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Old 10-29-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
Rumors Rocks
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Disney Stomps NBC Universal and Time Warner...

Disney Stomps Time Warner, NBC Universal In 'Social Footprint' Study http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddgilc...otprint-study/




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As web publications cause circulation numbers for their print counterparts to dwindle and online platforms steal viewers from television broadcasts, content producers are scrambling to find ways to hold onto audiences. Suffice it to say that the internet has produced a wealth of opportunities for those creators even as it has replaced more conventional methods of keeping people entertained. But social media has become a crucial tool in maintaining interaction and engagement with users.

It’s no longer enough for companies to report breaking news, publish an incredible article or produce interesting programming. Without a way to keep conversations going around that material, discourse fizzles, audiences grow bored and it soon disappears altogether, particularly if others are able to harness its content and offer an alternative point of view.

A company called the Dachis Group has built a data platform that analyzes and evaluates social engagement. Examining a number of variables – volume of content, impressions, interactions, even consumer enjoyment levels – Dachis is able to assess the real-time success of a company’s “social ecosystem,” highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. This information serves the companies themselves in multiple ways, exposing corporate strategies – be they deliberate or accidental — to disseminate content, or perhaps helping them discover what they’re lacking (and where), as they choose which approach, or which direction to take next.

In an analysis of television social media marketing metrics, Dachis Group determined that Disney has the biggest reach in terms of unique individuals, interacting with 3,434,668 of them in September. The company also reportedly has the most “shareable” content of any of the networks studied, with almost 5.7 million shares in the period between September 1 and October 1, 2013.

Disney also had the most subscribers overall, with almost 1.1 billion, which dwarfs many other organizations worldwide. Football coverage from ESPN and ABC feeds the company’s social engine, and ESPN’s “Sportscenter” dominates conversations, enlisting more than a million users in just a month’s time. Dachis observed that Disney generates this interactivity by breaking sports news via official media accounts, and then having its pundits and personalities interact with those accounts as a part of the same conversation. For example, ESPN Stats & Info might break a piece of news, and then Paul Carr would join the discussion with his perspective on the announcement.

National Amusements, which includes CBS CBS -0.92% and Viacom VIAB -0.45%, received more likes across its social ecosystem in September than any other company, with 44.7 million thumbs up. The company also generates more activity per post than any of its competitors, with an average of 383.2 per entry. But in spite of amassing more than one billion subscriber accounts, the company ranks worst in terms of active participants as a percentage of its audience.

That said, the company enjoyed big numbers in September thanks to Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, as well as from the Nickelodeon series “Big Time Rush,” which (ironically) wrapped its fourth and final season on July 25th.

Fox’s parent company News Corp finished third in Dachis’ study. According to the data gathered, News Corp consistently demonstrates high social interactivity, but it fell just short of competitors in almost every category. In terms of its consumer activity, for example, it scores 371 responses per post to National Amusements’ 383, and ranks second to Disney in the volume of content shared by consumers. At the same time, the company outpaces all of its competition in responses to users by more than 2 percent, with 8.25% reactions to inbound comments.

Although the reality-competition drama of “X Factor” drives the most conversation across the company’s social ecosystem, Fox News provides a consistent source of engagement, and was particularly successful in engaging users as the government shutdown loomed large at the end of September. At the same time, the success of the company’s television programming elevates its user engagement, evidenced by the premiere of “Glee.”

Although Time Warner ranked fourth in Dachis’ study, the company was quick to note that it generates more impressions across its media properties than any of its competitors by 1.89 billion. Time Warner earns the majority of its impressions from brand advocates, which the study indicated are “the most trusted and impactful impressions a brand can generate.” Dachis also credited Time Warner’s high number of impressions from the “massive” volume of content the company produces – more than 100,000 posts just in the period studied.

Although CNN is Time Warner’s most important property, responsible for more than 500,000 unique conversations during September, the company shares in common with Disney a reliance on sports properties for significant count of its impressions: Bleacher Report ranks just behind CNN in importance to Time Warner, thanks to its output of topical, engaging stories such as its coverage of the NBA 2k14 video game on September 24.

NBC Universal ranks fifth in study, which Dachis suggests is due to its comparative dearth of posts, which exert a predictably weaker impact on its overall reach and engagement. At the same time, however, NBC scored the highest sentiment levels for its posts of any of the companies, which means users react more positively to their content than to that of its competitors – perhaps a “quality over quantity” approach. Dachis also indicated that the sharp contrast between the company’s low output of content and the positive reactions from its users holds enormous potential for the company in terms of future social engagement.

More specifically, NBC News has significant potential as a more substantial contributor, because it drives solid engagement around its stories, but it lacks the reach and the audience of comparable outlets such as CNN and Fox News. On the other hand, E Online and E News are NBC’s two strongest social properties, generating consistent day-to-day conversations that typically involve hundreds of thousands of people.
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