Charlene Weisler: What is the Echo Social Graph?
Lydia Daly: The Echo Social Graph is our proprietary custom analytics dashboard that measures the effectiveness of our social marketing campaigns which was created in partnership with Spredfast which is based in Austin, Texas. Before this dashboard was created, we tracked social campaign performance very manually using excel spreadsheets. With the Echo Social Graph we created a sophisticated tool that allows us to automate measurement of the entire social conversation including and beyond our owned content across multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and more.
The data visualization has three sections. The first focuses on Campaign Metrics and how the audience evolves over the lifetime of a campaign in terms of impressions and engagement. The second section takes a deeper look at Content and identifies the most engaged pieces of social media content and the most influential influencers. Finally the third section looks at Demographics, identifying hot spots for engagement around the country and delivering directional insights about demos that can help our marketers further customize campaigns for clients.
Charlene: What are the demos that you use? Are they the standard ones?
Lydia: We look at all demos depending on the client and the campaign. In terms of social influencers, Viacom Velocity uses a casting process that matches social talent, the target audience and our brand voice with that of our advertising partners. Demos like age are a factor here but it’s also important to look deeply at the audience they appeal to and the kind of content that they create to ensure a good fit. You can have someone older who attracts Millennials and they could be a good influencer target for us even though they themselves fit outside of our target demo.
Charlene: What are the most important metrics in social media research?
Lydia: Reach and engagement are the perennial favorites. However, the Echo Social Graph tool allows us to delve much deeper than that. It enables us to track campaigns that are social by design and includes components that give us insight into the top performing posts as well as an hour by hour deep dive into how those campaigns played out.
Charlene: Who are the influencers of today?
Lydia: In the past, they were predominately celebrities but that has changed massively. Now, social media influencers are breaking through and generate a lot of buzz across specific social media channels like Vine, YouTube, Instagram and more. They influence all types of genres and industries and there are so many different types of social talent for partners to tap into. Every clients’ brand is different and the explosion of social talent in recent years gives advertisers more ways than ever before to customize and tailor one-of-a-kind campaigns.
Charlene: How do you match influencers with brands?
Lydia: It is both an art and a science. Some data helps in identifying certain types of influencers as it pertains to the demographics of the audience but we have an in-house team that is specifically charged with casting social influencers and identifying the players in the space who add that layer of art to the data science.
Charlene: Can you talk about your work with Canvs?
Lydia: The Echo Social Graph launched over a year ago and we have always wanted to add a layer of sentiment analysis to deepen our audience insights, especially around Millennials. However, Millennials use nuance, slang, irony, jargon, misspellings and more in their social conversations -- this was always a hurdle for traditional sentiment analysis. Our partnership with Canvs expands our campaign measurement capabilities to incorporate emotional analysis. This means we can now interpret reactions to marketing campaigns and then qualify them into 56 emotions. This allows us to decode that conversation for our clients and understand how these audiences are responding to content.
Charlene: Is it really possible to measure emotional responses to marketing campaigns?
Lydia: Yes. Canvs has developed a methodology to measure emotionality and this offers us a way to look at social conversations quantitatively to understand the feelings behind them. We can do this with marketing campaigns because we are already pulling all of the relevant campaign data as qualified by hashtags, phrases and keywords through our Echo Social Graph. The Canvs tool then analyzes that pool of data. This integration means that we have the ability to measure emotional reactions to our campaign content and that’s what our partners are looking for.
Charlene: What do you consider to be engagement?
Lydia: There are so many ways that our fans engage with our content but for measurement purposes we have a way to group these. Our Echo Social Graph measures social engagement in three ways by Action, Creation and Shares. Actions include likes and favorites, Creation includes the physical creation of a social post and Shares represents shares and retweets. This gives us a good overview on a campaign and how content is igniting on social.
Charlene: Where do you see all of this new and ground-breaking research going in the next five years?
Lydia: Social media measurement will continue to grow and evolve. Engagement will remain a key metric as everyone wants to understand the actions taken on their content. Tied to this will be more widespread emotionality research since this adds such a compelling layer to engagement numbers.
In terms of the world of talent, I think that the idea of social influencers and celebrities will converge as online influencers move to linear and the big screen thereby increasing their fame. Mainstream celebrities will get more sophisticated when it comes to promoting themselves via social media channels.
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