Sysomos Offers Access To Hundreds Of Millions Of Previously Unseen Conversations: Remember, You Reddit Here First

Social analytics firm Sysomos has gained access to an influential, but up to now mostly dark, source of social media discussions: Reddit.

The deal gives marketers access to conversations and social media interactions of hundreds of millions of users of the popular news-sharing and memes-generating site that previously has had a relatively low profile on Madison Avenue.

Despite that low profile, Reddit is a top 10 site with more than 270 million global users, many of whom use it as a primary source of news and information feeds, especially among Millennials.

Reddit, which has long been a source of emerging trends and memes that are picked up by mainstream publishers such as BuzzFeed, is also considered to be a more honest and candid filter of consumer sentiment, largely thanks to the relative anonymity of its users.

“For marketers, it is an opportunity to understand what’s being said about their brands and how topics are trending in a place where people are incredibly candid, because people don’t have to use their real names and can really speak their mind,” explains David Berkowitz, a long-time social media expert who is chief strategy officer at Sysomos.

“Reddit has a lot in common with Twitter, because users don’t have to use their real name and you can say whatever you want, but it’s different because a user’s reputation matters more and users want to share things they know other users will be interested in.”

Largely because of its anonymity, as well as a strong “code of conduct” enforced by its community, Berkowitz says Reddit may provide a more honest and holistic view of what people really think about news, trending topics, and memes -- including those that influence brands.

“There are rules against self-promotion on Reddit, so marketers may have a harder time getting their message out there. They can’t just jump into a conversation like they can on Twitter. In some ways, Reddit is more like Wikipedia and if you try to promote a brand, you will get your hand slapped by the community,” Berkowitz explains, adding: “It’s a place where brands need to proceed with caution.”

While marketing explicitly on Reddit may be dicey, Berkowitz says listening to what people are saying on Reddit may be crucial for brands to understand what consumer sentiment truly is about their brands, or issues and topics that might influence their brands.

Berkowitz says Sysomos has long coveted access to Reddit’s conversation data, and he believes it may be one of the last big social media frontiers of its kind.

He says marketers are keenly interested in digging deeper into communities on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn too, and that the only other major, Snapchat, is loath to provide actual user conversation data.

Beyond that, he says most of the real social media interaction is in peer-to-peer applications that are unlikely to ever be made public, so Reddit represents a font of new data to understand what people are really saying about brands.

“There’s probably always going to be some push and pull between private and public conversations, but by share volume, public conversations keep increasing, so there’s still more and more to monitor,” Berkowitz explains, adding: “More importantly, there’s more that marketers need to do to understand it better.”

2 comments about "Sysomos Offers Access To Hundreds Of Millions Of Previously Unseen Conversations: Remember, You Reddit Here First".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 27, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

    Gabe and Charlene, thanks for your replies. To clarify, I'm referring only to "linear TV" buying, not to digital, where, obviously, there is the capability to single out particular devices in many cases. But "linear TV" happens to be 95% of the typical  branding advertiser's TV/video usage so it is not a minor player in the "audience buying" game.

    My basic point about "audience buying", as the term is now being used for "linear TV", is that it is nothing more than  a profiling system like others long used in conjunction with Nielsen ratings---notably so-called "engagement" factors. Worse, and this is the key point, by relying on set usage as a surrogate for viewing in the "big data" phase---which is crucial----the impression is falsly given that many shows which do not have particularly good product user or demo profiles based on individual viewers, look far more attractive on a household basis because someone other than the advertisers' real target----a particular human consumer---is watching.

    Let me explain.  Younger ( under 50 )and more affluent homes are the targets---in terms of indexing high---of most ( not all ) advertisers. Younger/affluent homes have more residents and more TV capable devices. As a result, whenever Nielsen puts out a tally of time spent with TV on a household basis---younger/affluent homes are, by far, TVs' heaviest users. But the adults who reside in these homes are not TV's heaviest viewers---those aged 50+ and those with low incomes are. This is why there is the seeming contradiction between household set usage and individual content consumption. Set usage profiling strongly favors the sellers, making their shows, collectively and individually, look considerably better as a fit with product user data than is actually the case with the consumers who live in the homes. This is why I and some others worked so hard many years ago to turn advertisers away from household set usage ratings and into viewer ratings.

    Regarding targeting as it relates to the buying process, we have to accept that most national TV buys are being made on a corporate basis, not brand by brand. Moreover, the sellers have an absolute need to sell off all of their GRP inventories, including those attained by many programs that do not index well from a targeting standpoint for many advertisers. Thus they bundle the good with the not so good in discounted packages which actually deliver target group impressions at a cheaper rate than would be paid if the sellers allowed the buyers to cherry pick only the shows they desired. In that event---which is not a practical reality---the sellers would hike their CPMs dramatically in the favored shows, thereby nullifying whatever edge was gained by singling them out in the first place.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 27, 2017 at 4:44 p.m.

    To continue. I am a frequent critic of the way that advertisers approach national TV time buying and some of the "advanced" systems now being proposed could be very helpful, not only to advertisers who buy on an individual brand basis in the scatter market, but to the big corporate buyers of the upfront---mainly in the post buy allocation phase, where the spoils are divided among the brands.To do this a solution needs to be found to deal with the set usage vs. viewing issue so a more accurate indexing system is developed that is based on viewers not TV screens.Were such a modified system in place the edge would swing to the buyers as the sellers would not necessarily know how their shows were being evaluated and this could be beneficial in getting better upfront packages as well as in fine tuning scatter buys. So I'm not against progress. But we have to accept that "linear TV" will remain the 800 pound media gorrila for some time and that the upfront corporate buying system as well as seller packaging willl remain in force for many advertisers. While this precludes the industry-wide upheavel that some overly optimistic folks are heralding,this does not mean that smarter advertisers, who take the trouble to study the possiblilties, cant make progress----but all of them, or even most of them? That may be an impossible dream.

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