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  • 9 May 2018 12:27 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By:  Jim Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING: Tech-friendly pragmatist that specializes in innovation and revitalizing businesses.

    The influence marketing debate continues.  As I explored in my last SMRA guest post The Evolution of Influence Marketing,  marketers recognize the need to utilize macro or micro influencers.  Based on what I have experienced this past month working on a project to identify micro influencers and then reading this past weekend about Meghan Markle’s global fashion influence, I am leaning towards macro influencers.  It is obvious, especially when it comes to pop culture, they consistently deliver the big bang (numbers).  For the record, Ms. Markle had deleted all her social media accounts, but thanks to photographs of her and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games last September that circulated around the world exponentially, she unofficially evolved into a British fashion icon. 

    Before I share some of Ms. Markle’s social media statistics I reviewed, I want to take timeout to share a marketing history lesson.  My apologies, but influence marketing really is just the current descriptor for buzz marketing generated via social platforms.  The power of one photo/video was first discovered back in 2002 when Sandra Bullock popped a Listerine PocketPak strip in her mouth while she was walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards.  Boom, along with other integrated marketing tactics, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Listerine PocketPak strips became an overnight sensation.

    Back to Meghan Markle, global fashion trend setter.  She was photographed wearing distressed Mother jeans and carrying a Everlane tote back in September 2017.  Mother experienced a 200 percent increase to their website; a 60 percent increase in Google searches versus the same period the prior year.  The company sold out their inventory in 3 days and cultivated a reorder waiting list of 400 people.  Everlane reported they now have a waiting list of 20,000 people for the tote she carried.  As her first post-engagement appearance, the Strathberry bag she carried sold out in 11 minutes and website traffic to the bag’s manufacturer (Scottish) soared 5,000 percent.  Now all eyes (a.k.a. Instagram) are on the brands she will wear for her upcoming wedding.  Fashion industry analysts believe Meghan projects the fairy tale image of a modern woman with a straightforward idea of luxury.   Consequently, young women gravitate towards her unconventional fashion statements.

    Macro vs. micro influencers?  My final take: It varies by industry.  Definitely macro when it comes to fashion.   

  • 3 May 2018 5:43 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Pew Research does it again! Great information here.


    Millennials have often led older Americans in their adoption and use of technology, and this largely holds true today. But there has also been significant growth in tech adoption in recent years among older generations – particularly Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

    More than nine-in-ten Millennials (92%) own smartphones, compared with 85% of Gen Xers (those who turn ages 38 to 53 this year), 67% of Baby Boomers (ages 54 to 72) and 30% of the Silent Generation (ages 73 to 90), according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data. Similarly, the vast majority of Millennials (85%) say they use social media. For instance, significantly larger shares of Millennials have adopted relatively new platforms such as Instagram (52%) and Snapchat (47%) than older generations have.

    This analysis reflects the Center’s recent decision to establish 1996 as the final birth year of Millennials, marking that generation as those who turn ages 22 to 37 this year. (Those born in 1997 or later are post-Millennials.)

    Unlike with smartphones and social media, Gen Xers have outpaced Millennials in tablet ownership for several years. The gap between them now stands at 10 percentage points, as 64% of Gen Xers and 54% of Millennials say they own tablets. A majority of Gen Xers also say they have broadband service at home. Some 73% of Gen Xers have home broadband, compared with 66% of Boomers and 34% of Silents.

    And while the share of social media users among Millennials has remained largely unchanged since 2012, the proportion of Gen Xers who use social media has risen by 11 percentage points during this time period. As a result, comparable shares of Gen Xers and Millennials now report using Facebook (76% and 82%, respectively).

    Baby Boomers continue to trail both Gen Xers and Millennials on most measures of technology adoption, but adoption rates for this group have been growing rapidly in recent years. Boomers are now far more likely to own a smartphone than they were in 2011 (67% now versus 25% then). Further, roughly half (52%) of Boomers now say they own a tablet computer, and a majority (57%) now use social media.

    Although Boomers have been enthusiastically adopting a range of technologies in recent years, members of the Silent Generation are less likely to have done so. Three-in-ten Silents (30%) report owning a smartphone, and fewer (25%) indicate that they have a tablet computer or use social media (23%). Previous Pew Research Center surveys have found that the oldest adults face some unique barriers to adopting new technologies – from a lack of confidence in using new technologies, to physical challenges manipulating various devices.

    In addition to these differences in their use of various technologies, Americans across generations also differ in their overall views of the broad impact of the internet.

    Regardless of generation, the vast majority of those who go online think the internet has been good for them personally. But younger internet users are more likely than older Americans who use internet to say the internet has had a positive impact on society: 73% of online Millennials believe that internet has been mostly a good thing for society, compared with 63% of users in the Silent Generation.

    At the same time, Americans today are less positive about the societal impact of the internet than they were four years ago. Gen Xers’ views of the internet’s impact on society declined the most in that time. In 2014, 80% of Gen X internet users believed the internet had been mostly a positive thing for society, a number that dropped to 69% this year. Millennial and Silent online goers are also somewhat less optimistic than in 2014.

    The new analysis also finds that almost all Millennials (97%) say they use the internet, and 28% of them are smartphone-only internet users. That is, they own a smartphone but do not have traditional broadband service at home. A similarly high share of Gen Xers (96%) also use the internet, as do 83% of Boomers, but just 52% of Silents. When it comes to smartphone-only internet users, 18% of Gen Xers go online primarily via a smartphone, as do 13% of Boomers and 8% of Silents.

  • 28 Apr 2018 10:05 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    We loved this article at SMRA because it digs into the science behind the research. 

    About the Author

    Olivia Ryan is a young journalist who is passionate about topics of career, recruitment and self-development. She constantly tries to learn something new and share this experience on coursework service  as well as on other relevant websites.

    First things first.

    Data science is a complex combination of algorithm development, technology, and data inference. The purpose of “data science” is to solve complex problems that organizations face by means of analytics. In digital marketing, data science becomes critically important. It is the most real, concrete, and logical way to keep your progress steady and to improve it slowly. By analyzing your actions, you can identify the results that were eventually caused.

    Well, if you’re into marketing and business, here are 3 effective ways to leverage data science to skyrocket your marketing results.

    1. Advanced Customer Persona Research

    Customer persona research is much more advanced today than ever before. Therefore, it may be more effective than any demographic description. Target personas are developed to personalize the marketing and selling process. By doing so, the user will have a better UX (user experience) while he/she stumbles upon content, a platform, or a product/service.

    Data science-backed tools can bring change to the typical methods used by brands to conduct their market research process using only social media data. By listening, watching, and adapting to the present condition of today’s social media networks, marketers are capable to engage in conversations at a global scale to bring together broader data volume, and also to capture the most important trends and buzzes.

    Here’s how to do advanced customer persona research:

    • Start by using social media analytics tools to research a central topic.
    • Pattern the general data and track the critical consumer conversations.
    • Clean the unnecessary data from your data sets regularly.
    • Monitor the discussion through a listening dashboard.
    • Once you get to understand your audience, try to become accustomed to using language that your specific selected audience uses. This will improve your engagement and conversion rates big time!

    2. Forget Word Clouds

    At one point, word clouds were the most reliable tools for analyzing social conversation and understanding discussions. In fact, word clouds are not really focuses tools, unless you’re very active. Otherwise, the information you’ll get could be unrepresentative and you’ll have to work more to avoid using all those irrelevant words.

    Fortunately for marketers, there are better tools which are also based on the power of data science. Every digital marketer will be able to use these tools together with specific algorithms in natural language processing. Therefore, marketers will have an easier life while dealing with contextualizing the word usage and delivering meaningful insights.

    Entity Analysis and Buzz Graphs are only two examples of such tools that will help you associate words with their semantic type in a much easier fashion.

    3. Make Use of Community Groups

    Data science can be your best friend when it comes to targeting specific social media groups. Everything begins with a community grouping campaign, which will start when you identify the topic areas where you can find good responses (feedback from customers).

    Data science will do the rest of the magic. It will help marketers find and identify the most frequently discussed topics, all based on the frequency of the observed keywords. Then, all the topics will be analyzed to be classified through the social platform you choose.


    Data science is probably the new “big hit” that’s taking the digital environment by storm. Because we “swim” in data each day, the importance of it will continue to grow as the time goes by. As a marketer or entrepreneur, you should immediately acknowledge the importance of data in your business success and you should start taking action now!


  • 21 Apr 2018 1:15 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    *Article from Fast Company which offers some concrete research done on this subject. 

    Consumers’ expectation of data privacy is highly contextual.

    You’ve probably heard the saying, “consumers don’t care about privacy,” which I’ve always found to be an odd phrase since it seems like a logical fallacy.

    As a part of my day job as an industry analyst, I spend a lot of time with company executives talking through our firm’s research on consumer behavior with technology, which often touches on issues of privacy. It is in these conversations that I frequently hear the adage “consumers don’t care about privacy.” The reasoning behind this phrase is as follows: Because people post pictures of themselves or their family on social media–sometimes doing weird things–they must not care that much about their privacy. But it’s not that simple. After doing years of qualitative and quantitative studies on this subject, I think we need to reframe how we think about consumer privacy.


    Many consumers say they’re concerned about their privacy, and then post a bunch of personal stuff on Facebook, or Twitter, or Snapchat. But this says more about their feelings concerning social networking services than their overall feelings about privacy.

    Consumers’ beliefs and behavior around privacy are largely contextual. In some situations, they care about privacy; in others, not so much. When it comes to things like banking and finances, or medical-related information, consumer behavior will line up with their stated beliefs in caring about privacy. The reality is, social media may not be one of those places.

    Our findings suggest that consumers fully understand that the content they post on Facebook is public. They treat Facebook as a public forum. Therefore, the expectation of privacy on Facebook is not as high as it is with their bank, medical institution, or insurance company.

    So maybe a narrow version of that phrase, such as “consumers on Facebook don’t care about privacy” may well be true.

    Source: Creative Strategies


    After Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and Mark Zuckerberg’s recent Congressional hearings, we at Creative Strategies decided it was a good time  to conduct a new consumer study. We performed a broader study last year on consumer privacy and security and felt this would be a good way to update our results and glean new insights. We wanted to ask consumers about their use of Facebook and test some new privacy-related theories.

    After the responses were all in, some important data points stood out.

    • We discovered that approximately 20% of the consumers in our study did not have a currently active Facebook account. The vast majority of that 20% cited privacy-related concerns as a primary reason for not having a Facebook account.
    • 9% of the respondents had a Facebook account and deleted it at some point in the last few years. Again, many cited privacy-related reasons as a motivating factor.
    • 51% of consumers we polled disagreed with the statement that they enjoy using Facebook today as much as when they first started using it. 39% of those polled said they wish Facebook was more like it was when they first started using the service.
    • The top two main motivations for active Facebook users, by a large margin, are to stay in touch with friends or family who don’t live in the area (67%), and to keep up with friends or family they have lost touch with (59%).
    Source: Creative Strategies


    Consumers are becoming more sensitive to companies’ aggressive tracking of their online behavior. That tracking is beginning to affect consumers’ expectation of privacy.

    Our research shows that consumers don’t seem to mind seeing ads on Facebook. They even indicated some level of gratitude when they found a new product or service on Facebook that fit their interests. But consumers feel that Facebook crosses the “creepy” line when it targets its ads using personal information it gleaned outside of Facebook. To this point, 58% of consumers in our study said they’re less than comfortable with how good Facebook has become at tracking their general online activity.

    It’s here I believe the technology industry needs to start a broader conversation on privacy. The industry may need provide some protections for consumers who do not want their non-public online behavior to be tracked by companies like Facebook and Google. Any regulation of Facebook and companies like it should focus on this. Perhaps some consumer data should be off-limits to companies like Facebook and Google even if that activity happens on their own platforms.

    Consumers are becoming more aware of the sophisticated tracking and ad-targeting technology used by Facebook, Google, and others have become. That awareness is raising privacy concerns.

    No, people will not leave Facebook in droves. But people may start using Facebook less, as 45% of our study respondents said they were. Or more consumers may change their privacy settings and on-Facebook practices to limit how much information they share. Our survey found that 39% of consumers had already changed their Facebook privacy settings because of privacy concerns.

    And the impact on Facebook’s business is likely to be nominal, at least in the near term. Facebook already controls a massive store of user data. But it may call into question the long-term viability of business models that dispense some “free” service for which the consumer pays with their data rather than their dollars.

  • 13 Apr 2018 5:12 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Interesting post from one of our Corporate Sponsors, Ann Michaels and Associates, on YouTube. Is your company on YouTube?

    Posted by AnnMichaels in Social Media Marketing 


    YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. A recent YouTube study revealed the following stats: 67% of YouTube users go there for help on how to fix their home, 65% use the platform to be entertained and 56% of its users go there to learn something new. With the massive increase of content being added to the platform every minute, brands need to start targeting content as an active strategy if they want to be successful on the platform.


    YouTube is still one of the web’s largest search engines. According to YouTube:

    • The community has one billion users—about one-third of all internet users.
    • YouTube reaches more 18 to 34 and 18 to 49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
    • You can navigate YouTube in 76 different languages, which covers 95 percent of the internet population.
    • People watch a billion hoursof YouTube every day.

    YouTube still offers the best opportunity for brands to reach their target audience via video.

    For example: Say you are a soap company, and you want to use YouTube to sell more soap. Maybe one “avenue” would be Education—you want to educate people on why soap is important. Another “avenue” would be reviews—you want to review the best soaps on the market, and then direct people to where they can buy them.

    As soon as you start thinking this way, you’ll find it much, much easier to come up with not only quality content but content that always falls in line with your larger strategy.

    How to Make YouTube Work for Your Business

    The following five steps can drastically improve your YouTube marketing strategy.

    1.  Do Your Research Before you start publishing your own content, look around at who else is playing in your niche or market, and what they are doing to succeed.

    Make sure you have a good grasp on your competition and what sort of content they’re putting out.

    2. Find your Best Content Avenues YouTube marketing really comes down to picking a few key areas where you feel you can deliver the best value and mass producing content that falls within these areas.

    That’s why subtitles are so important. You want as many people as possible to watch your content and by providing all methods of viewing you are ensuring a big win.

    3. Create a Content Schedule The golden rule you need to follow is simple, and yet it’s the most difficult for brands to execute.

    Volume…Ask any full-time YouTuber, social celebrity, or brand on YouTube and they will tell you that their viewership rose as soon as they started increasing their volume.

    The best advice for creating a content cadence is to set the tone from the beginning and let your audience know what to expect. Introduce yourself and describe what sort of content you will be publishing and how often. Then make sure you follow through.

    Once the cadence is established, your audience will make a habit of checking your channel on a weekly, daily, or sometimes even hourly basis. And the more times they come back, the better.

    If you aren’t consistent, you’ll never build a loyal audience. Period.

    4. Add Subtitles to Your Videos One of the newest and best tools that Facebook and YouTube have integrated into their video uploading capabilities is the ability to add subtitles.

    It may not seem like a big deal, but here’s why it’s important: most people watch videos on their phone, in public, without the sound on. If you can’t hear what is being said in the video, you’re going to skip it, right?

    YouTube users arrive ready for video content. They’re more likely to stick around longer, provided the video holds their attention and fulfills its promise. Furthermore, Google loves YouTube videos, and you can compete for a spot in those rankings with videos of your own.


    5. Collaborate One of the most effective ways to get your content viewed and shared is by collaborating with other people who have audiences as well.
    The biggest YouTubers and successful brands are well known for collaborating. It is a win-win for everyone involved. When you collaborate with someone else who has a similar audience as you, they get exposure to your audience and you get exposure to theirs.

    Ready to give YouTube a try? Implement these strategies and watch your brand and audience soar.


  • 5 Apr 2018 11:57 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

    What are hot research challenges in social media analytics in health care? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

    (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Answer by University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics, Educating leaders in health informatics since 1997, on Quora:

    With the increased social media usage in the patient population, researchers have started to capture this data and put it to better use to improve and personalize the care provided. There are multiple areas within social media that researchers have focused on. A few of the key areas are:

    • Understanding and preventing the flow of misinformation.
    • Linking patient-generated social media data with personal health records or the electronic health records for the care team to get a comprehensive picture of patient’s health.
    • Providing personalized social media-based interventions to patients.
    • Social media content curation.
    • Performing predictive analytics and real-time predictions for things like flu trends, etc.

    Generating meaningful data from social media is a challenge at many levels. A few of the challenges could be:

    • Sheer volume of the data generated.
    • Specific vocabulary for specific platforms, e.g. use of slang terms like LOL, etc. This makes analysis very specific to each platform and generalizability becomes questionable.
    • It’s hard to estimate if user online behavior is consistent with their behavior offline. It’s hard to estimate if users practice what they preach bringing into question the use of such data as a measure of health.
    • Privacy concerns also exist. Even though social media posts are on public website, users may not appreciate their posts being used for research.

    Social media analytics is still at the research stage for text based social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Whereas social networks that are available have moved ahead to speech based (Second Life) and image based networks (Instagram). This keeps researchers a decade or two behind with lots of technology to catch up on.

  • 5 Apr 2018 9:50 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    We are excited that Tatiana Tosi, the Latin American representative of the Social Media Research Association is a nominee for the Best eCommerce Professional category for the upcoming Brazilian eCommerce - Professionals in Social Media Awards.

    Congratulations Tati!

    Nominations are being voted on through April 6th - please help us support Tati by taking a moment to vote for her. You can do so below.

    Click here to vote!

    Thank you for your support, and good luck Tatiana!

  • 21 Mar 2018 3:20 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By:  Jim Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING: Tech-friendly pragmatist that specializes in innovation and revitalizing businesses.

    I am a follower of AI (Artificial Intelligence), the next groundswell of technological development.  Recently, I posted on my company blog, Save The Planet, how AI will help solve some of our planet’s threating environmental challenges.  Being a marketing geek, I am always aggregating content for clients to help them better understand the benefits of social media monitoring/analytics.  I was not surprised given the amount of data Facebook has amassed on Instagram users, that it was only a matter of time before AI tools would surface utilizing visual recognition to slice and dice Instagram posts to predict consumer behavior.

    Welcome Eat Your Feed an AI tool launched by Unilever’s Knorr brand.  The AI tool developed by one of their creative agencies, scans an individual’s posts to provide personalized recipe suggestions from the Knorr database.  Users can save the recipes, add ingredients to their shopping apps or share the recipes with their followers.  To promote the tool, Knorr has created a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) promotion, a one-day pop-up restaurant (4/11) in London where diners will be served their favorite Instagram meals, plus have the opportunity to snap and share photos.

    AI tools sound like a great way to analyze Instagram posts to predict consumer behavior across a broad range of products and services.  AI tools utilized to analyze Instagram posts also sound creepy.  Big AI is Watching!

  • 16 Mar 2018 12:35 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    From Research Live:

    Ben Bold

    More and more researchers are beginning to find ways to use social media research as another tool in the MR toolbox. Read more...


    UK – Social media research is a viable, maturing form of market research and no longer resides on the "lunatic fringe", according to Jay Owens, research director at Pulsar.

    Owens was speaking during a panel session at the MRS annual conference, Impact 2018. She was joined onstage by a number of research agency professionals and client marketers, the latter from Ikea, Axa and Channel 4. The three brands presented a case study each showing how they had used social media research in their marketing campaigns.

    Owens reflected on the maturation of social as an insight tool. "Social media research is practically a teenage research method," she said. "Both Twitter and Facebook are about 12 years old and I've been working with them for seven or eight years."

    She talked of the "evolution of social insight", but highlighted the "need to work out how to do insight better" and turn the discipline into "something that’s going to make a difference and persuade a CMO" of its efficacy.

    While the benefits of data gleaned from social are of clear benefit to researchers, "answering the bigger business questions and persuading people to use the right metrics" are clearly challenges, as are issues such as data protection and incoming GDPR legislation.

    Ikea’s Agnes Gawel, who heads up digital performance at the Swedish furniture retailer, talked about how the group employed its bespoke Eva tool, "We learn so much from social media users, getting to see the company’s products in their homes," she said. "They can then use the tool to "analyse engagement and popularity, which then influences our communications and even our products".

    Social imaging helped Ikea "uncover new areas", "understand how people live at home" and by analysing images, establish what content people find most engaging.

    Social media engagement is also helping players in insurance. Emma Crowle, senior insight manager at Axa Global Healthcare, talked about how the company thought about social as "the spark that ran through marketing activity, helping us delivery marketing more effectively". A recent campaign led to a 13% increase in quotes and 16% decrease in the cost of acquisition.

    Channel 4 discussed how using social including Facebook helped it boosted the profile and usage of its Channel 4 News video channel. The campaign was not just a "numbers game" for viewers, but a means of proving its viability as a public service broadcaster.


  • 7 Mar 2018 8:26 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)
     produced by the New Jersey Institute of Technology ...

    Market intelligence (MI) refers to data that uncovers information about a product’s market, which is then used to shape strategies around advertising, market penetration and new products. By devoting time and resources toward gathering and analyzing MI, some companies have been able to rise above their competitors. However, despite the many uses of market intelligence data, experts in the field today have access to more useful customer data than they can reasonably analyze. This is known as the Big Data Paradox.

    To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Master of Business Administration degree program.

    Collecting Market Intelligence Data Infographic

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