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The future of social media analytics

Crimson Hexagon, a global social media analytics company based in Boston, recently launched in South Africa in partnership with YouKnow Digital.

To celebrate the launch, NATIVE VML hosted an event entitled ‘The future of social media analytics’, where Marian Cramers, director strategic alliances EMEA at Crimson Hexagon, gave insights into where social analytics is headed.

With image-based social networks on the rise, the latest being Instagram, Pinterest and more recently Snapchat, businesses are increasingly adopting social media analytics tools to gain insights from social data, particularly images, to drive strategy.

Crimson Hexagon is one such company providing insights for brand strategy and market research, allowing brands, agencies and non-profits access to consumer trends, purchase intent, product attributes, drivers of sentiment, competitors, and the like. It holds the world’s largest repository of social data anywhere, with 850 billion+ posts stored in its warehouse.

Its technology is rooted in an algorithm designed by Gary King, a professor at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “This algorithm will always be the heart of the platform,” said Cramers, “but it keeps evolving and, although it was designed for text-based analytics, there’s a new world out there and that world is Snapchat and Instagram and all of those images.”

She quoted Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, who said, “Photos are no longer just a means of capturing a moment, they are a means of communicating.”

If you look at the trajectory of social media platforms over the years, they’re increasingly becoming more about images and less about text. Camera-enabled smartphones, the low barrier for self-expression, and the ease of curating content are just some of the reasons for this.

Context is the real issue

Crimson is moving passed the point of sentiment and the advanced emotional attachment, to a contextual understanding of images, the stories they tell and their brand implications.

Some emerging use cases discussed are:

  • A more robust audience and campaign analysis
  • Brand affinities
  • Content ideation, creating and curation
  • Identification of most effective/real influencers
  • Product development
  • Scene/action recognition to identify growth opportunities

Cramers referred to an image featured at the London Olympic 2012 opening ceremony, quoting inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s tweet, “This is for everyone”, which was instantly displayed in LED lights attached to the chairs in the arena. And that’s exactly what this is.

“It’s important that you keep seeing the bigger picture because that is where the future lies, and it’s also where the interesting angles are that will make you future proof.”

Source: Biz Community, article by Jessica Tennant (http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/669/149626.html)

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Pinterest is losing to Snapchat in the battle for digital ad dollars

Snapchat and Pinterest are two of the hottest new social media apps. In their quest for revenue, they’ve become rivals.

Pinterest recently poached Snapchat’s advertising analyst expert Gunnard Johnson, a former Googler who was at Snapchat for a mere five months. He will be the head of measurement science and insights at Pinterest, and will lead a team of 12 focused on better understanding Pinterest’s audience and provide better metrics for advertisers, according to Fortune.

The hire underscores the fight for digital advertising dollars between the two companies. On paper, the two social media startups couldn’t be more different. Pinterest, valued at $11 billion, is a digital scrapbook that lets you “pin” content for later—whether it be recipes, clothing, or hairstyles. Its has 100 million monthly active users as of September 2015 who are predominantly women. Snapchat has a reported 150 million daily active users who use the photo and video messaging service; the majority of them are young people.

But in the ad world, they’re fighting for the same spending. And it looks like Snapchat is winning. A March 2016 online marketing survey conducted RBC Capital Markets shows that advertisers were interested in both Snapchat and Pinterest, but Snapchat passed Pinterest for the first time. “A record high 45% of respondents indicated an interest in advertising on SnapChat…impressive,” the report wrote.

The differentiator may be the sites’ advertising strategy. Pinterest powers its ads via its users’ interest in a particular item. It creates sponsored pins and makes items that are pinned available for purchase through a “buy” button. Buy buttons are good ideas that haven’t taken off; Facebook and Twitter have failed to make them work to drive revenue.

Snapchat is capitalizing on its youthful core user base to create sponsored filters, or Lenses. It’s also inserting vertical video advertisements inside its Discover feature, a product where media companies like Vice and Mashable post video content.

Source: QUARTZ. Article by Ian Kar (http://qz.com/744652/pinterest-is-losing-to-snapchat-in-the-battle-for-digital-ad-dollars/)

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Saving Money, Social Media-Style

To an amazing extent, social media has disrupted the way we do business in response to changing customer expectations. Offering buying incentives is no exception.

We’re still recovering from the recession, dealing with an economic reality of stagnant wages stretching back decades. For most of us, that means finding a budget that works and saving money wherever we can. Retailers have always used sales and incentives to bring people in the doors and get them to try products, and social media takes the concept to a new level.


For most people, buying a big pile of newspapers and going through them page-by-page to find coupons for the products you want are a thing of the past. Coupons are online ad easily accessible via searchable databases and mobile applications. But the real value lies in social interactions, and businesses are using savings to build audience, engagement and loyalty. Here are some clever ways companies and customers are using social media to save money–and time.

Social sharing FTW

Groups that once met in kitchens to trade coupons and discuss strategy are online now. Consumers can find huge groups of like-minded friends dedicated to serious savings on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest posting deals, receipt and purchase photos and tales of victorious shopping trips.

Some businesses savvy enough to harness the social sharing trend reward users for sharing coupon offers with friends. Tell-a-friend is a classic technique to grow audience and traffic.

Engagement perks

Credit-card companies were among the first brands to tie incentives to social media engagement. Discover Card and Capital One partnered with social game developer Zynga to reach CityVille, FarmVille and Pioneer Trail players.

American Express partnered with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to allow cardholders to sync their cards with social profiles and earn discounts and other perks through engagement such as likes, check-ins and hashtags.

Taking savings one step further

While saving an impressive amount of money with social media discounts and rebates, users can also boost their budgets by selling influence. Referral companies like Social Rebate and Referral Candy partner with vendors to add value to purchases. When shoppers place an order, they are given the opportunity to share their purchased items on social media in exchange for a discount or rebate. It works much like an affiliate program.

Why social incentives work

Influencer marketing may be a hot new buzzword in the marketing world, but it’s essentially the same word-of-mouth advertising retailers have depended on for centuries. An influencer is anyone friends and followers trust. In the ad-saturated marketplace, consumers are far more likely to trust recommendations, even from people they don’t know.

Social sharing and engagement incentives that help consumers save money are wildly popular. Satisfied customers are always happy to share good news, especially when they get a return on their social capital.

Source: Social Times, Article by Sherry Gray (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/sherry-gray-guest-post-saving-money-social-media-style/639930)

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snapchat teen

Snapchat: The most popular network among teens, according to new study

As Snapchat has expanded and added new features over the year, it has steadily climbed the ranks of social media titans. In fact, it’s now more popular among its core demographic — teens — than Twitter, Facebook and now even Instagram.

The Piper Jaffray study “Taking Stock With Teens” polled about 6,500 U.S. teens to see what they felt was the most important social network, and Snapchat took 28% of votes. Instagram came in close-second with 27%, followed by Twitter and Facebook. In the spring 2015 survey, Instagram was the top social network.
The “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, shows Snapchat’s rise over the past year. In the spring 2015 survey, Instagram was the top social network, with Snapchat coming in fourth behind Twitter and Facebook. In the fall, Snapchat edged out Facebook for third.

The study shows that teens tend to be more interested in viewing pictures and videos rather than text-focused media seen on Twitter and Facebook.

Snapchat has been making the most changes and updates over the last year, introducing things like Snapchat Discover and debuting live coverage at the Oscars. The social network has expanded into more entertaining areas like adding in more and more video and picture filters, as well as the popular face swapping feature. The platform is consistently updating to keep itself interesting and fresh for users, while other social networks have mostly remained unchanged.

Unsurprisingly, Google+ came in last place with 1% of votes from teens, beat by Tumblr and Pinterest which each had a 2% share of votes.

Source: Mashable, Article by Kellen Beck (http://mashable.com/2016/04/14/snapchat-teens-winner/#l2K_8_Es1Sq3)

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