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mark cowne

Playing the numbers game

Mark Cowne of speaker agency Kruger Cowne illustrates how social media analytics can be used to unpick a brand anatomy

The ability to pinpoint target messaging to potential audiences has never been as relevant, or as possible, as it is today. 

Almost 2bn people are connected to at least one form of social media account. 

By the end of 2017 81% of the US population had a social media profile and the world’s population has never been so willing to share in-depth information about themselves and their habits.

The use of this data is immensely powerful as has been shown over recent months with the Cambridge Analytica penetration of Facebook’s profiles and using those profiles to develop very specific messaging for US audiences. So specific and so powerful, it is possible that it influenced a whole Presidential campaign. By comparison, the old system of Standard Industrial Classification, introduced into the UK in 1948 and which became a standard many ad agencies and clients used to analyse media circulations against their messaging, is positively prehistoric.

Now that social media can be managed and directed it has the ability to create a connection between brand and audience. 

Marketing has always been about getting a return on investment. For traditional forms of vertical marketing – print, radio, TV, billboard – this has always been extremely difficult to measure, relying on estimates, thin research and subjectivity. For a lot of online advertising mediums, the information isn’t that much more specific.

For many years we have been providing talent for conferences, advertising campaigns, brand endorsements, blogging and social media influencing. 

We have always understood the importance of ensuring that our talent is very closely matched to the needs of the clients, their markets and messaging. 

Much of our knowledge has been based on our close, personal relationships with the talent. But still we may not know absolutely everything about our talents’ own audiences, their likes and dislikes, religions, creeds,income groups; hobbies, marital status and more.

However, smart use of analytics allow us to track audiences and see what is working (and what isn’t), and how our talents’ audiences relate to our clients’ brand needs.

We have developed a system (Polymetrics®) which, in live-time, analyses our talents’ social media market and followers. 

We can see what our talent has posted on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and what that does to their audience base. While it is impossible for us to know the actual identity of a follower we do know everything about their demographics, common brand interests and more.

As an example, let’s look at BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson CBE.

John has only recently started using social media and focusses on Twitter. His audience has grown radically.

Having run his profile through our Polymetrics we can see that his online audience cover a broad age range from 17 to over 65 with the majority falling in the 40-49 age group (30%).

They are primarily married (90%) males (70%). They mainly live in the UK (80%). We know that they enjoy physics, history and rugby. Their primary spending and interests are around film and TV, newspapers and magazines. Primary brand affinities include BBC, The Independent, The Telegraph and ITV. We can see that John’s profile is not dissimilar to Ed Miliband, Dara O’Briain and David Mitchell.

Our data tells us even more. We know that, from those on Twitter who have disclosed their faith, the religious split is 48% Christian, 42% Jewish and 9% Muslim. English is the primary language (99%).

Where this really kicks in is where we can see brand alliances with information such as 15% of John’s audience having an affinity with The Independent and that being almost 50% higher than the Twitter average. 

We can compare every brand against our talents’ profiles and make incredibly close matches. If The Independent wanted a new columnist who would fit their profile and bring in new subscribers they would be well advised to consider John.

Our analysis gives us the ability to match brands and talent to audiences on a scale that could just not have happened before.

Market knowledge is everything. Social media is a numbers game. By gaining access to the numbers, we have all the tools for you to succeed.