June 6, 2018 By Zak Mehan
It really is a sign of the times that by the time we got around to writing this, the hullaballoo over comedian Roseanne Barr’s firing after an unsavory tweet already feels like last year’s news.
A surprising moment in the saga actually came after the climax of Barr’s show being cancelled. This was the clapback from Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, a sleeping medication Barr mentioned in an apology tweet.
While the tweet from Sanofi was already remarkable in its level of personality and timeliness from a major pharmaceutical company, it also prompted some retrospection about how companies have had to deal with the cyclone of social and political discourse pulling everyone and everything into its frothy swirl.
From TIKI torches coming dangerously close to becoming a symbol of white nationalism to accidental endorsements of Tibetan separatist groups angering the Chinese government, companies have had some weird challenges to deal with over the last several years.
But there are ways to be prepared and, in some cases, leverage these cultural flashpoints to present a company’s culture in a positive light.
The first step is social listening, making sure to be on top of potential threats or opportunities. Given the media coverage, we doubt anyone at Sanofi would have missed the news about Roseanne. But without folks listening to social media conversations, catching the brand mention early and understanding how to message the situation this could have easily been a missed opportunity.
Another important factor for preparedness is security – making sure only approved employees or contractors have access the corporate channels and that they know how to toggle between personal and company accounts.
Finally, having some general protocols and issue-specific tactics established ahead of time can help companies move fast when issues appear on social media.
Apple conducted its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week and the big headlines were all about holding up stop signs.
First, the company announced changes to data practices on Apple devices and in Apple products. One big change will be offering users the ability to block data tracking on apps and websites – for example, sites with Like buttons that previously tracked how visitors interacted with sites.
The company is also blocking “fingerprinting”, the practice of identifying specific users by matching browser information with device details.
And, aside from the data changes the company also made headlines by unveiling efforts to limit phone usage, such as a “Screen Time” app that puts time limits on the use of certain apps (goodbye, Instagram rabbit hole) and provides reports of time spent on different apps each week.
These changes are an effort to demonstrate a commitment to privacy but also to shape the way users and advertisers use Apple devices. One major outcome is that data will be more self-contained, reinforcing Apple’s efforts to chip away at rivals’ massive share of the digital ad market by holding tighter control of access to customer data.
Another potential, rather than certain, outcome (social media addiction is a serious thing) is less time spent mindlessly scrolling through social media apps, and, thereby, less time to see ads.
For companies that value audience engagement with organic content, you have to have a good grip on a channel’s algorithm to earn a high placement in users’ feeds. For advertisers, bid strategies need to be optimized vigorously to make sure your ads are appearing above peers’.
If you know where to go, Twitter has long been a favorite place for sharing investment strategies and perspectives on companies. A multitude of analysts and traders comb social media for research and breaking, marketing-moving news every day.
Finally, this might be mainstreaming. Partly brought on by developments in using machine learning for more effective data-processing, more firms are touting social media analytics as part of their financial research offering.
Most recently, M Science purchased a social media analytics startup called TickerTags. Other startups, such as Dataminr and iSentium are also pushing to use Twitter and other social media sites for data relevant for investors.
And we’re not so far behind ourselves. Coupling existing data insights capabilities with growing capabilities in machine learning, understanding the financial implications of online communications is a big priority for the year ahead.
How Instagram’s Algorithm Works TechCrunch
More than half of world population now uses the Internet Axios
13 Useful New Features Hidden in the iOS 12 Beta Gizmodo
Elon Musk and the Unnerving Influence of Twitter’s Power Users WIRED
This is probably not going to be a popular opinion but…NOT ANOTHER VERSION OF BITMOJI!!