Understanding The Rhythms of Social to Inform Campaigns



At SMWLDN, Ashleigh Smith, Head of Social at PHD, presented their bespoke planning method called ‘rhythms’.

We are excited to announce the first round of leaders who will bring our 2020 theme HUMAN.X to life at the Broad stage this June (17-18).

Social platforms have a wealth of available data that is often constrained to insights and executions solely within those platforms. The potential value of that data is far greater and can become central to planning when it is brought up further in the process to be a cornerstone on audience, channel and timing strategies.

At Social Media Week London 2018, Ashleigh Smith, Head of Social at PHD, presented their bespoke planning method called ‘rhythms’.

“Rhythms uses data to understand the beats of human behavior at any given moment in time, so we can weave campaigns into the daily fabric of their lives.”

Tapping into sentiment and data to identify opportunities

The power of social data can be unlocked through listening, and Smith shared a wealth of data sources from Google Alerts and Google Trends to behavioral information, media data and market data. These can be placed into two broad categories – audience profiling and insights, and listening and trends.

All of this data can be combined to build a data visualization of a consumer rhythm, a pattern for the activities and media consumption patterns throughout a typical working day, or weekend; adding key trigger points to understand when conversation happen, ensures that the data can then be used to identify opportunities.

Smith provided examples of understanding timings for key life events such as changing job, moving house, getting married and having children. These events all involve both rational and emotional sentiments from the consumer that need to be considered during the campaign planning process.

Using the data to create relevant content

If you can speak to consumers as part of their daily conversation, creating relevant content that addresses the key triggers, you can break through the noise and fully engage with your audience. The ‘rhythms’ help to define the timings, channels and platforms to use. Affinities and partnerships are also important at this stage, for example aligning conversations with key events, media interests and causes that your audience cares about most.

A better way

Ultimately, data is part of the solution, it is not the solution. The work to create real insight out of complex data signals. Smith concluded, if we are able to do this to unlock opportunities, we can be better marketers and speak to our audiences in a better way.

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