Razorfish files Patent to measure Social Media. What do you think?
We've talked a lot about social influence marketing over the last year and what it means to account for social influencers. From the trends, to the academic research, our client work and our own experiments we're methodically bringing social influence marketing to life for all our clients and for all our disciplines as well.
Well, now we've taken that a step further with a patent filed on how to measure social influence. This is one more proof point of how measurable and meaningful social influence marketing can be for marketers everywhere. Its not the whole solution but a key piece to understanding the measurement and why and how things go viral. Please tell me what you think about this. Is it a big deal, is it a no brainer, does it add value?
The Data Problem:
Today social media apps (widgets, applications, viral media, etc.) cannot track or account for unique individuals other than those who download the application and those that download the application from a friend. Couple that with the lack of known quantitative methods for identifying key influencers within a social network in regards to a specific application and you’ve got a big problem for the industry. Certainly a billion dollar problem and one that matters a lot if we want to make social influence marketing more real for marketers.
Core Questions We Tried To Answer:
- What is the value of a key influencer?
- How viral or how many generations of influence has my social media application achieved?
- What is the value of someone who receives a social application from a friend versus someone who receives it via media or a paid seeding strategy?
The Razorfish Incrementing Action Tag Solution:
Our solution is the Incrementing Action Tag which is a set of functions within a social media application that creates a variable that may be read externally based on where the user acquires the application. When a user downloads the application from the original source, the Incrementing Action Tag notes the source and assigns the downloader the value of first generation (or one). When another downloader obtains the application from somewhere other than the original source (e.g. a friend, other website, etc.), the Incrementing Action Tag looks at the variable (or generation) assigned to the current source and increments it by one; thus making the next downloader generation two or other appropriate generation number.
The Incrementing Action Tag is thus able to identify (via a cookie and unique identifier and not through personally identifiable information) and track social media, identify how far removed (generation) cookies are from the original source of the social media, and identify key influencers (again no PII- see note above) of users of social media. In essence, this technology enables our agency to create a system that allows us to value and reach key influencers across the Internet, regardless of property.
In everyday language, this is very important as social media spreads through the viral influence. Brands really need to know how and why something goes viral so that when they optimize who their efforts, they can target and seed more efficiently.
Successes Thus Far:
We’ve successfully used the action tag in three instances with three different clients. We’ve seen as many as four generations of pass-along for these social media applications and are now looking to begin using the Generational Tag on all social media applications so that we can build our knowledge of social media applications.
Thought this is still in its early days, we’ve definitely taken a big step forward towards tracking social influence across the web and maybe, just maybe, starting to crack a billion-dollar problem. We're excited about it and hope it contributes in its own small way to the evolution of our industry and social influence marketing in particular.
Congratulations to the Seattle team that made this all happen: Marc Sanford, Sandy Schlee, Steve Ebeling, Kelley Maves, David Niffin, Christopher Castle, Frank Kochenash, and Jesse Drogin.
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