Buzz Radar, London // Lifestyle commercial and office photography // www.samdocker.co.uk

How To Measure The Real Value of Social

By | How To

The importance of social media is well-stated. 71 percent of consumers follow businesses online for promotions, with 66 percent onboard for updates on new products. What’s more is that more than half of consumers will go online for customer service and 61 percent indicate reviews impact purchasing decisions. Social is now a crucial part of business.

While this is well-known, how does a business actually measure the efficacy of social? It allows for direct engagement with customers, the opportunity to build and expand brand presence, and sell more. There’s data for follower count, retweets, reach and more. Identifying which pieces of data matter is core to measuring social ROI. It’s more than likes and followers. Social media now allows brands to use more links, tag and even directly sell on platforms to create a frictionless purchasing opportunity and a better way to track the process.

So, how can your brand measure the real value of social?

      1. Think about evaluation at the start of campaigns.
        Design your measurements during the planning stages instead of at the tail end. While you may have to adjust campaign plans (by calibrating the weights of certain activities or introducing A/B tests), it’s much more effective to begin with the end in mind. The best way is to honestly and realistically define objectives, such as building brand awareness, driving leads, improving customer support or collecting consumer feedback.
      2. Start with the basics.
        Social is no different than other campaigns. Consider the purpose, priorities and timing of your evaluation. Clearly define which decisions your evaluation will inform and when you need the insights. There is no one size fits all approach. You will need to select the appropriate data and methodology for your brand and your campaign objectives. For example, if your main objective is brand awareness, you’ll want to look at community growth, as well as sentiment and share of voice. For lead generation, set up special links to track customer behavior. For customer support, compare dips in calls/emails versus rises with online requests or response times.
      3. Avoid silos and look for context.
        Social should never live alone. Social media is just one part of your marketing campaign and should be evaluated as such. This means that you’ll need to factor in both long and short-term goals. Activities with call-to-actions, for example, competitions calling for likes, will inevitably result in greater immediate response and online engagement, but they may not necessarily be set up to indicate long-term effects. In addition, looking at the data in context with other marketing objectives, you can see patterns and correlates that might be overlooked if data sits alone.
      4. Consider content classification for various goals.
        Some content or initiatives will be more effective for some objectives. A/B testing helps you measure this. You’ll learn what drives conversions and click-throughs, which, ultimately, enables you to understand the ROI on the time and creative spent on your campaigns.

While social continues to grow and become a part of marketing plans, knowing how to measure and interpret the data is key. We want to help you and your team make the most of real-time data.

For more on how we can help transform your business intelligence, head over to our Command Centre page.

Buzz Radar, London // Lifestyle commercial and office photography // www.samdocker.co.uk

6 Reasons Digital Signage Wins For Internal Communications

By | Digital Signage

The appeal of digital signage for customers and external engagement is vast. It can increase foot traffic, point of sale purchases and overall brand sentiment.

But can it also benefit your business’ internal communications? Worldwide, only 13% of employees are engaged at work. That means that more likely than not this includes your team. And this matters because unengaged employees do not spread your message. Conversely, engaged employees improve productivity by 20-25%, putting potential revenue at about $1.3 trillion a year.

Improving your internal communications methods and channels can help build up morale and engagement. Communication has to start from within — and this is where digital signage can help you. Your team needs tools that can cut through the noise. Employees are already in near-constant communication with each other, whether it’s Facebook, Salesforce Chatter, Slack or WhatsApp. It behooves organisations to communicate in ways that are more natural for their employees: digitally. While you could stick with email, face-to-face meetings or an intranet, you run the risk of crucial information not being seen or heard. For example, intranet usage is at an all-time low: less than 13% of employees use theirs daily.

Currently, 50% of companies are already using the digital signage to enhance internal communications. Digital signage gives companies the ability to communicate seamlessly and interactively, integrating existing systems and platforms. Brands also have the option to incorporate more video, which can be more engaging and provide more education and details on complicated or sensitive issues.

The other perk of digital signage as an internal communications tool is that it can be used to highlight real-time content, like weather, data visualisations, news or even social media trends that employees might be checking on their laptops or phones otherwise.

There are six ways we believe digital signage for internal communications can help your business:

  1. Create a culture of listening.
    Showing what customers are saying in real-time has an immediate impact on how service is provided and for giving your team an instant pulse on what matters: your end consumer.

  2. Encourage employee feedback.
    50% of employees already post about their employer on social media. By incorporating social media and employee channels, like Yammer and Slack, you have the opportunity to highlight employee feedback and engagement. This turns traditional digital signage into a two-way communication platform.

  3. Boost employee engagement via transparency.
    Research ranked transparency as the single most important factor in engagement. Digital signage can help you share important metrics in real-time and be as transparent with your entire team as you can.

  4. Celebrate top performers.
    While bonuses might seem the natural route, praise from managers has been found to be the single most effective way to foster better performance. Digital signage gives your management a simple way to bolster recognition and praise.

  5. Get a better sense of competitors and the market overall.
    Competition is a natural motivator. Seeing how your brand’s competitors are faring can motivate your team. A high-level overview of both your competitors and the market lets your team see important milestones and metrics.

  6. Highlight key messaging from management.
    Memos get lost; emails go unread. When your team needs to know company wide announcements, digital signage can put it front and centre, ensuring it gets seen more effectively and adds weight to what’s shared.

Digital signage can add value externally and internally. It’s all about knowing how to use it. Our team is happy to guide you and your business to success with it. Learn more about Relay and how we can help here.

Buzz Radar, London // Lifestyle commercial and office photography // www.samdocker.co.uk

Made You Look: The Rise of Digital Signage

By | Digital Signage

We’re often surrounded by screens; we’re even seeing them more in businesses and retail environments. From digital menus in restaurants to wayfinding kiosks in transport centers to digital billboards in airports, digital signage is becoming increasingly popular. But why?

Digital signage attracts attention — and it means consumers are more likely to pay attention. In fact, digital signage has a higher recall rate than any other traditional media. 83% of people can recall at least one ad seen on a digital billboard in the past 30 days. In addition, digital displays capture 400% more views than static ones. One restaurant even boasted a 50% increase in sales when switching to a digital menu. All this means more eyes and better brand recognition.

So, how exactly can your business use digital signage? It’s most commonly used to display messages and replace company memos. But it can also be used to share data to help reduce workload. You can update messaging easily and remotely, so everyone sees important info instantaneously. For example, our friends at STA use it to update fares and packages from their HQ and distribute to more than 200 stores globally. They are also able to incorporate engaging UGC. This year they plan go entirely paper poster free.

Integrating digital signage with real-time user generated content, like Twitter and Instagram posts, makes your content three times more engaging. This brings in trust from friends and people consumers know. This combination means that digital signage can influence purchase decisions and increase brand awareness. Eight of ten customers have entered a store because of a sign catching their interest.

What are some other applications? Digital signage can:

  1. Be a tool to interact with your customers.
  2. Provide information and entertainment while customers wait.
  3. Make environments more attracting and engaging.
  4. Display anything from UGC to ads to media to video to Twitter feeds.
  5. Reduce printing costs and time.
  6. Provide additional revenue from advertisers.
  7. Engage customers at the point of sale.
  8. Provide peer recommendation for products and brands at point of sale.

Digital signage can directly translate to sales. In fact, 80% of brands experienced a significant increase of up to 33% in additional sales by using digital signage.

The benefits of digital signage are pretty clear. With our Relay product, you can get your own digital messaging platform and give it a try. Learn more and get started here.

Magic In The Making: The Rise of Leicester City

By | Sports

Leicester City shocked the world of soccer by winning the Premier League title for the first time in the club’s history. The team stayed top of the table for most of the season and showed up regular league winners. The odds at the start of the season for this were quoted at 5000 to 1, owing to the fact the club narrowly escaped relegation and having been bottom of the table since before Christmas the previous year. To give you an idea of just how unexpected it was, Simon Cowell ousting David Cameron as Prime Minister and Piers Morgan becoming Arsenal’s manager were considered a more viable bet at that point.

Behind them, the magic of Tottenham excited long-time fans with a not-quite title challenge; Liverpool managed to make it to the finals of the Europa League; while poor Chelsea all but imploded. This translated to buzz online, with Leicester City being the most talked about club, Jose Mourinho being the most popular manager online, and @LFC the most used handle.

While Last year Leicester barely ranked conversation online, this year clearly shows that with success comes conversation. See a bit more of the magic on and off the pitch:

The Trick To Understanding Sentiment

By | How To

If you’re in marketing, you’ve no doubt heard about sentiment. And you probably have your own views on it. It gets a bad rep, and in a lot of ways for the right reasons. But considering its widespread use, it’s worth digging a little deeper into the metric and seeing how to use it effectively and ethically.

Take this tweet. It actually ranks as negative sentiment yet, it more truly should be neutral to slightly positive. The main beef with sentiment is that most algorithms can’t fully master the nuances of speech. Sarcasm, in particular, is rather hard to get without full context.

Fortunately, technology is rapidly evolving, and sentiment is already bounds better than it was years ago. Sentiment is more than just a word for word analysis. Any sentiment analysis should include:

  • Sentiment shifters (e.g. “I find this tool less useful than yours”)
  • Connectives (e.g. “This tool is everything but useful”)
  • Modals (e.g. “In theory, this tool should be useful”)

Most tools now factor this in and allow for semantic interpretation and analysis. This gives you a great base. Sentiment really shines in showing you how to adapt, what your strengths and weaknesses really are, and where you stand. As much as sentiment tools are evolving, these are things that can really only be gleaned by human review. This review should look at

  • Topics: what are the main areas of discussion?
  • Aspects (subtopics and attributes): what about those topics is being talked about?
  • Sentiment: what is the sentiment of the content and the opinions contained?
  • Holder: whose opinion is being discussed? Are there multiple in the same content? If so, how do they differ, if at all?
  • Time: when was this content posted?

These factors help you know what to do with sentiment. Knowing your brand has a 60% positive sentiment ranking provides little insight. Knowing that the reason your brand has that sentiment score is because of excellent customer service helps you decide to put more resources into customer service.

So, don’t throw sentiment out with the bathwater. It can be a very valuable starting point for insight. Just know you have to dig a little deeper into it. We recognise that here at Buzz Radar, so we actually separate out our sentiment by platform and emotion to help you really understand the why. Coupled with Word Clouds and information on most influential posts, you can start to get a better sense of what’s really driving your sentiment score.

Be A Social Media Superstar: Your Cheat Sheet

By | How To

We know that we process visual info much more rapidly than text (60,000 times faster in fact). This means that imagery is crucial to marketing strategies. In the past, we’ve shared how to make a post more shareable, and images are a big part of this.

But it’s not just about adding in images. In order to create the best ads, you have to know the proper dimensions for each platform. OnBlastBlog has created the ultimate cheat sheet for this:

Social Media Cheat SheetCredit: On Blast Blog

Then, don’t forget to track the success of the posts with our Most Effective Posts feature. Get started today!

Swimming In A Sea Of Data

By | Social Visualizations

Data. We hear about all the data out in the world today. We’re swimming in a sea of it. Do we really understand how much data is out there or how to make sense of it?

Every day, we see:

  • 3.3B Google searches a day
  • 968 million people visit Facebook daily.
  • 500 million tweets sent a day
  • 75 million daily Instagram users.

But what does that actually look like? Take a look below, and if you need help making sense of your data, we’re here to help:

Swim in a sea of data

business intelligence

Use Your Words: How To Tweak Your Keyword Search

By | How To

Last year, we shared our four main tips for tracking data with keywords. And this remains one of the areas we get more inquiries for. How do you make your searches more effective? How do you adjust the search? So, we’re here to help guide you to success!

Let’s start with the basics — what exactly is a keyword? A keyword is basically a search term. It doesn’t always need to be a single word. It can be a sentence; it can be a hashtag or a mixture of letters and numbers. When you start a keyword search, you begin searching all the available platforms for every mention of the term to be analysed and visualised.

Searches can get more advanced when you use a query. So, what is a query? A query is used to search social media and real-time data sources for mentions of your topic/project. Often to get the best results and pull in the most relevant and interesting data, one keyword is not enough. In this case, you may need to use multiple keywords, keyword filters or exclusions. So, basically, the full set of keywords and filters is known as a query.

Now, if you want to get more advanced, you can use a filter. A keyword filter allows you to filter your keywords through another set of keywords. This enables you to narrow down the number of mentions you are pulling in and look at more specific data. For example, if you wanted to look for all mentions of Nike trainers, your query would be the keyword “Nike” and you would put “trainers”, “trainer” and “sneakers” in the Keyword Filters section. This way you would only pull in mentions of Nike in the context of trainer conversation. Simple, no?

One final layer is a keyword exclusion. A keyword exclusion stops keywords coming into query results. Sometimes you may find a keyword brings unwanted data associated with another keyword. So, if you put a term in the keyword exclusion, it will stop mentions of your keyword in unwanted contexts. For example, if you are looking for mentions of Nike but don’t want to see any sales related conversation, your query would be the keyword “Nike” and you would put “sale”, “sell” and “deal” in the Keyword Exclusions section. This way you would only pull in mentions of Nike which are not related to selling items.

Now, that we have the basics down, let’s get to actually constructing your query. The best way to start is to ask yourself what are you really looking for. When constructing your query, it is generally best to have an idea of what kind of data you are looking for. Start with these questions:

  1. Are you looking for data around a brand, a product, a general topic or a specific campaign?
  2. If you are interested in a brand, do they use any specific hashtags or phrases in their social media communication?
  3. Does the name of the brand have other meanings?

Then you need to know how to choose your keywords. If you are looking for a specific brand, it is best to start with their social platforms. Here you can see how they refer to themselves on social networks and work out if they are using any specific campaign hashtags. If you put their exact account names in as keywords, you will pull in all the directed messages towards their account. You may find though that a brand’s name has multiple meanings, in which case you can always use keyword filters to narrow down your search.

Using our Nike example, you would first take a look on Twitter search; and you will see that all the mentions of Nike refer to the brand and that they have a large number of Twitter accounts outside the main @Nike Twitter account. So, as well as “Nike”, you might want to also add @NikeStore and @NikeLab to get a wider picture of the Nike conversation.

As with most things, the key to success is testing! So, we encourage you to test those keywords. The quickest and easiest way to test a keyword is to put it in the Search Twitter box on Twitter and click the Live tab. This way you can get an overview of what kind of content your keyword will pull. If you see lots of irrelevant data, you should consider changing your keyword or using keyword filters.

Now, on occasion, you’ll find that your query brings in irrelevant data. Not to fret. There are a number of ways you can deal with this. For instance, if you wanted to measure Apple, a brand whose name has multiple meanings not all related to the brand, you might find a lot of mentions of fruit. In this case, you will want to use keyword filters. As you will most likely want all mentions of Apple’s products, you can put “iPhone” and “iMac” into the keywords and the keyword filters so you get all mentions. But as you would only want mentions of Apple in the context of the brand rather than the context of fruit, you would put Apple into the keywords but put terms related to Apple such as “computer” and “Tim Cook” in the keyword filters so only mentions related to the brand are pulled in.

Sometimes a brand’s name may have other meaning in different languages. For instance, the baby milk brand SMA is a word in Indonesian. To prevent from bringing in lots of irrelevant Indonesian tweets, you can set the language filter to English and all the Indonesian posts will not be aggregated with what you’re seeking.

Then, we have what we all love — spam. Very often a brand can be the victim of sales spam, hundreds of posts from re-sellers. You may want to individually block problem users, or you can put key sales keywords such as “eBay”, “sell” or “sale” words into the keyword exclusions.

At the end of the day, setting up a query is simple if you have the tools and a little bit of knowledge. And of course, our team is happy to help at any point. Now, go forth and query!

business intelligence

The FitBit Generation: What We Can Learn From The Data

By | Social Visualizations

Look around you — how many people are wearing a fitness tracker like a FitBit? One in five Americans own a wearable of some kind. And fitness trackers produce a lot of data. Lately, the value of that data has been questioned. Is wearable data useless? Do we need to expand upon what we track?

While the United States has 20% of the population using a tracker, there hasn’t been a huge improvement in the nation’s health. Individuals are rarely changing their behavior based on how many steps they are or aren’t taking. So, while we have this wealth of data, why aren’t we seeing a shift?

Data alone is never the solution. Data needs context. Data must be timely and actionable. When we view data in context and in a reasonable fashion, we can adjust the environment and outcomes. This goes for health and fitness all the way to business.

Humans have evolved to quickly understand and process info. We discard what’s not relevant or deemed to help us. In a world with more data than we could ever consume, our brains are working in overdrive. Unfortunately, this means we lose concentration generally after eight seconds. So, for us to process data, it needs to be deemed important and relevant.

With fitness, this means helping us learn how to change our behavior or putting that behavior in context. For example, being able to see that after Wednesday’s Trivia Night, we rarely work out gives us insight into our motivation. Steps and heart rate without that context doesn’t guide us. Incorporating that data with our calendars so we can see who and what motivates us (or steals that motivation) would.

And this is the insight we should keep in mind with all data points. Data becomes relevant and important when we design it in context and in a timely fashion. When you’re at work, are you presenting data in a way that separates itself out from all the other noise? If not, we can help.

*Image courtesy Vernon Chan with modification.

The (Social) Power Of A Superhero

By | Events

Batman. Superman. Combine them and you get a pretty powerful social driver. Leading up its debut, “Batman v Superman” garnered over 180 million mentions. Comparing to other releases in the past year, it only trails “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

Despite critic despair over the film, fans flocked to the theater to see it and then took to the web to discuss. Batman v Superman earned $209 million domestically and $538 million globally its first week. While trailing Deadpool (which is now the highest grossing R-rated film) on earnings, it did surpass it socially. During that week, over 1.4 million mentions of the film were generated, compared to one million of Deadpool on its release week.

This data shows that superheroes drive serious conversation. There’s a mix of nostalgia and hope in all these films. And studios have taken note. Over the next couple of years, both DC and Marvel are set to release a series of films around numerous superheroes. And the choice of actor matters. Is Ben Affleck the best Batman? Will Hugh Jackman stay as Wolverine?

So, to celebrate this (and keep us all informed), we wanted to share this lovely infographic highlighting all the actors who have played which superhero over the years. We’ll be interested to see which ones resonate most with the crowds.

Massive Super Hero Star