While companies have the ability to track social media via text, today's conversation is increasingly visual.
That's a quote from Mark Young of Sysomos in a post he wrote yesterday, and it should REALLY resonate with marketers.
We talk extensively about the ways to use the data we have-the vast amounts of data around social conversations, mentions of your brand, chatter in the communities you want your brand to be a part of, customer service inquiries and response time-but what about the data we don't have?
All the data mentioned above has one thing in common: it is text-based. But what about the conversations happening that are visual?
Visual content has been the major prediction for social media trends every year for the past several years, and the hype has lived up. Think about all the ways you interact online in a visual way, through Instagram, through Snapchat, through Facebook, and even through Twitter. Young writes that 1.8 billion images a day were shared on social last year, and it's reasonable to believe that number will be much higher for 2015. Now think about the swath of the online community that is sharing visual images related to your brand without hashtags, or @ mentions. They are creating their own content with pictures or videos of your products, using your products in authentic ways, complaining about and/or praising your that usage, and sharing those opinions with their friends.
Consider tech vlogger, iJustine, who has nearly 1 million Instagram followers: she posted a photo of the new Rock Band setup without tags. How would Harmonix know early enough to comment or track it?
A photo posted by Justine Ezarik / iJustine (@ijustine) on Oct 12, 2015 at 10:55am PDT
Or consider the case of lifestyle and beauty vlogger, Zoella, who has 6 million Instagram followers. She posted this photo of her dog in a Halloween costume, and it received 500,000 likes and 24,000 comments. But because there was tagging in the photo or caption, there was no way for the maker of the costume or the store that sold it to track all that rich social conversation.
Right now, we have no major tools available to track those visual conversations that occur without clear text-based mentions, but as the web leans more and more towards image-based communication, it's crucial that we do. You should be able to respond and measure visual conversations on social so you can use that data as you would text-based data: for brand insights. But Young says that 80% of photos with brands and products are "unfindable via text search alone."
But there's hope! Young reports that his company, Sysomos, last month acquired gazeMetrix, a visual listening platform, to develop Sysomos Gaze. This makes Sysomos the first social intelligence company to expand their services to image-based tracking, which is a major first for the social marketing industry. Check out their video explanation:
GazeMetrix uses uber-advanced machine-learning (also called Deep Learning) to recognize brand logos, products, and people as well as a "proprietary virality detection method" to predict momentum for content cycles that are drawing positive or negative attention. Sysomos CEO Lindsay Sparks says, "few [brands] recognize that analyzing captions, comments and hashtags isn't enough," and he's right.
The potential for image monitoring around brand conversations is huge: it will greatly expand a brand's understanding of the customer's preferences and behaviors as well as provide brands with much wider access to user-generated content. Sysomos Gaze promises features that will allow marketers to make precise decisions from a 360-degree view of customer data and content virality, moving easily from number to action.
Another helpful feature of gazeMetrix is digital rights management: it allows brands to easily contact users who have posted photos that infringe on copyright.
This comes on the heels of Sysomos's major acquisition of Expion at the beginning of the summer, making 2015 the year Sysomos became a social intelligence giant.