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GetSocial is a Dark Social Media Analytics platform, providing real-time viral data & alerts, Facebook Pages Automation and a Social URL Link Analyzer. Currently processing more than 1 billion page views per month on more than 200.000 websites all around the world for publishers and marketers, GetSocial analytics and tools help track dark social sharing, private messaging shares & identify viral content on your website.

João Romão, the CEO at GetSocial wants to make social marketing accessible for every single company, instead of only top publishers (like Buzzfeed, NYT, etc), and he believes that the need for this service will only grow, as publishers stop controlling their content distribution.

State of Digital Publishing will be running an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, where João Romão will be answering questions on how to best uncover the information in your social media analytics, to measure, promote and amplify your best content.

Here are the key areas of learning you can expect, as a result of attending:

  • The State of Social Sharing
  • What is dark social, how to uncover it and metrics that you need to focus on
  • Underlying causes of referral shares
  • How to best leverage social media automation for content amplification and social media tracking.

This event will be taking place on Thursday, February 22nd at 10 am EST. If you can’t attend and would still like to ask some questions, please enter them in the live steam section below, and the State of Digital Publishing team will make sure it is answered during João’s session.

AMA Recap Discussion

Feb 23, 1:43 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Less than 20 mins to go until our AMA with João Romão begins.

Feb 23, 1:59 AM

João Romão: Good morning, everyone.

Feb 23, 2:05 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Thanks for joining us today, Joao!

Feb 23, 2:05 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Let’s get started.

Feb 23, 2:06 AM

João Romão: Hi, Vahe. Glad to be here, thanks for the invitation.

Feb 23, 2:06 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Today’s AMA mostly features the topic of social media analytics.

Feb 23, 2:07 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Joao is the man to uncover the mysteries of this because he is the founder of getsocial.io and his experiences have led him to this point today.

Feb 23, 2:08 AM

João Romão: I hope I am.

Feb 23, 2:08 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Before we get to some of the questions from those who aren’t here today, could you provide some context of how your previous startup failure led you to founding getsocial.io?

Feb 23, 2:09 AM

João Romão: Sure, I will be glad to.

Feb 23, 2:09 AM

João Romão: Before GetSocial, along with a few friends, I founded another project called Wishareit. Our goal was to help people find, give and receive the best gifts with their friends and family.

Feb 23, 2:10 AM

João Romão: Although we were able to generate quite the traction (growing the number of users was not the problem), we failed miserably in the business model side of things.

Feb 23, 2:10 AM

João Romão: As such, after a few months, we had to find a solution for the team. We decided to pivot from a B2C project to a B2B one, and GetSocial was born.

Feb 23, 2:11 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Why did it fail on the business side of things?

Feb 23, 2:11 AM

João Romão: Very simple! Our North Star metric was the number of users and we didn’t follow through with the business model that could support it.

Feb 23, 2:11 AM

João Romão: We increased the number of employees (when we shouldn’t have), and we continued the focus on the users and not on dollars.

Feb 23, 2:12 AM

João Romão: We didn’t validate the business model early enough, and when we did (and it failed) we didn’t have any runway left for other experiments.

Feb 23, 2:12 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): In retrospect, what should have been the model? Should it have been the subscription-based?

Feb 23, 2:13 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): How did Wishareit feed into your social media offering?

Feb 23, 2:13 AM

João Romão: B2C is hard to validate, in my opinion. The model was OK (‘ish) to start with but because we didn’t validate early enough, we weren’t able to scale it when it was needed.

Feb 23, 2:13 AM

João Romão: We could have easily tried other things like the direct partnership with vendors (instead of low-margin affiliate models) but, again, that was not the focus back then.

Feb 23, 2:14 AM

João Romão: We took from Wishareit what worked well in the product: our ability to track how people were sharing products online, and how that was contributing to eCommerce stores traffic & conversion goals.

Feb 23, 2:15 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Tracking UTM is really difficult, even when you do have UTM tracking.

Feb 23, 2:16 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): So, how were you able to track things effectively?

Feb 23, 2:16 AM

João Romão: We tried to understand the sharing behavior of our users early on. If we were to succeed in a B2C environment, we needed some ‘virality’.

Feb 23, 2:17 AM

João Romão: While doing some customer development, we soon found out that people weren’t sharing their favorite products publicly, in their social feeds or profiles. However, that didn’t mean they weren’t sharing.

Feb 23, 2:18 AM

João Romão: The behavior was there, the medium had changed. People were sharing their favorite products privately through messaging apps that, at that moment, were on a huge rise.

Feb 23, 2:18 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): I think that comment fits perfectly with our first agenda.

Feb 23, 2:18 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): What’s the state of social sharing now?

Feb 23, 2:19 AM

João Romão: With that in mind, we started thinking how we could track those shares, and that’s when we read about Alexis Madrigal’s Dark Social.

Feb 23, 2:19 AM

João Romão: Nowadays, Dark Social is well established. We’re actually preparing several case studies across industries and geographies stating that.

Feb 23, 2:20 AM

João Romão: The majority of shares are now being done through private channels, either personal (messaging apps) or team-based (email, slack, skype, etc.).

Feb 23, 2:20 AM

João Romão: And, like you said, it’s still quite complicated to get a hold of those, tracking-wise.

Feb 23, 2:21 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Why don’t those platforms have analytics solutions or cross tracking capabilities?

Feb 23, 2:21 AM

João Romão: Perhaps they’ll start to have once the topic becomes mainstream and marketers start demanding it for those solutions.

Feb 23, 2:22 AM

João Romão: Until then, I’m guessing that incumbent analytics solutions still have major priorities ahead, namely on cross-device traffic, attribution and ad performance.

Feb 23, 2:23 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): That has been their priorities for the past 7 or so years now.

Feb 23, 2:23 AM

João Romão: True, true.

Feb 23, 2:24 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): So, what’s your & getsocial.io’s approach in uncovering dark social? Disclaimer: I’m currently trialing GetSocial and it appears that the main approach is to try and use a unique URL identifier for all sharing and linking activity.

Feb 23, 2:25 AM

João Romão: Correct. It wasn’t the first one, though.

Feb 23, 2:25 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): What do you mean?

Feb 23, 2:25 AM

João Romão: Initially, we thought it was a matter of lack of choice when presenting ‘share buttons’ to people. You’d still see the classic Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn combination on the majority of websites.

Feb 23, 2:26 AM

João Romão: And we thought that people weren’t sharing to private networks because they didn’t have an option to. We were wrong.

Feb 23, 2:26 AM

João Romão: We developed a few tools, desktop and mobile-driven, to facilitate sharing into those platforms and we were amazed on how little the shares were happening there.

Feb 23, 2:27 AM

João Romão: When we delved deeper into the issue we had our eureka moment: people were either copy-pasting links or using their mobile’s native share functionality (technically a copy-paste).

Feb 23, 2:27 AM

João Romão: Due to that, we developed a way to track shares happening at the Address Bar level, hence allowing us to track 100% of sharing activity happening on the website, public or private, button or not.

Feb 23, 2:28 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): That’s interesting because my data shows that 75% of shares are attributed to that activity.

Feb 23, 2:29 AM

João Romão: And that’s not a high number at all. We were just compiling the first data batches for our case studies.

Feb 23, 2:29 AM

João Romão: And we have F500 companies, normally B2B driven, with as high as 87% of copy-paste shares.

Feb 23, 2:30 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Wow, do you think it’s because users are lazy or the browser address is the new ‘social share’?

Feb 23, 2:31 AM

João Romão: People tend to mimic behaviors that are easier. Copy-pasting a link is all there is to it. The ‘competition’ for the behavior is finding a share button, clicking on it, waiting for a popup to load, clicking share and then it’s done.

Feb 23, 2:31 AM

João Romão: Browser address may be the new social share but the private messaging apps may also be the new social networks.

Feb 23, 2:32 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): How are you working with publishers to work on this problem, besides offering URL tracking?

Feb 23, 2:33 AM

João Romão: So, uncovering dark social is only one part of the equation.

Feb 23, 2:33 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Right.

Feb 23, 2:34 AM

João Romão: In the age of social media, and with the ever more difficult task of driving traffic from it, it’s paramount that publishers and brands have the tools to properly develop their audiences.

Feb 23, 2:34 AM

João Romão: The first step to do that is *knowing*.

Feb 23, 2:34 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Please elaborate.

Feb 23, 2:35 AM

João Romão: We alert our customers when any given article reaches some sort of threshold (that they normally define).This can be a certain number of shares, or a bigger velocity in growth, or simply outperforming other content by x%.

Feb 23, 2:35 AM

João Romão: We notify teams through email or slack, depending on their needs.

Feb 23, 2:35 AM

João Romão: The second step is *automating*.

Feb 23, 2:36 AM

João Romão: People are quite busy today, and it’s very complicated to analyze big sets of data for scheduling social media. Teams are gathered to curate content, analyze patterns and decide what should go next on their timelines. So, we automated that for them; allowing for the creation of trigger-based rules to manage their feeds.

Feb 23, 2:37 AM

João Romão: In the future, we may address the same issue with machine learning techniques.

Feb 23, 2:37 AM

João Romão: Having these short feedback loops of 1) better understand data and 2) having tools to make use of it is what leads our customers to succeed.

Feb 23, 2:37 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): But people need to understand what that threshold of ‘virality’ is, right?

Feb 23, 2:37 AM

João Romão: It is understood with MoM (Month-over-Month) increases in their social traffic.

Feb 23, 2:38 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): That makes sense. So, how do people understand the first part?

Feb 23, 2:38 AM

João Romão: Normally, especially with the publishers, they have a good sense of what metrics define a ‘performing’ story.

Feb 23, 2:38 AM

João Romão: Through GetSocial Analytics & Alerts, they get that data fed to them, in real-time, through our dashboards or even through an API.

Feb 23, 2:39 AM

João Romão: One of our biggest customers, a publisher in the Nordics, is even dynamically changing their homepage with the virality data we’re sending to them.

Feb 23, 2:39 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): So, they know that a specific action i.e. views would lead to shares resulting in ‘X’.

Feb 23, 2:39 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): What kind of changes are they making?

Feb 23, 2:40 AM

João Romão: They know exactly which networks are driving their traffic, for every single content that they post.

Feb 23, 2:40 AM

João Romão: They can understand what is the best time to post, which content category is resonating better with their audience, or simply which of their distribution campaigns is driving more owned and earned traffic.

Feb 23, 2:42 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Let’s jump to the last point of this agenda and then go back to the referrals.

Feb 23, 2:42 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): So, how can you best leverage social media automation for content amplification and social media tracking?

Feb 23, 2:43 AM

João Romão: Great question.

Feb 23, 2:43 AM

João Romão: So, one of the things marketers still miss is the true power of their actions and campaigns.

Feb 23, 2:43 AM

João Romão: Allow me to elaborate.

Feb 23, 2:44 AM

João Romão: Every time I see a link with a UTM, I get frustrated. I do so because I understand how inaccurate UTMs can become.

Feb 23, 2:45 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): There are even URL Shorterners which you can’t fully leverage across the entire site.

Feb 23, 2:45 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Anyways, please continue.

Feb 23, 2:45 AM

João Romão: Let’s circle back and summarize a bunch of concepts we’ve been talking about. We know that a high majority of shares is being done via copy paste (in your case ~75%). We also know that such shares are likely being done into private messaging apps.

Feb 23, 2:45 AM

João Romão: Now, imagine that you, like so many social media managers out there, on your normal work morning create a new Facebook post for your brand.

Feb 23, 2:46 AM

João Romão: Of course, you want to track your success. So, you create a link that has UTM parameters. Example: domain.com/?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebookpost.

Feb 23, 2:46 AM

João Romão: Every click on that link will give you the visibility of traffic coming from your Facebook post. Good.

Feb 23, 2:47 AM

João Romão: But what if 100 people click there and 25 of them re-share it to their WhatsApp groups, and if those 25 shares bring 50 new people.

Feb 23, 2:47 AM

João Romão: One would expect to have 100 FB sessions + 50 WhatsApp sessions. But you won’t, because those shares were wrongly attributed. Instead, you’ll have 150 sessions coming from Facebook, which is inaccurate.

Feb 23, 2:48 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Gotcha

Feb 23, 2:48 AM

João Romão: Getting back to your question, this is a big opportunity for marketers and automation.

Feb 23, 2:48 AM

João Romão: Measuring the *earned* media value of their campaigns, they can understand if something that got few clicks on a platform became viral on other just by correctly attributing their traffic.

Feb 23, 2:48 AM

João Romão: As a final note, I’ll give an example we did with Forbes.

Feb 23, 2:49 AM

João Romão: 10 automated posts were only able to generate about 1,250 sessions (1st clicks on the post). However, over the course of two weeks, that initial audience of 1,250 visitors, when sharing, generated almost 1.8 million (!) sessions to the website.

Feb 23, 2:50 AM

João Romão: It had been the case where 1 of those posts got extremely viral elsewhere, returned to Facebook, when multiple times into private messaging apps, and then slowed down.

Feb 23, 2:50 AM

João Romão: By the time ‘viral’ was over, it had generated hundreds of thousands of sessions.

Feb 23, 2:50 AM

João Romão: Forbes was able to see that article’s story and understand why, where and how it became viral.

Feb 23, 2:51 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): How can u measure using GetSocial that an article later drove that many visitors and who they were?

Feb 23, 2:52 AM

João Romão: Because we’re installed on the website and we’re basically managing a huge mesh of shares & referrals, we can always correctly attribute when someone is coming from a share.

Feb 23, 2:53 AM

João Romão: On the ‘who’ that’s something we’re now developing for a partner and we’ll be rolling out on Q2 for the other customers, which is GetSocial Influencers.

Feb 23, 2:53 AM

João Romão: Influencers will give the customer information about who’s sharing their content and how much traffic/conversions those shares are generating.

Feb 23, 2:53 AM

João Romão: Our vision of Influencer Marketing is biased towards the ability to generate traffic instead of the potential reach or number of followers.

Feb 23, 2:54 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): I agree with you 100%. It’s the age of micro-influencers.

Feb 23, 2:54 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): So, what are some of the triggers of referrals you see from the data, besides people enjoying it or supporting a cause?

Feb 23, 2:56 AM

João Romão: There are a few interesting patterns we normally see in high-referred articles.

Feb 23, 2:56 AM

João Romão: Anything related to sexuality, religion or politics tends to get a high-volume of private shares.

Feb 23, 2:56 AM

João Romão: I’ll give you another example, and I apologize in advance for the graphicness of the topic.

Feb 23, 2:57 AM

João Romão: One of our customers is a big health group which has been producing a very interesting content marketing strategy.

Feb 23, 2:57 AM

João Romão: They produce very good informational content and rely a lot on the search for their traffic.

Feb 23, 2:57 AM

João Romão: They didn’t believe that ‘Social’ was a thing for them because 1) they had low shares on the major platforms and 2) they had a low number of social referrals.

Feb 23, 2:57 AM

João Romão: Once we started working with them, everything changed.

Feb 23, 2:58 AM

João Romão: Dark Social shares were reaching as high as 95% in some articles.

Feb 23, 2:58 AM

João Romão: The biggest one was something like ‘What your feces will tell about your health – 7 types and 7 reasons’.

Feb 23, 2:59 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Woah

Feb 23, 2:59 AM

João Romão: It was driving significant dark social traffic to their properties. It wasn’t that social wasn’t good for them; it was that the people don’t share sensitive topics on public platforms.

Feb 23, 2:59 AM

João Romão: Again, the social behavior was there, it was the medium which had changed.

Feb 23, 2:59 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): That totally makes sense.

Feb 23, 3:00 AM

João Romão: I hope the conversation was broad enough for our readers.

Feb 23, 3:00 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Joao, as we are close to time, would you like to conclude with any final comments or advice?

Feb 23, 3:00 AM

João Romão: And that we were able to highlight the intrinsic aspects of Dark Social.

Feb 23, 3:00 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): I think your insights gave a very concise context to the topic.

Feb 23, 3:01 AM

João Romão: As a final advice, I would say to marketers that although things are changing in the Social world (new algorithms, platforms, etc.), always make sure that you understand your audiences’ behavior.

Feb 23, 3:01 AM

João Romão: Understand how they resonate with your content, how they’re reading it, the attention they’re putting to it and how you can present the best next content for them to become loyal to you.

Feb 23, 3:02 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Agreed. Sometimes due to the large amount of data we have, we only look at the numbers.

Feb 23, 3:02 AM

João Romão: Algorithms, social networks, growth hacks, they all come and go. But a loyal user or a subscriber always knows where to find you.

Feb 23, 3:02 AM

João Romão: And that’s my final note for today.

Feb 23, 3:02 AM

João Romão: Thanks, Vahe and the State of Digital Publishing team for having me today.

Feb 23, 3:03 AM

Vahe Arabian (Moderator): Thank you, Joao. It was an absolute pleasure!

 

 

Event Name: Uncovering Your Social Analytics Event Description: An upcoming AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, where João Romão of GetSocial will be answering questions on how to best uncover the information in your social media analytics. Event URL: https://www.stateofdigitalpublishing.com/ask-me-anything/uncovering-social-analytics/ Start Date: 02-23-2018 End Date: