Meltwater Acquires Algo to Supercharge its Industry-Leading Media Intelligence Platform

SYDNEY, ASIA PACIFIC – August 30, 2017Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence, today announces the acquisition of Algo, a real-time data analytics platform powered by the most advanced machine learning techniques available. The acquisition further strengthens Meltwater’s powerful media analytics and insights platform by bringing on Algo’s patented Velocity of Information engine, which surfaces rising trends from tens of millions of real-time data points. The acquisition also brings Algo’s team of award-winning information Natural Language Processing and information retrieval experts in-house to oversee development of new products.

Founded in 2015 by Matt Michelsen, Aaron Rama and Evon Onusic, Algo leverages machine learning and natural language processing to democratise online semantic data that currently only the tech giants have the infrastructure to support. Its Information Velocity algorithm is the foundation for several patents. It processes one billion data points daily in real-time, determining which information is spreading fastest globally. The Algo app has been massively adopted, with over three million downloads.

“In this day and time we are all drowning in data. Meltwater’s goal is to give our clients access to smart technology that can cut through the clutter and extract critical insights from billions of data points – data points which would be impossible for a human being to make sense of,” said Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater. “There is a vast amount of external data that companies today largely overlook containing real-time information about how competitors invest, how they hire, how they spend their ad budget, and how their products are received in the market. Anyone that is thoughtful about mining this information will create a powerful information advantage over their competitors.”

“We’re excited to marry Algo’s infrastructure with Meltwater’s current technology and become the global leader in media intelligence.” said Matt Michelsen, Investor and Co-Founder of Algo. “The opportunity to help grow an international organisation committed to helping its customers gain an unprecedented level of analysis is exciting.”

The team behind Algo is composed of some of the best minds in data science. Adviser Eric Nyberg led development on IBM’s Watson. A PhD and pioneer in Natural Language Processing, Nyberg’s contributions of automatic text translation, information retrieval and automatic question answering have been fundamental to the industry. Nyberg currently leads the Language Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Rok Sosic, PhD, has also been instrumental in developing Algo, having created the first Linux Grid Cluster, considered the foundation of Grid Computing. Sosic has published 30 academic papers, holds several patents and founded Active Tools, which was acquired by TurboLinux. Matt Michelsen; investor in Palantir, Uber, and many others invested and Co-founded Algo in early 2015 with Rama and Onusic.

“Our platform ingests and analyses data from tens of millions of sources, in over 80 languages –
in real time. Applying Algo’s information velocity engine on top of our existing streams will help us identify anomalies and predict trends in several micro and macro topics that are relevant to our customers,” said Aditya Jami, Senior Director of Engineering & Head of AI at Meltwater.

The acquisition of Algo comes off the heels of several key AI acquisitions for Meltwater, cementing the company’s commitment to developing industry-leading data science and machine learning technology. Meltwater recently acquired Hong Kong-based social big data SaaS solution Klarity. Earlier this year, it acquired Oxford University spinout, Wrapidity, to add AI media monitoring capabilities to Meltwater’s platform, followed by Cosmify, to boost analysis of large data sets. Last year, Meltwater acquired Encore Alerts, a US-based machine learning company.

Founded in 2001 by CEO Jorn Lyseggen with only $15,000, today Meltwater has more than 1,500 employees across 55 offices throughout six continents, and services 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Meltwater is actively seeking investment opportunities and partnerships to continue expanding its media intelligence services globally.

 

About Meltwater

Meltwater helps companies make better, more informed decisions based on insights from the outside. More than 25,000 companies use the Meltwater media intelligence platform to stay on top of billions of online conversations, extract relevant insights, and use them to strategically manage their brand and stay ahead of their competition. With over 55 offices on six continents, Meltwater is dedicated to personal, global service built on local expertise. Meltwater also operates the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a nonprofit organisation devoted to nurturing future generations of entrepreneurs. For more information, follow Meltwater on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or visit www.meltwater.com.

Meltwater has eight offices across Asia Pacific, providing local solutions via Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

 

About Algo:

Algo is a tool that aids software developers by eliminating the manual process of data collection. Velocity of information method analyses market reactions to ingest news and blogs in real time. It empowers the discovery of new opportunities by providing developer with the complete knowledge. It provides easy to use JSON API’s to interact with their platform. Leverages of the Algo ecosystem are search APIs, news on mobile or site, and content marketing. It can be downloaded through iOS and Android mobile application versions. Algo was founded in 2015 by Matt Michelsen, Aaron Rama and Evon Onusic.

How Far We Have Come in Teaching Communications

In the span of ten years, technology and social changes have influenced how public relations students have been taught courses. Social media began to come of age in 2007, and now we see it ubiquitously applied, analyzed, and discussed among businesses, agencies, and professionals in a variety of contexts. Influencer marketing, social media analytics, and personal branding are now common areas of focus for PR pros and students, but this was not always the case. Students today are in the middle of this evolving and dynamic field as they apply for internships while keeping current on the latest trends and campaigns. Educators, as well as the public relations programs they teach, have had to adapt to these expectations and changes to teaching communications.

While some things have remained the same, there are significant differences on how we teach communication today versus ten years ago. Some of these changes are based on the cohort’s expectations when it comes to learning, communicating, and engaging with technology. Millennials, for example, prefer the active learning process and being able to apply what they are learning instead of receiving the information via books and lectures. Each cohort and generation that comes into play have different experiences, expectations, and views that make them unique, which makes sense.

Here are some of the things that have evolved over the past several years for students when it comes to teaching communications.

  • Many, MANY more channels to consider. Ten years ago, MySpace was still a platform that was covered in class. Now, it is part of the history of social media that is briefly mentioned. Students have to be taught not only how the channels have evolved over time, but the actions that are necessary to take in order to keep up with these channels is even more important. This evolution and keeping up with all of the different channels and outlets has become more challenging with each year, and for students who want to major and work in communications, this has become almost a full-time job for them in addition to going to school, getting experience in internships, and network with future employers. This can be displayed in the table below with the evolution of the Conversation Prism 1.0 (created by Brian Solis and JESS3) and their recent version Conversation Prism 5.0 (created by Brian Solis, Ross Quintana, and JESS3). Educators have a responsibility to prepare students for the growing expectations they will face and what needs to be emphasized in their assignments and internships.

1

Conversation Prism 2008

(Retrieved from ConversationPrism.com)

Conversation Prism 2017

(Retrieved from ConversationPrism.com)

  • Application crucial towards understanding. Most PR courses need to be structured to provide opportunities for students to apply what they are learning outside of the classroom. Modern day students are accustomed to searching for information online with a few taps to a screen. With that being said, students are now looking for more assignments, classes, and activities that will prepare them for the real world.

  • Investing in education beyond the classroom. Certifications, like the Meltwater program, have increased in numbers substantially over the years, and students are looking for these software certifications to stand out from others when applying for jobs and internships. Matt Kushin from Shephard University provides examples of this on his website of some of the assignments he has done with Microsoft and Hootsuite in his social media and StratComm classes, and Emily Kinsky (West Texas A&M), Julia Fraustino (West Virginia University) and Carolyn Kim (Biola University) are incorporating Meltwater in the classroom to prepare students for real world PR.

  • Real-time access outside of the classroom. Access is especially relevant to how students and professors interact with each other. Students have consistently preferred immediate feedback or results from their work, but expectations of wait time waiting have decreased significantly. They want a response, and they want it now. Students have multiple ways to engage with a professor from email to DMs on Twitter to texting to Facebook posting or Messenger. A few years ago, this wasn’t a common practice. Educators still set forth boundaries and expectations for how they communicate and engage with students in their classes, but we are seeing mass adoption of multi-platform communication for courses. Some host Twitter chats to engage conversations (like Melissa Janoske and Stephanie Madden from the University of Memphis) or live stream using Facebook or Instagram or use Snapchat for lectures (like Ai Zhang from Stockton University).

  • Emphasis on having a global perspective. As more students realize we are working in a global society they’re looking at study abroad programs, in addition to international internships. They now are pursuing options that include working for PR firms in Cape Town or taking courses at Semester at Sea, or even taking a year to live and work remotely like with Remote Year. Students, along with the credentials these overseas experiences provide, are pursuing opportunities that will help them grow and flourish as PR professionals. Bill Ward (@Dr4Ward) took students to Cannes Lions to give them a comprehensive networking experience while exploring a global event. Cannes Lions offers the opportunity for students and educators to learn more about international award-winning campaigns and meet the people behind the campaigns featured on the awards stage.

  • Understanding the importance of a personal brand. A few years ago, people were only talking about personal branding. Now, it’s a core part of what students are aware of. Who you know and who knows you are important elements to keep in mind when applying for jobs. Many PR courses cover personal branding in the curriculum, and there are even programs that specialize on the importance of this practice. In many cases, students have to venture outside of the classroom to get additional professional opportunities. This can come in the form of internships and job opportunities, like the ones MEOjobs post on a regular basis. Plus, they can network with other students and professionals by engaging in Twitter chat sessions (ex. #SMSports if you want to work in sports and social media, or Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon’s #PRStudChat), or join professional groups like Social Media Club, or PRSA.

  • Informal learning environment. Students today want to be part of the engaged and dynamic learning environment, not only as a number on a classroom grade book. They want to collaborate and contribute to the overall discussion, to make a difference with their own perspective, while helping their fellow classmates at the same time. We’re seeing the use of certain trends to facilitate an environment of constant learning, these include group activities, class discussions, and the use of multimedia platforms that incorporate coursework into real-life use.

With all of these changes, there are still a lot of elements that have remained consistent.

  • Students still need to understand the fundamental skills for PR. Research and writing are still important, and some may argue even more so now since everyone is using text lingo in their correspondences. These are first impression metrics, and students need to know how to approach an employer about a potential internship, or what it means to be professional on and offline, and the importance of applying the findings collected in research.

  • Networking and professional etiquette. Presenting yourself and making the best first impression is still important. Understanding how to use technology is one thing, but professionals want to work with students who also have the passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to be a great contributor to their team.

  • Being a lifelong learner. This has not changed for students. Learning does not stop after the class is over and finals are complete–it is often the beginning. Students, especially those in communications, are accustomed to the evolution and changes in the industry for the most part. They only need to understand what to do in order to sustain their efforts, continue building their knowledge base, and skill set for the PR field.

In summary, we have to keep in mind that software and social channels, tools, and programs will continue to evolve. What students need to stay ahead is an understanding of the skills they need to enter the workplace, and what steps they will take to become lifelong learners.

 

How to Measure Influence: 12 Communications Pros Design Their Ideal Algorithm

For each significant purchase decision they make, Google research found the average shopper used 10.4 sources of information to make a decision in 2011—a number that nearly doubled from 5.3 sources in a one-year span. And most of that information is not coming from product marketing literature.

Marketers are competing with traditional media, word-of-mouth, online reviews, websites, blogs, and more when consumers research their products. And while consumer trust of advertising continues to decline, Nielsen research has found that word-of-mouth recommendations to perform strongly, with 82 percent of those surveyed somewhat or completely trusting personal endorsements.

Leveraging influencers is a great way to break through the noise, and help build a favorable opinion of your brand, and extend its reach. But quantifying an individual’s level of influence can be difficult and time-consuming.

To get a sense for how communicators are defining influence and evaluating whether or not individuals have it, I reached out to a number of PR and marketing pros, and asked them to share how they define and measure influence and what their ideal algorithm or process for measuring it would look like.

Here’s what they said:

Dennis Shiao

Director of Content Marketing, DNN Software
@dshiao

How do you define an influencer?

Before I define the term, it’s important to establish some context: identify the topic in which you wish to gain influence. Next, define your objective. Putting the two together, one example might be: “To encourage marketing experts to share our definitive guide to A/B testing to their social networks.”

Within this framework, influencers are people that marketers follow and respect, because of their expertise in marketing. These people (i.e. the followers) will also take action based on the influencers’ recommendations. They’ll model their behavior. If influencers share their successes with A/B testing, their followers will try the same tactic for themselves.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

I’d want a “Net Promoter Score (NPS)” for influence. It would measure how likely someone would be to take action via the influencer, combined with a scale factor to indicate how many people took action. Getting down to specific metrics, I’d look to Twitter, since activity there is public. This would be a proxy, of course, because some influencers aren’t on Twitter!

I’d look at things like: Retweet ratio (percentage of tweets that receive a retweet), average retweets per tweet and the percentage of shares, comments, and retweet-text that have positive sentiment. I’d weight these all equally.

Next, for content they publish on their owned channels (e.g. website, blog), I’d look at the number and percentage of repeat visitors (i.e. shows reader loyalty) and the number of comments (with positive sentiment) per post or article. I’d weight these all equally.

—————–

Tatiana Beale

Head of Content, Traackr
@tatianabeale


How do you define an influencer?

An Influencer is someone who has earned the trust of his/her community based on relative subject matter expertise.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

At Traackr, we have created an algorithm to rank influencers based on their reach, resonance, and relevance. Relevance carries the most weight out of the three factors.

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Amy Higgins

Head of Content Marketing, ZOZI
@amywhiggins

How do you define an influencer?

An influencer is someone that can drive engagement and increase your reach within a targeted network.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

  • Reach: What’s their network reach? Depending on what you are looking at, that could be defined as social reach, email list, or readership (as in editorial reach).
  • Resonance: How much of a thought leader are they around the specific topic or area of interest? I would look to see if they are positioned as a thought leader at industry events or online publications. Also, do they openly share information and insight around the particular topic?
  • Intent: When others hear insight from this influencer, what’s their intent to purchase? This is hard to track. However, looks at interactions – if influencer talks about “A”, will “A” increase.

—————–

Jason Miller

Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn
@JasonMillerCA

How do you define an influencer?

In my opinion an influencer is someone (in this case a marketer) who thinks for themselves, who’s active on social and shares their unique viewpoint and insights on a consistent basis, through various mediums.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

I would look for reach, consistency, and engagement. With engagement being the most significant.

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Guillaume Decugis

CEO & Co-Founder at Scoop.it
@gdecugis

How do you define an influencer?

While everybody has influence, I’d define an influencer as someone who’s taking a proactive role in influencing people on a certain topic—and who’s successful at it.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

I might be biased but I believe content—whether online, print, live—is the essential way influencers change perceptions, give inspiration and compel people to act. So my algorithm would look at how often an influencer’s content is quoted or referenced by others—either on their own blogs, media properties or on social media. And I’d make the algorithm recursive by giving a lower or higher weight to mentions based on the influence of the person quoting the influencer’s content.

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Michael Brenner

CEO, Marketing Insider Group and Author of The Content Formula
@BrennerMichael

How do you define an influencer?

I define an influencer as someone or has authority on a topic and has built an audience based on that authority.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

I think the measure of influence is essentially, their ability to gain traction with content across a network (size) of influence (specific personas). So I would measure common things like social shares, engagement, page rank, organic search and social traffic, number of subscribers they generate for their content, the relative influence of their audience, and also how targeted their content is to meet the needs of that audience.

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Ben Noble

Communication Manager, NewVoiceMedia
@tangledlinks

How do you define an influencer?

You would think the title of “Influencer” would come with a clear definition—a person who can create action or sway opinions of others—but when we view that designation through micro and macro lenses it takes on more abstract and complicated forms. When most people think of influencers, they tend to lean on the archetype of the gregarious and likable celebrity. The macro view of an influencer is a person that is largely in the public eye, viewed as trustworthy, proficient and authoritative. But really anyone can be an influencer. The question is more so one of magnitude. What is the difference between a bad, good and great influencer?

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

Everyone can influence. But great influencers make broader and deeper impacts on a consistent basis. They are masters of social psychology and rhetorical devices, and their clout is perpetuated by the public ripples they create. If we were to rank influencers into categories of good, great and elite.

We’d have to evaluate how their skills compare against a number of variables:

  • Presence: Where your voice is heard, can sometimes be as important as how many people heard it. The medium of a message can impact how it is received and who received it. Some influencers build out a niche (radio producer, blogger, broadcaster, social media specialist). Others – especially those elite few – tend to be more well-rounded. They master stage presence on camera, maintain articulate prose in print and have glaring wit in 140 characters or less.
  • Reach: Those who have more of a presence often (but not always) have greater reach. Today, this is the most looked at metric for deciding an influencer’s brand worth. Do you have a large audience? If so, you might be hailed as a mighty influencer. But in reality, the number of viewers you amass is only a part of the equation.
  • Authority: Influence is rooted in action. A person with many followers is powerless if those followers listen but do not act. Authority is the bridge between an order and an action. The elite influencer maintains a mobile army of followers. The authority that guides that army gives the influencer potency.
  • Intent: Sometimes even a good or great influencer can steer their audience in the wrong direction. Rouge commands that don’t align with a desired response may not directly detract from influence, but it certainly puts a damper on its usefulness. That is why clarity of voice is important. Clear commands with clear results are the mark of top-tier influencers.
  • Scope: Six degrees of separation may be a dead networking reference, but only because there are even less obstacles separating us from people we want to reach. Sometimes the most powerful person isn’t the person standing at the podium. The puppet master standing behind the curtain, the devoid of public presence may be the most powerful person in the room.
  • Endurance: Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” That future isn’t far off. Consequently, influence for many people may be a fleeting moment in the spotlight. People maintain influence by performing maintenance on their network, contributing often and keeping their audience captive. How long an influencer can hold an audience is an important variable. It depends on how well they can stand-up to scrutiny, adapt and survive.

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Caroline James

Head of PR & Communications – West Region, U.S., Cushman & Wakefield
@CAZJAMES

How do you define an influencer?

Back in the day of my studying PR theory, we did not call “influencers” this, instead we referred to them as “third-party stakeholders”. So a “third-party stakeholder” (aka influencer) is someone who has the potential to positively (or negatively) impact your brand perception and reputation. For instance, I often target third-party stakeholders to provide an outside voice that is consistent or can add positively to our own, and lends trust and credibility in doing so. Pharmaceutical companies do it all the time— this is why they work so prolifically with doctors (who prescribe their product), government (who set health and medical policies that will impact their products), and not-for-profits who help raise awareness of certain health-conditions, etc (that can then be treated/cured by said pharmaceutical drug).

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

It would have to have categories related to level of importance to the brand, as well include how often an influencer interacts with the brand…for instance, let’s draw on a popular topic and say we’re talking about a dating app. Important ‘influencers’ would be people who have used the app and experienced success—they may have even gotten married—so you’d have them top of your list. And then say, it’s a celebrity single who also uses the app—they’re there too—on the top of the list. And you would include dating coaches who can recommend your app, relationship psychologists talking about the benefits of being in love, life coaches recommending ways to boost wellbeing “date! be in a relationship!”, etc. Build a list of those who have the greatest impact on your brand success.

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Heidi Cohen

Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide
@HeidiCohen

How do you define an influencer?

Influencers are strongly associated with Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Law of the Few.”

The 3 categories of influencers include:

  • Connectors. They know a lot of people across interests.
  • Mavens. They’re “information brokers. ” They solve problems and distribute the information in way that facilitates sharing and dissemination.
  • Persuaders. They’re charismatic idea salespeople. Their negotiation skills motivate followers to act.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

With regard to influencers, there’s not a one-size-fits-all algorithm. You must understand your target audience and who sways their opinions related to your products and services. Depending on your niche, you may need to go offline to determine who the true influencers are. According to Keller Fay, roughly 72% of word of mouth happens offline.

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Hannah Kovacs

Community Manager, PostBeyond
@Hkovs

How do you define an influencer?

I define an influencer as someone who has proven deep domain expertise in a specific subject area with a willingness to share their knowledge, and educate and learn from others. An influencer is *not* defined by their Klout score or follower count.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

One of the key words in my definition above is “proven,” meaning there must be evidence to back up their experience. Just because you’ve been on Twitter for 7 years does not make you an “influencer” or expert. I’m talking about years and years worth of hands on experience, that can then be translated into teachings and lessons for others. I’ll give you two good examples: Ann Handley and Michael Brenner.

Ann Handley, for instance, has been dubbed the most influential woman in the social media marketing space because she has 16 years-worth of experience, from co-founding MarketingProfs to writing multiple best sellers.

Michael Brenner draws his experience from 20 years in marketing leadership roles at Nielsen, International Communications Research, and SAP. Today, Michael is a revered content marketing expert and CEO of Marketing Insiders Group.

So, I’d look at years spent in the sector—I’d award 1 point for every five years-worth of experience. Next, I’d look at what they actually contribute to the space. I’ve come across ‘marketing influencers’ before who had never published or wrote on a darn thing. Deduct 1 point for every 6 months they fail to contribute anything to their area of ‘expertise.’ Finally, look at who they work with? If they are a lone consultant, who are their clients? They should have some notable success stories that speak to their experience. I’d award 1 pt. for every case study/client they’ve been associated with. If they can’t cough up any strong examples of their work, they’re not a real influencer.

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Sarah Nagel

Community Outreach Manager, Sprout Social
@Sprout_Sarah

How do you define an influencer?

An influencer is an individual with a high level of expertise or skill in a specified industry. They are acknowledged and followed for their vast knowledge, experience or skill. They have the ability to persuade others to follow their actions.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

I’d assess:

  • Years of experience in specified area, as well as other relevant areas (Lightly weighted)
  • Knowledge around different aspects of field of expertise (Somewhat weighted)
  • Connection to followers – how much influence do they really have on followers to take action? How do followers perceive their relationship with influencer? Do they feel close? (Heavily weighted)

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Maureen Jann

Director of Marketing, Point It Digital Marketing
@MaureenOnPoint

How do you define an influencer?

When I hear the word influencer, I think about it from two perspectives. The first is from a marketer’s perspective (surprise, surprise!). When a marketer thinks of an influencer, they see them as an opportunity to share a message with an audience that has the potential to be interested in their product. If a marketer picks the right influencer, and the influencer has a clear view of who they are and what they stand for, a message that benefits both parties can serve as both a value-added experience for readers or followers and a fantastic platform to inform people about a product they might be interested in.

The second way of looking at an influencer is from a user’s perspective, an influencer is someone who has developed a personal brand that represents a topic or an interest that they’re interested in. Those influencers have a like-minded community. They offer a clear perspective on topics that are important to them and their community. Finally they have developed some sort of personal brand that have made them recognizable to a community.

What would your influencer algorithm look like?

I think all of those ranking influencers could be boiled down to three main differentiators: Voice, Reach, and Recognition.

Voice includes a clear visual brand, defined topics that they cover regularly and consistently, and a distinct opinion on industry topics. The voice defines and builds the audience, and crafts the overall marketability of the brand. Based on the importance of this element, I’d assign this 40%.

Reach would encompass the number of people in their community, their recognition in the industry (including things like publishing and speaking) and tactics and strategies outlined in their published perspectives applied in business. The reach identifies how many people can be influenced and where they can be influential. Due to the importance of the community recognizing the importance of this person’s contributions, I’d assign this element 40%.

Finally, recognition is where the industry acknowledges their expertise with things like awards, speaking engagements, books and an academic presence. Although this is important from a credibility perspective, so often these acknowledgements are pay to play. Also, I believe that the impression of the community is more important than the industry, so I would assign this one 20%.

How do you define an influencer?

Tweet at us: @meltwater. We’d love to hear your take. And for more influencer marketing insights from these marketing and communications pros, download The Communication Pro’s Guide to Influencer Marketing.

This was originally published on this site on September 8, 2016. We republish posts on Saturdays, in case our readers missed them the first time around.

5 Things to Do When Your Business Gets a Bad Review

No small business owner likes it when their business gets a bad review. Criticisms posted to Facebook, Google, or Yelp can sting. Criticisms posted to Facebook, Google, or Yelp can sting. They can feel personal. What’s more, they can damage your business’ online reputation—causing potential customers to think twice about giving you their hard-earned money.

Still, negative reviews happen, despite your best efforts to make every customer happy. When you see a bad review, don’t panic. Instead, follow these five basic rules.

What to Do When You Get a Negative Review

First, acknowledge it. Ignoring online reviews doesn’t do any good. It might just encourage the reviewer to troll you even harder. Plus, other customers who see the review may wonder why you haven’t taken the time to help the customer with the complaint. The bottom line: Unaddressed reviews look bad.

Keep calm. If it looks bad to leave negative reviews unanswered, it looks even worse to fly off the handle and respond to a customer in rage. No matter how unreasonable you think the customer is being, remember: People are watching. They want to see how you respond. Take some time to cool off, and don’t reply until you’re able to do so without any anger or hostility.

Offer a solution. A negative review presents you with an opportunity to show real customer service skills—and if you can do so effectively, it might end up enhancing, rather than detracting from, your brand. Try to think of some ways to make things right with the customer who’s complaining. Go above and beyond, because again—people are watching!

Flip the script. Negative reviews also provide a great chance for you to reiterate what makes your company great. Saying something like “We’ve been in business for 10 years, and maintain 99 percent satisfaction scores from our clients” can be a great way to emphasize that your reputation is for excellence and that you’re committed to impressing your clientele.

Ask to take the conversation offline. Arrange to speak with the customer privately, over email or phone, to make things right—rather than airing your dirty laundry for all the world to see. If you can turn that unhappy customer into a happy one, you might even ask for them to revise their review accordingly.

Now, there’s just no pleasing some customers—so if you follow these tips and still can’t get through to them, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just focus on providing great service to your other customers, and hopefully winning some positive reviews to offset the bad ones.

This article originally appeared in The Red Ink.

 

This article was written by Amanda Clark from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Identifying your Competitors and Staying on Trend: Monitoring Trending Topics Online

One of the most effective tactics you can implement for public relations (PR), social media and content marketing is real-time monitoring of trending topics online. Trending topics are what people are discussing online right now. For example, Twitter trends identify topics that are currently popular on the platform. What’s popular right now might not have been popular an hour ago or yesterday.

Trending topics are powerful, as they can reveal what people’s interests and intentions are – and also what is happening right now. If there is a surge in people searching online for the term ‘unemployment insurance’ for example, this could suggest that unemployment levels are rising. If you’re an expert on unemployment insurance, or if you’re in the business of providing unemployment insurance, this opens up an opportunity to share any information or advice.

At a basic level, real-time monitoring of trending topics online is a great place to start if you’re looking to brainstorm ideas for new marketing content (such as a blog post or online video) that is relevant and important to your audience.

Best-in-Class Media Outreach Is Informed by Conversation

Tech-savvy PR pros are especially interested in topics that journalists are covering. They will read articles and blog posts, listen to their podcasts, follow them on social media, and use media intelligence tools; all to help them identify the topics a journalist is interested in based on what they are writing about. If you know what interests influencers, journalists, and your intended audience, you can tailor your content to their interests.

Trending topics are effective for capturing the attention of a broader audience. Writing a blog post about a popular trending topic can give your website/blog a huge traffic boost. Every tweet, Facebook status update, comment, and blog entry can cover a whole range of topics. And if there’s a groundswell of interest in a subject online, you can easily monitor it with your media monitoring platform.

Conversely, you may be interested in a topic that you think is worth talking about, but there may not be much information online right now. Media intelligence can help you research the level of interest for that topic over time and help to decide whether you should create any content. It could turn into a trending topic if you create content that resonates with the audience you’re looking to reach.

Use Media Intelligence Outside of PR and Social

Monitoring trends isn’t only for content creation. Trending topics can help influence other marketing efforts and business decisions too. Back to my previous example about ‘unemployment insurance’ – you may decide to implement a sales and marketing campaign to connect with an audience that is interested in unemployment insurance.

Or, if you’re about to launch a new product – you could search for keywords that relate to your industry to better understand your market. You may find that certain consumers oppose certain ingredients, such as palm oil. Knowing this info can help you determine the ingredients you use in your new product.

To monitor what topics are trending (and also not trending) online can make a significant impact on our business and marketing strategy. The valuable and timely insights gained can really help us make better marketing and business decisions.

To learn how you can monitor what customers are saying and trends about your direct and indirect competition, contact us and add valuable insights to your toolbox.

This article first appeared on this site on January 23, 2015. We repost articles on Saturday, in case our readers missed them the first time around. It originally appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald, it is printed here with permission.

How to Boost Brand Awareness with Social Media

Social media has become one of the most effective marketing tools. It’s created an entirely new sub-genre of marketing and has become a digital publicity beast. If you’re a business owner developing a marketing strategy, including social media to boost your company’s brand awareness is a no-brainer. But before you start creating profiles for your company, you need to determine which platforms would be best to promote your brand and improve your organization’s name recognition.

When choosing the right social media channels to focus on, you should consider the type of products and services you offer as well as who your target audience is. Additionally, each platform has different groups of users characterized by certain demographics, so having a solid understanding of each channel’s reach is crucial to your overall social media strategy.

Keep reading to learn who uses each social media channel and what type of content to post to increase your business’ brand awareness online.

Who Uses Each Social Media Platform?

Warren Knight provides great insight into the number and type of active users on each platform on Social Media Examiner. He reports:

  • Facebook as having 1.86 billion active users
  • Twitter is at 319 million active users
  • Instagram has 600 million active users
  • LinkedIn is at 500 million active users

While there’s no dominant age group for users on Facebook, 22.5% of Twitter’s user base is between 25-34.

Some of the more interesting demographics come from Instagram’s user base. As Salman Aslam from Omnicore reports:

  • 80% of Instagram’s users are outside the U.S
  • More than half are women
  • 28% of all users are 18-29

The report also shares that out of LinkedIn’s 500 million users, 100 million of them are over the age of 50.

Based on these statistics, businesses who are looking to target millennials should create profiles on Twitter and Instagram, while companies who want to target users of all ages or specifically, users over 35, should use Facebook.

Although LinkedIn is also a major social media platform, it’s a little different regarding calculating daily active users. LinkedIn targets industry professionals, such as businesses connecting with potential employees and vice versa. LinkedIn users are active on a more sporadic basis, meaning they use it most frequently when looking for jobs or for businesses, when they are looking to hire. If you’re in a B2B industry, you may want to focus more efforts on LinkedIn, however for most B2C companies, LinkedIn is a secondary platform following Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Types of Social Media Content

Now that we have a better understanding of each social media platform’s user base, let’s talk about how to boost brand awareness. How do you do that? Through sharing customized content.

How can you use content to increase your brand awareness? Ask yourself, “What does your business specialize in? What keywords are the best fit for your company?” As you create content – from blog posts to social media updates and everything in between – keep these elements of your business in mind so everything you create reinforces your brand to readers and followers.

As Disha Dinesh explains, there are basic content types for optimum engagement:

  • Organic written
  • Emotional
  • Storytelling
  • Conversational
  • Real-time
  • Informational
  • Visual

Organic written content, or customized content, refers to content that is written by you specifically for your audience, which includes blog posts or original images with captions; these double as informational content if you also provide facts or statistics.

Emotional content means it makes the consumer feel something, like a funny meme or inspiring commercial.

Storytelling content is self-explanatory in that you tell a story, but the story has to have a point. For example, you could write about the hard work it took to start your business, or create an open conversation with your followers by asking a question; the most important thing is to make the post interactive!

Real-time posts are usually about celebrating holidays or remembering people on specific memorial days. Share an image to celebrate holidays to really boost brand awareness and SEO.

When sharing visual content, the most effective visuals are infographics, memes, gifs or other images in addition to video, which reigns supreme.

Social Media Content Tips by Platform

Although there’s general advice that carries over to each social media platform, each one also has its own audience and culture. Here’s some advice to keep in mind as you carefully craft updates for each of your social channels.

  1. Facebook. To increase brand awareness through engagement on Facebook, it’s important to know that their algorithm is designed to expand the reach of your posts based on higher engagement rates. The more reactions, likes and comments a post gets, the higher the engagement. But, how do you get higher engagement, you ask? You need to post content that is proven to get reactions, likes and comments. For Facebook, photo and video content have the highest engagement rates, but more specifically, native and live video content. Humor is one of the most successful types of content, because it’s positive, it breaks the monotony of professional posts, it helps us de-stress with a good laugh. Chris Pratt’s #WhatsMySnack Instagram series is a great example of funny video content that’s so wildly popular.
  2. Twitter. To boost engagement on Twitter, it’s important to use hashtags strategically. Whether you use trending hashtags or you create your own, consumers use hashtags when searching on Twitter. We recommend using up to three hashtags per Twitter update (more than that and the post can end up looking like spam to followers). Tweet frequency helps as well. The more you tweet, the more active your page is. Although there is a 140-character limit, there are ways around it if you want to share a longer post, which includes providing a link to another site that has a longer description of the content you’re sharing, sharing the details in an image and tweeting the image, or spreading your message out among several tweets so when followers read them back-to-back they make up a complete post. Retweeting other tweets helps engagement because you’re essentially helping boost engagement for the original poster in addition to yourself. Ask questions or conduct polls. Of course, what was true for Facebook is true for Twitter regarding photos and videos as well.
  3. Instagram. Instagram is a bit different than Facebook and Twitter in that you can only share images and videos. However, like Twitter, you can also use hashtags on Instagram. While you can use up to 30 hashtags, it’s best to only use a few in the post itself and then list out the rest as a comment, which is not only better for analytics, it’s easier on the eyes when consumers are scrolling through their feed. When it comes to using hashtags, don’t overuse or abuse them! As Jonathan Chan explains, choose hashtags that are specific, targeted, relevant to your post or business, thoughtful and innovative. In terms of video, Instagram recently introduced Stories, which is live streaming video, but the content is only available on your page for 24 hours and then disappears. Also, don’t forget to engage with your followers as well as other brands or people in your industry or local community! Engaging with each other gives your profiles a boost and connects you with like-minded people. After all, it’s called social media for a reason.
  4. LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is a bit different than the other three channels we discussed, there are some basic functions that are the same across the board, such as commenting on posts or milestones. When posting articles and other written content, your connections (as they’re called on the platform), can comment on them. Articles are one of the most shared types of content on LinkedIn. Recent studies showed that short content, such as blogs with less than 1,000 words, were the most popular, while long posts consisting of 3,000 words or more were the most shared. Don’t forget to include photos and videos, as articles with photos receive much higher click rates. One way to do this is to create custom images, such as infographics. Unlike other social media channels, posting only promotional or spammy content is not advised on LinkedIn. The idea is to connect to other users with quality and informational content. Joining and participating in relevant groups is also beneficial to your brand as it’s easier to find and connect with people in your community or industry.

Now that you have a better understanding of the social media user bases and what types of content to post, hopefully it will help simplify the process of creating your social media strategy.

This article originally appeared on Three Girls Media, was written by Meenah Khosraw from Business2Community, and legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

5 Reasons Why You Need an Internal PR Newsletter

As PR pros we can get caught up in the everyday tasks of our work. That’s understandable; it takes time to broadcast the successes of an organization, cultivate relationships with media, protect a brand from detractors, benchmark competitors, and of course, track the success of programs and campaigns to report ROI. Besides stopping for a deep breath every once in a while, something PR professionals often forget to build into their hectic schedule is a way to share their successes with colleagues—and prove PR’s contribution to business goals.

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It’s possible that employees may not see PR coverage and not know how the company brand is being represented. Or if they do, it is only the public message that your colleagues are seeing. If you’re not sharing you and your team’s work, colleagues are missing out on understanding on how you spend a big chunk of time. In a corporate landscape that demands budget line items have an associated justification, letting co-workers know how your work aligns with the work they do can be as powerful as your traditional PR activities. By continuing to work like this, you’re giving them the magic show without letting see behind the curtain. That’s why, in many ways, internal PR can be a synonym for transparency in the workplace for the comms department.

Beyond allowing transparency into the work you do, feeding content into internal PR can help you in a number of ways. So, how do you do that without constantly compiling and emailing out links when the company’s brand gets some impressive coverage? An internal PR newsletter can be automated in your MarTech stack to do the job for you:

An internal PR newsletter can:

  1. Act as a platform for broadcasting media and social media coverage. With all the earned media coverage you track, beyond the comms department and your monthly reports to executives, who else in your organization sees these pieces? If you had an internal PR newsletter, links to media coverage could be shared throughout your organization. And with these links, summaries of the coverage and what the context is for your organization is spelled out. Additionally, engagement from influencers or media on social media indicates how well your brand is engaging on social.

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  2. Take stock of the competitive landscape. A newsletter can be an opportunity to cover industry news, trends, and insights. No matter how innovative a company is, competitors are a healthy part of any industry. That’s why highlighting the achievements, as well as the missteps of close competitors, can give colleagues insight into how to do their jobs. With your media monitoring solution in place, you can benchmark how well you’re doing in comparison to your top marketplace competitors. By sharing these metrics, you’re allowing colleagues insight into using how this data can inform future campaigns.
  3. Feed into an employee brand ambassador content program. It can be a repository to share fresh links and messages to help brand ambassadors tell the organization’s story their way. You’ll set up brand ambassadors for success by highlighting positive articles, mentions from partners, and intel you’ve gathered from social listening. And if you send the newsletter out via your media intelligence platform, you’ll have additional information about which colleagues are opening and reading content. These engaged co-workers can be tapped for future collaborations, whether that is for thought pieces or as candidates for the employee ambassador program.
  4. Provide the data analytics behind the successes of your PR efforts. Data is how a segment of your colleagues track success, so in addition to sharing media coverage, you can share easy to read graphs and charts that track monthly media coverage, social media mentions, sentiment, competitive benchmarks, etc… It’s an easy way to benchmark the work you do for those more interested in volume than they are the engagement aspect of KPIs.
  5. Highlight key partners and customers. Use the newsletter as an opportunity to highlight key partners and customers and what their public media coverage is. The newsletter can show how your key partners and customers are using your products and services in interesting ways. This can be useful for sales, biz dev, and customer service teams as they reach out o new partners or assist existing partners and clients. It can also help UX/CX and engineering teams as they understand how products and services are actually used by partners and clients.

Your PR work contributes to business goals as much as sales or engineering. And while the work of those two teams have easy ways to show coworkers the work they accomplish, you can do the same with an internal PR newsletter.

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If you’re interested in seeing how easy it is to produce a weekly internal PR newsletter with Meltwater, our team can show you how it’s done with keyword searches you have in place.

Meltwater Acquires Cosmify to Bolster Its Data Analytics Offerings and Machine Learning Engine

SINGAPORE, August 16th 2017 – Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and data analytics, announced the acquisition of Cosmify, a knowledge discovery platform that uses advanced machine learning technology for in-depth analysis of corporate data sets. Cosmify’s technology will help Meltwater’s industry-leading platform intelligently manage the vast amounts of data from multiple sources that businesses need to make competitive decisions based on insights from the outside.

With its fifth acquisition in less than nine months, Meltwater is quickly building on its impressive data science engine aimed at offering the most innovative and dynamic media intelligence platform in the world. With 55 offices throughout six continents, Meltwater employs more than 1,500 employees and 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies use its services to shape business decisions.

“The best business decisions are based on forward-looking data. Today external data on the open internet is one of the most important sources for forward-looking information,” says Jorn Lyseggen, CEO and founder of Meltwater. “Cosmify’s advanced discovery, clustering, and classification capabilities will enhance Meltwater’s ability to connect the dots between a wide range of data types from internal and external data and ultimately help business leaders make more informed decisions.” 

Cosmify founder Eugene Ciurana and chairman Bart Swanson launched their first machine learning company, Summly, with 16-year old founder and Oxford student Nick D’Aloisio, and sold it to Yahoo for $30 million in 2013. In 2014, the team, with co-founders Dr. Ana Nelson, Connor Goodwolf, and Sriram Krishnan, launched Cosmify. Bart Swanson of Horizons Ventures, MuleSoft founder Ross Mason, and CA Technologies VP of Engineering Leonid Igolnik are part of the advisory board.

Now, after selling two companies in four years, the team is joining Meltwater’s push to build the largest AI-driven data repository in the world, giving companies a competitive edge by allowing them to leverage insights from external data when making business decisions.

“95% of all data is unstructured and unwieldy, but it also contains a vast trove of unexploited value,” says Eugene Ciurana, CEO and Founder of Cosmify. “Our unsupervised learning system extracts knowledge from internal and external, unstructured data sources like PDFs, free-text, spreadsheets, media files, presentations, cloud drives, calendars, or chat systems – most often hitting on valuable information nuggets that eluded the very users who produced them.”

“Cosmify’s knowledge discovery engine analyses customers’ very large and dynamic data lakes to produce vectorised information, and when fed into our existing Data Science platform, automates generation of highly customised outside insights – all without having to import their internal data into our systems,” says Aditya Jami, Senior Director of Engineering & Head of AI at Meltwater.

The acquisition of Cosmify comes on the heels of several key acquisitions for Meltwater that have broadened its global footprint and cemented the company’s commitment to data science and machine learning. Meltwater recently announced its plans to acquire Canada’s Infomart, followed closely by Hong Kong-based social big data SaaS solution Klarity. Earlier this year, it acquired Oxford University spinout, Wrapidity, to add AI-based crawling to Meltwater’s platform and last year, Meltwater acquired Encore Alerts, a US-based data science driven media monitoring company.

Meltwater is actively seeking investment opportunities and partnerships to continue expanding its media intelligence services globally, with a strong emphasis on data science.

This press release was distributed on 15th August 2017 in San Francisco, California and was featured in Venturebeat.

 

Notes to editors

About Meltwater

Meltwater helps companies make better, more informed decisions based on insights from the outside. More than 25,000 companies use the Meltwater media intelligence platform to stay on top of billions of online conversations, extract relevant insights, and use them to strategically manage their brand and stay ahead of their competition. With over 55 offices on six continents, Meltwater is dedicated to personal, global service built on local expertise. Meltwater also operates the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a nonprofit organisation devoted to nurturing future generations of entrepreneurs. For more information, follow Meltwater on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or visit www.meltwater.com.

Meltwater has eight offices across Asia Pacific, providing local solutions via Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

About Cosmify

Cosmify, Inc is a machine learning platform for your most