The Global Source for Social Media Researchers

SMRA Blog 

  • 31 May 2020 9:27 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Our pick of the week is the following article that was published by ScreenRant, article written by Aswin Narayanan. Some thought provoking information here that represents all sides of the issues. 

    Internal research by Facebook found that the platform is far more divisive than it seems and solving the issue will likely need radical change.

    Facebook appears to have previously ignored its own internal research that shed light on how divisive the social media platform is. This is one more incident to add to the growing list of accusations Facebook has faced in recent times, regarding its content and administrative practices. While also further highlighting that Facebook users need to be aware of the mechanics in play on the platform.

    This revelation comes in the midst of a pandemic where people are spending more time on platforms like Facebook where they are exposed to all kinds of misinformation. However, it is not the first time Facebook has been criticized for not taking responsibility for its content. Last year, a number of known personalities boycotted Facebook when it was reported that the social media giant had no issues with promoting paid political ads, despite them often containing false and divisive information. The social media giant's capability to swing public opinion has been well documented in the past, and since the controversial 2016 US Presidential election and the UK's Brexit referendum, it has become an important topic for governments and communication experts, alike. The issue escalated severely after the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal that revealed user information from millions of Facebook accounts was used to target people with political advertising.

    The latest allegation is just as serious as those from before. In an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, it was found that Facebook leadership ignored and shelved its own internal research that indicated the platform was, by design, promoting divisiveness. The researchers found that Facebook's recommendation algorithm is actively promoting divisive content, pages and groups to users, suggesting a serious and fundamental design flaw that would require a radical change for the issues to be overcome. However, the investigation also reveals that the Facebook leadership was unwilling to take that path and make the appropriate changes to the platform.

    How Facebook Divides Society

    According to the report, Facebook's powerful recommendation algorithm is exploiting the "human brain's attraction to divisiveness" and if not fixed would continue to divide users even more, as a way to increase user engagement. This basic flaw in design hints that Facebook is far more polarizing than many actually believe it to be. However, the more serious allegation here is that Facebook executives, including Policy chief, Joel Kaplan, didn't take any action to solve the issue.

    A former Deputy Chief of Staff in the George W. Bush administration, Kaplan was responsible for vetting the changes proposed by the research team, including a rethinking of how Facebook products work, the creation of additional features to reduce social media wars over sensitive topics, and preventing coordinated content manipulation efforts. The research team also added that making these changes would mean taking a 'moral stand' and risk less user engagement, as well as growth. Furthermore, the team also found that the changes would impact conservative politics far more than liberal, based on the suggestion a greater proportion of divisive content comes from right-wing users and groups.

    Although a disturbing revelation, the findings are in line with how Facebook has responded to calls from different quarters to regulate and fact-check content, especially political ads. In a recent CNBC interview, Mark Zuckerberg reiterated that social media websites should not be fact-checking political speech. Meanwhile, platforms like Twitter and Spotify have taken bold steps to ban political ads, and are even starting to flag what is deemed potential misinformation by political leaders.

    Failure to regulate harmful content is one thing, but the knowledge that Facebook's own recommendation algorithm is, by design, promoting polarizing content for increased user engagement is quite another. Even more shocking is the fact that Zuckerberg and fellow Facebook executives felt it was better to continue to allow this to happen, instead of looking to address the issue with changes.

  • 16 May 2020 7:51 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)
    Our pick of the week is an article from two food Scientists from the University of Illinois & Princeton University and how they are using text analytics in social media. 


      Photo of University of Illinois graduate student Dandan Tao, lead author of a study on text-mining in food research.

      Data analytics of users’ posts on social media platforms and other digital media are being used by researchers to study a variety of food- and health-related issues and to collect consumer feedback on restaurants, food products and delivery services, University of Illinois food science graduate student Dandan Tao found in a study.

      Photo by Pengkun Yang

    • CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — From tweeting photos of delicious meals to reviewing restaurants, social media give foodies numerous opportunities to indulge their passion for edibles. But these media and other digital communications — including recipe websites and food-delivery apps — also generate a rich trove of text data for food scientists and food industry researchers to study what people eat, how nutrition affects health and many other food-related topics.

      Food scientists Dandan Tao and Hao Feng of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Pengkun Yang of Princeton University examined the use of text mining – defined broadly as the retrieval and analysis of text data – in food science and nutrition research, which they said is a young but growing field, nourished by advances in big-data analytics.

      Researchers have used social media to investigate foodborne illness outbreaks, and they have analyzed the digital records of British consumers’ grocery purchases to monitor obesity rates and obesity-related diseases in London. They also mine the text of other digital media such as search queries and recipe websites to explore dietary patterns and the growing popularity of plant-based diets.

      Public health experts use text mining on Twitter, Instagram and Yelp! to identify unreported foodborne illness outbreaks, with users’ posts helping them develop a clearer picture of the number of people experiencing symptoms, said Tao, a graduate student in food science at the U. of I. and the first author of the study.   

      “Only a small portion of the people who get sick after eating potentially contaminated food go to the hospital, and public health experts’ estimates of the number of people affected by a foodborne illness are based on those who seek treatment,” Tao said. “Scientists think that text mining social media discussions and contacting other potential sufferers gives a much stronger signal of the extent of an outbreak than just the number of patients treated.”

      Food science professor Hao Feng is a co-author of the study, published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

      Photo by Illini Studio.

      Text mining of online scientific databases and abstracts of studies helps scientists better understand the relationships among diet, genes and disease.

      Past studies of dietary patterns, obesity and related chronic illnesses relied on limited data gathered from participants who completed food diaries or surveys. But with millions of internet users going online daily to swap information about their eating habits and health conditions, digital media enable scientists to easily obtain data from broader populations for studies on food consumption and health outcomes.

      Twitter and Instagram posts and Google search histories have been used to investigate nutritional patterns and health behaviors, Tao and her co-authors found.

      In one study, scientists found correlations between tweets on obesity and the prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults. In another project, researchers found associations between the Twitter hashtags people used and the quality of their diets.

      Instagram users’ posts have provided data for studies of alcohol consumption patterns and the impact of food deserts on neighborhoods’ eating habits, according to the study.

      In addition to whetting the appetites of amateur chefs, recipe websites and search queries for recipes have fueled research on dietary trends such as veganism, and associations between dietary patterns and disease.

      The recipes that users post online also provide clues on cultural differences, Tao said.

      “One group did a study that compared Western cuisines with Asian cuisines and identified ingredient pairings in these recipes,” Tao said. “They found that Western cuisines tended to use ingredients that shared flavor components, while Eastern cuisines –  especially Indian dishes – try to avoid using ingredients that share flavor components.”

      Online media are powerful sources of business intelligence, too, Tao said.

      “Digital text analytics are cost-effective methods for the food industry to gain quality improvement ideas from the public and make informed business decisions,” she said.

      Restaurants and manufacturers harvest text data from social media platforms to analyze consumer feedback on their own and their competitors’ products and services, such as which fast-food chains diners prefer.

      And restaurants and food delivery services use data from their online ordering apps to optimize their delivery routes and reduce customers’ wait time for their meals, according to the researchers.

      Tao and her co-authors analyzed 57 studies and conference papers on text mining in food science research. Their study, funded by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, was published in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

      Editor’s Note: To reach Dandan Tao, email

  • 8 May 2020 7:26 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Our article pick of the week! I believe we are going to see more and more of this. 

    Forbes: Kathleen Walch, Contributor


    Now more than ever companies are turning to technology to help stay connected and engaged with customers. As social distancing has closed many in-person experiences, stores and brands are looking for additional ways to still provide value. Companies all over the world are fighting for customer attention, and they are using technology to discover new ways to get it. As such they are turning to technologies such as AI to help. However, finding sample use cases from a similar industry may be a challenge.

    Industries are using artificial intelligence to help organize, improve and streamline tasks such as creating custom experiences, personalized emails, offers, chatbots, and various other hyperpersonalized experiences.

    What is Customer Experience?

    The customer experience can relate to such a broad range of areas. For instance, experiences with customer support and customer service interaction, from returns to troubleshooting a purchase, to the website experience, messaging, and customized offerings. Although, the customer experience life cycle is much more than this.

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    The customer life cycle begins with the first touch or notification, such as a pop-up window or email notification, making a purchase or using the product. It continues with use of the product, or in some cases, having to reach out to customer support. The better the experience the customer has with a brand, the more they will continue using and recommending it to friends and family. This is a large part of the net promoter score that measures the customer experience.

    Positive customer experiences help people feel good about their purchase, influencing them to become repeat buyers for that brand. Companies are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to help achieve positive customer experiences. This means people in marketing departments no longer need to manually segment the audience and push campaigns, personally write messages or handle every customer service message. AI is now able to help with these activities.


    Artificial Intelligence is not only being used to understand more about individual customers, but for recording your history and interactions through browsing history, email open history, click through rates and other various metrics. Without AI, companies have to guess which marketing technique is most effective. However, through Big Data and AI analytics, companies can now develop more comprehensive customer profiles by knowing exactly what the customer wants.

    With AI, not only can we determine which marketing strategies work best for each customer, we can further understand the customer's specific needs and wants through algorithms that are tracking their interactions and behavior. This helps improve the entire customer experience.

    AI Enabled Chatbots

    AI enabled chatbots are becoming increasingly popular due to their positive impact in many types of industries. These chatbots have the ability to begin conversations with customers, providing relevant answers to their questions, and can help with every touch point through the whole customer life cycle and purchasing experience.

    The chatbot can answer customer questions directly, streamlining the online sales process and resolving problems. Additionally, customers can interact with chatbots when convenient for them, as they are available 24/7. This reduces the wait time to get answers to questions.

    In addition, chat bots can be set up to transfer customers to human agents if the customer has a more complex question. This helps speed up the customer support process as a whole.

    Using AI to Maximize Sales and Customer Satisfaction

    Companies are starting to integrate AI into many areas of the purchase process to help maximize both sales and customer satisfaction. For instance, when customers are shopping online, it is common to see 'recommended' products. By using clustering algorithms, brands are able to provide better recommendations which hopefully increases conversion and sales.

    These AI systems are really trying to achieve the same goals of maximizing purchases, sales and customer satisfaction. However, it is not in the best interest of the store to recommend products the customer doesn't really want, as they are likely to not buy it or return it.

    Therefore, the goal is to match customers with products the customer is most likely to need or want based around various factors. This is where AI connects with customers on an individual basis to determine these factors though previous communication, referrals, and more. This is where AI really shines.

    Concerns over Data Usage and Tracking

    The use of AI for powering customer experience offers many positive benefits. According to the National Business Research Institute, "over 62% of businesses planned to use AI for customer service in 2018". This is a large portion of businesses wanting to incorporate AI. While this adds value to the future of artificial intelligence, this type of tailored content and heavy data use is raising concerns for those that believe brands already collect too much data and information.

    These are valid concerns that will only be more common with the increase of AI usage. There needs to be a balance between how people feel comfortable with brands using their data and the services and benefits received, compared to when customers feel information is being overused in ways they did not provide consent for their data to be used in that way.

    In the end, AI is a powerful tool that companies can, will, and do use. It will increasingly be used to improve customer satisfaction and customer experience.

  • 1 May 2020 10:30 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    SMRA pick of the week:

    University of Maryland made news this week (The Baltimore Sun) announcing their partnership with Facebook to design a research initiative to gain insights into coronavirus data.  

    Faculty at the University of Maryland have been working with Facebook to design a worldwide survey aimed at collecting coronavirus data during the global pandemic.

    The University of Maryland and Carnegie Mellon University are partnering with the social media company to gather information on the coronavirus to help diagnose which areas have been most impacted and assist public health officials in their response and prevention efforts.

    Frauke Kreuter, director of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at UMD, said Thursday in a phone interview that faculty in four departments — survey methodology, geography, computer science and information science — have been working since late March to help develop an approximately five-minute survey that Facebook can distribute to its over 2 billion active monthly users.

    The first part of the survey focuses on what symptoms people have exhibited, while the second and third parts center on social distancing behavior and demographic information. Survey responses are recorded on an off-site platform, then sent back to researchers and not shared with Facebook.

    Initial findings from Carnegie Mellon have been used to plot geographic data relating to COVID-19, such as doctors’ visits in a specific region and demand for flu tests.

    Kreuter said the departments have worked “day and night” in the recent weeks to quickly create a survey to collect data on the coronavirus, which has over 3 million confirmed cases worldwide, and over 1 million confirmed cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

    “As the world fights covid-19 and countries develop plans to reopen their societies, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of how the disease is spreading,” Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in The Washington Post. “Better data can help governments determine where to send resources such as ventilators and personal protective equipment — and eventually which areas are safe to start opening up again.”

    Daniel Oyefusi

    Daniel Oyefusi


    Daniel Oyefusi is a Ravens and sports breaking news reporter. A 2019 Maryland graduate and Towson native, Daniel most recently interned at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and worked for Capital News Service. He also interned with TMZ Sports and The Sports Capitol, and has written for The Left Bench and The Washington Post.

  • 26 Apr 2020 1:29 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Lucidya Social Media Listening tool  Is our article pick of the week. Review this quick read as a way to see the glass as half full, as hard as this is right now. However, keeping a watchful eye on what is happening on the web and in social media will help your business identify the new normal we all face. 

    COVID-19 has left a huge impact on economies around the world.

    Knowing how to manage your brand during times of crisis like this is important to keep your customers happy and brand reputation high. How can you achieve these two goals with social listening?

    How COVID-19 Is Impacting Businesses

    The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on economies is unparalleled in world history. Businesses of all sizes—even enterprises—are struggling to cope with reduced market demand, leading to extremely high unemployment rates. Jobless claims in the U.S. crossed the six million mark in less than a week of applications being opened while markets fell to record-breaking levels, exceeding that of the 2008 global financial crisis,

    Now is the time for businesses to go back to the drawing board and rethink their strategies. Despite the challenges, organizations still need to meet their goals, albeit at a reduced scale. It’s the companies that make wise decisions now who will come out ahead when the economy eventually bounces back.

    How Will Your Customers and Brand Reputation Be Affected by This?

    Your business is likely to be affected by the crisis negatively. Customers will dial in to cancel their orders or subscriptions. Suppliers may struggle to deliver goods when dealing with travel restrictions. You may even need to reduce spending to keep afloat.

    However, this doesn’t mean you should stop serving customers and finding new clients. There’s less money to be made because people are holding cash. But, the clients you support when times are hard will appreciate your brand when the pandemic is over, improving your brand reputation and customer trust.

    This is where social listening plays a part. With social listening, you can dial in on relevant conversations on social media to identify opportunities your brand can take advantage of. Here are five ways your brand can benefit from a social listening tool like Lucidya.

    5 Ways to Maintain Customer Happiness and Brand Reputation With Social Listening

    1. Keep Track of Customer Needs

    During times of crisis, customers will voice out their feelings about the current situation. Since everyone is at home, people flock to social media as a platform to express their thoughts and opinions. You can use this to your benefit by tracking relevant conversations that allow you to identify critical customer needs.

    Lucidya’s brand reputation analysis dashboardLucidya’s brand reputation analysis dashboard


    If you’re selling a video conferencing software, you can monitor conversations from business owners who are looking for remote tools to manage employees working from home. You can use Lucidya’s advanced filters to further refine your results and highlight only qualified conversations.

    You can also use social listening to keep track of your existing customers’ needs. Your customers could ask questions like:

    • Are your features working as intended? 
    • Are your services keeping up with increased demand? 
    • Are there any suggestions from the community that are not available yet in your product? 

    These queries are found on any social media platform which is why you need to leverage technology so you don’t waste time doing manual work. Addressing them will go a long way in boosting customer loyalty and brand reputation.

    2. Be Aware of the Latest News and Updates

    There are always updates and news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We even launched a dashboard to keep track of the latest coronavirus updates awhile ago. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to be aware of the latest news relevant to your organization. This means staying updated on important events, industry updates, and so forth.

    For instance, you can keep track of government programs designed to accommodate businesses during the pandemic. This keeps your finances stable when clients are not spending much on your products and services. You can also keep tabs on furloughing schemes if you don’t want to dismiss employees while restructuring your budget.

    Regardless of your objective, we recommend staying updated so your organization does not fall behind more proactive rivals in the market. Lucidya helps you achieve this by tracking specific keywords, topics, or mentions on every social media platform easily.

    3. Launch Relevant Campaigns

    Your brand can use the in-depth insights gained from social listening to craft targeted campaigns during a pandemic. This allows you to give back to your clients by creating high-value campaigns like free or discounted plans for your services—a strategy that many leading companies are already doing at the moment.

    One way to craft better campaigns is to analyze audience sentiment which is one of Lucidya’s top features. In other words, how are your customers feeling right now about the crisis? This allows you to gauge your audience which helps immensely in sending the right message across in your campaigns, be it on social media or any other digital channel.

    4. Improve Your PR Through Community Service

    Managing your PR is crucial in challenging times like this. People get unsettled easily when their lives are affected by an event as massive as the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, customers expect tip-top service from your company when they’re spending their hard-earned money on your business.

    Monitoring negative customer tweets and mentions on social media with Lucidya

  • 21 Apr 2020 3:46 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Contact Kathy Doering at for more information on how to implement this program.

    Emoji Revolution

    The Emoji revolution is taking over as a very creative form of expression. Did you ever think we would reach a point in society where a smiley face would change the way we communicate with one another? There are thousands of emojis being used every day and new ones being created. You can uncover a wealth of information by taking a closer look at the emotion behind an emoji used, whether online from a customer or through a text message. From the most popular ones used to the least noticed. Emotional data behind an emoji can be more enlightening and descriptive than listening to words themselves.  

    The Emoji Shift During COVID-19

    Just last week Horizon Media came out with a study on the emotional shift that took place in the United States during COVID-19, just by analyzing emojis. They took over 28 million Tweets and divided their findings based on gender and geography to reveal patterns. Their goal was to evaluate the difference between emoji use during the crisis and prior to the pandemic.   

    In conclusion, the study revealed a more carefree emotion prior to the pandemic taking place. The emotions portrayed during the spread of the coronavirus was a mix of grim and reflective emotions. The top 100 emojis used drastically changed to “Medical Masks,” “Microbe” and “Angry Faces with Symbols.” They ultimately discovered people were expressing thoughtful emotions.  

    What Can Emoji Data Do For Your Business?

    Analyzing the data provided in a study such as Horizon Media, allows you to change the tone of your upcoming campaigns, the direction of your marketing, selling or online content. Shifting alongside the tone of your customers permits you to stay relevant with your audience.  This may mean incorporating emojis. It would be ideal to use your customers’ favorite emojis, especially as it is used in your brand messaging, and begin using them in our marketing.

    Listening to your customers online is an essential part to any business, but what about understanding what your customers are saying through a symbol? Easily interpret the online tone and emotion of your customers through our brand listening program. Emoji symbols are compiled into one easy to access report. Understand the sentiment behind an emoji. Learn more about your social footprint by tracking online and social conversation about your brand, product, campaign or management team.

    Other services we offer:

    Crisis Management

    Competitive Intelligence

    Influencer Network

    Content Analysis

    Social Channel Analytics

    Hashtag Tracking

    Campaign Monitoring

  • 17 Apr 2020 6:45 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Reported by :Sacramento News

    UC Davis researchers conducting a study of coronavirus-related posts on China’s popular microblogging website Weibo say social media surveillance could help health officials identify and respond to emerging outbreaks.

    The study involved the analysis of over 12 million Weibo posts regarding COVID-19 between November 2019 and March 2020.

    The research found that posts about symptoms and the disease could help health officials predict daily case counts up to week earlier than officials statistics.

    Cuihua “Cindy” Shen, a UC Davis associate professor of communication, along with campus colleagues and others from two universities in China, used machine learning to sift sick posts from other COVID-19 related posts, according to a post published by Kathleen Holder in the Society, Arts & Culture section on the university’s website. The researchers built a pool of 250 million Weibo users and utilized 167 keywords related to coronavirus to identify a pattern in the posts.

    The researchers said the sick posts held true for both Hubei province, the place of origin for the virus, and the rest of mainland China.

    “Being the epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei province experienced extreme testing shortages during the early stage of the study period,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “As a result, many Hubei residents turned to social media sites such as Weibo to seek help for testing and medical care.”

    The researchers suggest this new method as “a fast, low-cost way to inform disease containment and mitigation.” They also cited the low-risk factor of social media tracking as it can be done from afar.

    “It is imperative that international organizations such as the World Health Organization integrate such data into their outbreak forecasting management practices, in order to mobilize and coordinate relief efforts to help combat COVID-19,” UC Davis researchers said.

  • 1 Apr 2020 8:47 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    30th of March 2020  

    By: Michalis Michael, CEO of Digital MR

    My perspective is informed by social intelligence which is what I do for a living, as well as stoicism which is a philosophy I admire.

    I will discuss a few related themes in this article.

    The first theme is:

    What can we do differently in order to be helpful to others and survive the covid-19 pandemic intact?

    I will attempt to answer this question for 3 separate constituencies:

    1. market research companies because DigitalMR is one :)
    2. clients of market research — the brands
    3. all individuals, all of us

    The premise for the first theme is that people have to stay at home which results in more time in their hands. They communicate more online, they proactively share more content, respond to more posts and they most definitely read or watch more clips.

    1. Market research companies

    They can play a useful role by tapping into this online chatter to distill the communicated needs and fears along with messages of hope and tips on how to overcome challenges. Distilling and interpreting is what insights practitioners do best.

    There is a multinational market research agency in Brazil and Mexico already doing this with DigitalMR. They provide helpful information to their clients in a daily email. In this day and age harvesting millions of online posts from twitter, FB, IG. forums etc. and using machine learning to annotate them for topics and emotions is indeed doable at a high level of accuracy.

    2. Clients of market research (brands)

    They can listen to what people post about their product categories and brands in order to discover ways to be helpful.

    There are 3 groups of companies: the ones that produce products in high demand (such as toilet paper or disinfectant sprays), the ones that went to zero revenue from one day to the next like a chain of restaurants, and those that are somewhere in between. All can benefit from social listening: from learning how to tap into newly created demand, fine tuning their products to address new needs and struggles, and by providing tips on usage creating good will for the return to normality.

    3. All individuals

    For all the people who are reading this I want to share a few stoic principles:

    It’s not the things that happen in life that drive our emotions and behaviors,
    it’s how we think about those things that does.

    So, when faced with a new challenge I suggest the following thought process inspired by my good friend Justin Stead the founder of Aurelius Foundation:

    It is what it is. I don’t label it, I don’t judge it.
    What is required for a positive outcome?
    Is the action I am about to take driven by altruism, ego or wishful thinking?

    The second theme is:

    How to stay engaged with customers that cannot use your product or service during lockdown.

    As already shared, the pandemic forced companies into one of 3 groups, agencies and brands alike:

    1. those who experience explosive sales growth
    2. zero sales from one day to the next
    3. somewhere in between

    If you are experiencing higher sales as a result of the crisis you have your hands full and you are probably not reading articles like this.

    If your sales went to zero or were reduced drastically, your first concern is obviously to survive, create enough runway for the cash that you have available or can still get. The second concern — assuming the crisis ends before you go bankrupt — is how to keep your customers engaged so as to ensure that your brand equity is strengthened rather than weakened.

    You want to know how?

    Well, social intelligence is the answer.

    What is it?

    It is thousands of posts harvested from sources such as Twitter, FB, IG, forums, blogs etc. on a daily basis, annotated for topics and sentiment by machine learning algorithms.

    Here are the 10 things you can do to improve your brand equity even while your revenue is plummeting:

    1. understand the biggest challenges resulting from consumers not having access to a product or service and offer them tips on how to deal with the situation e.g. cannot go to a hair salon to dye hair; how to choose and use a hair colorant at home
    2. connect posts about needs and challenges with posts that suggest solutions — by sharing both continually.
    3. find out which social media platforms are the most popular during the crisis by target group so that you can use them to communicate
    4. produce an information campaign with positive developments that give people hope
    5. consolidate all the posts that communicate fear, mistrust, anger and respond with a helpful message
    6. identify scams and myths and communicate them via your information campaign
    7. uncover behaviour, purchasing decision making and product usage changes that might be helpful to you on day 1 when we are on the other side of this pandemic
    8. check what is your brand’s net sentiment score versus your competitors
    9. infer from online activity how your competitors are preparing to hit the ground running on day 1
    10. discover something useful that you did not even know you were looking for

    It is actually simpler than it sounds.

    The 3rd, 4th and 5th themes are:

    New habits that will carry on
    Is lockdown a solution to our climate problem?
    Unique opportunity to press the reset button

  • 26 Mar 2020 8:22 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Netbase & Quid's recent merger is already proving to be an excellent combination. We thought this might be interesting reading with a somewhat entertaining angle (pardon the pun) ! 

    by Paige Leidig | Mar 23, 2020 | MarketingSocial ListeningTrends

    Entertainment Coronavirus

    As the fear of a global pandemic is upon us, consumers are being forced to adapt to new ways of living and socializing, as school and work closures leave millions in seclusion at home. While the population wrestles with the closing of stores, restaurants, and banks, Hollywood is facing its own existential crisis.


    As the world slows down for the foreseeable future, the Box Office Industry turns a grim eye as studios halt productions and opening weekends.  The Entertainment Industry has been hard hit by COVID-19, but is there a way to bring about innovative solutions during this crisis? How can Hollywood assist with viewer morale and benefit from it at the same time?

    Box Office Bust

    This past weekend saw the lowest ticket sales in the United States, with Hollywood garnering only $55 million in revenue. While not unexpected, as movie theaters began operating at 50% capacity or barring their doors altogether, “the impact of this unprecedented situation was apparent across many industries,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore. “Of course, movie theaters, amidst reduced capacity and an ever-evolving set of circumstances, had a very challenging weekend.”

    As celebrities like Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Idris Elba admit to testing positive for COVID19 . . .


    There has been a definite shift from the previously skeptical public sentiment to one of panic:


    With production studios shutting down and hundreds of thousands of entertainment industry workers out of jobs, studio executives are now facing the possibility of a slow or non-existent Spring and Summer Box Office season. And upwards of $4 billion in lost revenue.

    With big audience draws like Mulan, Quiet Place, Black Widow, and the new James Bond movie being removed from release calendars, “no one can precisely predict when public life will return to normal, but it will return,” Patrick Corcoran, the president of the National Association of Theater Owners, said in a statement on Match 17. “When those titles are rescheduled, they will make for an even fuller slate of offerings than normal as they are slotted into an already robust release schedule later in the year.”

    In the meantime, streaming and on-demand may be an alternative solution to canceling and rescheduling release dates. One that will benefit not only studios but consumers as well. And we can vet plans ahead of moving forward with the benefit of AI-powered market intelligence.

    Visualizing Covid Conversations

    Using Quid’s Text Analysis capabilities, we can visualize what consumers are discussing in terms of the Entertainment Industry and the COVID-19 threat, as well as the state of the market right now:


    We can see that conversation revolves around theater closures and production delays; however, there is a growing interest in online entertainment.


    As people begin to adjust to working from home and social distancing, the demand for streaming services will continue to increase – “Streamers have already changed the way we watch TV—introducing binge-watching and slowly eliminating cable subscriptions—and the more that cable and broadcast series are delayed, the more likely we will continue to move away from the appointment viewing of television’s past.”  

    While a few studios, such as Netflix and Disney, already produce and stream their own content, more companies are beginning to see the benefit to instant releases, especially as more states move to lockdowns.


    “Universal Studios announced Monday that it would begin releasing films like Invisible Man, Emma and The Hunt available for in-home, on-demand rentals despite the fact that these films were only recently released.”


    And in a move that would otherwise create backlash among theater chains, Sony released “Bloodshot” to digital streaming just 11 days after it opened, breaking the traditional film distribution schedule.


    Making Maverick Movie Moves

    At $19.99 to download – a price many consumers are more than happy to pay – the release was an endearing hit with fans:


    Will more studios see the benefit of skipping traditional releases? Is some profit better than none?

    As production executives face lay-offs and a decrease in movie-goers and ticket sales, on-demand streaming “will cause a change in how we consume content and allow newer titles to get to home video much faster,” says Asaf Ashkenazi, the COO of Verimatrix, a technology company that works with distributors in Hollywood.

    “If it’s a new title, you can delay it, continue to follow the traditional system and just wait. Or you can be more experimental and go directly to selling or renting online, which will allow more people to access it and get the revenue now.”

    But, how will this play out come award time?

    Roll Out the Red Carpet

    The Oscars traditionally only awarded to films that open in theaters and show for at least 7 days, may be receiving a face lift, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board contemplates rewriting the rules for this year’s awards. And this offers yet another incentive for studios to consider streaming options.

    In these uncertain times, people are looking for normalcy – a break from the news and media outlets, painting fear and uncertainty into their lives.  Production companies would be wise to use this to their benefit and their bottom line. And to monitor online trends around what kinds of movies are resonating with viewers during these trying times. Reach out and we’ll show you how to do just that!

  • 19 Mar 2020 11:31 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    SMRA - Social Media today just sent out this Facebook update: 

    As it seeks to play its part in keeping people informed about the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook has announced that it's rolling out a new COVID-19 Information Center panel, which will be featured at the top of all user News Feeds for the foreseeable future.

    Facebook COVID-19 panel

    As you can see here, the new information panel will feature the latest official news and updates on the outbreak, as well as links to helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

    "People can also follow the Coronavirus Information Center to receive updates from health authorities directly in their News Feed. And starting in the US, people will see features to help them connect with local groups and ask for or offer help within their community."

    It's the latest in Facebook's range of efforts to provide assistance amid the evolving crisis - among other additions, Facebook has:

    The Social Network is clearly stepping up to provide support where it can - Facebook's various pledges thus far cumulatively add up to more than $150 million in direct funding, and it's announcing more initiatives every day.

    But these new information panels may actually prove to be the most significant addition yet. Facebook is accessed by 1.66 billion individuals every day, a number that, if anything, will likely increase amid the current push on social isolation. And importantly, a rising number of those users also get news content from the platform. 

    In many applications, this is problematic, as incendiary news reports tend to get more traction on the platform, fueling societal division, but in this instance, the reliance on Facebook for news makes it a key vehicle for the communication up to date, comprehensive, accurate information on the outbreak.

    It's also a good situation for Facebook to showcase its value in a news delivery sense - and how its plans for a dedicated news tab have value, despite certain concerns.  

    In addition to this, Facebook is also making its Workplace Advanced platform available to government agencies and emergency services free of charge for 12 months.

    Facebook Workplace

    "These organizations play a vital role during the coronavirus outbreak, whether it’s acting as first responders or coordinating public information. Workplace can help inform and connect their employees, allowing them to share critical information in real-time and enabling leadership to reach employees via live videos, posts and more."

    Amid the chaos and disruption of the outbreak, Facebook is taking the initiative to showcase its value, and how it can contribute to uniting us, as opposed to the opposite. The various initiatives coming out of its Menlo Park HQ are significant and valuable, and will go a long way to helping as we all work to navigate this new normal. And ideally, come out better on the other side.  

    The new information center panels will initially be rolled out to users in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US, before expanding to more countries "in the coming days". 

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