Handling a Social Media Crisis

Crisis is a word that all businesses fear. In the good old days – a crisis has to be managed by engaging traditional media and publications from an early onset to minimize the impact on the business’s brand and reputation. However, in today’s digital age – most crisis situations often rear their heads through social media. With the potential to go viral within minutes and attacks coming from sources worldwide, managers should rethink their crisis management strategies and whether their tools are adequate in dealing with them.

Monitoring and tracking social media crises can be a tricky business. Speed is key. By the time it takes to establish a plan and formulate a response, it would often have been too late; social media would have already blown the situation out of proportion. Crisis really tests the management of an organisation and co-ordination within the company. While many companies turn to communication and PR experts to offer insights, why not do it yourself? Circus Social has several tips to share on the 4 phases of managing a crisis.

Pre-Empting a Crisis

Businesses can proactively prepare for a crisis by monitoring specific keywords and discussions online. Particularly on social media, certain keywords would raise alarm bells. For a manufacturing firm, it could be ‘defect’, for a courier delivery service it would be ‘delay’. Regardless, being able to track and monitor the usage of such keywords in relation to your business is vital to stay a step ahead and give you sufficient time to react. This does not mean you have to get your staff to crawl the web 24/7. A smarter way would be to set up alerts that go straight to your inbox when thresholds on certain keyword usage have been reached.

Identify Sources & Channels

So a crisis has occurred, what next? Quick identification of the bearer of bad news is essential to decide the right course of action. While companies develop crisis roadmaps in handling crises, no two crises are the same and require tact in handling. For example, if the majority of your ‘bad press’ is being shared quickly on Twitter amongst influential users with large follower bases – you know you need to spread your holding messages and responses quickly and effectively through the same medium as well. Try and identify influential users (those with high Klout scores) so you can focus your efforts efficiently.

Find your top influencers with 20/Twenty and turn around a crisis!

The social sphere is extremely vast with a wide variety of posts. To get through the clutter, there are useful filters to find impactful and viral posts. Impact score of the post indicates the reach of the post (in terms of likes, shares, comments) and the traction score, indicates the virality. Filtering by impact helps you identify the posts that matter the most, both to the public and for your brand. Another useful tool would be an associative word cloud to help spot other related topics that might have been overlooked.Identify top topics and get to the root of whats being discussed. Take control of the crisis with 20/Twenty!

Taking Action

While some experts advocate not taking action and letting the social media storm die down as rapidly as it came, more often than not, it would be wise to acknowledge the issue. If an employee is accused of wrongdoing, or there has been any form of lapses in procedures, some form of accountability and acknowledgement of the issue will pacify the public. Better yet, inform them that investigations are ongoing. You could even win over new fans by providing timely and relevant information, turning a crisis into an opportunity.

Post-crisis remedy

Once traction of the negative post dies down, (hopefully) the worst is over. However, it is still important to be accountable to the public and your customers. At this stage, do release the results of your investigations and be sure to implement measures to prevent a repeat crisis. Also, analyse the traction of past posts and identify and thank fans who have been supportive. It would also be a good time to adjust alerts and thresholds based on what has been learned.

Hopefully, these tips will help any manager take charge of future crises on social media. Get in touch with us to know how 20/Twenty can be part of your crisis management solution.

 

Check out how the 20/Twenty Social Monitoring platform has grown!

Growth of 20/Twenty Social Monitoring & Intelligence Platform – Under the Hood

Growth of 20/Twenty Social Monitoring & Intelligence Platform – Under the Hood

We have often been asked about the challenges we faced in scaling up our technology stack to manage big data. I have attempted to address this in this post which is the first of a series of blog posts on this and similar topics.

20/Twenty was created ground-up as the most intuitive and easy to use cloud based (SaaS) Social Monitoring & Intelligence platform in the world.   Based on our deep understanding of what marketers needed and the awesome designs we created, we signed up our first client even before the product was officially launched. The pressure to quickly deliver the first version of the product was intense 🙂

From an engineering point of view, there’s a huge amount of data that we pull (Think Big Data!), process, augment and then visualize in the platform all on a near real-time basis. Imagine someone tweeting and it appears on our platform within a few seconds along with augmented information including Gender, Sentiment, Engagement, Spam score etc.

The evolution of 20/Twenty has already seen a few stages of growth. The graph below shows how 20/Twenty data has grown over the last 2 years since our product launch. This is a really cool growth for a startup like Circus Social both from a business perspective as well as from an engineering standpoint. We used several tricks from the books as well as a few practical hacks to ensure our ability to fetch, process, augment and visualize high volumes of data continued to become better, though this journey was not without pain!

social-intelligence-20twenty-big-data-growth

 

Stage 1

We created over 200 custom marketing applications in our previous avatar at Circus Social working with some of the biggest brands in the world. We used the same open source technologies (PHP / MySQL) to create the first version of 20/Twenty. This worked well and as our data grew in the first few months, we continued to grow vertically by adding more capacity (CPU/RAM).

Most of the queries from the application were read queries whereas a bulk of “write operations” were being performed by our data crawlers. We therefore created an efficient master-slave architecture where the application would read from the slaves and the crawler scripts would write into the master. This worked well in general but the exponential increase in the volume of data meant that certain queries were running extremely slow and impacting the user experience.

Stage 2

Since our data volume was growing exponentially and the relational aspects of the database were not the core of our application, we realized that sooner or later, we would have to move to a NoSQL database. However, the performance issues that were cropping up had to be sorted quickly and without a downtime. We quickly realized that we needed a dedicated search engine and MySQL was not good enough for this purpose.

We explored several options and Elasticsearch came to our rescue here. Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine that centrally stores your data in a manner which can be retrieved / read really fast by your applications. Our awesome tech team deployed this in a matter of days. The improvement in performance was remarkable. The plan worked and we cheered!

Stage 3

Word spread in Singapore and Asia about how good our platform was (and our sales team did a good job too!) and we continued to sign up new clients. The volume of data continued to grow for existing clients as well as new clients. The tech stack of MySQL and ElasticSearch did not let us down but we wanted to create an architecture that would scale infinitely, if there’s a thing like that.

In Stage 3, we moved the core of our database from MySQL to Cassandra (Elasticsearch was now interacting with Cassandra) and the backend code from PHP to Node.js. We also migrated most of our front end code to Angular.js for better performance. This was a major architectural change on a live application being used by several clients so we created a parallel production like environment and ran it parallelly for several weeks to ensure everything was working as desired before switching over.

While we did the above, we continued to work on cool new features on the product and opened up our data API’s to a few clients who wanted a deeper integration with their own applications. Other tools we used during this and other stages were Postman, Github and JIRA.

As we scale further from here, we will probably have newer and more exciting technology challenges and we will keep posting about them. If you are excited to work on some of these, do write to us at careers@circussocial.com

 

View KPIs across displays, real-time!

Introducing The Circus Command Centre

The Circus Command Centre made a fantastic debut at the Spikes Asia 2016 conference in Singapore.
This is a perfect solution for viewing your key brand KPI’s across displays. We enable the use of powerful realtime visualizations for your brand dashboards and war rooms, building on our core social intelligence platform, 20/Twenty.

What’s it about?

In a nutshell –

  • A smart display solution for viewing all your important data points
  • Real-time data feeds display
  • Powerful visualisations of data all tailor-made to suit your requirements
  • Seamless integration with your existing dashboards/display solutions

What can you do with it?

  • Daily social media and news monitoring
  • Daily brand health & KPI monitoring
  • Campaign monitoring
  • Data feed display across devices
  • Integrate as an additional powerful input to your existing dashboards
  • So MUCH MORE!

If you would like to book a demo, simply click here and we’ll help you get started.

View all your key KPIs in one custom dashboard - The Circus Command Centre!
Powerful metrics all in one custom. real-time dashboard!

CIRCUS SOCIAL AND VOCANIC INTEGRATE PLATFORMS TO TAKE DIGITAL INTELLIGENCE & SOCIAL CARE TO NEW HEIGHTS

The state-of-the-art partnership will allow customers to combine the prowess of VSocial and 20/Twenty all on one dashboard

Singapore, 2016-Oct-04 — Circus Social, a leading social data analytics company in Asia, announced today a groundbreaking product integration with Vocanic, Asia’s largest full service social media marketing agency offering customers a full suite of social media management capabilities.

This collaboration allows clients to enjoy the best of Circus Social’s 20/Twenty, a next-generation social intelligence platform, and Vocanic’s VSocial, an enterprise social media marketing suite, all under one roof and on either of platforms.

Customers of both platforms now have the chance to listen to and analyse powerful social and news data through 20/Twenty, and use VSocial’s superior publishing features to publish and manage their social presence.

“We are excited about the opportunities this integration will present to clients,” Shreeniwas Iyer, CEO at Vocanic, said. “This enables clients to enjoy a platform that goes across the social spectrum, including listening, proactivity, publishing, engagement and Social CRM. Circus Social has a wonderful product that greatly compliments the capabilities of VSocial. We are delighted about the prospect of accessing new markets and prospective clients through this partnership with Circus Social.”

Ram Bhamidi, CEO at Circus Social, added: “This partnership is unique because it leverages on the social intelligence and data analytics capabilities of Circus Social as well as the publishing and collaboration features of VSocial. This means we now have joint big data capabilities to create really compelling offers for customers of both companies.”

Some of the innovative new features include a full social CRM capability that allows brands to search for and track their customers in real-time through ‘Listen in Social & Key Opinion Leaders’, store details and interaction histories in the Data Warehouse, and schedule content optimized for them through learnings from the Social & Behavioural Profile Insights tool.

About Circus Social Pte. Ltd

Circus Social is a social data analytics company that specializes in digital & social intelligence and analytics platforms. With offices in Singapore and Bangalore, India, Circus Social offers a full suite of social analytics services, including but not limited to, social media & digital listening and monitoring, analytics and reporting, and social intelligence and predictive technology.

Our solutions include:

20/Twenty: 20/Twenty is the world’s most comprehensive social intelligence platform that helps marketers make better business decisions by collecting, augmenting and integrating social, online, offline and premium News with Dow Jones Factiva, on one easy-to-use platform.
Beacon: our proprietary predictive algorithm that allows brands to spot and predict crises, leads and queries.

For more information, visit: www.circussocial.com

About Vocanic

Vocanic, founded in 2005, is Asia’s leading business focused on Social Media. With capabilities in Strategy, Digital Solutions and Creative, Singapore headquartered Vocanic has offices in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta. Operating under the GroupM umbrella, Vocanic can roll out regional programs with on the ground support for each major market.

VOCANIC supports clients to develop and implement strategies that deliver measurable business benefits. Offering services in Social Media Asset Management, Social CRM and Social Media Crisis Management, VOCANIC develops custom branded content designed especially for the social era.

For more information, visit: www.vocanic.com

Pro-active people love pro-active platforms!

Everyone loves a proactive team. The dream team that always volunteers, is up to try new things and one that uses intuition to sense a crash-and-burn situation.

We wondered why no listening tools out there in the market today offer the same type of ‘pro-active’ features we look for in everyday life?

So we spoke with dozens of marketers to discuss the concept of the world’s first ‘pro-active and pre-emptive’ platform- and they loved the idea!

We also spoke with them about how contingencies are dealt with currently – and how when most crisis situations hit, they are usually followed by chaos and impulsive, panicky decisions.

  • Share of voice is suddenly monitored,
  • Sentiment is tracked closely,
  • Detractors are added to watch lists,
  • Holding statements are prepared,
  • And suddenly, a command center has sprung up to help ‘manage’ a situation..…but all of this happens ‘after’.

A lot of the time (but not always), brands, comms teams and agencies are already aware of ’situations’ that could ‘take a turn for the worse’. In these instances more than others, the power of getting a warning and already being prepared has never been easier.

As a result, one of the new features on our platform is the Alerts functionality.

Alerts allows you to customize what matters to you – not just as a whole for your team, but also for you as an individual.

We send our clients ‘signals’ that allow them to be notified of what matters to them, as soon as it happens – without having to log in after you’ve been notified by your boss/ your friend/ a journalist.

  • Hosting an event? Set up an alert for increases in share of voice- and work with your teams to ensure it stays high.
  • Heard there was a packaging problem at the factory? Set up a keyword alert for the factory name, location and product details – and have your communications and digital team ready with a holding statement.
  • Have a feeling that your new brand logo may not be so well-received? Set up an alert to notify you of any changes in sentiment for your topic/ brand – and then respond to how your consumers feel.

We’ve tried to make it easier for brands to be on top of ‘potential’ situations.

This is why we are the world’s first pro-active social media monitoring and insights platform. You set up alerts to reach you in your inbox without having to log in. And once you do need to – simply click on the link and go deeper from your mobile, your tablet or your desktop.

20/Twenty – brings you pro-active perfect vision. Because being passive never really got anyone to where they needed to go.

 

Get in touch
Prerna Pant: prerna dot pant at circussocial.com

Save your interns’ lives – use a Listening Platform even your CEO can understand.

Before we started building 20/Twenty, we interviewed over a 100 marketing and social media managers who were users of different listening platforms.  We found a very interesting thread running through the  experiences most marketers had with Listening Platforms.
  • Stage 1: Encounter aggressive sales pitch
  • Stage 2: Sign up
  • Stage 3: Struggle through set up
  • Stage 4: It’s ready to use!
  • Stage 5: Hmm…it’s too complicated.
  • Stage 6: Give it to the intern / account executive.
  • Stage 7: Ignore the PDF reports that the intern / exec emails once a week.
With this learning in mind, we vowed to build something that is super intuitive and easy to use. Our clients believe we have succeeded in doing so! Find out more here.
Please get in touch for a free demo – and save your intern’s life!
PS: Ease of use is just one of the differentiators we have. Click here to find out why 20/Twenty is special

Good listening skills never go out of fashion!

Good listening skills are essential in life – but also in Marketing!
Good marketers have been listening to their consumers and audiences in many different ways for decades – through surveys, focus groups, research panels and so much more. In most of these situations, the consumer is aware that they are the ‘target’ of the marketer’s interest.
However – the majority of your consumers are actually having conversations about your brand when they aren’t ‘selected’ to play a role in your market research. This results in billions of public (and some private) discussions and posts that are accessible to marketers- in real-time!
Interested in unlocking this valuable data? We certainly were. So we developed the best social intelligence platform available in the market today, 20/Twenty.
Let me talk you through a few key applications of 20/Twenty:
  1. Social and News monitoring and research: Track conversations and news, set-up alerts, generate insights, monitor your competitors. Download everything you want to.
  2. Crisis Management and Prevention: pre-emptive alerts coupled with predictive warnings from Beacon will help you prevent an incident from becoming a crisis – but if it does, use the Collaboration features to alert your colleagues and hash out a strategy.
  3. Competitive Intelligence: Track and monitor updates from all your competitors’ official brand platforms – sortable in multiple ways – in one place. Like something you see? Use it to create a ‘Spark’ on the platform and share it with your marketing or agency team. Do the same for your own brand across multiple markets too.
  4. Customer Service: Spot someone in need of help? Allocate tasks easily and effectively using 20/Twenty.
  5. Product Pricing decisions: Find out exactly how your audience feels about your pricing change. Use this information as inputs for pricing and promotion decisions.
  6. Product Features decisions: You introduced a new product feature – but your audience doesn’t exactly agree – wait till you see raw feedback in real-time on the platform. Use it to make quick changes and set things rights!
  7. Media Planning: Want to check the impact of the new ad campaign you launched on Twitter? See if there is a change in the volume or sentiment of conversations around your brand or campaign. Use our Channel Analysis tool to analyse and influence your media spend strategy.
  8. Message crafting: Craft your messaging based on what your audiences thinks about you, your competitors and what they are already engaging with on social.
  9. Content Creation: The platform also has a content discovery section. Find out what is trending in areas and categories that are important to you – and use it to get inspired.
  10. Influencer Discovery: Find out who is driving conversations around the topics that you are interested in. Follow them on multiple platforms and track what drives them.
  11. Lead Generation: Listening is not just about getting alerted about potential crisis situations or understanding the audience – you can also use the same principles to unearth potential business and collaboration opportunities.
  12. Campaign Tracking and Optimization: Just launched a campaign and want to check how it is performing? Monitor channels, keywords, hashtags, influencers, responses – all in real-time!

Click on the Demo button to get one for FREE!

Decoding love for Big Bang and One Direction using 20/Twenty- Next-Gen Social Intelligence Platform.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going – This is so true for Big Bang and One Direction, the two super hot boy bands that are rocking the world of music. No matter what people say about boy bands – Their music is shallow, they are just a fad; meant to fade away within a short period of time, they work on a set formula of cute boys and cheesy music or whatever, these two boy bands have proven them wrong time and again by releasing super hit music albums one after another. Big Bang has more than half a billion views on its YouTube channel and One Direction has registered itself in none other than the Guinness World Records!

With so much happening around these two bands, the social media has erupted with fan conversations, posts, sentiments and so much more.

Given the popularity of these two bands on social media, our team at Circus2020 was super intrigued to find out which one of them has triumphed the other. Using 20/Twenty- our next generation social intelligence platform we decided to research Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong’s social media landscape to discover answers to our quest. Some of the findings are quite interesting, especially in the Gender Analysis and Language Analysis sections. Overall, Big Bang emerged as a winner against One Direction. But, you must read the full report to see if Big Bang has truly won in the matter of the hearts. Given is an excerpt from the report;

Post_Volume Analysis

Click here and read the full report or write to us at info@circussocial.com.

20/TWENTY, THE NEXT GENERATION SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE PLATFORM.

Listening Platforms have been around for a while – and though they have become an essential part of a marketing manager’s armory, they have not evolved much since the early days. Circus 20/Twenty is an attempt to change that!

We started off with over 50 face-to-face discussions with marketers to find out what frustrates them most about the existing listening platforms they use. We also asked them what they would like to see in a next generation listening platform. Based on the responses we received and based on our personal frustrations of using listening platforms, we went about building 20/Twenty, the next generation social intelligence platform.

We’re thrilled with the results! You can take it for a spin here, or read on to find why early adopters of 20/Twenty are feeling happy with the switch!

1. Easy and Intuitive
Most marketers we spoke with did not use their listening platforms themselves. It was usually left to a specialized ‘listening expert’ (mostly an intern!) on their team or on the agency’s team. As a result, they were able to get only a fraction of the overall value their platform had to offer.
20Twenty Segment Images_Easy Intuitive
We focused a lot on making 20/Twenty easy and intuitive – so that senior managers can themselves pop in from time to time and take a quick look at important insights that they could have missed otherwise. Most of them need no training and instructions at all. They simply ‘get it’ within a few minutes of playing around.

2. Data Coverage
Most marketers have separate platforms to track social conversations, news, key influencers, competitors, global trends etc. This is simply inconvenient, time consuming and expensive.
20Twenty Segment Images_Data Coverage
We have been able to build all of this into one easy to use platform. In addition to having access to every popular social platform, real-time and historical data and multiple data aggregators, 20/Twenty is also able to work in multiple languages (including the tough Asian scripts)

3. Data and Vibrant Charts
Most marketers made it a point to mention this to us. While they appreciate the value of data and charts, they would love their platform to go beyond just that and help come up with deeper insights.
20Twenty Segment Images_Data Vibrant Charts
20/Twenty goes beyond data. We take brands into the world of their competitors, the broader industry, and even the world at large. This is not restricted to their home market either. Clients are able to track entire regions.

4. Meaningful Collaboration

Most marketers also requested for collaboration features that are not just about emailing a post to a colleague.
20Twenty Segment Images_Maeningful Collab
We have built in useful features like Collections, Sparks and Reports that take collaboration to a whole new level. It also means that all the brands stakeholders (brand team, sales team, PR team and the agency team) can not only access the platform but also participate in the process of using insights to come up with new initiatives.

5. Markets
Another common frustration that marketers expressed (especially those with regional responsibilities) was the inability to track and analyze different markets at the same time.
20Twenty Segment Images_Markets
With 20/Twenty marketers can slice and dice across different markets and diverse parameters in a single interface.

6. Instantly Productive
With 20/Twenty, we don’t just ‘hand over’ the platform to you and expect you or your agency to ‘configure’ it. We realize and understand that the key factors that determine the value of a platform are, the quality of research, the structuring of the topics/ sub-topics, queries, and the junk filters etc.
20Twenty Segment Images_Instantly Productive
Our analysts do all of this for you so that you are productive instantly!

7. Managed Solution
We also realize that there is some level of maintenance, clean up and ongoing tweaks required for the platform to be able to reflect new marketing initiatives and changes in the environment.
20Twenty Segment Images_Managed Solution
Our analysts stay on top of the situation and keep the system updated, always.

Do reach out to us at info@circussocial.com and we will be happy to set up a demo for you.