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In Category: Measurement & Governance

Here’s a repost from our senior strategist and board advisor, Joel Rubinson, former Chief Research Officer at the ARF – with a great quote from our CEO, Rob Key.

When clients experience sales declines for a brand, the supplier who runs the brand tracker is likely to mis-diagnose the cause because most trackers have a HUGE blindspot. Brand trackers assume that it is the brand that is in motion when in reality, it is usually the world moving around us to which the brand is failing to adjust.

The fact is, ‘World in motion’ analysis is missing from almost all the trackers I am asked to review.

Brand in motion. Certainly brand tracking metrics have value because sometimes it IS your brand that is motion…changed logo, brand name, new ad campaign, ad investment mix and levels, product formula, pricing, etc. For example, when Tropicana changed its package and sales immediately dropped 25% that was definitely ‘brand in motion’. Struggling brands often kill advertising in 4th quarter to make profit goals. Then, brand equity declines…that self-inflicted wound is ‘brand in motion’ too.

Read the rest here.

YouTube Celebrates Turning 10

YouTube, the leading video sharing website, turns 10 this year and it celebrates its birthday in YouTube-like fashion: a massive video. The nearly three-minute compilation named “A-Z of YouTube: Celebrating 10 Years” summarizes the long journey of the site. With 26 video categories and their iconic representatives, watching it can make you nostalgic as you remember the first videos you ever saw that melted your heart or made you laugh out loud.

Along with the video, YouTube has come up with a fun quiz with which you can test your knowledge of the platform.

Have you checked out YouTube’s 10-year birthday video or taken the YouTube Knowledge Quiz? Share your experience with us.

To know more about it, check out this article from Social Media Today.

Blog-27-Youtube-Birthday YouTube Turns 10, Google Launches App Invites, and More

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Google Debuts App Invites

With more and more mobile apps coming into the market each day, app developers always look for ways to enhance their audience base. Google’s latest launch, App Invites, lets app developers increase their application’s user base with a more personalized system of invites. App Invites aims to ease the process of building user referral and onboarding.

Using App Invites, you and the users of your app can send out invitations to new users (prospects) via email or SMS. App Invites comes with additional features like: recommending contacts for sending invitations, determining the best method of invitation delivery, linking personalized onboarding experience options, and measuring app invitations using Google Analytics reports. App Invites is available for iOS and Android developers.

Have you checked out App Invites? What do you think about it?

Learn more about it from Google or check out this TechCrunch article.

Blog-28-Google-App-Invites YouTube Turns 10, Google Launches App Invites, and More

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Facebook – Most Popular Source for Political News

A recent study by Pew Research reveals that Facebook is the most common source for news about government and politics among millennials and Generation X’ers in the U.S. The study concludes that more than 40 percent of the U.S. population relies on Facebook for political news.

Comparing top news media sources, the study found that while the Baby Boomers (aged 50 to 68) still rely on local television for news, the Millennials (aged 18 to 33) and the Generation X’ers (aged 34 to 49) check out Facebook for political news. The various news sources compared for the study included Facebook, local T.V., Google News, Yahoo News, ABC News, Fox News, NBC News, CBS News, MSNBC, and CNN.

What is your favorite news source for political news? Share with us.

To know more, check out this article from Social Media Today.

Blog-29-Facebook-as-a-news-source YouTube Turns 10, Google Launches App Invites, and More

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Facebook Introduces GIFs in News Feed

After auto-playing videos, now it is time for animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) in the Facebook News Feed. Contradicting its earlier belief that GIFs can mar the appeal of the platform, the company finally rolls out the update. GIFs will auto-play on Facebook like auto-play videos unless you disable auto-play in your settings. This update is still rolling out and you might be able to see it shortly on your Facebook pages.

Are you excited about including GIFs in your status updates? Share your thoughts with us.

To know more, check out this TechCrunch article.

 YouTube Turns 10, Google Launches App Invites, and More

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Big-Data 2015:  The Social Intelligence (Predictive) Tipping Point Has Arrived!

It has happened. Finally. Social intelligence has now been demonstrably proven in multiple studies to be not just qualitative and reactive, but now quantitative and predictive! The impact is nothing short of transformative to market research, insights, business intelligence and more in 2015, as social listening data can – and is – being mainstreamed into operations across enterprises.

How did it happen?  The development of new filtering and sentiment technologies (with high recall, precision and custom classifiers) together with more sophisticated modeling and new ways to segment “who” is talking has created the breakthrough as validated in several key studies.

While the power of social listening has been validated, it’s important to note that not all social listening data is the same.  Converseon, together with its award winning sister text analytics company, Revealed Context, uses advanced proprietary filtering technologies to provide the precision, recall and relevancy required to power these models.  The data can either be supplied by clients or supplied directly by Converseon.

Want to learn more about the social intelligence tipping point and its new applications to brand and business research and intelligence?   Feel free to contact us directly at sales@converseon.com

Just a few other things of note:

Converseon featured in new segment on how its social analytics offerings are now becoming predictive. ‪http://ow.ly/HyOMl

From MediaPost: This week’s announcement of the partnership between Analytic Partners, The Keller Fay Group and Converseon Team To Integrate Social, WOM ‪http://bit.ly/1y2A83H

Want to join us in the conversation?

Converseon will be speaking and participating in the following events:

ARF WEST (San Francisco), January 28-29, 2015
How Social and WOM Data Can be Used in Marketing Mixed Modeling

Social Media Week (New York), February 24, 2015 (9:30-10:30 a.m.)
The Impact of Social and Word of Mouth on Sales (WOMMA Study)

ARF Rethink Conference (New York)
Social Data is Now Predictive!  Now What?

As always, we welcome your feedback and contributions.

Joel Rubinson

In our ongoing effort to forge new paths and innovation in social intelligence and research, Converseon has built a strong relationship with the Advertising Research Foundation and key thought leaders. The advancement of social intelligence into market, customer and business intelligence, while fast-growing, has been stymied somewhat by some key challenges, including social framing, data reliability and precision and more.   That said, Converseon has helped tackle these working with some of the best minds of the industry, such as Gayle Fuguitt, former Converseon advisory board member and now CEO of The ARF, Professor Wendy Moe, author of the recent book on Social Intelligence and Joel Rubinson, former Chief Research Officer at the ARF and now board member and senior strategist with Converseon.

In fact, a project we did with professors Wendy Moe and David Schweidel was awarded two MSI Awards for the paper “Social Media Intelligence: Measuring Brand Sentiment from Online Conversations.”   In the study, the team developed a statistical model that adjusted for various factors to find a .80 correlation with offline brand tracking.   But building the model demonstrated the need for decomposing conversations, applying advanced filtering and weighting, and more.

The paper is available (free) here.

Today though, we decided to do a little Q&A with Joel who is been well recognized as a pioneer helping to bridge social intelligence and research with more traditional research methodologies.   You may be familiar with Joel’s musings and thoughts on various related topics — ranging from the application of programmatic to research, to the need to flip the conversion funnel, among others. We invited Joel to share some specific thoughts on social research and intelligence.

How would you describe the current state of social research?

Social research is still mostly on the periphery of marketing research and used for insights into problems that were tackled  in more traditional ways without complete success.  I don’t’ think marketing research has figured out how to trade  off traditional market research activity budgets an leverage social media as an alternative that has the potential to strengthen the whole approach.
What do you think are the most common misperceptions?

The biggest challenge is how to view social media listening as quantitative data.  I believe this comes about because marketing research’s use of statistics is focused on sampling theory.  It is true that there is no known sampling frame for social media data but that is the wrong way to look at it.  Social media provides a census of something really important…what people are saying about your brand to their friends across any and all social media channels. Also, while the sampling framework is not fully known, regression modeling has shown that conversations have great predictive value through econometric approaches.

Where do you see it evolving to next?

I think that social media will be matched to customer segments so we have a greater sense of who the conversations are representative of.  For example, if Levi Strauss wanted to know what fashion forward people are tweeting about, that can actually be done through the new wave of social media tools that can create or align to segmentation. This is an area where Converseon now offers a solution.

What is required to help social truly fulfill its potential with researchers?

The broad business needs that marketing research tackles hasn’t changed much.  We still need to monitor the health of brands, seek innovation ideas, test advertising, etc.  What researchers do is craftsman work, using well known tools of long surveys, focus groups, and syndicated data.  The craftsman approaches for social media to play a role in these eternal marketing needs is what we have to focus on.  Once the roadmaps are created, successful cases are documented, and repeatable protocols established, the industry will begin embracing social media as a primary source of insights

What excites you most about the space?

The thought that we can create a repeatable connection between insights and marketing action.  Insights and metrics from social media come from behaviors that social marketing campaigns intend to influence.  We listen, we engage, we produce effect. This is addresses one of the most pervasive raps against research, that it is “nice to know” but doesn’t  tell me what to do.

Why your association with Converseon?

Social media research must evolve to become an integral part of business solutions.  As such, i wanted to associate myself with an organization that has great resources as well as a willingness to reinvent. We share this vision and commitment.

Editors note: The Converseon team is deeply immersed in addressing the challenges and opportunities that Joel discussed in the interview.  ”The New Science of Social Research and Intelligence” is an going to become a recurrent theme here as we roll out new solutions and methodologies that address issues related to reliability, precision, sample framing, and more.   With new models that address these issues, we are definitively demonstrating how social is indeed not only qualitative, but also quantitative and predictive.

Converseon will be presenting at the Insight Innovation Exchange NA in Atlanta on June 16 on this very issue.   Our point of view is more fully articulated here

As always we welcome your feedback and contributions.


Here are three ways to create differentiated and compelling content, that you won’t find mentioned in blogs about content marketing:

1. Web Apps
Build a unique and compelling web application to drive ongoing, evergreen traffic to your property. Common examples include a dealer locator on the web site of a tire manufacturer, but that is somewhat obvious. If you really want to differentiate your brand, create an application that no competing brands offer, like, oh… I don’t know… maybe an online database of social media policies — a simple example, but that page has generated thousands of visits per day for three years.

What kind of web app could you create to give your customers something of value, establish a relationship based on trust, and keep them coming back? Bonus points if you build it atop an asset that your competitors do not possess.

2. Measurement
Do you know the attributes of your content that generate the greatest engagement or sharing? Most brands don’t. Most brands outside of the media industry don’t think about it at the level required to optimize content development at large scale.

3. Intent Research
When your marketers, or SMEs, or agency staff are writing content for the brand, they should have ready access to the latest search trends and conversation insights to understand the language that online audiences are using at that time.

Most use cases do not require the information in real-time, up-to-the-moment, but many campaigns would benefit from daily updates, if not weekly or monthly. When was the last time you wrote a press release whose keywords were informed by SEO and SEM goals, and the latest search volumes on those keywords? These tools and approaches iare growing more widely understood and blogged about, but almost no large brand is executing it with consistency.

Chris BoudreauxChris Boudreaux leads Converseon’s Strategy and Measurement practice, which designs and delivers social and digital measurement and content optimization services to global brands. Follow Chris on Twitter, or email Chris to continue the conversation.


People are wrong in their criticisms of the Apple social media policy that was allegedly leaked recently, and here is why:

A company’s social media policy should support the unique qualities that make the company successful. In fact, the elements of a successful social media policy must exist in concert with the unique culture and business context of any organization.

In Apple’s case, secrecy has been a critical key to success. While many social media pundits claim that Apple should be more open, very few of those people are running billion-dollar corporations, and the notion that all companies should apply the same level of “open-ness” is, at best, over-simplified.

Comparisons to other technology companies abound, but that just makes no sense. Those companies and Apple take completely different approaches to differentiation, which has led them to create very different cultures. They also rely on different business processes to create growth and value. Many are well-run and highly successful, but for very different reasons.

And those differences are the keys to understanding why they use different social media policies.

The chart above shows the business factors that companies should consider when developing an effective social media policy (which I published in The Social Media Management Handbook earlier this year).

Chris Boudreaux leads the Strategy and Measurement practice at Converseon and created SocialMediaGovernance.com to help companies govern social media, including the largest online database of social media policies. You can Contact Chris on his web site, or by email: cboudreaux [at] converseon-dot-com.


Google announced today that searches by logged-in users will be securely sent over SSL encryption. Therefore, Google will no longer send the query terms in the referrer data to analytics tools that analysts use to understand the keywords sending traffic to their site. If you’re not using Google Webmaster Tools, you will no longer know all of the keywords bringing people to your website from searchers who are logged into Google when they search. This is potentially a big problem for folks relying solely on enterprise analytics solutions.

While Google says they are focused on protecting user privacy, the change clearly forces everyone to use Webmaster Tools and decreases the value of paid analytics solutions because they will no longer be able to collect as much data as they did before.

If you have not verified your website through Webmaster Tools, do it now.

It is only a matter of time before Google incorporates Webmaster Tools directly into Analytics. Until then, marketers will have to pull a portion of their search performance reports from Webmaster Tools.

Now that Google, Twitter and Facebook implemented SSL this year, privacy advocates will likely expect the same from Bing and Yahoo.

View the original blog post from Google.

Evergreen Content

Bit.ly recently published data indicating that links shortened in bit.ly and shared on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube receive the vast majority of their clicks within 3 hours of being shared. While clicks can be a critical call-to-action on social media, and the bit.ly data help us to understand the dynamics of viral sharing, viral distribution is only one important goal of content that is created or distributed through social media. Specifically, a balanced social media marketing plan must also include provisions for evergreen content: feature articles that deliver significant long-term impact — especially in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Evergreen Versus Real-Time Content

Evergreen content sticks around and continues to provide value after the 3-6 hours of initial sharing. For example, think about search engine results. In general, we see blog posts, wikis, reviews, forum threads, and videos with the longest staying power in search results. Perishable media such as Facebook and Twitter updates are important in search results, but evergreen content is equally as important.

According to Lijit, 20% of referrals are driven by social media, and search still delivers twice the amount of traffic versus social. Ignoring the role of search in your social strategy will simply lead to all of your hard work being lost to time.

As marketers increase their focus on real-time marketing, the concept of a timeless article is increasingly derided by some in journalism and public relations because its very definition denotes something that is not immediately newsworthy. Rather than appreciate the long-term benefits of evergreen content, they treat it as filler for a slow news day.

However, marketers must resist the urge to chase sharing statistics at the cost of search engine performance. Yes, social media affect search engine results, but they are not the primary determinant of search engine performance, so don’t let the spirit of real-time take your long-term marketing performance off track.

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Michael Maoz recently wrote that CIOs these days shake their heads at the fact that marketing, sales and services leaders are able to obtain funding for social media projects without a business case, instead of being held accountable for the same level of quantitative rigor as other IT-enabled investments. While it is true that most social media investments still travel with no business case, anyone who wants to change that fact needs to undertand a bit of history:

One challenge is that most communications professionals and social media consultants don’t have much experience in organizational change. They’ve never led cross-functional change programs. They’ve never built a business case that had to stand up to the CFO’s rigor. So they just don’t know how to do those things.

And, in the corporate communications arena, they never had to measure business impact from their efforts. Clippings were all they ever counted.

But that is all changing as marketing, sales and customer service leaders begin to ask for real dollars for social media.

However, the one critical factor that is changing the slowest is that CIOs are simply not getting in the game. CIOs and their teams are simply not at the table when cross-functional social media efforts are launched. And, ultimately, the CIO has to change that. CIOs need to start reaching out to their VPs of Communications and Marketing, and start figuring out how enterprise IT will enable the business goals that social media supports.

The bottom line is that CIOs can not sit back and wait for other functional leaders to bring them a business case or a well-defined social application architecture. CIOs need to get out of their foxholes, and go be the smartest person in the room about how the organization should use technology to solve challenges in marketing, communications, sales and service.


Dr. Brent Coker of the University of Melbourne recently published findings indicating that web users tend to trust web sites 20% more today versus 2007, but are 30% less loyal to ecommerce sites versus 2007.

1. Why He Believes Trust Increased

Dr. Coker said the increase in online consumer trust is largely linked to the visual appeal of websites. “As aesthetically orientated humans, we’re psychologically hardwired to trust beautiful people, and the same goes for websites. With websites becoming increasingly attractive and including more trimmings, this creates a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in online consumers.”

Anyone interested in web credibility should also visit the Web Credibility Project at Stanford University.

2. Why He Believes Loyalty Decreased

“The biggest source of frustration is the inability to find relevant information on a website. The best way to stop defection to other websites, and increase loyalty, is to be interesting. Being pretty, but with nothing to say, is not enough.”

The research found that if a website has poor navigation or access to information, or is slow (i.e. more than two seconds to download), web surfers are more likely to opt against purchasing and navigate to an alternate website. (No surprises there.)

However, it is interesting that, in the last five years, the frequency of referring others to websites has increased by 32%. Largely due to social utilities, such as Facebook and Twitter.

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