Using Social Analytics Throughout
the Agency Campaign Cycle

Case Study | Essence

Here at Sysomos, our agency clients utilize our solutions for a wide number of reasons, as their businesses cross a wide range of industries. Uncovering insights from over 500 billion mentions across the social web, we support them with the social intelligence they need to win business, execute campaigns, and analyze results.

Sitting down with one of Sysomos’ partner agencies, Essence, we chatted with power-user Andrew Panos and got real about how they leverage social analytics using our flagship social research product, Sysomos, through all stages of their campaign lifecycle.


In this case study, we break down the stages of the agency campaign lifecycle and share how social data can be leveraged for each. We also showcase real-world examples for each stage and look at how you can leverage influencers along the way.

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A huge time-saver that with a couple clicks of a button allows me to tap into billions of conversations and uncover insights that no other tool has been able to do for me.

Andrew Panos – Social Media Researcher

Sysomos Technology Supports Essence

New Business Pitching

Strategy and Planning

Content and Creative

Validating the Approach

Real-Time Event Tracking

Post-Campaign Reporting

New Business Pitching

When pitching new clients, Essence needs to fully understand the business and industry of their potential client so they can make strategic recommendations on what the client should be doing next. How does Essence do this?

They start where conversations are raw and organic, lead by sentiment and experience: the socialsphere. Panos explains that social audits are paramount in their new business pitches. They can hone in on the client’s industry and identify key trends and opportunities. Where is their business now? Where do they need to go? What are the gaps and how are their competitors fairing in the same market?

Geo-targeting in the Restaurant Industry
When pitching to a well-known restaurant company, Panos utilized one of Sysomos’ key strengths: geographical breakdown. He was able to research how people talk about lunch in different cities, uncovering specific trends and behaviors associated with those cities (talk about the preliminary insight you need to start geo targeted messaging!) It even helped the client adjust existing content to align with the specific personalities of certain markets.

Strategy and Planning

Once the client is sold on the ideas laid out in the social audit, Essence then creates an overall strategy for the brand, backed by tactical plans. Panos stressed that right now, for most of his clients, it all comes down to audience insight: How can we identify our audience? This is the type of audience we want to target, how do we find them? What do they care about? He answers these questions by conducting deep audience research, uncovering both large communities, as well as niche audiences, and drilling down to the details of the people within them.

“The ease of search with filters is probably the most likable thing on my part” Panos noted enthusiastically. He described the weight target marketing holds right now and how it’s all about finding core groups, seeing what they are talking about, likes, dislikes and specifically, how they self-identify.

Understanding Sentiment on the Campaign Trail
Panos partnered with the world’s leading progressive business media website to provide data on presidential candidates’ Twitter followers using Sysomos. Part of audience planning and strategy around targeting candidate followers includes seeing what interests people have or how they describe themselves then creating a media set sample of niche groups, for instance authoritative Hillary followers who have “mom” in their profile. He then ran various searches against this group. Panos pointed out that if you’re a rival candidate, having that info down to such a direct level can alter how you’d speak to attract that audience, or you could try and target your message to that group trying to get them to switch parties.

Content and Creative

After Essence’s strategy is set and there’s a plan of action in place, they start getting down to the tactics: marketing assets. The agency ensures they leverage the insights gathered from the strategy and planning phase, around audience metrics, trends, attributes and demographics, which assists with shaping the content.

Now that they know who their audience is and what they care about, Essence can craft messaging, as well as a tone and personality that will resonate best and maximize brand engagement. They also make sure to utilize the medium and social platform that is most popular amongst their target audiences.

Crafting Targetted Messages in the Film Industry
Part two of a very popular fantasy movie was being released, so Panos used Sysomos to look at who had been talking about the first movie the year prior. They used the insights from those conversations to shape the language and creative for the second movie’s marketing efforts. The user-detail insights were also imperative in targeting for ad-buys on behalf of the client. It was so successful that Essence and their client won a Webby Award for their campaign!

Validating the Approach

Once content has been sent out into the social world, Essence needs to validate their efforts to the client. Panos describes this as the “fun part” because Sysomos has some pretty cool tools that make this super easy. “Tweet Life allows you to see how well a promoted post did by looking at virality, depth and lifespan” he notes – i.e.: how re-tweets spread over time.

Tweet Life Provides Tactical Learnings for Grammy Campaign
Panos said Tweet Life allowed them to validate whether the spend for the client was worthwhile. During the Grammys, he explained, they were able to compare their posts against other brands. Their tweets continued to grow exponentially in popularity and still captured people’s attention the next day. They saw that other brands often experienced a huge initial spike that died down quickly after. This proved that promoted posts were more important for longevity and should be spread out over time.

Panos also added that he was able to validate the quality of influencers their client was paying for from another company. He uncovered that these groups were only sharing and engaging amongst each other, so the client’s spend wasn’t reaching the wide audience they had hoped. By surfacing influencers with the appropriate audience and reach, he could suggest better influencers for his client to engage with.

Real-Time Event Tracking

Essence relies on Sysomos’ real-time results to make instant suggestions to their clients and correct the course of a campaign, or to take action at a live event (with the goal of increasing attention and/or engagement). “The speed at which results come in, my coworkers are kind of jealous that the tools they use for digital reporting aren’t as fast” said Panos with a smirk. It’s also perfect for identifying trends or themes to create real-time content, or re purposing user-generated content, he noted.

Keeping the Pulse on Key Themes in Conversations
The largest online video streaming company holds a popular gaming conference each year. Panos was in charge of real-time monitoring and analysis for this event using Sysomos. He uncovered the key themes in conversations, primarily looking for how people were reacting to the various booths, what was being demonstrated, the games and chatter about the conference in general.

He was also able to provide feedback to his client on-the-fly so they could make real-time tweaks to optimize programming throughout the event. For instance, after identifying complaints of a 50 person line up at one booth, Panos was able to relay to organizers so they sent over staff to engage those waiting and hand out a prize.

Post-Campaign Reporting

After a campaign or event, it’s time to look at what worked, what didn’t and where improvements can be made. Essence spends a lot of time creating reports for their clients to not only help with benchmarking, but to evaluate outcomes against KPIs. Therefore, it’s important for them to streamline this effort and make it as efficient as possible.

Panos expresses how easy it is to export text analytics and raw data to create customized visuals for clients in Sysomos, as well as share the data with buying teams. He mentions that Sysomos crunches the numbers for him, so he just needs to insert the text outlining the story the data is showing.

Deciphering Negative Posts
Panos was using Sysomos for post-campaign reporting looking at the analysis of a commercial run during the America vs. Portugal game of the World Cup. He saw a ton of negative mentions associated with the commercial, and upon further analysis of the individual posts, he uncovered that the mentions were all within a minute after Portugal tied the game.

Through this, he was able to understand, and relay to his client, that the negativity could be attributed to the tie in the game, and not necessarily the true sentiments around the commercial, noting that perhaps it was just bad timing.


In general, Andrew Panos says, outside of specific client work or asks, Sysomos helps him learn about trends and industries so he can be better informed when speaking with his clients and understanding the various spaces they live in. He stressed that this is possible due to the ad-hoc and complex search capabilities of Sysomos.

With unlimited searches and unlimited results, Essence can quickly do a search on-the-fly and respond to a client within minutes. Sysomos really can be useful to all job roles, functions and disciplines within an agency.

All in all, Essence finds success in the flexibility of the product giving them access to mass amounts of data, which can be leveraged in many different ways for any client, in any space, in any stage of the campaign lifecycle. That’s the power of Sysomos: making large data digestible.

Sysomos has really allowed me, and Essence as whole, to shift from reactive to more proactive, specifically when being able to identify key groups/communities.

Andrew Panos – Social Media Researcher

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