Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

John Oliver Gets Spreading Information In The Social Age

Last Week Tonight with John OliverYou can debate back and forth for days on whether Last Week Tonight is a news program or a comedy and entertainment show… or even both. But one thing you can’t debate is that John Oliver has been instrumental in opening the eyes of his viewers to subjects that they should probably know more about.

And when we say viewers, we don’t just mean the people who watch his show live on HBO, we mean everyone that has seen the numerous clips from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight since it debuted at the end of April this year.

Yes, the show we’re talking about is an HBO program, which means that viewers need to subscribe to HBO through their cable company to see the show live as it airs on Sunday nights. However, what John Oliver’s show has done that not many other shows do, especially ones on premium cable subscription channels, is found a way to make his interesting content very sharable by putting all of his segments up on YouTube.

And this is why we say that John Oliver gets it. He knows that if you want your content to spread it has to be three things; interesting, entertaining and sharable. Last Week Tonight is all three of these, which is why it got so popular so fast.

We used MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to dig a little deeper on the social phenomenon that is is John Oliver’s brand of entertaining news.

Since Last Week Tonight debuted at the end of April this year, the show’s name or John Oliver have appeared in over 818,000 social media posts.  Mentions have appeared in 14,496 blog posts, 17,346 online news articles, 26,152 forum postings and 760,222 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

There has also been, over the same time period, 11,973 videos posted that have John Oliver or Last Week Tonight mentioned in their titles or descriptions. And, to add to that, only 83 of those videos come from the show’s own YouTube channel.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

While the number of mentions that John Oliver and Last Week Tonight have received since their show debuted is by no means an astronomical number, it’s really what was in those posts and how many people saw them that mattered. And what was in them, was videos from their YouTube channel.

You see, John Oliver and Last Week Tonight knew that not everyone has an HBO subscription. So they made their content easy to find and share somewhere else, the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube. And it’s been working for them.

We pulled up some of the stats from the Last Week Tonight YouTube page. What we found that the channel has over a million subscribers. Even better though is that the 83 videos posted to the channel have amassed over 150 million views. That’s not bad since the channel has only existed for just about 6 months.

Sysomos MAP - YouTube Channel Analysis

Even more impressive is when we looked at which of his videos were the most popular. The top five most popular videos from the channel weren’t the short funny little two minute videos. All five of them were the show’s longer form feature stories that average around 14 minutes in runtime.

Sysomos MAP - Most Viewed Videos On Last Week Tonight's YouTube Channel

Even more interesting though is when we go back to the social mentions of John Oliver and Last Week Tonight we started talking about. When we look at those mentions on our popularity chart, which plots out the mentions over time, we can see a bunch of large spikes in conversation. All of them, including the largest spike on August 18th, happen on Mondays, the day after the show airs on HBO. People would literally be waiting for the videos to go up the next morning so they could see them and share them.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

So, what can you learn from John Oliver and Last Week Tonight?

The main take-aways we see here is that there is no magic length for how long a blog post or a video should be to optimize how much your content gets shared through social media. Your content should be as long as it needs to, as long as you can keep it interesting, entertaining and make it easily sharable. If you can do that, people will be anxiously waiting for your content so they can see it and share it.

And now, just for fun and so those of you not familiar with the show can understand what we’re talking about, here’s one of our favourite clips from the first season of Last Week Tonight (of course it has to do with the internet):


To hoax or not?

The foolNews flash: the Internet is not the most honest place on Earth. And as high-profile hoaxes of late have shown, dishonesty online can have a myriad of effects.

A YouTube video revealing a shark in Lake Ontario went viral in early July. Within days, Discovery Channel fessed up: the video was a hoax intended to market its Shark Week, but the campaign was so successful parents were discouraging their kids from swimming in the Great Lakes. The pro-science, pro-health channel could hardly be seen discouraging children from physical activity and enjoying nature.

Before the reveal, even the most astute of social media mavens and traditional media outlets got snared in this net. It called to mind the wonders of April 1, 2014, where just about everyone (particularly Google), was putting out questionable news stories, tweets and videos — with many of them getting traction.

The hoax, like the traditional in-person practical joke, never seems to get old. It works when the news posted is outrageous, but also touches a nerve — such as an injustice, or when it offers free money. Celebrity deaths are often picked up. Faux job ads will make the rounds. Lately, content with video (easy to cook up with today’s editing tools), particularly entertaining ones, will get traction.

The hoax as a marketing tool is one social media marketers should handle with care. The content may seem funny in the office. But does it somehow offend as part of the joke? Will a person or a business experience a loss of reputation because of what you’ve done? There are victimless crimes, sure, but not that many of them.

More importantly, while the hoax never gets old, the Web is wising up. Once bitten, twice shy. Any outlet who got caught by the shark video is going to be extra wary next time. Annoying certain folks can make a campaign backfire and lead to brand damage.

As the window on this opportunity closes, would-be-hoaxers need to do due diligence before they try their own stunt. Does the message match what you’re trying to accomplish? Will there be no harm? Is there a plan A, B, C and beyond if things go badly? Is there follow-up to capitalize if you get lucky and go viral? And, perhaps most importantly, is the hoax content truly entertaining? If you’re going to try to fool them, at the very least, do it right.

Sysomos MAP and Heartbeat Updates: Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook

Let’s just say we’ve been busy. Very, very busy. 

At Sysomos, we’re always working behind the scenes to make our technology better. Whether it’s delivering greater speed and accuracy, or more data and more potent analytics, our ongoing mission is to provide you with the best social intelligence out there — so that you can make the kinds of business decisions that drive future success. With that in mind, we’d like to share some of the major enhancements we’ve made lately, including the addition of Tumblr to our ever-expanding data set.

We’ve put Tumblr on the MAP. 

Earlier this year we announced our partnership with Tumblr. Today we’re thrilled to announce our all-new Tumblr integration, which gives you the ability to glean insights from the full breadth of Tumblr’s data, has been added to MAP. In fact, you can search for mentions using text-based queries among all eight Tumblr data types — from photos, text, audio and video, to quotes, answers, links and chats. And you can evaluate those mentions using Overall Sentiment, Word Cloud and Buzzgraph analytics. Perhaps best of all, you can get started right now.

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Search Results

Sysomos MAP - View Tumblr Posts

Sysomos MAP - Tumblr Buzzgraph


You’ll love (not just ‘Like’) more Facebook results in MAP.

Enter search terms as usual and you’ll notice something right away: a lot more Facebook results. Why? We’re now pulling in tons more Facebook data. More data = more results. And that’s the kind of math everyone loves to do.

Run YouTube Analytics without skipping a Heartbeat.

You can now view no less than 17 of the most popular YouTube Channel metrics — including Geographical, Playback, Traffic Sources and Device, as well as Basic and Daily metrics — right from within the Heartbeat platform, without having to log in to YouTube.  All that’s required is a one-time permissions process in which your YouTube Channel administrator (maybe that’s even you) grants Heartbeat access to retrieve the metrics. Here’s a sample of how some of these new metrics will look in your Heartbeat:

Sysomos Heartbeat - YouTube Views

Sysomos Heartbeat - Youtube View Duration By Country

Sysomos Heartbeat - Youtube View Duration by Device


As always, if you’re already using MAP or Heartbeat please contact your account team with any questions.

If you’re not already using MAP or Heartbeat, please feel free to contact us to learn more about these great new updates and our software overall.

YouTube Music Awards Cause A Social Stir

youtubeThis past weekend the world got to witness the first ever YouTube Music Awards. Yes, internet giant Google has decided to make a move into the awards show arena now as well… except this one you watch on your computer. Some people questioned why Google would do such a thing, but it seems to make sense since music videos are rarely watched on television channels like MTV or Much Music anymore in favour of watching them on-demand online. And the main site that people choose to watch music videos on now is, of course, YouTube.

The show was hosted by two comedians slash musicians, Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts. According to reports, the show was a giant ball of chaos. But the internet culture that it was aimed at was more than used to it, and even seemed to love it. Like other award shows, the YouTube Music Awards did actually give away awards and featured performances from some of today’s hottest artists, which they dubbed “live music videos.”

Not sure what a live music video is? Neither was I until I watched The Arcade Fire’s performance (which was directed by Spike Jonze who has directed music videos for Weezer, Kanye West, The Beastie Boys and movies like the cult favourite Being John Malcovich). The performance was a mix of what we traditionally think of as a music video and the band’s live performance. Check out this video for yourself:

As I said earlier, this new award show really seemed to appeal to people. We took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to see just what kind of a stir the YouTube Music Awards created in the social media realm.

Over the course of the weekend YouTube was seeding content to help promote the award show which broadcasted live on Sunday night from New York City. Looking at mentions of the show from Friday through Monday I found that it came up in over 3.7 million pieces of social content. The YouTube Music Awards was mentioned in 2,941 blog posts, 4,724 online news articles, 287 forum postings and 3,721,051 tweets.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Activity Summary

Looking at those mentions plotted out over time, I found that Twitter, which drove the main chunk of conversations about the award show peaked as people used Twitter to follow the action and talk with one another about what was going on on Sunday night.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Popularity Chart

On Sunday alone, the YouTube Music Awards appeared in 2.3 million tweets. That’s equal to 96,418 tweets per hour over the day about the show. Interestingly, it appeared that women were more interested in the award show than men as they contributed 61% of the conversation over the men’s 39%.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Twitter Activity Summary

When I removed tweets from the popularity chart above, I found something very interesting. Above we saw that Twitter drove the main part of the conversation around the YouTube Music Awards and saw it’s greatest amount of tweets during the actual broadcast of the show. However, when we can see other social channels, like blogs and online news, we can see that they actually peaked yesterday, the day after the show. This seems to prove the theory that Twitter drives real-time conversations around events as they actually happen, but longer form mediums like blogs and online news seem better suited for write-ups and reviews after the actual events have taken place.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Popularity Chart Without Twitter

While the show was based in North America and was broadcast for the Eastern Standard Time, it didn’t stop people from all over the world from watching and joining in on the conversation. The United States did lead the way in conversations about the YouTube Music awards, owning 29.1% of the mentions, but so many other countries were in on the action as well. This makes sense as YouTube is the second most used search engine in the entire world (next to it’s parent company Google). The pie chart below shows where mentions of the award show came from across all social channels, while the heat map plots out where tweets about the show were originating from (which were mainly using the show’s official hashtag, #YTMA).

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Overall Country Distribution

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Twitter Geo Location Heat Map

And just were all these music fans from around the globe talking about? A look at some of our text analytics shows that the celebrities seemed to be the big draw. In the word cloud and buzzgraph below we can see that names of the hosts, “Reggie” “Watts” and “Jason” “Schwartzman” appeared quite often. Along with them were the performers, like “Lady” “Gaga,” “Arcade” “Fire” and “Eminem” (who also won the award for Artist of the Year). And, of course, the night’s winners, such as “Macklemore,” “Pentatonix” and winners of Video of the Year, “Girls'” “Generation” (a 9 member group of Korean women who perform in the popular style of “K-Pop”).

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Buzzgraph

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Word Cloud

Despite what critics seemed to say after the show was done about the chaos that doesn’t seem to happen at traditional award shows, the audience the show was intended for seemed to love it. A look at the sentiment around the YouTube Music Awards shows a 92% favourable rating. Only 8% of all the 3.7 million conversations were classified as negative, while a whopping 32% were positive.

MAP Powered By Sysomos - Overall Sentiment

Finally, just because not everyone around the world is familiar with the K-Pop phenomenon that is starting to spread from Korea, I present to you the first ever YouTube Music Awards Video of the Year winner, Girls’ Generation’s I Got A Boy:

This Is Social Media To Commander Hadfield

On Monday night the crew of Expedition 35 at the International Space Station touched back down on Earth for the first time in five months. Among the crew was Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut that some call “the first man to master social media in space.”

Five months ago Chris Hadfield headed to the ISS, but never really lost contact with us here back on terra firma. Commander Hadfield kept in touch by using social media to wow the world with the things he was doing up in space. Whether it was his tweets, his pictures from space, his YouTube videos and anything else he sent back down to Earth, the world was enthralled by it.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I took a look at the impact that Chris Hadfield had on the social media world.

I started by looking for all mentions of Hadfield by name or his Twitter screen name for the past 6 months. In that time I found him mentioned over 1.7 million times across social media. There were 14,956 blog posts, 29,689 online news articles, 11,921 forum postings and 1,680,939 tweets about, to or from Hadfield.

On average, people were mentioning or talking to Commander Hadfield about 10,000 times per day while he was up in space. The giant spike we can see at the end of the six month period below was people watching and tweeting along with Hadfield and the other two crew members as they descended back to Earth.

While Hadfield was up there, he managed to capture the attention of the world through his social media communications from space. A look at where tweets about the Commander came from shows that people around the world were talking to and about him over his five month stay at the space station. Below is a pie chart that shows where mentions of Hadfield were coming from. And below that is a world map plotting out where tweets about him were coming from.

What’s most amazing about most of this is that Chris Hadfield just got into social media right before his trip thanks to some convincing from his kids. Now the astronaut boasts over 842,000 followers on Twitter. With all of the tweets he sent back to the planet he wowed and amassed his large following over his five months in space.

His Twitter handle, @Cmdr_Hadfield, was mentioned 1.5 million times during his trip as well.

I also looked up some of the most retweeted tweets either from or aimed at Commander Hadfield.Five of the top six tweets were sent from Hadfield himself. Most of them were amazing videos and pictures (like the one below) that he beamed down for us from space. The fifth most RT’d tweet was the first one he sent once he had touched back down on Earth.


Not only did Commander Hadfield mange to rack up an impressive Twitter following, but he also did the same on YouTube. The Commander started a YouTube channel where he would beam back videos of things he was doing up in space including answering questions that us common folks had about things worked in space. His most popular video though was his last one from the station where he gives us one last look at the station while singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” The video was only posted a few days ago and has already racked up over 11 million views.

Commander Hadfield utilized social media to capture the attention of the entire world while he wasn’t even on it. He gave us all a chance to experience something that most of us will never get a chance to do ourselves (although I hope that’s not true). He truly was the first man to master social media in space. But let’s hope he wasn’t the last.

Social Media Can Reinvent Anyone

Social media receives credit for many things, including its ability to have a major impact on societal and political issues.

What tends to sometimes get overlooked, but always makes me think twice, is its absurdity. This reality came to mind after reading this post about Mike Tyson on Mashable.

Tyson is such an infamous personality, constantly mocked by the world, that if social media can rebuild his fan base then you know it is powerful.

According to Mashable, Tyson has recently attracted four million fans across several popular social media services. There were also roughly 100 worldwide trending topics attributed to him.

Tyson isn’t the first fallen and B-level celebrity to use social media as a launching pad for new-found respect and stardom. Albert Brooks, Joan Rivers and Lindsay Lohan are amongst hundreds of others.

What is it about social media that makes it prime for comebacks?

The unfiltered microphone, the huge audience and reach and the fact it’s in real time and global are the obvious factors. The main reason though is social media embraces the weird and all things out of left field.

For someone like Mike Tyson, it goes beyond just tweeting and uploading. It is pure brand building. Social media is where you strategically build a brand and let your audience heighten its importance.

So if social media can work for Iron Mike, who’s next? I am waiting anxiously for John Rocker to finally hook up his Internet, and begin to let us know where he went wrong, and where his opinions now lie.

Is YouTube the Most Important Social Media Service?

Here’s the thing about social media: it fueled by innovation and creativity while being layered with many elements of human nature.

Over the past five years, our lives have been significantly changed by social media but there is heated debate over which services have been the most influential in our lives.

I would suggest the social media service with the most impact is YouTube. It can even be argued that YouTube is one of the greatest innovations in the modern era. Social media services come and go – Friendster, Bebo and MySpace – but there will most likely never be a substitute for YouTube.

Granted, you have to acknowledge the popularity of other social media networks when discussing the success of YouTube given they have allowed YouTube videos to be easily embedded. Even on its own, YouTube was worth the $1.6 billion that Google paid for it, and has seen very few speed bumps during its rise.

If is a knock against YouTube and its success, it has been the use of illegal content to attract in users. This might be accurate but it is a small part of its success, if not a mere footnote.

YouTube has been difficult to monetize but it seems to be overcoming that hurdle as well given in-stream advertising among other ventures coming into play. In fact, at this point in time the future is incredibly bright for YouTube when you consider people spend about one billion minutes on YouTube each day collectively.

Smartphones have only helped YouTube as they all come with video cameras and the ability to upload content instantaneously. This has turned just about everyone into amateur auteurs, while filling the coffers of YouTube.

Some would argue Facebook is the predominant social media serviced while others would suggest Twitter but from my perspective YouTube rules the social media universe, and with apologies to Vimeo, there isn’t a strong competitor in sight. At least, for now.

Will the New Delicious be Delicious-er?

If you were looking for a classic example of a social media start-up that fizzled after it was acquired, Delicious might be one of the best examples.

Launched in 2003 by Joshua Schachter as a social bookmarking service, Delicious was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 for $30-million. Over the next six years, Yahoo did a stunning job of ignoring Delicious.

It was an injustice to Schacter who built Delicious into an extremely popular service, only to see the new owner seem to not respect his work.

Despite Yahoo’s indifference, Delicious has somehow managed to maintain its cache and status as one of the leading social bookmarking services despite inroads by players such as Propeller and Mixx. Personally, I’ve used Delicious more frequently in recent months as a way to archive the huge number of links that I encounter every day.

For anyone who likes Delicious, it was encouraging when Avos, a company owned by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, best known for starting a video start-up called YouTube, bought the company in April.

While Hurley and Chen have held their cards close to the chest since then, there is growing signs that a new and improved Delicious will soon be unveiled.

So far, Chen and Hurley have suggested Delicious will have a new design, as well as a new to tag and organize links. Given how the Web has become so much more social since Delicious launched eight years ago, it will be interested to see Delicious evolves.

One thing that has remained constant is the value of social bookmarks. With more links than ever being shared, there should be lots of potential for Delicious to re-establish itself as vibrant player within the social media landscape.

For more thoughts on the new Delicious, check out this post by Soshable.

Note: For Delicious users who want to continue to use their bookmarks, you have until Sept. 23 to  transfer your bookmarks and user data to the new site.

Is There Life Beyond the Social Media “Big Five”?

For all the companies operating in the social media marketplace, there are really only five options for companies looking to establish a strong presence: blogs (WordPress), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

This is where the biggest “parties” are happening so it makes complete sense to focus your efforts on them. The “Big Five” sport the biggest audiences and, in theory, offer the biggest bang for the buck.

Their emergence as the dominant players reflects the natural evolution of any market in which there is a small group of large companies and a large pack of smaller companies with lots of aspiration but little market share.

One of the key questions, however, is whether there’s any value for companies to consider activity beyond the “Big Five”? Does it make sense to explore the use of MySpace, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, Friendster or Orkut? And what about Gowalla, Posterous, Digg, and StumbleUpon?

While it is easy to just focus on the “Big Five”, there are plenty of interesting opportunities to leverage other social media services to serve different interests, audiences and geographies.

For example, MySpace, still had 64 million unique U.S. visitors last month, and has maintained its status as the social network for musicians and music fans. The company recently unveiled a new, cleaner home page that looks a lot like Facebook’s.

For companies looking to attract audiences in Brazil and Asia, Friendster is worth considering, while Google’s Orkut is a strong presence in India and Brazil.

Flickr doesn’t get much attention these days as Yahoo struggles to find its way but it had 23 million unique U.S. visitors last month. Tumblr is gaining a lot of traction as a user-friendly alternative to WordPress, while Digg is showing signs of life after badly sagging.

And then there’s new, emerging markets such as location-based services in which Foursquare and Gowalla are battling to establish strong footholds. Although still unproven, companies such as Ann Taylor and Starbucks are experimenting to see whether they have potential as new social media channels.

The challenge for many companies is trying to sift their way through the multitude of social media choices. In many cases, it is easier to simply stick to the “Big Five” because there’s less risk or guessing involved. It’s like the old adage that “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”.

That said, there are alternatives definitely worth exploring to take advantage of niche, emerging and geographic opportunities.

For some companies, using social media services off the beaten track could be a way to differentiate themselves in a marketplace in which everyone is using many of the same tools.

Life Beyond the Four Social Media Giants

As a growing number of companies embrace social media, a key strategic and tactical decision is selecting what social media services to use.

This process depends on determining the best fit for a particular business and its customers, as well as the social media services being used by the people that a company is trying to reach and engage.

Not surprisingly, the default choices are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube because they are the most popular.

While these solid choices that no one is going to question, they’re just a small part of the massive social media “menu” in which there are thousands of choices that cater to different markets and interests.

In a recent blog post, Jay Baer made an excellent point that there is life beyond the “Big Four” but that “in the rush to “do” social media, companies are forgetting that the communities that are most social (and thus carry the most potential) are those that are topically focused.”

If you’re in the sports business, it’s a no-brainer to consider sports-specific social networks such as RootZoo, FanNation, ArmchairGM and BallHype.

If you’re in the food business, the non-Big Four options include FoodBuzz and Group Recipes.

In other words, there is a vibrant social media ecosystem beyond Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

It may take some time to find the right opportunities and establish a foothold within these communities but it’s worth the investment if these social networks meet your social media goals and objectives.

At the end of the day, you may discover that social media networks off the beaten track could be as valuable as the Big Four.