Social marketers know how you are feeling, trippy or disturbing?

January 29, 2016


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Viacom aims to measure ad responses with their new “sentiment analysis” tool, Twitter can tell when you are being sarcastic – is social media getting a little too close for comfort?

Media conglomerate Viacom has teamed up with tech startup Canvs to analyze user comments on social media. Using their dictionary of four million words and phrases they aim to categorize online “Millennial slang” into 56 different emotional groups. How might that make online users feel – “trippy,” “awkward,” or “enough said?”

Lydia Daly, VP of Viacom Velocity, admitted that the sentiment reader is not fully fleshed out, being a tricky concept to analyze. “It’s as much an art as a science,” she said.

The global mass media company aims to use this new capability across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and Instagram – in order to discover the success of advertising campaigns, and to see how these resonate with users.

Native advertising drives interaction

Online marketers use of social networking to target and engage audiences provide a lucrative way of generating both direct response advertiser revenue, and branding awareness. However, measuring the effectiveness of a branding campaign, a qualitative response, using analytical metrics has always been a challenge.

What marketers do know is that appropriately targeted, engaging creatives that suit the platform content tend to drive improved results. Whether this is measured in clicks, conversions, downloads, likes, shares, or comments in quantity or quality — this fact remains universally acknowledged.

In recent years a big shift to native advertising has blurred the lines between user-generated content and advertising campaigns.

Recent developments of this can be seen in Twitter newest marketer tool – the “conversational” ad unit. This new form of promoted advertising prompts users to personalize and share their preferred hashtag in order to spread the marketer’s message in a new way.

This latest creative format marks the latest steps in the social networking giant’s monetization efforts through advertising revenues. Twitter’s 2015 ad revenue has been estimated at just over $2 billion. However, in a controversial move the social media titan in recent months actually stopped showing ads to its most valuable users – suggesting the experience is perhaps not the optimal.

Twitter reported the reason behind this VIP treatment and exclusion of marketer messages as an attempt to keep these users engaged with the service.

Twitter’s advertising reach and revenues still pale in contrast with the Goliath that is Facebook – forecasted to have earned a huge $16.29 billion last year through advertising, with huge growth in Q4 driven through success in mobile ad spend.

So, how much are Facebook users worth to the platform?

In terms of advertising revenue in the US, it is reportedly $9.86 for every user. This spiked from $6.64 a year ago – down to a ramp in video advertising using auto-play features. As Twitter backs off from showing ads, it seems Facebook is doing the opposite by launching automatic adverts that play without the user prompt. The thing is, does this really drive a worse experience for the user? In many cases the answer is no. And how does it make you feel? Well, that remains to be seen.

Sociable spoke to Cameron McLain, CEO and co-founder of BeeHive social intelligence and brand exposure tools, explaining how social marketing efforts can be measured – and what marketers should do to prevent an intrusive experience.

“Innovation around user data and the personalization of online experiences is enabling companies to build more in-depth profiles of customers,” explained McLain. “As data is becoming more readily available and these data interpretation tools proliferate, cutting-edge businesses are using new technology to leverage that data to gain a competitive edge.”

He noted the fast growth in this industry, in light of increased online engagement, and sophisticated marketing capabilities. An interesting addition to this, reports McLain is the concept of the social influencer. “Influencer marketing is also a high growth segment that continues to drive results for marketers.”

BeeHive social analytics tool gives users insights into the effectiveness of social media strategies, through exploring analytics such as visual hashtags. When considering the effectiveness of a campaign, be that in the direct response metrics or emotional responses for brands McLain says you need to look a little deeper.

“Success for each business is measured differently. Marketers need to decide what their indicating metrics are. The advice I would give marketers in this data driven world is to use data to more appropriately engage with their customers.”

His claims back-up the new innovations employed by leading social networks such as Twitter’s conversational ad unit, and Facebook’s autoplaying video ads. On the topic of ensuring that marketers do not cross the line, becoming intrusive, or even annoying McLain notes that improved targeting and audience segments should ensure that advertising is relevant – for both the brand and the user experience.

“Don’t treat all customers as a single entity. As for influencer marketing, make sure that the influencers you partner with are conducive to your brand – ideally they are true fans so it comes across as authentic.”


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