A Cartoon Study of Social Influence Twistory!

April 13, 2011

We loved being a part of the AdAge festivities in NYC last week, where Jodee presented on their Influence Panel with our friends from LinkedIn and Klout….

We had such great feedback from a brief cartoon history of social networking (it’s had almost 60,000 views and over 3,000 Facebook likes and Twitter RTs!) that we made another to celebrate the AdAge Digital Conference 2011.

We’re very excited to be featured in AdAge and had a great time with Simon Dumenco at the conference:

Who Are Social Media Influencers? Awesome people who inspire us to do things.

Thousands of years ago an influencer was a knowledgeable person who stood in a village square proclaiming wisdom to interested citizens. Not much has changed…

So why is it that marketers are fumbling to create different definitions and metrics for social media?

Whether it’s Reach, Engagement Metrics or Probability Scores, the “last mile is still human.” Marketers can mull over influence scores, indexes and matrices to explain methodology but the goal is the same: To find hyper-targeted influential users of social media for brands to foster customer loyalty, evangelism and WOM marketing.

The reason we identify influencers is to interact with them. Influencers are the cool kids the rest of us aspire to be.

We’ve defined the evolution of influence and its importance. With our Datamine and Analytics (with human review), we’ve created a comic timeline of influencers across social media.

Each influencer has been awesome at engaging audiences, inspiring us to share.

We’ll be adding to our Cartoon Series on Social Media… so stay tuned for more!

Let us know if you have any comments … as always, we love hearing your thoughts. Tweet us @PeopleBrowsr or email contact@peoplebrowsr.com


Illustrating the Evolution of Social Networking: A History for the Media Research Industry

March 23, 2011

Social media is revolutionizing celebrity-dom, news consumption and the way we spread information – as seen by the overnight popularity of Rebecca Black, Charlie Sheen-mania, real-time coverage of Japan and global protests for democracy. Cyber anthropology is rapidly becoming an important focus for media researchers, uncovering deep insights into the transformation of consumer behavior in today’s society.

To celebrate  75 years of the Advertising Research Foundation, PeopleBrowsr is publishing a series of artwork illustrating the History of Social Networking. PeopleBrowsr commissioned an artist to visually communicate our research on the progression of social media – first unveiled at the opening of our San Francisco Social Media Command Center.

Highlighting a few recent events in our timeline, here are two interpretations of the latest and greatest social media sensations…

Both Charlie Sheen and Rebecca Black are testaments to the power of viral acceleration. Social media is having an enormous effect on the rapid dissemination of information and the phenomena of the internet fame game.

Looking into the not-so-distant past of Marshall McLuhan’s era, we see that the medium is the message.

We want to celebrate the milestones of this amazing industry, by recognizing the events that led to our current social media (Re)Evolution and presenting a chronology of social streams. Through assembling the collective intelligence, we observe numerous things happening in the Twitterverse – and we are passionately curious about the events made popular by social networking, emerging trends and spikes in mentions.

The History of Social Media

Our story begins in the 1930’s with The Notificator, which allowed Londoners to leave messages for friends on “robot” message boards for a small fee. Many social media observers have categorized the Notificator as the first predecessor of Twitter.

The social aspect of new technologies has evolved with innovation, especially ‘on the line’. From the telephone box to wireless mobile networking, it’s almost as if we’ve come full circle. In the 1950s, technophiles used telephone networks as rogue ways to mass communicate and the first podcasts took place on hijacked corporate phone lines. As of 2010, mobile wireless networking penetrated 98% of the US population.

When CompuServe became the first commercial online service in 1969, it took a mere decade before Bulletin Board Systems became the first ‘forums’, or social communities connected on the line. 1989-1991 revolutionized the development of media technology, as Tim Berners-Lee began developing the World Wide Web and the first web site was built at CERN.

Throughout the 1990s, emerging tech companies and globalization forever changed the way we communicate – with the mass adoption of forums, web search, email and text messaging. Before the decade had ended, Google had indexed over 60 million pages and AOL Instant Messaging had come to homes across America.

Between 2000 and 2001, residential high-speed Internet access subscriptions doubled, making it easier for consumer to access information on the web. Soon after, users were beginning to see the appeal of social networking and blogging sites like LiveJournal, Friendster.com, LinkedIn.com and Myspace.com.

By Twitter’s launch in 2006, social media networking had reached widespread popularity and mass global adoption, following Facebook’s introduction in 2004 and YouTube hitting the market by storm in 2005. The rise of user-generated contentsites like Digg and Reddit (with IcanHasCheezburger and 4chan), combined with the popularity of easy-to-use blogging services, includingWordPress and Blogger (also created by Evan Williams of Twitter), aided in the rapid development of personal websites, shared content and online media.

Businesses quickly began to recognize the power of Web 2.0, adopting social media strategies and hiring community managers. Virgin America experienced great success engaging customers on Twitter, and the public relations industry started seeing the benefits of listening in real-time for consumer response. Not too long ago, we saw the rise in freemium social media platforms and customized services. When ReSearch.ly launched in 2010, the social media landscape had evolved into communities connected by the interest graph.

Every year we’re seeing the rise of popular new services that allow us to share our lives and spread news, such as Posterous and Tumblr, FourSquare, SlideShare, Flickr and Instgram. Mobile technology, like the iPhone and Andriod, has made it even easier to access web content; data is moving to the cloud and applications are being built in browsers. It’s an exciting time to be online, as we’re in an era that’s transforming the collective memory – millions of conversations and posts – into the collective intelligence, filtered by keywords, sentiment, geo-location, and bio information.

As data mining and marketing researchers, we’re continuously documenting and communicating the history of this great industry we’re helping to build.

Access to the full timeline is presented here:

The History of Social Media Artwork presentation is in celebration of the Advertising Research Foundation’s 75th anniversary and the launch of PeopleBrowsr’s San Francisco Command Center.

PeopleBrowsr partnered with the ARF for the 75th Anniversary Convention’s Social Media Listening/Learning Insights Zone.

Gallery Settings

Sitting above each windowsill, outlining our San Francisco Social Media Command Center, lay 24 boards with 24 historical events describing the evolution of social media. We’re continuously adding to the collection as major stories unfold, to capture the impact and continued transformation of Web 3.0.

The timeline was first unveiled at our official launch event, which featured a panel of experts – including Tim O’Reilly, Jodee Rich, Susan Etlinger, and Brian Solis – discussing “The Evolution of Listening – From Monitoring to the Collective Intelligence”.

About the Artist

We commissioned the artist, Adam Long, to transform the research we compiled into incredible illustrations that are delightful and easy to understand.

Having the life many artists dream of, Adam spends his time drawing cartoons, commercial illustrations and storyboards for TV commercials, while living a short five minutes from the sea in Bondi. When not working on upcoming deadlines, the smiling Aussie describes sunny Bondi as the perfect place to relax, “where a freelance artist can nip down for a swim on a hot day.”

Cartoon Illustration: The Man Behind the Art of the History of Social Networking

March 20, 2011

We’re constantly searching for ways to visually communicate the research we conduct. Recently, we recently commissioned an artist to create a History of Social Networking Timeline, featuring illustrations of social media sensations like Rebecca Black and Chalie Sheen. The series of panels paint the story of this great industry we’re helping to build.

View all 24 panels on SlideShare:

In celebration of the Advertising Research Foundation’s 75th Anniversary, we’ve released The History of Social Networking in honor of the tech and media researchers, content creators and early adopters that have helped to advance social media technology and research.

We’d like to thank the artist, Adam Long, for his wonderful contribution to our Social Media Command Centers. His work on the timeline inspires us to continue making history in this incredible industry.

The Man Behind the Art

Imagine a 6ft 3in tall, stetson-fedora-clad Aussie strolling the streets of San Francisco, hunting for rare finds at the Alameda antique market and enjoying views of the Golden Gate bridge with a smile that never leaves his face. That’s Adam Long – the artist who created the beautiful artwork for our History of Social Media timeline.

Having the life many artists dream of, Adam spends his time drawing cartoons, commercial illustrations and storyboards for TV commercials, while living a short five minutes from the sea in Bondi. When free from upcoming deadlines, the smiling Aussie describes sunny Bondi as the perfect place to relax, “where a freelance artist can nip down for a swim on a hot day.”

Adam refers to his art as “lowbrow” and we’re enamored by his fun, cartoonish style. He has created artwork for us in other Social Media Command Centers and he’s our favorite illustration artist.  When we presented him with the chance to visit San Francisco for the first time, he hopped on board to create a History of Social Networking Timeline. For him, it was “too good an opportunity to pass up” and before long, he was en route stateside accompanied by his favorite paints, fine hair brushes and a sense of excitement.

From the moment Adam arrived, he put himself to work, completing the task of designing 24 separate pieces of art in less than one week. He was a source of inspiration and a delight to have around!

The First Unveiling

With much anticipation, Adam finished illustrating the timeline with ease and the art was ready for display at our launch party.

Centered on the Collective Intelligence and celebrating a combination of ReSearch.ly, the release of 1,000 days of data, and the launch of our SF Command Center and incubator space, we are so happy it was such a huge success.

Throughout the the evening, eyes were on the artwork displaying the timeline. Lucky for us, we had Adam at the party to show off – as he’s seen here, happily chatting with guests!

We love the aesthetic of Adam’s work and it brightens the room, along with the colorful bike rack holding our beloved European-style bikes, from Public Bikes in South Park… it’s so fun riding these cool wheels around town!

The Social Media Command Center in SoMa has truly become our home. An incubator space,  social engagement hub, crisis management room, real-time response and product testing lab, event venue, and a place for our clients to experience our Platform and services.

We’re delighted that Adam has agreed to continue illustrating the history of social media. Looking forward to having him back in San Francisco!

Under the influence of influence? @AdAge

March 1, 2011

Recently, AdAge’s Media Guy Simon Dumenco wrote a great article on social influence, highlighting valid points for us to reflect upon as the industry is creating and shaping social media metrics. Specifically, are we –  as marketers – under the influence of “influence scores”?

Across the industry, “influence-grading” is shaping the course of social media ROI. We’re more and more interested in the value influencers provide to identify ways in which we can reward our biggest advocates. In doing so, we’re redefining what it means to be an “influencer” and acting as educators on how “influence” is calculated.

Influencers can be defined in many ways, such as:

1. Having a high number of followers
2. Having a high number of mentions (discussing a topic the most frequently)
3. Actively influencing an audience (to take some action)
4. Having the ability to influence audiences when engaged with the brand

At PeopleBrowsr, we define influencers as people who have the potential to help a brand spread their message and engage audiences.

We help brands leverage their Champion audiences by identifying potential influencers.

For example,  @_DonDraper is an influencer for Mad Men because his followers are discussing Mad Men. If Mad Men wants to influence an active audience, they can engage @_DonDraper as a brand advocate for Mad Men and leverage his hyper-targeted well-receptive audience.

In reference to the article and the relevancy of certain identified influencers:

@audi_a1 has an influential blog, with a large percentage of followers discussing Audi. We rely on relevancy, connectedness and number of friends who are discussing the brand to determine influencer scores.

@JBiebsBoy has a large amount of friends who talk about American Idol. Effectively engaged, he’s extremely influential to his followers, who are also discussing American Idol right now.

@JimBeamFans has a lot of engaged followers talking about Maker’s Mark –  and has the ability to influence on behalf of the brand. In this case, there is potential for making him an advocate of the brand.

For us at PeopleBrowsr, “influencers” are those with relevance, who have the highest number of followers discussing the same interest, brand or topic. We focus on connectedness along the interest graph to find influencers and champions.

We invite AdAge, and the industry, to join us in the discussion surrounding social influence and welcome your comments here or tweet us @PeopleBrowsr.

Are marketers under the influence of influence?

The 2011 Twitter Brand Bowl: And the winners are…

February 15, 2011

By Brian Solis

Super Bowl XLV is now in the history books. 2011 is the year that the Green Bay Packers reclaimed the NFL Championship. And, it is also the year that now holds the record for the most viewed television broadcast of any kind in U.S. history, attracting an audience of over 111 million viewers.

While many watched the game, it is the advertisements that spark conversations online and offline. Going back to Apple’s 1984 commercial directed by Ridley Scott that introduced the Macintosh, the Super Bowl is now as much about football as it is about the ads that support it.

At $3 million per 30 second commercial, many question the value and ROI of such an elite form of advertising. To others however, $3 million is an investment in word of mouth and legacy branding. It takes the idea of the desirable water cooler effect and amplifies it in real-time across more connected networks. Not only did 111 million people potentially view the ads during the big game, Web views, articles, blog posts, polls and studies will keep each ad alive for the months ahead. Crowd favorites on the other hand, will live on for years. Those commercials that design social hooks into the campaign can trigger conversations that extend ads across screens from TV to laptop to mobile as well as across social graphs. Progressive brands that track this activity will identify its core advocates and better understand how to convert social graphs into brand graphs as we demonstrated with Starbucks recently.

Following the Super Bowl, the big question at the center of almost every conversation is who really won the 2011 Brand Bowl. The answer is largely based on opinion and volume, but examining the activity under a social microscope is as telling as it is fascinating.

Working with the PeopleBrowsr Research.ly team, we tapped the Twitter firehose to analyze the worldwide conversations around each commercial. As you’ll see, in the Brand Bowl, armchair quarterbacks and sofa referees define the big game for advertisers; an expensive game where some win and many lose.

Report Highlights:

– Brand Bowl Tweets increased 271-percent between 2010 and 2011

– Doritos received the highest number of mentions in 2010 and the third highest in 2011.

– The auto industry also represented the most social activity of all commercials in 2011 led by Chrysler, VW, and Chevrolet.

– Ads placed in the second quarter captured the most online viewing attention than other spots.

– VW’s “The Force” commercial earned the most positive sentiment.

– Groupon ads received the most negative response.
2011 Brand Bowl Highlight Reel

Between 2010 and 2011, Tweets about the advertisers in the big game spiked by 271-percent. Of course Twitter also experienced tremendous growth between the games, now accounting for ~200 million users who publish 110 million Tweets per day.

This year, the top commercial dominated the field earning 64-percent more Tweets than its closest competitor. The honor for the most mentioned brand in this year’s Brand Bowl goes to Doritos with 77.8k mentions. The Transformers 3 trailer followed with an impressive 49.6k Tweets, and drafting close behind was Chrysler with 49k Tweets.

The 2011 Top 11 Commercials by Volume:

1. Doritos – 77,799 mentions
2. Transformers 3 – 49,559
3. Chrysler – 49,079
4. Coca-Cola/Coke – 33,082
5. Volkswagen/VW – 30,050
6. Groupon – 30,011
7. Chevrolet/Chevy – 25,743
8. Captain America – 25,315
9. Sketchers – 23,859
10. Thor – 23,096
11. Pepsi Max – 18,849

If we were to measure the top ads by velocity, the Transformers 3 preview would lead the game spiking at 40,000 mentions. Chrysler’s inspirational “Imported from Detroit” spot featuring rapper Eminem ranked a close second hitting a crescendo at just under 39,000 mentions. Doritos crunched in the third spot at over 34,000 Tweets. The distance between third and fourth place is as great as the span between the second and third quarter in the big game. Sketchers ShapeUps commercial featured Kim Kardashian, which helped it peak at just over 21,000 Tweets.

The 2011 Top 10 Commercials by Velocity:

1. Transformers 3
2. Chrysler
3. Doritos
4. Sketchers
5. Thor
6. Captain America
7. Volkswagen/VW
8. Coca-Cola/Coke
9. Groupon
10. Chevrolet/Chevy
11. Pepsi Max
2010 Brand Bowl Highlights

Compared to the top 2010 ads by volume, you’ll notice that Doritos remains in the top 3 between the two years, winning the Bowl in 2010, at least where mentions are concerned. Of all the ads between 2010 and 2011 only Doritos and Coca-Cola/Coke make the top 10 lists consecutively.

The Top 10 Brands by Volume:
1. Doritos – 41,748
2. Bud Light – 15,555
3. Google AD – 12,120
4. CocaCola – 9,299
5. Budweiser – 8,067
6. Snickers – 6,945
7. GoDaddy – 5,993
8. Kia – 3,873
9. Hyundai – 2,793
10. Focus on the Family – 2,024

The 2010 Top 10 ads by Velocity:
1. Doritos
2. Bud Light
3. Budweiser
4. Google
5. Snickers
6. GoDaddy
7. Kia
8. Hyundai
9. Coca-Cola
10. Focus (on the family)

Brand Bowl 2011 vs. 2010

As mentioned earlier, the volume between the years is remarkable. The active audience is this year’s Brand Bowl was indeed engaged, representing a surge in Tweets to 387,162 total ad mentions in 2011 and 99,124 in 2010.

To put things in perspective however, if we assumed that each of the 111 million estimated viewers Tweeted once, it would represent a .035 participation level. As such, we analyzed the top 11 brands and of those mentioned, 90-percent of the Tweets were published by 44-percent of the engaged community.

The top four players in 2011 outplayed the top performers in 2010. Doritos’ 2011 appearance ranked third in overall volume of Tweets between the two years with its 2010 showing also ranking fifth. Doritos is the only 2010 representative appearing in the Top 10 comparison between the two years, with Bud Light finishing 11th.

2011 vs. 2010 Player Stats

Comparing the 2010 to 2011 year to date changes, most players experienced positive growth. Ranking based on YTD % changes, Coca-Cola is the clear winner, with conversations increasing by over 263.5-percent. Doritos led the pack in overall conversations with just under 80,000 mentions in 2011 and just over half that in 2010, growing by 88.3-percent. Kia Tweets jumped by 200-percent, reaching over 10,000 Tweets in 2011. Snickers followed in fourth growing by 79-percent. Bud Light saw a 24-percent drop in Tweets falling from 15,000 Tweets to just over 12,000.

2011 Player Sentiment

Sentiment is an elusive metric. To quantify attitudes accurately, it takes a human touch. To do so, we employed a human turked sentiment sample of 2,000 random Tweets for the Top 11 brands.

Of the top brands in 2011, Volkswagen/VW’s “The Force” campaign earned the most love reaching almost 90-percent positive reactions. Transformers 3 earned a second place standing with 77-percent positive sentiment. Movies will account for three of the top five with Captain America closely following Transformers with 74-percent positive Tweets. And, right behind Captain America is another hero, Thor hammers fourth 72-percent positive reactions. Not surprisingly, Chrysler drives into fifth place with 71-percent.

Not all Tweets are positive however. Several commercials this year earned greater negative reactions than some of the top brands earned in terms of positive sentiment. The leader here, which may come as no surprise, is Groupon with a 75-percent negative response. The ads were controversial in nature, but according to the Tweets and all intentions aside, they were also in poor taste. These ads have since been pulled from television circulation. At 47-percent, it seems that the Sketchers spots featuring Kim Kardashian stuck a sour note with viewers. Coca-Cola and Pepsi Max, while mostly positive or neutral, also realized a notable negative response.

Overall however, viewers responded positively to the 2011 Brand Bowl. An interesting observation however, 2011 negative sentiment is almost equal to the positive sentiment shared in 2010.

That about wraps our post-game analysis. We’ll see you in 2012 for the next Brand Bowl, where you define the winners and the losers just by Tweeting your honest reactions.

The PeopleBrowsr presentation is available on Slideshare

Watch the Super Bowl XLV commercials here

Image Rights: NFL

Building The Collective Intelligence At Our San Francisco Social Media Command Center

February 11, 2011

After weeks of searching the streets of San Francisco with real estate agents, we acquired a space in the hotspot of SoMa and signed a lease at 474 Bryant Street in early December. Over the past couple months we’ve experienced an enormous transformation. We’re on our way to creating an epicenter for Social Media in San Francisco, and will host weekly events soon to commence on our calendar. In addition to building a command center with cutting edge design and technology to house our innovative team, we’ve been building PeopleBrowsr in other ways with the launch of ReSearch.ly, releasing 1,000 days of data for social search, advocating the interest graph and introducing the Brand Champion Scorecard.

Adding to our Global SMCC rollout we have recently acquired another awesome space in NY,  partnered with the creative and innovative team at Digitial Collective and the ARF and participated in the forefront of thought at NewsFoo. Oh, and did we mention we’re hiring a world class team across the globe?

It has been anything but slow at PeopleBrowsr and we couldn’t be happier with our rate of growth. With much excitement, we officially opened the doors to our San Francisco Social Media Command Center on February 7th, 2010.  We were incredibly lucky to have Tim O’Reilly with us for our launch party, held at the beginning of Social Media Week SF.

The theme of the evening was The Evolution of Listening: From Monitoring to the Collective Intelligence. Brian Solis moderated an expert panel of thought leaders, which included Tim O’Reilly, Altimeter Group’s Susan Etlinger and Jodee Rich.

Thanks to blogger Renee Blodgett, videos from the evening can be seen here. You can also watch the panel here:

Jodee can also be seen in a short interview here:

So what do we mean by Collective Intelligence?
Jodee provided a very well presented answer on the fly during the panel by saying “This is the first time in human history that we’ve actually had collective memory written down… We’re seeing what real people are saying now and.. for it to become a collective intelligence, we need to process it in certain ways. And what’s extraordinary is that two or three years ago we did not have the computing power or the speed to be able to process 10K or 100k posts a second…by processing those posts very rapidly we’re turning the memory into an intelligence and intelligence means community, location, gender, people you know, links…”

As Tim O’Reilly later stated, as much computing power as we’ll have for insights and analysis, “The human is still the last mile.”

And as for listening and conversations online, O’Reilly put it very nicely when he said: “When a great company listens, they hear what people are really saying. And they think about what the thoughts of other people make them think.”

About 300 friends joined in to hear the discussion and celebrate our grand opening. Outside on our lovely deck, our food sponsor Magic Curry Kart served curry tacos, pumpkin curry soup and other amazing curries with rice. We also had Korean BBQ ribs from our beloved neighborhood restaurant, HRD Coffee Shop, delicious vanilla, strawberry and almond organic frozen yogurt, and chai lattes. Lest not forget the abundance of good wine and local beer, thanks to our sponsors Vintage Estate Wines and Bear Republic Brewery!

We’re so pleased with the turnout and the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from the community. A special thanks to Tom Foremski, Julie Blaustein and Daryl Pereira for writing wonderful blog posts on the event and for the awesome Tweets we’ve seen streaming all week!

And we love all the fun photographraphy, shot by Tim Williamson.

Thanks again to everyone who joined us on Monday and for your continued support.

And if you didn’t get a chance to meet the newest members of our San Francisco team, we’d like to introduce you here…

Jennifer Charlton, US Marketing Communications

Originally from the DC area, Jen landed in New York City for college, where she received a degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications from The Fashion Institute of Technology. Her passion for all things Marketing related began early while at FIT where she was Chapter President of PRSSA and founded a student-run PR firm. She also held many intern positions – including internships at JWT London and Morgan Stanley.  With a love for travel, Jen took a gap year to teach Business English to Fortune 500 companies in Shanghai. Once back in New York, Jen began a career in advertising with an independent creative agency – where she fell into digital, social media and tech. Embracing change, she relocated to the Bay Area last summer and has moved from the agency world into client-side Marketing Communications. She’s fascinated by linguistics, AI, the evolving state of public versus private data and is committed to creating a better social web. Fun facts about Jen include she lived in Paris for a year, plays piano, is teaching herself Python, restores furniture, sails, co-founded a non-profit event planning agency…  and absolutely loves urban exploration. You can find her @Jen_Charlton

Kjirstin Goranson, Marketing Communications Intern and Community Manager

Raised in the heart of wine country, Kjirstin (pronounced Cheer-stin) recently graduated from the University of Arizona this past May. While studying communication, business and Spanish at the UofA, she was an active member (and triple legacy) of the Sigma Kappa Sorority, holding positions as Initiation Chair, Party Favors Chair, & PR Chair. After completing an internship with Claire Communications in Sebastopol, Kjirstin joined the PeopleBrowsr team as Marketing Communications Intern. With the recent launch of the SF Command Center, she has been managing the building fitout and assisted in planning the Launch Party. While not working on the beautiful building, she is responsible for community engagement and management. Her cheerful energy and awesome sense of humor can liven up any crowd. As a fan of the San Francisco Giants, Kjirstin is ecstatic that AT&T Park is only a short 3 blocks from the office. On her free time, you can catch her on the soccer field or in the gym, baking, or hanging out with family & friends. Bear Down!

The Interest Graph on Twitter is Alive: Studying Starbucks Top Followers

February 8, 2011

By Brian Solis

Social media is maturing as are the people embracing its most engaging tools and networks. Perhaps most notably, is the maturation of relationships and how we are expanding our horizons when it comes to connecting to one another. What started as the social graph, the network of people we knew and connected to in social networks, is now spawning new branches that resemble how we interact in real life.

This is the era of the interest graph – the expansion and contraction of social networks around common interests and events. Interest graphs represent a potential goldmine for brands seeking insight and inspiration to design more meaningful products and services as well as new marketing campaigns that better target potential stakeholders.

While many companies are learning to listen to the conversations related to their brands and competitors, many are simply documenting activity and mentions as a reporting function and in some cases, as part of conversational workflow. However, there’s more to Twitter intelligence than tracking conversations.

We’re now looking beyond the social graph as we move into focused networks that share more than just a relationship.

Bringing the Interest Graph to Life

To demonstrate the value of interest graphs, I worked with the team at ReSearch.ly, a unique Twitter search platform that has indexed the last three years of Tweets to instantly provide a real-time and historical analysis of activity around keywords and also the people that Tweet them.

ReSearch.ly visualizes the interest graph, and also provides the ability to search within the search to sort activity by demographics and psychographics, sentiment, bio data, profession, and the list goes on. Essentially, it’s a product that anyone can use to learn about what’s really taking place on Twitter to better understand behavior and earn greater relevance by making more informed decisions.

As an example of audience profiling or competitive intelligence, we used ReSearch.ly to review the followers of @Starbucks, one of the most celebrated brands actively using Twitter today. We started by extracting 1 million follower profiles, sorted by follower count. The results were then further filtered to include only those who published a complete profile. ReSearch.ly provides the option to then organize the resulting information any number of ways, which in this case, we sorted the accounts by bio, location, and gender.

The Interest Graph

While we are what we say in our Tweets, our bios also reveal a telling side of who we really are. In this study we reviewed the complete bios of 50,000 of the top @Starbucks followers to learn a bit more about how they present their life story as well as their interests, opinions, and preferences.

Using the ReSearch.ly Twitter index, we created a word cloud to amplify the most common words used in each of the bios of these connected social consumers. Followers tended to use expressive words that suggest sentiment runs rich in the Starbucks interest graph. Top words include:

1. Love
2. Life
3. Friends
4. Music
5. World

We can also learn a bit more about Starbucks influencers by analyzing what interests them. Looking a bit deeper into the cloud, we can see that not only do emotions rise to the top; other revealing themes also surface:

1. Family
2. People
3. Mom
4. Wife
5. Husband

This is just the beginning. The words associated with the brands demonstrate the emotional and personal connections Starbucks holds with these tastemakers. Campaigns are a direct beneficiary of such data. As we submerge ourselves one level deeper into the study, we find that this information becomes paramount when we link it to individuals through demographics and psychographics. An import footnote is that the word coffee is among the least used words in the bio, but used nonetheless.

Studying Bio’graphy

With a 50,000-person sample in a traditional research survey, it may be difficult to organize individual responses. Here, we further reviewed each of the bios to find the commonalities in how each person presents who they are in a few precious characters.

Of those, we found that…

– 42 percent expressed strong ties to family, religion, and love

– 29 percent boast special interests, which is further discernible

– 22 percent are professionals who state their current place of employment and position

– 7 percent are students

Additionally, we can extract the attributes of @Starbucks followers further to better symbolize their digital persona. Further review highlights that followers…

– Identify themselves as enthusiasts, geeks, addicts, junkies, creatives

– Define the most popular areas of interest as Music, Food, Coffee, and Fashion

– Potentially favor dogs to cats (2 – 1 as per their mentions)

– Work in either Social Media and Marketing (Note: If we were to change the scale of followers, we would open up the sample to a much broader set of professions)

– Also are still studying. Despite the lower percentage, students account for more than any single professional field

Geo Location: Where in the World is @Waldo?

Brands are more than aware that no one marketing strategy reaches and moves everyone in the same way. Beyond demographic marketing, brands must also focus on driving traffic regionally. Having access to location data isn’t new, but using Twitter as a collective stream of intelligence to identify higher and underperforming locales and associative word clouds allow teams to surface the 3 W’s of real-time geo loco marketing:

Where is negative/positive activity taking place?

Why is it leaning in that direction? And,

What can we do about it?

To give us an idea of where the top @Starbucks followers are Tweeting, we zoomed in to their point of reference. We found that top users tend to Tweet from…

1. California
2. New York
3. Texas
4. Florida
5. Washington

Combining London and UK, we find that The United Kingdom would actually join the ranks of the most often cited cities.

Grouping locations provides a holistic view that provides regional marketing metrics and also areas in need of attention.

Here we can see that the top Tweeps are located in…

– US East, 30 percent
– Non US, 27 percent
– US West, 22 percent
– US Midwest, 21 percent

Tweeting from the Gender Lines

Over the years, I’ve studied the gender makeup of social networks and have consistently found that women outnumber men in some of the most popular networks including Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, women represent the majority share with 57 percent.

Working with the team here at PeopleBrowsr and ReSearch.ly in conjunction with Klout earlier in 2010, we uncovered en masse, women are more influential than men on Twitter. In fact, the average Klout score within the general Twitter population 34 to 31 in favor of women.

Reviewing Starbucks top followers in ReSearch.ly, it comes as no surprise to see that the women are the predominant source of Tweets, 63 percent women vs. 37 percent men.

The Tweets Have It!: Introducing the Starbucks Brand Graph

The interest graph is defined by connections, but it is brought to life through self-expression. When we combine brand-centric relationships and conversations, the interest graph eventually evolves into what is essentially a brand graph. Within each brand-related graph is a group of highly connected individuals that serve as a company’s network of influence. The ReSearch.ly team extracted 50,000 of the most recent Tweets that included a mention of Starbucks. We then analyzed the connections between people and identified the top 100 individuals and the number of their followers who also mention Starbucks within the 50,000 mentions. We can then bring to light Starbucks influencers as a representation of its brand graph and influential hubs. As we can see, the difference between monitoring and gathering intelligence allows Starbucks to now identify relevant networks and introduce personalized campaigns to further spur advocacy and loyalty.

Here are the top 100 most connected people within the group mentioning Starbucks and the number of their followers also discussing Starbucks:

Accordingly, we can visualize the interest graph as connections, showing how influencers are not only interconnected, but also capable of disseminating relevant information and influencing behavior to varying degrees beyond the traditional reach of Starbucks.  Social consumers and their place within the social consumer hierarchy determine reach and ultimately outcomes. Everything begins however, with recognizing who they are and what inspires or motivates them.


The era of analysis paralysis is officially over. Instead of just listening, companies can now study people and their interests based on what they say and do and also how they color their profiles. This goldmine of insight gives brands the potential to improve marketing, promotional and advertising campaigns to start. What we’re talking about here is the ability to personalize experiences that go beyond demographics and start to employ psychographics and behaviorgraphics – the ability to connect with groups of people by interest and how they interact.

As this practice develops, brands can also gather the intelligence necessary, and widely available, to improve products, services, and spark new waves of tweets gushing with positive sentiment. Doing so over time helps to build the social, and more relevant, business of the future while improving relationships to convert followers into stakeholders.

Brian Solis is the Chief Data Analyst at PeopleBrowsr and ReSearch.ly and author of Engage, the complete guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web. Follow him on Twitter, @briansolis or read his blog, BrianSolis.com

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook

The Interest Graph on Twitter is Alive: Studying Starbucks Top Followers by Brian Solis

Breakfast of Champions: The Story Behind the Brand Champion Scorecard

February 2, 2011

They say some of the best ideas come at the most unexpected moments, inspired by our every day lives. Such was the case a few Sundays ago in Las Vegas during CES. Over a breakfast of chicken-fried steak and cantaloupe at a café in the Palms Resort, an idea struck between Jodee Rich, CEO of PeopleBrowsr, and Jeffrey Hayzlett, acclaimed author and former CMO of Kodak.

While the rest of the room was abuzz about consumer electronics, Hayzlett and Rich  – two people openly passionate about marketing and technology – naturally fell into a conversation surrounding brands on the social web.

It was Hayzlett – a self-proclaimed, sometimes cowboy, widely-known for his sparks of marketing genius – who mentioned he’d love to see how VIP influencers on Twitter are connected to each other and the brands they love to talk about. Rich quickly realized that Hayzlett was describing features of ReSearch.ly and the type of data visualization analysis PeopleBrowsr specializes in. As both understood they had stumbled upon a shared insight for something huge, breakfast turned into a brainstorming session and the Brand Champion Scorecard was conceived.

What followed was a rush of excitement to introduce the Scorecards to marketers, as Hayzlett had the perfect opportunity: The Digital Collective Leadership Summit CMO Dinner in Los Angeles, held on January 26. With 50 Top C-Level execs and chief marketers from the biggest brands and companies attending the dinner, it was the perfect chance to present the Scorecard.

Could 50 individually customized brand scorecards be created in the short span of 2 weeks? “Absolutely,” said Rich.

And the idea was simple, really, as most great ideas are. To run an analysis on brand mentions in influential Champion Communities on Twitter and deliver the data in a compelling way, by making it easy for marketers to understand.

PeopleBrowsr had the technology – through its game-changing product, ReSearch.ly, which allows extensive capabilities in real-time search with viral analytics and sentiment analysis to find target communities – in addition to a deep data mine with 1,000 days of conversations on Twitter. The next step was to customize searches for the top brands and to design a summary page to capture the wealth of data.

The Brand Champion Score Card was created to have three components that reveal:

Volume of brand mentions over a 1,000 day period, visualized in a graph that easily identifies spikes in conversations.

The brand’s Top 15 Champion Communities, identified based on key words and common interests in Twitter users’ profiles. Champions are defined as top VIP influencers who are talking about a brand.

The Champion Interest Graph, which shows groups of brand champions with the most friends talking about a brand shared between the brand’s top communities and top influencers.
The final product represents how customers and brand advocates are related to each other based on interests and key words used in their Twitter bios, with data visualized from 1,000 days of conversations.

Although PeopleBrowsr had the existing technological capabilities to create the Brand Champion Scorecard, it was impressive to see Rich, Hayzlett, and the team, finalize the project in 2 weeks. What began as a casual breakfast conversation had turned into a massive effort to deliver valuable data to marketers at the Digital Collective.

“Marketing leaders know the power of the right information and the Brand Champion Scorecard gives them the right information and insights,” said Hayzlett. “With every Tweet made available to PeopleBrowsr, companies also gain a time frame no one else can provide for giving social media discussions context.”

When Hayzlett introduced the Brand Champion Scorecard at the CMO dinner, it was an incredibly exciting and rewarding moment for us at PeopleBrowsr. We’re very pleased with the response from the community and we’re excited to be creating more individualized reports and Scorecards for brands.

The Digital Collective was a great launching pad for the Brand Champion Scorecards, and the conference was a well-presented and attended event. The team had a great time talking with marketers and enjoyed hearing from such speakers as Bonin Bough, Global Director of Digital & Social Media at PepsiCo, Greg Coleman, President & Chief Revenue Officer, The Huffington Post, and Sherri Gilligan, SVP, Marketing & Advertising MGM Resorts International.

To better illustrate the Scorecard presentation at the Digital Collective, we’d like to give you an inside look into a Brand Champion Scorecard we created for Adidas:

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about the Brand Champion Scorecards, please feel free to reach out to the @PeopleBrowsr team. We love being inspired by marketers and inspiring marketers in return.

*A special thanks to the Jeffrey Hayzlett and the Digital Collective team.

PeopleBrowsr Releases ReSearch.ly with 1,000 Days of Data

January 25, 2011

Deep Dive into Twitter’s Social Database to Search through 1,000 days of conversations free of charge, with options for paid plans to create specialized analysis and customized reports.

Search is a fluid process and we love to discover new ways of navigating the Twitter stream. Today we’re excited to be releasing ReSearch.ly with 1,000 days worth of data so you can dive even deeper into historical analysis for trend reporting, campaign monitoring, and connectedness mapping to find brand champions in your community.

With ReSearch.ly, users can deep dive into search by entering key words or terms to find people connected by shared interests, topics or trends to create new communities on the fly and identify brand champions through tweets. Users can map connection paths to anyone linked in Twitter by the social or interest graph, and can pin-point groups based on location, gender, and positive or negative sentiment. We think it’s the coolest thing since toasted bread, but maybe that’s just us … though these people seem to agree: Brian Solis, Robert Scoble, Tim O’Reilly, New York Times, VentureBeat, Read Write Web, The Next Web … and they really know how to butter us up!

Similar to how Google has indexed the web, PeopleBrowsr has indexed Twitter. With Twitter’s Firehose and our proprietary server technology, we have reliable access to over 3 years of data. With the all-inclusive $99 plan, released as a premium to the $9 and $39 plans, users have unlimited access to 1,000 days of reliable data instantly, with benefits for:

– Trending analysis across two years for YTD reporting
– ReTweet Acceleration and real-time Viral Analytics
– Tracking abilities for sentiment to analyze ROI on long-term campaigns
– Leveraging power for reoccurring seasonal changes and trends
– Abilities to create custom communities, and add new locations
– Access to download Connectedness reports and create customized social media databases
– Continuous realiable access to the PeopleBrowsr Command Center and Viral Analytics

Powerful for graphing evolving trends over a two year period, charting YTD changes, identifying brand champions, mapping connectedness, and analyzing ROI with in-depth analysis from historical tweets, the $99 plan offers extensive insight into Twitter’s established social hub.

In the spirit of the New Year, after a wonderful holiday season, we decided to look at last month’s holiday mentions of Christmas for YTD, Monthly, and Weekly analysis.

For YTD comparisons, here’s an example of November/December 2009 vs November/December 2010 Mentions of Christmas:

To analyze sentiment surrounding Christmas, here’s a graph mentions over a 30 day period:

For key word and trend identification, here are words surrounding Christmas over a 7 day period:

From our  community of Mommy Bloggers in the US, here’s what they were saying about Christmas: http://research.ly/Christmas/global/Mommy%20Bloggers

With ReSearch.ly, consumers can search 1,000 days of data for free. ReSearch.ly’s tiered plans offer specialized benefits with additional features.

The $9 plan includes:
– Degrees of Separation
– Community Searching
– Location, gender, sentiment filtering
– Explore related content
– Viral Analytics
– Custom Search URL’s
– ReTweet Tracking
– ReTweet acceleration
– Access to the Command Center and Viral Analytics

The $39 plans includes all the features and benefits of the $9, in addition to:
– Create 2 custom communities
– Add a new location
– Map more extensive degrees of separation with communities

With the inclusive $99 plan, customers receive benefits of the $39 plan, in addition to:
– Create 5 communities
– Specialized Degrees of separation
– Add more new locations
– Change viewers
– RT Acceleration
– Add up to 10 custom communities, in total
– Interest Graph reporting
– Download connectedness reports and create customized social media databases
– Team Collaboration with the Command Center

Social search inspires trustworthy engagement for building meaningful relationships with context and relevance. With ReSearch.ly, you can create an instant community around whatever interests you at anytime, anywhere, from any place.

Find influencers and identify trends and brand champions in your community, monitor monthly and yearly campaign efforts, and conduct research for predictive analysis. With ReSearch.ly’s $99 plan, you’ll have access to 1,000 days of historical data with new insights into the Twitter goldmine for future projections, better reporting and in-depth analysis.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the @PeopleBrowsr team! We also offer customized reporting packages for all your agency and brand needs. For more information, please email contact@peoplebrowsr.com.

Now make history, and let the ReSearch begin!

News Foo and the Orwellian Inversion

December 28, 2010

Arizona State University, Phoenix – News Foo Camp, December 2010

The Inaugural News Foo Camp was predicted to be an inspiring ‘unconference’, with 150 friends of O’Reilly from the feilds of journalism, technology, and public policy coming together to share their vision on the future of news and tech. ‘Hosted’ by tech and publishing guru Tim O’Reilly, the impressive list of attendees included digital journalist Jody Brannon, foreign correspondent Wolfgang Blau and tech tracking wiz Amy Webb, to name a few.

Amid the social media noise regarding the spectacular lineup of NFC speakers, Twitter was buzzing about one very special presentation. PeopleBrowsr CEO Jodee Rich was poised to share his insights on:

@cuisineanxious The Future of News – An Orwellian Inversion http://slidesha.re/fsgBU8 #slideshare #media

We at PeopleBrowsr hope you enjoy our blog presentation of Jodee’s talk as much as the audience in Phoenix enjoyed learning from Jodee directly – and he from them also!

Reimagining of Orwell: Big Brother Next Gen

When George Orwell wrote his seminal work 1984, the predicted power of ‘Big Brother’ had audiences afraid and concerned for their future.  Was this work a literary, and literal, crystal ball?  Would our thoughts, actions and purchase decisions be scripted, pre-determined and governed by a wise and all knowing central body? Would the ‘truth’ and reality of our decisions as consumers be decided by that central body (or even by brands themselves)?


In fact, 60 years since 1984’s ominous inception, it’s people power – the sheer multitude of collective Little Brothers (and Sisters) – that rules and now largely claims media and public space.  Millions of consumers curate their own realities each and every day and, when just one of them looks for guidance, do they turn to Big Brother?


They turn to their peers.  And, out of the stream of data and expression consciousness, come answers, options, proposals, understanding and, yes, the occasional resistance or opposition. This is, after all, a space where individual truths are respected but also where single realities can hold enormous power and influence because…


We are powerful because we are accessible and offer our PersonalSpeak* continuously. Together, we verify and authenticate points of view that usefully serve not one Big Brother but scores of brands, corporate and government organisations.

As expressed by a ‘Tweeter’:
@ChangeEnactor the #web2.0 orwellian inversion. big brother steps aside to little brother by finding voice and relevance

Big Brother is still watching, however the Brother that will advance successfully toward 2020 will undoubtedly be the one who reaches into the pool of consciousness and applies their wisdom to the same, to illuminate betterment for themselves and for all.

Many in the audience were left actively questioning, and questioning the future:
@quinnnorton Inversion of 1984 sure, but I’m not sure Little Brother is a nicer master than Big Brother. #Ignite #NewsFoo

So, what do you think the future has in store for news, media and technology?

For a fabulous visual representation of the changing face of consumer power, take a walk through PeopleBrowsr Jodee Rich’s slideshare “The Future of News – An Orwellian Inversion”. We’d love to have you join the conversation. Tweet Us @PeopleBrowsr to share your thoughts.

*Term coined for this blog