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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 16, 2017

Expert: 'Likes' aren't the value of social

Lots of companies measure how many mentions brands get on social media, the assumption being that more is better. But Austin-based Affinity Answers argues that just "likes" do not surface the true value of social interaction for brands. We asked Sree Nagarajan, the CEO of Affinity Answers to explain:

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: So, you are not just adding up the social mentions as a measure of brand performance?

Sree Nagarajan, CEO, Affinity Answers: No, in fact Affinity Answers pioneered a brand interaction metric that indicates the strength of active, mutual engagement between two brands' audiences over time and approaches the concept of social-affinity uniquely, recognizing that only mutual affinity - your brand's fans liking a TV show, for example, and in turn, enough of that TV show's fans liking your brand - as the key to identifying a brand's most qualified addressable audiences. We do this by measuring the level of reciprocal, highly interactive social media activities (such as commenting, posting photos, retweeting, hash tagging or replying) between two brand audiences showing which fans of one brand have the highest affinity for the other brand. In doing this we track 60,000 brands across 400 million users worldwide.

Kristina: What is a typical use case?

Nagarajan: Our data can be used for activation, planning and measurement applications. Activation provides addressable, brand-specific audience data in programmatic platforms. Planning enables the matching of contextually relevant media with brands, as well as insight-driven strategies based on brand affinities. Quite often, audience extensions are built off of demo-based lookalike models, which tend to underperform compared to audience extensions built off of social affinities or what we refer to as "act-alike" modeling. By scoring any cookie- or device ID-based audience according to social engagement (aka "act-alike" modeling) we can predict which audiences will be receptive to your brand and are therefore more likely to respond favorably than the average consumer. We enable branding at scale through these high-performing "act-alike" segments for programmatic video and display, social, or TV advertising.

Kristina: Can you identify a brand's best "influencers" in social media?

Nagarajan: Our BrandPlanner™ app allows users to observe changes in brand affinities and gain a quick understanding of the strongest and weakest affinities across all 60,000 brands. So we can help brands clearly identify which social influencer (or music performer, celebrity, athlete, etc.) has the strongest relationship with their brand. We rank them by the strength of their affinity scores providing a roadmap for brands to ID who to hire for promotions or perhaps sponsor in their athletic endeavors. Moreover, our dataset is a cross-channel recommendation engine that informs marketers about their audiences' preference for thousands of TV shows, websites, apps, movies, and other consumer brands. This is actionable data that goes well beyond demographic targeting.

Tags: Affinity Answers, social marketing, social marketing ROI, social marketing trends

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