masses of random people?

Don’t forget to check the Sysomos Facebook page every week from our here forward for the #SMmeasure questions of the week and please join us in the chat today (or any time) on Twitter by adding the hashtag to your tweets.

In case you forgot already, the #SMmeasure chat happens on Thursdays at 9am(PST)/11am(CST)/12noon(EST). See you there!

Social media’s balance sheet

5_10_2013_15_08_38_bhnmo6cd32g63tp1nrb8i69n07_zpliyujvtzSocial media sites suffer from the ultimate business conundrum: they have customers, but they don’t always make money. The path to monetization is still long, convoluted and the experts are still drafting and debating best practices.

This week’s earnings report from Twitter reveals that one of the web’s biggest success stories still has untapped financial potential. Yet, Twitter is on a tear, setting up local offices around the world and hiring like mad. Its ever-growing staff is innovating like crazy, testing out a hashtag “translator” that explains some hashtag short-forms and debuting monetizing features such as organic tweet analytics.

While the business side of a social media site and its content interface seem like separate entities, in truth every online moment is deeply influenced by the money piles (or lack thereof) in the background.

Facebook may be ahead of other sites in achieving financial stability, but the experience for businesses and end users has gone through an often rough ride as the site has tried and tested dozens of ideas. Sites such as Foursquare, once a hopeful mainstream player that many small businesses got involved in, keeps pivoting and rebranding as it struggles to find an audience and income. Following the money on potential booms and busts helps you know who to invest in (and how much they’ll be asking for), and who to write-off. But since every monetization milestone on these sites not only costs you money, but often results in a surge of user complaints, you can’t keep your eye off the ROI for a second.

The bottom line is, businesses ARE the bottom line for social media sites. Few sites expect to make money off users, but they fully plan to dig deep into the pockets of B2B clients. Keep your eye on their finances, because they will be impacting your budget soon.

 

The Hashtag Conflict

353-twitisralestineAs global conflicts take centre stage in the world, it tends to also take centre stage in the digital world, primarily in social media. 

It’s widely known that social media contributed to the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall St. along with other crucial events that have occurred in the past 5 years. Now, it is contributing on a much grander scale.

Social media sways public opinion and creates a direct pipeline to the conflict. Viewpoints from those experiencing the conflict firsthand along with military and political personnel can all be accessed 24 hours a day.

One of the current conflicts that is being waged is happening in the Middle East, more specifically in Gaza. A subsection of this war has been waged in social media through such hashtags as #IsraelUnderFire and #GazaUnderAttack.

Social media is also  being used to wage another war, where the ammunition and infantry is information. 

This is not to say that any side is correct, but in these modern times of communication social media is both an ally and an enemy, depending on what side you stand on.

Consider this, the hastag #GazaUnderAttack has been used over 4 million times since July 22nd, 2014. That’s a lot of activity in a relatively short period of time.

The power and reach of social media is unequal and any conflict is now being viewed through the millions of lens that now have a digital soapbox.

As digital marketers, you most likely want to sit on the sidelines for conversations of this nature. It’s also vital to understand that it’ll be slightly more difficult to garner attention when topics like this own the medium.

As every day passes, social media becomes more and more intriguing because of its capabilities. It’s hard to argue that it’ll only become more engulfed in global issues going forward. 

The real question and the one that will be studied is how the digital battle for public opinion affects conflict in the long run.

Jon Stewart And Fans Have Plans For CNN

Jon Stewart Starts A Kickstarter To Buy CNNOne of the great things about having access to Sysomos MAP, a tool that allows you to perform unlimited searches and receive unlimited results about what’s happening in social media, is that on a whim you can look up what people are saying about any trending topic or just things that interest you. You could imagine that around the Sysomos offices we use this quite often, both for serious and fun topics.

Here’s a topic that we’re currently having some fun watching:

Last week on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, they ran a story about how Rupert Murdoch, the man behind News Corp and all their media holdings, wants to buy Time Warner. However, the deal would mean that Murdoch would have to sell off Time Warner’s channel CNN because he already owns another 24/7 news channel, Fox News. When Jon Stewart heard the news, he had a brilliant idea… to buy CNN. So, he decided to do what anyone with big dreams would do in our modern age; start a Kickstarter campaign to make the dream come true.

While the idea made for a funny joke on the show last week, The Daily Show has decided to run with it for a bit longer.

On Tuesday’s episode of The Daily Show, Stewart came to a realization about his lofty plans; if he owned CNN, he’d also have to program the channel with original shows that can run 24/7.

 

Admitting that he couldn’t come up with all the ideas by himself, he turned to the public for help. Stewart asked fans to help him come with some ideas, not just for programs, but also for new technology and slogans for CNN. He did so by asking fans to tweet their ideas using the hashtags #NewCNNshows#NewCNNtech and #NewCNNslogans. 

The Daily Show Asks For Users Suggestions Via Hashtags

We’ve been watching these hashtags for fun and thought we’d share some of the “great” ideas that people have been offering by looking through some of the most retweeted ideas on each hashtag.

#NewCNNshows

Since Tuesday night we’ve found the #NewCNNshows hashtag used in 1,249 tweets (with more new ones being added all the time). That’s about 17 new show ideas an hour. This is also the hashtag that has seen the most use so far.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

Here’s a few of our favourites so far:

 

#NewCNNtech

The #NewCNNtech hashtag has been used the least with only 415 tweets so far, but has also produced some of the funniest ideas. (And apparently, people really like holograms)

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

 

Here’s some of our favourites so far:

#NewCNNslogans

The hashtag #NewCNNslogans has been used 930 times so far. This one has produced some of the meanest tweets towards CNN so far, but some of them will really make you chuckle.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary

Here’s some of the funnier ones we found:

 

And to our friends at CNN, we want you to know that we don’t have anything against you, we just think that Jon Stewart and The Daily Show are hilarious.

 

 

Automation has its limits

robot2-225x300If you’re running a comprehensive social media strategy on numerous platforms, you have to automate. Using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite, Dlvr.it or any of the many others available, becomes essential for keeping track of your posts, having post do double-duty between different networks and scheduling content evenly through the day, and even for evenings and weekends.

But a well-organized automated system is not all joy. Too much automation can make your social media content feel, well, automatic. By definition, social media is social, with real people behind electronically transmitted words and images. Here are some best practices for keeping your automated tools well in line.

Always customize. Automation tools make it easy to send out the same content between multiple platforms. Too easy. Not only is Twitter different from the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn in terms of tone, but your audience and followers are different. And if they’re not, and some clients, customers or fans follow you on multiple sites, they’ll end up seeing the exact same content again and again.

Follow up. While you might automate your posts, you can’t automate your conversations. After scheduling your content, stick around to get involved in the conversation.

Don’t go crazy. Overscheduling your social media channels just tires your followers out. (And turns them into non-followers.) Again, it’s too easy to schedule content, but resist piling on too many posts or tweets in a day.

Be in real time, sometimes. When big news in your industry hits, or you truly have something fresh or spontaneous to say, say it.

 

Does Social Media Belong in the Classroom?

social_media_classroomSince 2010, digital technology has been implemented and featured in many classrooms across North America. Sometimes in small ways but more so in grand ways evolving how students learn.

Now is the time for social media to take a seat at he front of the class.

We live in innovative times with social media at the forefront, and the potential advantages to our education system is remarkable.

Blogging, Google+, Twitter and Facebook have become essential learning tools and it seems like they are not going away anytime soon.

Not only is the knowledge of how to use these social networks key, but ensuring that young people understand how to use them safely needs to be taught.

Social networks are great tools to learn and connect. Google+ and Twitter can allow you to bring different perspectives into your classroom from all over the world. It fits the budget of every school since it is essentially free.

If you are discussing certain current events, why not bring in an expert or someone experiencing it without having to fly them in. 

Allowing students access to the world and different viewpoints that they just can’t get from textbooks is a game changer. Consider the authors, CEOs or historians who would be willing to join in for an hour or do a Twitter Ask session.

The same can be said for having students learn about different industries and companies. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Social media can be powerful tools for collaboration, opening doors for students and teachers to work with peers to share and learn. Social media expands the classroom in so many ways.

Herein lies a great opportunity for brands to connect with young users, but the opportunity isn’t to sell. It’s to brand and communicate and also to learn. Incredibly valuable as you can imagine. It doesn’t just have to be on career day either.

No one is hindered by time and geography anymore because. Learning should not the last stone left unturned by social media or the digital world, and all indications are that it will not be.

Which Hashflags Waved Highest During The World Cup?

After a super exciting 32 days, the World Cup is finally over.

Not only was the game play throughout the tournament exciting, with 171 goals scored to tie for the most goals scored during a World Cup, but the social activity around the event was a whole event itself to try and keep up with.

One of the cool things that was abundant in the social media world during the World Cup was Twitter allowing users to display “hashflags” for the countries they were supporting. Launched just a days before the tournament started, Twitter allowed users to display country flags right in their tweets by simply typing in a # with the three-letter country code beside it.

List of all Hashflags from Bleacher Report

We thought that the hashflags were a genius way for both Twitter to get a little more involved in the World Cup (past the tremendous amounts of real-time talk during the matches) and for fans to show their support for the team they were cheering on. But how much were these hashflags used?

We took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to find out just how many times each hashflag was raised. We plugged in the hashflag hashtags and searched over the 32 days of the World Cup to find out.

What we found was actually quite interesting. As it turns out, how a team actually performed during the World Cup didn’t always correlate to how often their hashflag was used.

While Germany took home the World Cup, their hashflag was actually beat out by Argentina’s who came in second in the tournament. This may not be so surprising after seeing our post last week that showed Germany wasn’t getting as much support in social media from their homeland as Argentina was going into the finals.

The United States also showed great pride for their team during the tournament with their hashflag being the fourth most used of the 32 teams, beating out the Netherlands who actually placed third in the tournament.

For the full counts of each hashflag, see the chart below:

Total Counts For Country Hashflags Over 32 Days of World Cup Play

We also put all of the hashflag count numbers into a pie chart so that you could visually see the difference in the share of voice each country’s hashflag garnered throughout the World Cup.

Share of Voice for All World Cup Hashflags

We also thought it would be interesting to look at how each of the hashflags was used over time. It’s no surprise here to see that each country’s hashflag would spike in usage on days when they played a match. Below is a chart of all 32 team’s hashflag usage spread out over the 32 days of the world cup. Unfortunately, 32 teams in one chart makes it incredibly hard to read, so below that we’ve also broken down the charts to only include 8 teams, or 2 groups from the original group play round, at a time.

Popularity Chart of All World Cup Hashflags

Popularity of hashflags for Groups A & B

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups A & B

Popularity of hashflags for Groups C & D

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups C & D

Popularity of hashflags for Groups E & F

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups E & F

Popularity of hashflags for Groups G & H

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Popularity Chart of Hashflags from Groups G & H

Lastly, we hope that you were keeping an eye on our Sysomos #WorldCup Hashtag Tracker during the tournament. This dashboard was used to visually show where mentions of the official #WorldCup hashtag were coming from. In addition to showing where the hashtag was actually being used over the course of the tournament, we were also keeping a running tally of which countries were using the official hashtag the most. Now the the World Cup is over, we have the final tally and without further ado, here’s the top 10 countries that used the #WorldCup hashtag over 32 days of play:

Sysomos #WorldCup Hashtag Tracker - Top 10 Countries

We’re curious if any of these numbers above surprise you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.