What Marketers Need To Know About Social Intelligence, a Talk at #SMWNYC with Synthesio

Chimpery: n. 1. The act of mistaking motion for progress. 2. diffuse, undifferentiated activity without a clear goal 3. Flinging one’s shit and shrieking at the top of one’s lungs in lieu of actually solving a problem.

Matthew Zito (VP of Product, Synthesio) will explain to SMW New York attendees how Social Listening can help run a quality, strategic and effective digital campaign.

He will discuss how to discover and use true Social ROI metrics and data, provide actionable tips on how you can improve your campaigns and learn what is (and isn’t) working through Social Listening. In other words, Matthew will show you how you can stop flinging and start delivering!

Join Matthew and discover how Synthesio‘s Social Intelligence tools can enhance digital campaigns in Avoid Social Chimpery: Use ROI To Build Quality Campaigns and Stop Flinging Crap on Tuesday, February 23rd at 3:00pm at the SVA Theatre.

Meet Storyful, The Trending News and UGC Video Verifier, and Official Event Sponsor of #SMWNYC

Everyone knows the stars of YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat. They have big audiences and big price tags, and working with them isn’t always a possibility.

To better understand this complex yet increasingly crucial video ecosystem, we’re thrilled to have Storyful join SMW New York as an Official Event Partner. They’ll break down these video platforms, and share how they’ve has established itself as the leader in verifying viral videos, trending news, ad user-generated content (UGC) online.

Their session, “The New Generation of Social Influencers” on Wednesday the 24th at 12:30pm at The TimesCenter will explore how you create a strategy for identifying and engaging with social influencers to help you achieve you tell you story and reach the right audience.

Storyful’s CEO, Rahul Chopra will dive into what makes a social influencer today, how they reach and engage audiences, and what marketers and advertisers need to do to be effective in 2016.

Say Hello to Zignal Labs, Our Event Sponsor Providing Work Space for the Week

With the 150+ events taking place throughout Social Media Week NYC, there are plenty of sessions to choose from every day of the week. But, there are moments during #SMWNYC where attendees need to take a break to check email, dial into a client call, or catch up on all the Slack messages missed during the day.

Thanks to our Official Event Sponsor, Zignal Labs, SMW New York attendees will have ample space to connect to open their laptops and get their regular work done. Zignal Labs, a realtime, cross media analytics platform that enables clients to quickly spot trends, see relevant stories unfold, and take action, will host attendees at The TimesCenter all week with comfortable seating and tables to spread out.

The Zignal Labs lounges at The TimesCenter will serve as much-needed spots for the thousands of busy professionals attending SMW New York to get their work done without leaving the event. From casual networking and deal-making interactions, to making calls and checking emails, the co-working lounge is where the real conversations happen, and we couldn’t have done it without Zignal Labs!

Crowdtap, The People-Powered Marketing Platform, Joins #SMWNYC as an Official Event Sponsor

We’re thrilled to announce Crowdtap as an Official Event Sponsor of Social Media Week New York. Crowdtap is the “People-Powered Marketing Platform” designed to deepen relationships between brands and the people who love them by putting brands back where they belong, inside the hearts and minds of their consumers.

At SMW New York, Crowdtap’s SVP of Research & Analytics, Peter Storck, will kick things off in a session hosted by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). “Social Media Measurement: How Everyone Wins” takes place Tuesday the 23rd at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre.

Peter will join industry leaders in social media to provide clear definitions of commonly used terms, as well as help attendees on both the buy and sell side know what questions to ask when selecting vendors understanding social measurement best practices.

Then, on Wednesday the 24th at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre, Crowdtap will host a session exploring the new and emerging behaviors of Millennials, Gen-Z, and Gen-Alpha consumers. From skipping ads and DVR-ing television shows, to installing ad-blockers and bypassing branded messaging, these behaviors have all become a common part of the Millennial experience, and Crowdtap is at the forefront of understanding where everything is heading.

This session, “Bracing For The Ad-Blocked Future: How Brands Are Moving Beyond The Impression” will bring together industry leaders including Afdhel Aziz (Brand Director, ABSOLUT Labs, Pernod-Ricard), Tracy Echikson (Marketing Consultant, Ricola Brand Team), Joanne McKinney (Chief Strategy Officer, The Burns Group), and Sean Foster (CEO, Crowdtap) for a first-look at winning marketing programs that have invited consumers to help shape and tell a brand’s story.

Mobile Photography Masterclass at #SMWNYC: Using PicsArt To Create and Share Beautiful Imagery

Explore the creative power that lives inside your mobile device. Using PicsArt, a photo editing app and global social network for 65 million creatives, you’ll learn in this interactive, hands-on masterclass how to easily create complex-looking edits (double exposure, drawing on photos, cloning) in a matter of minutes.

You’ll turn your personal pics into works of art or even create images that you can use in your job. This session, “Mobile Photography Masterclass: Using PicsArt To Create & Share Beautiful Imagery” will “WOW” you with easy interactive tutorials and a peek into the future of collaborative art with PicsArt’s #FreeToEdit images.

Carter Gibson (Senior Community Manager, PicsArt) will lead the session on Thursday the 25th at 2:00pm at the SVA Theatre, and if you want to get a head start with PicsArt, you can learn more about the app and join their global creative community by clicking here!

Also, if you want to hear from the Chief Business Development Officer of PicsArt, Wilson Kriegel, you can attend the session he’s speaking on titled, “Creativity Is More Than A Filter Away: How Mobile Tools Are Fueling A New Kind Of Artistic Expression” on Friday the 26th at 10:00am at the SVA Theatre.

Adaptly at #SMWNYC: Forecasting The E-Commerce Power of Pinterest and Balancing Facebook vs. Instagram

At SMW New York, Adaptly will bring their social marketing expertise to the #SMWNYC stage for two sessions that digital marketers will want to pay attention to.

Adaptly uses powerful technology and social marketing expertise to empower digital media buyers to maximize marketing experiences across Facebook, Twitter, and other emerging platforms.

Pinterest: From Inspiration To Conversion

Their first session, “Pinterest: From Inspiration To Conversion” will explore the visual social network that now has 100 million active users, and is the second-largest source of social media traffic for e-commerce companies.

The highly-visual platform allows retail marketers to achieve not only scale, but also relevancy through granular targeting like specific product categories and competitors.

This session takes place Thursday the 25th at 10:30am at The TimesCenter. Speakers Michael Akkerman (Head of Marketing Developer Partnerships, Pinterest) and Brian Magida (Director, Digital Marketing, Warby Parker) will discuss how to bridge the gap between brand and direct response campaigns on Pinterest, and how this growing platform represents the future of e-commerce. Joining Michael and Brian will be Sean O’Neal (President, Adaptly).

Friends, Not Frenemies: Facebook And Instagram

Adaptly’s second session features Ruth Arber (Director of Solutions, Adaptly), Josh Machiz (Director of Integrated Marketing, Nasdaq), Kristin Rolla Mirek (VP, Multi-Platform Development & Marketing, TV Land at Viacom), and Jessica Sherrets (Brand Development Lead, Instagram) for a discussion on the effectiveness of Facebook vs. Instagram for driving advertising performance at scale.

Many advertisers wonder how these two platforms coexist, and whether they’re complementary media opportunities or stand-alone channels.

On Thursday the 25th at 1:00pm at the SVA Theatre, attendees of “Friends, Not Frenemies: Facebook And Instagram” will join the conversation to explore which brands and strategies are the most successful tapping into Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, and how measuring your social marketing efforts is an essential process to develop within your organization.

Simply Measured at #SMWNYC: Why Marketers Need to Understand and Own “Dark Social”

You are failing to recognize 50% of the value that social is driving for your organization. The explosion of mobile messaging and private sharing have dramatically increased the impact that dark social has on your digital properties.

In order to succeed in this world, social marketers must be able to measure what traditional web analytics can’t. This session will demystify dark social by clearly defining it and giving you the tools you need to effectively measure it.

Attendees will leave with with the knowledge they need to enlighten their colleagues, demonstrate bigger results from the social team, and earn more organizational resources.

The session, “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark: How To Measure Dark Social” on Friday the 26th at 2:00pm at the SVA Theatre, will begin with a presentation from Brewster Stanislaw (Head of Attribution, Simply Measured) defining dark social and explaining why social marketers need to understand, measure, and own it.

From there, we’ll kick off a candid discussion and take a more in-depth look at dark social, and at the end of the session there will be audience Q&A to discuss how the explosion of mobile and private sharing is a hidden force that is deeply effecting your business.

Attendees will also gain practical, actionable advice on how to measure the value of dark social to paint a bigger picture of your social’s organization’s success.

Why Content Is Your Brand’s Most Essential Resource Featuring Accenture Digital at #SMWNYC

As the digital marketing landscape matures, content will emerge as the primary differentiator among brands in the space. Brands are beginning to understand content marketing’s power to connect with consumers and form authentic relationships. Digital content is just as important to a company’s brand today as water is to sustain human life.

At SMW New York, Accenture Digital’s Robert Harles (Managing Director & Global Lead, Social Media and Collaboration), will lead a talk alongside Lindsay Nelson (Global Head of Brand Strategy, Vox Media) and Brian Becker (Executive Director, Head of Newsroom, JPMorgan Chase).

They will help marketers who feel like the amount of digital content that you have to produce and push out to myriad channels is like a rising tide that’s about to cause a flood. Luckily, you’re not along if this is you.

Join Accenture Digital for their session, “Content: A Brand’s Most Essential Resource” on Thursday the 25th at 12:30pm at The TimesCenter.

Learn How To Effectively Monitor Your Audience On Social With Digimind at #SMWNYC

Are you listening to powerful online conversations that could change your business? Are you following the conversations happening on social networks revolving around your brand and doing something about it?

Social media monitoring is one of few ways brands can use listening to leverage technology and data to increase brand engagement, determine the impact of your marketing communications campaigns, identify key customer influencers, opinion leaders and developing trends, pick up on customer relationship management opportunities, and even benchmark your brand and products against your competitors.

In a world where social media has taken over everything we do, it’s more important to understand consumer behavior around it and use social intelligence to gain powerful insights for your business and marketing strategies.

Join Digimind at SMW New York for their session, “Are You Listening? Learn How To Effectively Monitor Your Audience On Social” on Wednesday the 24th at 2:00pm at the SVA Theatre.

Attendees will explore a case study on using social intelligence for the non-profit industry, how to monitor influencers and use social data to reach them, and examine the best practices to analyze clients on social media and provide them with valuable insights.

Speakers include Michael Hayworth (VP North America, Woody Media), Alexander McLaughlin (Business Intelligence Analyst, Who What Wear), Eric Schwamberger (Chief Marketing & Content Officer, Tenthwave Digital) and Neta Yoffe (Social Media Magician, Digimind).

Brandwatch’s Guide to Decision-Making with Data and Rewarding Your Customers at #SMWNYC

Brandwatch is one of the world’s leading social media monitoring and analytics tools, chosen by pioneering brands and agencies including Verizon, British Airways, Digitas, Whirlpool, Dell, PepsiCo, Monster and Papa John’s. They’re one of our official Social Media Week sponsors (read more about our upcoming work with them!), and we’re excited for their two sessions at #SMWNYC.

The first, “Democratizing Data And Decision-Making: Unlocking The Socially-Powered Invisible Hand Of Technology” takes place Wednesday, February 24th at 10:30 AM at The TimesCenter.

In this session, Brandwatch’s Chief Marketing Officer, Will McInnes, will highlight the transition from mundane, ineffective business intelligence and market research solutions, to the next generation of smart tools, and how they are disrupting the way we analyze, measure, and process our various marketing efforts, utilizing trainable agents powered by human and machine intelligence. This is the next horizon of social intelligence, and Brandwatch will explain who is at the forefront.

The second session hosted by Brandwatch is “Consumer Pulse: Giving The People What They Want” which takes place Thursday, February 25th at 10:00AM at the SVA Theatre.

Two of Brandwatch’s leading minds, Kelly Autenrieth (User Adoption Team Lead, North America, Brandwatch) and Brit Ferguson (Account Manager, Brandwatch), will highlight key use cases for planning a social strategy that features a rewarding shelf-life for you and your consumer. Attendees will learn the most practical and effective ways to interact with potential customers, and how combining emotion with purchase intent can transform someone into becoming a brand loyalist.

Purchase your pass to attend SMW New York, and learn how Brandwatch has helped brands around the globe achieve their goals through smart social data and customer engagement.

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: The Story of Pope Emojis and How Millennials Re-connected with Their Religion

Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers, and marketers are constantly looking for ways to capitalize on this group of consumers and social media enthusiasts. Not only are Millennials the largest generation alive today, but they are the largest demographic identifying as unaffiliated with any religion. Why is that, though?

Join Kathleen Hessert (Founder and President, Sports Media Challenge), as she discusses her collaboration with Aleteia, a global Catholic Digital Media Company, and Tracx, the leading social business cloud, which resulted in an incredibly successful campaign that many know as #PopeIsHope and #GoodIsWinning.

Kathleen will explore how her team leveraged social media conversations in order to connect Millennials to the Catholic Church, and the rising popularity of Pope Francis. She was able to spearhead a campaign which not only reintroduced Millennials to the Catholic Church, but inspired them to take action for the greater good.

Along with Kathleen is Eric Berkowitz (SVP Global Services, Tracx), who will walk attendees through the journey of identifying and listening to relevant social conversations, and contributing to these conversations by engaging in real-time.

Hosted by Tracx, “Pope-Emojis And Millennials: How Pope Francis Engages The Largest Generation Alive Today” will show attendees how to target and leverage social influencers, both at a massive celebrity scale and a smaller, local scale, as well as discover the best ways to engage Millennials through integrated campaigns, and how to measure its success.

This event takes place Tuesday, February 23 at 10:00am at SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

HuffPost Live and Ron Young Discuss Shocase’s Plan To Connect 100 Million Marketers Globally

Ron Young is the founder of Shocase, a new social network that aims to connect the 100 million marketing professionals around the globe. He sat down with HuffPost Live during Social Media Week NYC to discuss the industry, Shocase, and where this is all going.

Traditional, broadcast marketing involves a brand blasting a message to millions of people, hoping something sticks. As digital and social media evolved, brands recognized there are more effective and affordable ways to market products and services, however, we continue to evolve, and continue to learn from one another.

Shocase is the social network that is fostering this learning, sharing of ideas, and highlights of the marketing industry’s best work. Instead of fragmenting the communities for marketers across associations, online groups, and social networks, Shocase is the digital playground to connect with the 100 million marketers in the globe, and improve each others’ businesses, ideas, and knowledge. Similar to niche magazines receiving higher, more relevant levels of engagement, so too does a niche social network for a specific vertical, from sailing and swimming, to IT and engineering.

Social media users also have an advantage. Creating a profile is controllable, and with this control, comes the ability to interact with each other. Fostering a community of customers deepens levels of engagement, loyalty, and trust. We are shifting towards “convenience marketing” by utilizing tools more efficiently. We’ve used tools throughout history, and continue to use them. Blasting a message through television has transformed into a retail store predicting your next purchase as you walk by.

The Ten Trends Ford Forecasts to Shape 2015

From the growing influence of Gen Z-ers to the emerging a la carte mentality that trumpets access over ownership, Ford takes a closer look at the trends expected to influence consumers and brands in 2015 and beyond.

For more than a decade, all eyes have been on Gen Y– the millennial generation that has marched the world through the digital age of disruption. And while Gen Y continues to evolve and fascinate the world, attention is now turning to the cohort right behind them — Gen Z, roughly defined as those born after 1993 are some of today’s youngest entrepreneurs and consumers. Raised in an on-demand, connected and impatient culture, expectations are running high for this group that accounts for more than 2 billion globally. With a mantra of ‘good things come to those who act,’ Gen Z-ers are not going to let traditional stumbling blocks get in their way of making their mark on the world.

One company, Ford Motor, is starting to think seriously about Gen Z. As featured in Ford Motor Company’s third annual trend report, “Looking Further with Ford 2015,” examines the growing influence of young, socially conscious consumers, highlighting data and insights about global consumer habits and behaviors expected to shape culture in 2015.

The 10 trends Ford expects to influence consumers and brands in 2015 and beyond include:

  1. Make Way for Gen Z: With considerable pressure and high expectations, Gen Z’s mantra is simple: “Good things come to those who act.”
  2. Rally for Renegades and Rebels: Society has always loved risk takers, but the marketplace has never been more receptive to those who push boundaries and break molds.
  3. Flaunting Failure: The stigma of failure is quickly eroding; in an era of constant change, the only true failure is a failure to try, failure to improve and failure to evolve.
  4. Carryless Movement: Today’s consumers don’t want to carry things and, increasingly, don’t need to. New technologies such as wearable gadgets and smartphone apps are transforming the mechanics of how consumers pay for goods and services, how and where marketers reach their customers, and who people trust with their most valuable information.
  5. No Strings Attached: In a world where innovation moves so rapidly, no one wants to be left behind with a product that has become outdated or obsolete. The result is an emerging a la carte mentality that trumpets access over ownership.
  6. Expanding Next of Kin: As traditional families and communities become less the norm, the concept of family is adapting, expanding and evolving in a most personal fashion.
  7. Give and Take of Privacy: Privacy has become a delicate balancing act, and there is a trade-off between information consumers are willing to share and the benefits they receive in exchange.
  8. Elusive Health: A decentralized effort to inform consumers about healthier lifestyle habits has led to confusion and a global population getting fatter and sicker. Consumers need a clear signal amid the noise to translate the information into action.
  9. Escape Artist: In today’s 24/7 culture, the desire to get away mentally and physically remains compelling. People are increasingly seeking out immersive adventures, elevating escapism to a fine art.
  10. Many Faces of Mobility: In an age of constant innovation, mobility is outpacing the definition of the word as the concepts of transportation and communication converge.

For the full trend report, please visit Looking Further with Ford 2015.

At Social Media Week, Ford’s Futurist Sheryl Connelly, joined by other notable panelists, will host an interactive dialogue on the featured trends in the 2015 “Looking Further with Ford” Trend Report to provide further insights on this up-and-coming generation and how they are already shaping the future.


What Podcast Belongs In Your Weekly Schedule?

Whether you want sports, politics, comedy, or brilliant storytelling, there’s a podcast out there that has what you were looking for. Answer these 6 questions to find out what you should be listening to (if you aren’t listening to it already).

On Thursday February 26, join Owen Fuller, Chief Qwizard at Qzzr, as he shares lessons learned from reverse engineering an inhuman amount of viral quizzes on sites like Buzzfeed and Qzzr.

He’ll teach the secrets Qwizards use to drive social traffic and lead generation, including the keys to optimizing quiz titles, questions, imagery, calls-to-action and outcomes. He’ll wrap by taking you on a personal tour of the hall-of-fame of quizzes that rock — and make the cash register ring.

Which Wearable Technology Is Right For You?

We’ve been warned : the wearables are coming. Find out which one might be worth your while!

On Thursday February 26, join Owen Fuller, Chief Qwizard at Qzzr, as he shares lessons learned from reverse engineering an inhuman amount of viral quizzes on sites like Buzzfeed and Qzzr.

He’ll teach the secrets Qwizards use to drive social traffic and lead generation, including the keys to optimizing quiz titles, questions, imagery, calls-to-action and outcomes. He’ll wrap by taking you on a personal tour of the hall-of-fame of quizzes that rock — and make the cash register ring.

Ending Global Gridlock With Smarter Transportation

By 2025, more than half the world’s population will live in cities of 10 million residents or more and today’s global car census of 1 billion will likely double by 2050. In this way, many urban planners and automakers, and in particular Ford Motor Company, envision the potential for global gridlock on a scale the world has never seen before.

Car companies are now challenged to develop a better connected, more intelligent transport system for cities that will solve the challenge of urban mobility. In order to work towards this solution, auto companies are launching initiatives to better understand how consumer behavior is changing – including developing smarter in-car technologies, innovative connected vehicles and experimenting with alternative forms of car ownership and sharing models to identify long-term solutions that improve the customer experience.

For instance, Ford just launched the all-new SYNC 3, a new communications and entertainment system feature that can help a driver find the shortest and most fuel efficient routes to their destination.

One sector that auto companies are exploring is the idea of connected vehicles. With closer collaboration between carmakers, and greater use of technology, an interconnected system can link pedestrians, bicycles, cars and commercial and public transport. For example, innovations such as the connected car provide multiple options to use vehicles more efficiently. Connected vehicles would not only speak to each other, but also the roadways and networks around them, creating a smart vehicle network. Although there is no off-the-shelf remedy to “global gridlock,” smart vehicles can enhance mobility and, at the same time, reduce congestion, accidents and pollution.

These smart vehicles will not only provide a safer, more efficient driving experience, but will provide automakers with data that will help transportation providers better understand their customers needs, and help identify and develop the right technologies to enhance our global driving systems.

Another area that car companies are exploring is car sharing and on-demand transportation, which have been the embodiment of the sharing economy – led by companies like Uber, ZipCar, Lyft and RelayRides. These services are currently an enticing alternative to many urban-dwelling customers, and car companies are taking a closer look at consumers’ car sharing behaviors. For example, in New York and London, through a service of premium mini-buses offering on-demand transportation, Ford’s Dynamic Social Shuttle experiment aims to understand the social dynamics and routing requirements of shared transportation. Targeting a “white space” opportunity between traditional city bus services and on-demand personal transportation services, Ford aims to lower costs, improve efficiency and still satisfy individual needs.

So what does the future hold for transport in our cities? On Wednesday February 25, join Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager at Ford Motor Company, for a discussion on how we will get along in a dense world and what’s to come in order to make our movements more efficient. Erica will be joined by Reilly Brennan, Stanford University Transportation Guru; Jamyn Edis, Founder and CEO, Dash and Colin Nagy, Executive Director at Barbarian Group.


Take Command Of Your Data: Making Sense Of Social Sentiment

This post is the third of a multi-part series with our partner Brandwatch, in which Will McInnes, CMO of Brandwatch, examines how brands can unlock the power of social data and social listening for business.


Here’s an understatement: Sentiment, in life and in data, is a sensitive topic.

In the last six months, more than ever before, the cultural landscape and specific groups of data scientists have cast a sharp light on social sentiment. Questions mount and responses fluctuate as the validity of this type of data is scrutinized from every angle.

A prime example was the whole #Gamergate … entity. Social reactions spurred social data analysts to dissect and discuss various data insights and stats put forth by a variety of sources. It caused an uproar in not just the gaming community, but the world of data analysis.

The fact of the matter is social data sentiment is a tricky subject.

We asked the experts from social strategy and analytics company Converseon and Brandwatch to answer some hard-hitting questions about social sentiment data.

Let’s see if we can make some sense of all this sentiment with Converseon partner Erin Tavgac and Brandwatch data scientist Dr. Mike Williams.


Q: What are the different automated strategies social sentiment analysis companies use to determine sentiment? How is sentiment extracted from social mentions?

Converseon: Traditional approaches have used a combination of rules-based and dictionary-based approaches which essentially look to define a set of rules or words that correlate with a specific sentiment (e.g. the word small means negative). These approaches have limitations as it is virtually impossible to distill varied usage within different contexts into a strict set of rules (e.g. the word small may be negative when referring to hotel rooms but positive when referring to smartphones).

There is now an emerging class of automated strategies that utilize a combination of machine learning, Natural Language Processing, and statistical methods to capture the nuance and varied usage within human language. These algorithms are trained by humans (to mimic the advanced interpretation that we as humans instinctively use in interpreting language) and are significantly more effective at extracting true sentiment from social mentions.

Brandwatch: Determining the sentiment of a document (a tweet, a news article, a transcription of spoken language) pretty much always boils down to identifying words or phrases that indicate positive or negative emotions, or their absence.

The two main approaches differ fundamentally in how the lists of positive or negative emotions are generated. In a rules-based approach, experts will write, curate and maintain a manually constructed list of words and phrases (along with a score indicating whether they are positive, negative or something else). In a machine learning approach, a machine is shown examples of positive, negative or neutral documents, and, if it is shown enough of these training examples it learns the words and phrases that indicate sentiment. In a sense, it generates rules that are in some ways similar to those in a rules-based approach, but it does so automatically.

The upside is that, given large amounts of high quality, relevant data, the rules a machine learns can be more general, more specific and more complete than the human-curated rules-based approach. One of the downsides is that it can only learn linguistic patterns that exist in the training data, so if a new phrase indicating sentiment is created (e.g. “on fleek”) or is simply absent from the training data, the machine may struggle to learn what it means.


Q: Doesn’t society’s propensity for sarcasm make it impossible to determine what is actually sincere and positive, and what is negative?

Converseon: Not entirely. While this is a difficult problem encountered with all sentiment algorithms, the more advanced approaches involving machine learning enable a sentiment algorithm to learn to interpret sarcasm as a human does. A successful approach simply requires robust training by qualified human experts to capture enough data and all the nuanced ways in which sarcasm is employed by authors.

Brandwatch: Sarcasm is often cited as the biggest challenge facing automated sentiment analysis. I have two hunches here. The first is that it is not, in principle, impossible for an algorithm to detect sarcasm. The second is that sarcasm is less of a practical concern — and simply less prevalent — than you might imagine.

I have a related concern though: not all sentiments are simply either positive, negative or neutral. Indeed it’s not obvious what it means to say a tweet about a controversial subject (like gamergate) is negative.


Q: What benefit does social sentiment analysis provide for me? How can it help my bottom line and how can I utilize it in my activities – marketing or otherwise?

Converseon: Social sentiment analysis impacts a company’s bottom line in a tangible way across many functional areas of the business. Within marketing it can be used to better understand what marketing spend / campaigns / initiatives are driving sales (or not) and how overall marketing budget can be optimized to maximize ROI. For customer service and product development it is hugely helpful for diagnosing aspects of a company’s products or services that consumers like and should be emphasized to help grow revenue. The PR function can leverage sentiment analysis to better detect and respond to emerging reputational threats before they impact sales or stock price, while HR can use sentiment to manage employer reputation (thereby lowering recruiting costs and attracting more productive talent to grow the business).

Brandwatch: Sentiment analysis isn’t perfect, especially when applied to short documents like tweets. Most technologies that offer automated sentiment analysis openly acknowledge a 60-80% accuracy rate. But despite that, sentiment analysis does provide is one way to “take the temperature of a room” and, in particular, to compare the temperature of one room to another, or of one day to another. It’s a way to get a handle on questions like: are things getting better? Are people talking about X happier than people talking about Y?

Once these questions have been answered by sentiment analysis, you can go ahead and pinpoint the reason (e.g. celebrity tweet, trending hashtag, etc.) that caused that shift in sentiment. One great use case of this is to get ahead of a damaging social media rumor, or address high-profile customer concerns before they become trending mishaps.


Q: Are there problems with sentiment analysis? Can it be overinterpreted or misused?

Converseon: Yes, the main problems with sentiment analysis stem from the quality of data used as an input and the misuse of popular metrics. When sentiment is applied to highly irrelevant data that hasn’t been cleaned, there is a high degree of neutrality in the data and the signal gets lost within the overall noise that comes with social data. Sentiment is often times also viewed as a basic, topline metric (e.g. positive or negative) which can be overly simplistic and misleading. Truly actionable sentiment metrics (which drive bottom line results) go beyond this veneer and look at more granular cuts / shades of sentiment and cross-variables to diagnose the true drivers behind the sentiment.

Brandwatch: Yes and yes! Machines make mistakes! You should dismiss anyone who says otherwise as a charlatan. Neither precision nor recall are perfect in any automated sentiment analysis system. To say precision and recall are problems in the context of sentiment, is to say, firstly that algorithms sometimes misclassify positive tweets as negative (and vice versa), and secondly that algorithms sometimes misclassify positive or negative tweets as neutral.

What does that mean for users of sentiment analysis? Firstly, you should become used to the idea that individual mentions may occasionally be misclassified. If this happens, it’s not necessarily a sign that the whole system is flawed. Secondly, you should focus on making fair comparisons between the sentiments of sets of tweets according to your system (today vs. yesterday, brand A vs. brand B), rather than treating the absolute numerical score assigned by a system as the main KPI yielded by your social listening product.


Q: How are companies like Converseon and Brandwatch working to make this type of emotion-driven data more reliable?

Converseon: We are working on a couple of key areas:

  1. Increasing the relevancy of the data on which sentiment analysis is run
  2. Using training data interpreted for sentiment by human experts to train algorithms and upgrade precision of the automated sentiment scoring vs. traditional rules-based approaches
  3. Improving the recall of sentiment to capture not just overall sentiment for a social media post but also multiple instances of sentiment expression within a post
  4. Tuning / training sentiment algorithms to specific verticals and brands to better capture nuances in sentiment (as opposed to using a one size fits all approach)

Brandwatch: There are two main strands of research. The first is to improve the rules. This is done by expanding and refining the ruleset used in a human-curated rules-based approach, or by showing the machine more, and more relevant examples of the “right answer”, i.e. tweets with human-assigned sentiment scores.

The second strand of research, which is more ambitious, is to get away from the two crude buckets, “positive” and “negative”. There are more human emotions that positive and negative, and most of them do not lie on a simple continuum from very positive to very negative.


What new possibilities are there now that a business is social?  To learn more, join Will McInnes at Social Media Week New York on Thursday February 26, where we learn how to strategically use social listening for business.

Social Media Week New York begins on February 23. For the full event schedule and how you can join us, visit here.

Gigs On The Go: The Rise Of The Mobile Workforce

Today’s workplace is just as easily your futon, or a line at Starbucks, as it is a midtown office. Freelancing, Gigs and micro-gigs are gaining in popularity, and people are increasingly buying and completing Gigs on mobile. We rely on mobile applications to help us shop, choose restaurants, transfer money, and even search for potential dates. Why not also use them to find work?

The rise of mobile-only or “mobile-mostly” work is changing playtime to productive time. Instead of a constant distraction, your phone can make you more efficient than ever. Always-on connectivity means customers are expecting 24/7 on-demand availability and the new generation of entrepreneurs are rising to meet the challenge. Our phones give us more freedom and control over how and when we work, while giving clients the access they want, when they want it.

Companies such as Fiverr are empowering people to buy and sell Gigs through mobile apps, so they can have complete control of their services, regardless of location. We already rely on apps to help us shop, choose restaurants, transfer money, find directions, and even look for potential dates. Isn’t it about time we embrace them for delivering digital services and products too?


Fiverr is a proud sponsor of  Social Media Week , where they’ll introduce the conference’s attendees — including some of the biggest players in the worlds of tech, business, and the Internet — to Fiverr and the Gig Economy. To display the diverse range of talent that exists on Fiverr, be sure to stop by the Fiverr Wall of Fame at SMW Campus, a wall of custom portraits from artists across the globe, featuring more than 70 Social Media Week NYC speakers.

Interested in turning your talents into sales on Fiverr?  Join a vibrant community that sells to millions of people around the world. Fiverr is free to join, takes less than 5 minutes to register, and offers services in over 120 categories.

Sign up for free at Fiverr.com now!