As Instagram establishes itself as a key battleground for brands, tech vendors are scrambling to make sense of the platform and its marketing potential.
The latest attempt comes from social listening startup Poptip, which just expanded its Zipline analytics service to encompass Instagram. How is the data that it is collecting different from other analytics services?
Poptip does not focus on metrics like “number of Likes” or “number of Followers,” according to its young founder Kelsey Falter. “Instead, we analyze the raw, unstructured conversation found in the captions and comments to provide consolidated consumer preferences,” Falter explained.
Since its launch in 2012, Poptip has sought to set itself apart with a real-time, natural language processing algorithm. “Our algorithm interprets certain signals within the conversation, like emerging topics and drastic shifts in the conversation,” said Falter.
Poptip attempts to provide context around how a brand or brand category is being referenced by consumers. Once clients like Budweiser, ESPN, and Spotify determine whether Instagram is right for them, the insights are limitless, according to Falter.
For example, “by working with L'Oreal … we are able to identify which key products drove the most conversation around ‘trial’ specifically,” she said. “That's powerful when thinking about how to best position a giveaway or prepare for impending social commerce offerings that will be released by social networks in the next few quarters.”
Still, Poptip is only in the business of alerting clients to shifts in how their brands are being discussed, Falter said. “It's up to the brand to decide how to respond to that signal.”
Poptip operates in a highly competitive market that analysts say is ripe for rapid consolidation. But Falter isn’t concerned. “Products that offer metrics around core interactions on a given platform (follower count, favorites, likes) are going to be consolidated,” she said. “At present, there is not a wide array of products that offer real-time, unstructured conversation analysis.”
A recent report from L2 found that Instagram outshined other social platforms last year, particularly among prestige brands.
“Instagram has demonstrated more traction than any other platform in 2013, and it registered the strongest year-on-year growth among mobile apps,” L2 founder Scott Galloway explained in the report. “It's an obvious choice for consumer brands.”