Turning down the volume on volumetrics

Volumetric social media measurement is on its way out. Emotion is the future of Social TV. How and why you should leverage emotions to drive conversation is explained in six different ways.

Jared Feldman, Founder & CEO, Mashwork discusses in six different ways about turning down the volume on volumetrics, these include fragmentation, time for context, qualitative insights at scale, relationships/emotions, technology and business for people.

1. Fragmentation means that ratings shares are not what they used to be.
Advertisers used to get plenty of eyeballs by putting spots on primetime TV. Yet due to today’s audience fragmentation, there’s no way to get the kind of scale advertisers once got simply by relying on primetime viewership. Because of this, the industry is beginning to place value in more than just scale and volume. An emotionally engaged audience is more valuable than a passive audience. The goal is to measure that emotion and act on it.

2. We know how to measure volume—it’s time for context.
The first challenge of social media analytics was figuring out how to quantify the unending flow of user-generated posts. We’ve gotten good at counting. Now it’s time to figure out what those numbers mean. As Rosalind Picard, professor at the MIT Media Lab, said in Social Media Explorer: “Emotions tend to signal ‘what really matters.’” In the same article, Seth Grimes noted: “Given emotions’ importance, sentiment analysis is key to effective social intelligence.” In other words, we need to move beyond “how much” and into “why.” We must understand what causes people to post, so that we know not only the number of people who are talking about particular content, but also how they feel about it.

3. Social data becomes immediately actionable when we can provide qualitative insights at scale.
An article on Wired by Richard Kastelein, publisher of TV Appmarket, summed it up perfectly: “If content is king, as they say in the TV industry, context is the crown.” Kastelein’s point is that even with so many digital “watercoolers” available for discussion, the missing link in solving consumer problems is the ability to provide users with meaningful context. Social TV participants want to know who’s in a show, what other people feel about it, and why they should watch it. “Discussion, dissemination and discovery are all hugely important but great Social TV user experience needs great context,” said Kastelein.

4. Relationships aren’t about volume—they’re about emotion.
Understanding viewer emotions are the key to building a relationship with audiences. When brands try to build relationships with customers through social media, they’re missing out on a big piece of the puzzle if they’re only measuring volume and leaving out the sentiment that’s behind why people engage with a brand. As researchers Gensler et al noted in the Journal of Interactive Marketing, “…consumers are becoming pivotal authors of brand stories due to new dynamic networks of consumers and brands formed through social media and the easy sharing of brand experiences in such networks. Firms need to pay attention to such consumer-generated brand stories to ensure a brand’s success in the marketplace.”

Emotion is also critical in relation to effectively targeting ads. Social advertising needs more specific targeting. If we know how people feel about things they like to talk about in social media, we can go beyond simply targeting them by topic and reach them with messages that resonate emotionally.

5. The technology is available.
What existed previously provided only the quantitative context—or if it was a qualitative platform, conversation could only be segmented by positive, negative, and neutral sentiment. Fortunately, we’ve moved beyond these limitations. We have created a technology that provides emotional categories, allowing the marketer to make his or her own diagnosis. This technology allows for segmentation by emotionally charged keywords and phrases, reflecting how people react to entertainment content. Our platform is structured around tokens that express relationships between words and phrases with similar meanings. Marketers can process all tweets about a TV show and automatically organize these comments into emotionally based categories, viewing demographic and affinity breakdowns for the emotionally engaged audience that are filterable by reaction.

6. Social TV needs to become a business for people, not just about people in the business.
In an article on TechCrunch, Miso CEO Somrat Niyogi honed in on what needs to change in how we currently drive conversation with Social TV. Niyogi says: “We make it about the people in business, not a business for people. As an industry, we’re trying to capitalize on a business proposition, not a consumer proposition.

Yes, people have another screen up while they are watching TV. But the moment we stop trying to leverage the second screen real estate, that is the moment we are heading in the right direction.” Niyogi adds that we need to start asking: “What do people really want to do when they watch TV?” When we can answer that question instead of just count comments and posts, we’ll be on our way to the future.

Do you believe volumetric social media measurement is on its way out?