The Global Source for Social Media Researchers

SMRA Blog 

  • 12 Sep 2017 2:30 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    More and more people are looking at social networks to get their news. 


    As of August 2017, two-thirds (67%) of Americans report that they get at least some of their news on social media – with two-in-ten doing so often, social mediaaccording to a new survey from Pew Research Center. This is a modest increase since early 2016, when (during the height of the presidential primaries) 62% of U.S. adults reported getting news from social media. While a small increase overall, this growth is driven by more substantial increases among Americans who are older, less educated, and nonwhite. This study is based on a survey conducted August 8-21, 2017, with 4,971 U.S. adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

    Demographics of social media news consumers

    There are some key differences in the demographic makeup of each site’s news users. Instagram and Snapchat news consumers are considerably more likely to be nonwhite and younger. Twitter and LinkedIn have the largest share of college graduates among their news users – 59% of LinkedIn’s news users have college degrees, as do 45% of Twitter’s news users. The news user bases of the two largest sites – Facebook and YouTube – include more older Americans than those of smaller sites such as Instagram and Snapchat.

    social media research Snapchat has by far the youngest group of news users – 82% are ages 18-29. While Facebook and YouTube are still the most popular among this age group for news overall, the makeup of the app’s news audience means that about one-in-five (21%) 18- to 29-year-olds now get news on Snapchat.

    Many social media news consumers still get news from more traditional platforms

    Getting news on social media doesn’t mean that other more traditional pathways to news are ignored. Many social media news users also get news from a variety of other platforms, although there are some differences among the users of the various sites. Twitter news users, for example, are more likely to also often get news via news websites and apps than Facebook or YouTube news users. Facebook news users are more likely to often get news from local TV than those on YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat.

    Read full article here.

  • 6 Sep 2017 12:24 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Posted on September 1, 2017 by eChatter

    If you’re scratching your head wondering if this is yet another social site to keep track of, don’t worry, it’s not. Well, not really.

    Finsta is just another way teens and young adults are getting around public social sites. Finsta is simply another name for “fake Instagram.” Basically, this is a second Instagram account people (usually the younger set) will create with a name that’s not easily identifiable where they typically post things that they wouldn’t want Grandma or Aunt Sally to see.

    Is it a bad thing? Not necessarily. Some teens create finsta accounts simply to post things they don’t want their parents to see, or pictures that are not filtered and “at their best” but they hold some humorous value they want to share with a select few, but it may not be risque or “sketchy” posts. In other cases, it can be used for less than desired activities, such as posting racier pictures or sharing risky behavior, or, even worse, being used to harass someone online.

    To get a better sense of understanding why some choose to “finsta”, you may want to read this insightful article written by a teen that talks about why they choose to create finsta accounts.

    How do you know if your teen has a finsta? There may be a few ways to find out:

    • Take a look at their followers: often times teens will follow their finsta account and won’t be as creative as they think they are with a user name for the fake account. One example would be a girl named Julia Luckett creating a finsta user name of JulieInABucket. Other times they will use a picture of themselves as the profile picture on their fake account.
    • If they’re a younger teen, take a look at their Instagram account on their phone. Most times, since Instagram allows multiple accounts to be created, the teen will simply create a second account under the same email and/or mobile number. In this case, if you look at their user name at the top of the page, you’ll see an arrow next to it – that can be used to see if there are multiple accounts created. If your teen is more savvy, they may create a second account with a “throwaway” Gmail account that you may or may not be aware of. In this case, it may be more difficult to ascertain their finsta account.


    • If you use a regular social monitoring service, be sure to include all known email addresses and phone numbers. Don’t forget to include old email addresses, school email addresses, land lines, and all cell phone numbers (even old ones). Providing this information when using a social media monitoring service will be helpful in identifying all social accounts for your teens.

    Not only does social media change constantly, but so do the way teens use it (and find workarounds in using it in different ways). It can be challenging to keep up with, but worth it in so many ways. While finsta is fairly new, it won’t be long before the next new site or way to use a site pops up. When it does, we’ll be here to tell you about it.

    Visit to monitor you or your child's online presence in social media and on the web. 

  • 24 Aug 2017 2:46 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Michalis A. Michael 

    Images are t

    By: Michalis A. Michael, CEO at DigitalMR Ltd,  

    “A picture is worth a thousand words” is an old adage that holds true today just as it did in 1911 when it was coined. Perhaps even more so today as according to Twitter: 77% of all tweets about soft drinks do not include any textual reference to this subject; an image makes whatever point the author wants to make instead.

    There are over 1,000 social media monitoring tools out there which use text analytics to analyse social media posts; if the soft drink statistic above is true for all products, then these tools are failing their users - the marketing professionals.

    DigitalMR was lucky enough to be the recipient of a grant from Innovate UK that allowed some of its team members to focus on R&D for 16 months and produce a solution - "DEEPTHEME" - to this obvious gap in the market of social media listening and analytics; a neural network with tens of layers that takes pixels as input and produces a caption in the form of a proper sentence, essentially describing what an image is about. I will be a pompous "a.." and say that object recognition (e.g. a brand logo) is fairly easy compared to the degree of difficulty of using "Deep Learning" (=neural networks with more than 4 layers) to produce a sentence that makes sense with pixels as the only input; this is the type of AI that brings us closer to Strong AI (Strong AI's goal is to develop artificial intelligence to the point where the machine's intellectual capability is functionally equal to a human's.

    I will outline the most common market research use case in some detail using a hypothetical scenario:

    • we harvested 20 million posts about a product category from the past 12 months in Mandarin in order to carry out sentiment and semantic analysis and enhance a brand health tracking survey that a blue chip multinational runs in China. The monthly tracker includes 1000 survey responses every month.
    • in the 20 million posts from multiple social media and other public websites including reviews on e-commerce sites, there are about 10 million images.
    • a regular text analytics tool would only be able to analyse the text in the posts - assuming it can analyse Mandarin in the first place - and would deliver a report in the form of a dashboard with a questionable accuracy (not many marketers think to ask the question: what is your tool's sentiment and semantic accuracy? They end up with less than 50% accuracy)
    • in the 10 million posts with text they discover that the discussion drivers are price and customer service complaints. Had they been able to analyse the 10 million images as well they would discover that product users like to show off the product while they are having fun with friends, on vacation and generally during their social time.
    • Thankfully DEEPTHEME produced the Magic Captioner ( which turns the images to full sentences about the occasion of product usage. These sentences can be analysed for topics, sub-topics and attributes of conversations like any other post with text. The probability to discover valuable customer insights is now at least double, if not more. It is still a young A.I. - only 3 months old - and it appreciates any education you can provide as it trains itself based on your feedback. Try it out with your phone camera.

    If a picture is worth a thousand words then 10 million of them are worth one billion!! DEEPTHEME and Magic Captioner only caption a picture with 10-20 words but then again genius is in simplifying concepts, boiling them down to the essence. If you don't believe me here are some references for you, feel free to reach out to them, see if they agree....

    "Hearing something a hundred times isn't better than seeing it once" Confucius
    "One showing is worth a hundred sayings" Watt
    "Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words." 1911 Flanders
    "One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words" 1913 Piqua Ohio and 1921 Barnard

  • 22 Aug 2017 12:53 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By: Marianne Hynd


    Stitchfix is a site that’s been gaining traction, likely in part because it’s convenient to use and because it’s a truly personalized experience. Their tag line is “Where fashion and data collide” and rightfully so.


    Here’s how it works: you fill out a personal profile in which the company asks several questions to get to know you and your preferences better. The questions range from asking about body type (height and weight, as well as arm/torso length, and how clothes typically fit you) to style and color preferences. It’s pretty detailed. Once you complete the detailed survey, you then select a schedule in which you will receive clothing items based on your responses (you can choose as frequently as a few times per month to quarterly if you’d like). You pay a $20 styling fee and schedule your first delivery date. You’re all finished!


    From there, the clothing arrives on the scheduled date, and you can look at what you received and choose to keep it or not. If you keep any of the items, the $20 styling fee you paid will count toward the purchase of the items you choose to keep.

    I can see why people like it – it’s easy, you receive outfit items on a regular basis, and you don’t have to think about it.

    The best part though? At the end of the detailed survey, customers are invited to share social media user names (not passwords, just names) if you’d like so that the personal stylists can view them to get to know you even better. And, to add to the fun, customers can create Pinterest boards to share with their stylists.

    Stitch Fix has figured out, like many market researchers, the value of a consumer’s social media usage. By looking at an individual’s social sites, you can really learn a lot about a person. They are most genuine when not responding directly to a company and simply engaging with friends, family members, and coworkers online. This is most true for Twitter and Facebook; Pinterest gives an added level of insight since this is a “wish list” type social site, where users can pin their favorite things, items they would love to have, or even insight into who they’d like to be.

    This is one company that seems to get it, and it pays off for their customers. They are not only learning about their basic preferences and general body type, but really getting a good understanding of “who” the person is and what image they’d like to present to others.

    Kudos to this company for making the most of social media content! This is a good case study for anyone in the apparel/styling industry. Definitely something to consider and how it can be implemented in other similar ways to enhance a customer’s shopping experience.

  • 14 Aug 2017 6:40 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)


    Clayton Johnson

    Clayton Johnson has seen all the shifts and twists and turns during a decade of digital marketing experience.


    Social media plays an important role in any online business. While your pages don’t usually translate to immediate sales, social media boosts brand awareness among your potential customers and is a great tool to develop loyal, long-term customers.

    As an added bonus, it provides a ton of useful customer data. A wealth of demographic information is readily available for every person on social. This allows you to refine your buyer personas and connect with potential customers on a deeper level.

    But there’s a problem: Social media is huge. Roughly 81% of the entire U.S. population has at least one social media profile. Most of these people use their profiles to connect with friends and relatives. They’re not necessarily looking to purchase products or services.

    So in order for your brand to stand out in a reader’s social media feed, you need to create killer headlines. Here’s how:

    Understanding Your Customer Demographics

    Before you craft a headline, and before you even create content, you need to understand your potential audience. While Facebook is the most popular social media network worldwide, it might not be the best option for your brand. Sometimes a smaller social network will have a more dedicated base of potential customers.

    Creating Content

    Once you’ve determined the best social media network for your brand, you’re ready to create some content. But not all content is equal. You’ll need to decide what goals you want to achieve. Most social media content is designed to increase brand awareness, but you might also want to promote a specific product or research customer behavior.

    The Four U’s Of A Great Headline

    Once your content has been created, you’re ready to write some headlines. Don’t be afraid to take your time here. The headline is the first thing the reader sees. A great headline will compel the reader to click on the article. To craft this compelling headline, keep in mind the writing strategy coined by the American Writers and Artists Inc: the four U's.

    1. Urgency

    The article should seem topical, relevant and vital. Readers should feel a bit nervous that they’ll miss out on important information if they skip past the article.

    Phrases like “that you need to know” and “tips you can use today” convey this sense of urgency. Also, try to mention the current year or even month. This lets readers know they’re reading new content.

    2. Usefulness

    What practical benefits will the reader have by the end of the article? Readers want answers to problems. Your headline should promise a solution, strategy, information or something else useful for the reader.

    Of course, you have to actually deliver on your claim. Failing to deliver can burn a reader and make them unlikely to return to your brand in the future.

    3. Uniqueness

    There’s already a ton of content in the average person’s newsfeed. Your headline needs to showcase what makes your brand unique. For example, you might have a novel solution to a problem or access to specialized information.

    Know-how isn’t the only way to stand out from the crowd. Your brand’s voice can be unique, too. Don’t be afraid to be funny, weird or otherwise unique in your writing style.

    4. Ultra-Specificity

    People respond to specifics. Instead of offering general solutions, concentrate on details. Understanding your audience is key here. What type of resources do they have available? For instance, instead of offering “Fashion Tips For Fall” try “Fashion Tips For Fall Under $25.”

    Specific headlines are going to draw in a slightly smaller audience. But the readers who do respond are going to be more motivated to convert.

    A brand’s social media page is about more than just getting likes and retweets. Social media is often an integral part of finding success online.

  • 8 Aug 2017 3:18 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Facebook "likes" or any other form of social media acceptance is something most social media users aspire to. Just take a look at the celebrities you follow~ they get an enormous amounts of attention in social media. Many become addicted and have to announce a social media hiatus of sorts to "unwind" from the stresses of being social. 

    Recently, I began to think of this from a different angle. What exactly is in a "like" and what does it say about the person who gave it?  Few people realize, I believe, that when they "like" something in social media on a friend's post or page that it is not necessarily private. It all depends on how the author decided to post - publicly or privately. 

    A few years back there was a study done of this very subject wrapped around Facebook users who agreed to participate in the study.  Permission based Social Media Research- Who would have thought that existed, right? Read on...

    Excerpt from:

    Online records could expose intimate details

    and personality traits of millions. 

    Date: March 11, 2013

    Source: University of Cambridge

    Summary: Research shows that intimate personal attributes can be predicted with high levels of accuracy from "traces" left by seemingly innocuous digital behavior, in this case Facebook Likes -- raising important questions about personalized marketing and online privacy.

    Credit: Graphic from mypersonality app, Cambridge Psychometrics Centre

    Researchers at Cambridge's Psychometrics Centre, in collaboration with Microsoft Research Cambridge, analysed a dataset of over 58,000 US Facebook users, who volunteered their Likes, demographic profiles and psychometric testing results through the myPersonality application. Users opted in to provide data and gave consent to have profile information recorded for analysis.

    Facebook Likes were fed into algorithms and corroborated with information from profiles and personality tests. Researchers created statistical models able to predict personal details using Facebook Likes alone.

    Models proved 88% accurate for determining male sexuality, 95% accurate distinguishing African-American from Caucasian American and 85% accurate differentiating Republican from Democrat. Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82% of cases, and good prediction accuracy was achieved for relationship status and substance abuse -- between 65 and 73%.

    But few users clicked Likes explicitly revealing these attributes. For example, less that 5% of gay users clicked obvious Likes such as Gay Marriage. Accurate predictions relied on 'inference' -- aggregating huge amounts of less informative but more popular Likes such as music and TV shows to produce incisive personal profiles.

    Even seemingly opaque personal details such as whether users' parents separated before the user reached the age of 21 were accurate to 60%, enough to make the information "worthwhile for advertisers," suggest the researchers.

    While they highlight the potential for personalised marketing to improve online services using predictive models, the researchers also warn of the threats posed to users' privacy.

    Read entire article here....

  • 4 Aug 2017 10:36 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Big news from Facebook. Will this be the end of all the Fake Trending Stories?

     David Cohen, editors of Adweek's Social Pro Dailey covers the story here:

    Facebook will begin using updated machine learning to detect more potential hoaxes

    Facebook announced an expanded rollout of its Related Articles test in News Feed, as well as updated machine learning to better sniff out hoax articles.

    The social network began testing the use of Related Articles in News Feed in April, with those Related Articles popping up before users clicked on stories in News Feed.

    Those Related Articles include content from third-party fact checkers as part of Facebook’s effort to stop the spreading of fake news.

    Product manager for News Feed Sara Su updated her Newsroom post from April Thursday, saying that the Related Articles test is rolling out more broadly, and detailing the following tweaks to the test:

    • Facebook will begin using updated machine learning to detect more potential hoaxes and share that content with third-party fact checkers.
    • If an article has been reviewed by third-party fact checkers, Facebook may show stories from those fact-checkers beneath the original post.

    Su said Facebook “will continue testing updates to Related Articles and other ongoing News Feed efforts to show less false news on Facebook and provide people context if they see false news.”

    David Cohen

    David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.

  • 28 Jul 2017 10:38 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Sparks Research – Rich Groom and John-David McKee

    Social media offers the potential to understand and engage your market and customers in new and powerful ways. Yet despite the potential, most businesses are only capitalizing on a fraction (if any) of the valuable insights and engagement opportunities it affords.

    At Sparks Research, we understand the power of data-driven insights better than most. We know the huge impact these insights can have on marketing and branding, the customer experience and business strategies. We also know how hard it is to sort through all the noise out there and find meaningful data!

    Today’s social listening technology offers a lot of opportunities for researchers to better understand and gain insights into many aspects of nearly any market, yet the majority of users don’t think to/know how to use these tools for research purposes.

    Our system pulls data on conversations happening all over the web from over one billion sources. Sure, that means there’s a lot of noise, but once you sift through it there are always many useful insights that can be extracted. Armed with the right tools and knowing how to ask the right questions allows us to help companies identify trends, opportunities, concerns, track competitor activity and engage with customers like never before.

    The following list illustrates ten ways to use social listening tools to extract business intelligence:

    ·       1.    Competitive Intelligence: What are your competitors saying?  How are they positioning themselves and their brands?  How is the market responding to their offerings? Monitoring your competitors allows you to proactively uncover unknown opportunities (and threats).

    ·       2.    Voice of the Customer: Tap into your customer’s voice to ensure your campaigns and messaging are relevant, effective and authentic. This voice often differs based on the channel.  What are they saying about your products…your services?  What are your ambassadors and your biggest critics saying?  These aspects can truly help businesses get a greater sense of their value proposition from the eyes of those who matter – your customers.

    ·       3.    Product/service launch campaigns: Track how the market is responding to new product or service offerings. What are they saying? Where are things going well, and where can things be improved? This approach enables you to respond quickly before the internet decides to make you into the next meme to go viral. 

    ·       4.    Influencers: Identify and engage with influencers, both those with major reach as well as micro-influencers who may not have massive numbers of followers but are very influential with their specific audience. Engage with them directly, and find look-alike audiences to amplify your efforts.

    ·       5.    Uncover and leverage trends:  Regardless of whether you’re interested in emerging technology or the newest fashion, you can use social listening to be on the forefront of trends to establish thought leadership or even launch new products or services.  Where do you need to go next before it is too late?

    ·       6.    Go back in time: What did your grandmother tell you about learning from your mistakes? You can use social listening to conduct a “post-mortem” to understand what caused things to go so well…or so poorly. You can also consider what people were saying on specific topics of interest at some prior point, identify who those people are, and then position your current offerings to this audience who have been interested in the topic in the past.

    ·       7.    Real-time Event intelligence: Picture 40,000 people attending an event where you have an important and expensive exhibit or large branding presence. Normally, you wouldn’t know what people were saying about you, or even worse if they were saying anything at all, and would have to rely on feedback from your reps after the fact and possibly some primary data collected during the event. But with social listening, you can get real-time feedback to proactively pivot during the event as well as initiating direct outreach to further engage this captive audience.

    ·       8.    Consumer and Market Intelligence:  What companies and brands do your target customers and/or advocates love/hate, and what are they saying about them. What do they look like (demographics, psychographics)? On which channels are they most active? 

    ·       9.    Build effect:  Imagine that your company issues a press release for a new offering, and following this initial release issues a series of subsequent press releases to further the PR initiative.  How does the “chatter” change from one point to the next? What caused this change?  Is behavior and commentary changing over a specific timeline related to your PR or from other factors?  At the highest level, is your PR strategy on point?   

    ·       10. Optimize your Channel Strategy:  By knowing where your target customers are talking about the topic of interest (and what they are saying), you can learn which channels and messages are key to reaching them. Social media is one thing, but going deeper the blogs and forums drive a lot of discussion, and if you don’t know they’re there you can’t possibly benefit from them.

    ·       11. Improve your Customer Experience: Understand and engage with customers and potential customers at each phase of the customer journey to optimize their experience and increase your conversions throughout the lifecycle.

    These are only a few examples of how social listening can be used to generate insights on your customers and market. There are many additional ways listening tools can be used than what’s listed here, and the truth is we’re just scratching the surface of the possibilities they offer. We’re excited to be at the forefront of this field and look forward to playing a part in the ride that is to come.

    About Sparks Research

    Sparks Research is a full-service marketing research and business intelligence firm which provides the most flexible methods and high touch customer service to companies of all sizes looking for data comprehension and above-and-beyond insights. Since 1971, Sparks has translated marketing research and analytical findings into marketplace solutions for their clients, which include Fortune 100 global companies and leading national and regional companies in industries such as financial services, retail, higher education, automotive, professional services, utilities, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, manufacturing, and general services industries. 

    Sparks Research’s services enable client partners to keep a pulse on the key aspects of their business, create winning strategies, and make data-driven decisions. Sparks has built its reputation around comprehensive capabilities, agile and innovative approach, best-in-class analytical insights and unmatched customer service. Leading edge methods are used to deliver custom solutions that answer clients’ critical business questions, going beyond traditional qualitative & quantitative to deliver unparalleled insights.  Sparks marketing research and analytical services are built around its four pillars – Customer, Consumer & Market, Concepts, Products & Services, and Employee, Associate & Organizational – and their experienced, accessible management team can handle nearly any project, including Quantitative Studies (e.g., telephone, mail, online surveys; intercept surveys; Competitive Intelligence; customer panels), Qualitative Capabilities (IDI’s; focus groups, observational research and projective techniques) and reporting.  Business Intelligence and analytical capabilities include forecasting, predictive modeling/analytics, prescriptive modeling, big data analytics, social data intelligence, price modeling, data mining, and machine learning. 

    Sparks Research is located in Clemson, SC and Greenville, SC.  Find out more about the company by visiting their website –



  • 23 Jul 2017 7:27 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    January 13, 2017 Masroor Ahmed

    Now more than ever, customers are channeling their issues through social media.

    Just to show you how high the stakes are, here are some key stats related to social customer service

    • 1 in 3 social media users prefer social media customer care services to telephone or email
    • An estimated 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolution for issues
    • Customers spend 20-40% more with companies engage and respond to customers via social media
    • Nearly 70% of consumers have said that they have used social media for issues to do with customer service on at least one occasion

    To further underline the important of social customer service, this infographic by GO-Globe highlights some key stats and trends that marketers need to be aware of.

    Social Media Customer Service


  • 19 Jul 2017 3:50 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

     By: Tim Petterson 

    Great recap of the year so far in Social Media!

    The social marketing landscape shifts so quickly that a half-year review isn’t so much ridiculous as almost requisite, if only to keep track of what has changed already in 2017.

    When 2016 ended, Snapchat was a social darling, Facebook videos could be watched uninterrupted, and Instagram’s Stories product was smaller than Snapchat’s original. Then 2017 happened. More specifically, these things happened:

    Snap went public

    Secrecy had always been part of Snapchat’s allure, but when the app’s parent company Snap filed to go public in February, it lost some of that mystique, in part because it appeared to be losing its war with Instagram. Soon after Instagram cloned Snapchat’s Stories feature, Snapchat’s audience growth slowed. By April 2017, more people were checking out Instagram Stories daily than opening Snapchat. Those stats alone would have made for a rough start to 2017. But in May, Snap said that its Q1 2017 revenue slid from the Q4 2016 mark because of seasonality, a trend that’s normal for a seasoned ad business but unusual for an upstart.

    Instagram’s Stories audience overtook Snapchat’s

    After closing 2016 by making run at Snapchat’s user base, Instagram opened 2017 by making a run at its rival’s advertiser base when it rolled out Snapchat-style vertical video ads between people’s Stories. Then in April — two months after Snapchat disclosed its daily user count for the first time — Instagram revealed that more people were using Instagram Stories daily than Snapchat. Then in June, a month after Snapchat said that its daily audience growth had rebounded by 5 percent from Q4 2016 to Q1 2017, Instagram announced that Stories’ daily audience had grown by 25 percent from April to June.

    Facebook rolled out mid-roll ads

    Views are nice, but revenue is nicer. After building itself up as a legitimate alternative to YouTube for creators and publishers to attract audiences for their videos, Facebook finally started testing a way for companies to make money from the videos they post on the social network. Now it’s a question of whether advertisers shaken by YouTube’s “adpocalypse” are comfortable with Facebook’s limited controls over which videos feature their mid-roll ads.

    Twitter gained users, lost money

    In the movie “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation,” Chevy Chase tries to plug a leak in the Hoover Dam, only to have another one open. Twitter is Chevy Chase. The company has finally re-accelerated its audience growth, but now its total revenue and advertising revenue are in decline. And while Twitter has added more money-making ad products, like ads in Periscope, it has also lost one of its most marquee sales opportunities after the NFL opted not to renew its regular season live-streaming deal with the company.

    LinkedIn turned on retargeting

    Business-wise, LinkedIn had stayed pretty quiet since being bought by Microsoft in 2016. Then the the business-centric social network finally opened itself up to retargeted advertising through a new program called Matched Audiences. While LinkedIn isn’t doing anything that hasn’t already been done by Facebook, Google, Twitter — really, by everyone — it can better cater to B2B marketers.

    Pinterest put a new Lens on visual search

    Pinterest wants to do for visual search what Google has done for text-based search. But for a search engine to be truly visual, not only should the results be visual, but so should the queries. And so in February, Pinterest rolled out Lens, a feature in its app that convert a phone’s camera into a search bar. A few months later, Pinterest said that it would use the same computer vision technology powering Lens to target ads on its platform.

    Facebook’s Messenger raised chatbots’ profiles

    2016 was supposed to be a big year for chatbots. Luckily for them, it was not. But 2017 may be after Facebook’s Messenger added a Discover tab to make people more aware of the chatbots and businesses on its platform.


    Tim Peterson

    Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

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