“The pace of disruption to the media intelligence over the next five years will be enormous”

Sean Smith

Interview with Sean Smith, Chief Executive – Media Intelligence at Isentia, Australia and Vice President of FIBEP.

Hi Sean, what is included in your current role at Isentia?

As Chief Executive of Media Intelligence, I am responsible for overseeing the delivery of media intelligence services to 5,000 clients across APAC. My role comes with the usual P&L responsibilities, but ultimately it is about ensuring Isentia remains the market leader and we continue to push for better solutions, products and services for our clients that allow them to stay ahead of the curve.

Outside of my role at Isentia, I am also the current Vice President and Board Member for FIBEP, global association for media intelligence.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Isentia when it comes to serving your customers analysis and develop your offer?

Giving our clients the right information at the right time; whether it be the first to alert them to breaking news or the delivery of an Insights report that shows the impact of their actions on a story. Our clients are now operating in a media world that is 24/7 and unrelenting. For example, Isentia now ingests around 284 new stories every second. Our challenge is to make sense of all that noise and velocity, and provide our clients with the key information that they need to know.

The challenge is only getting harder, but working in an organisation where our culture is engrained in all things media and being the best, is the challenge we love to answer.

Isentia acquired the content marketing agency King Content in 2015. How has that changed the focus of Isentia’s business proposition?

For quite some time now, Isentia has been looking at how we can work across owned, earned and paid media. Our media intelligence offering has allowed us to play a key role in confirming when something happens and making sense of what it all means for our clients. With content marketing, we can now answer the “what’s next?” question by devising a content strategy that will help brands tell their story and connect with the right audience. Content is nothing without the right strategy. By having robust media intelligence that allows for greater opportunities to uncover unique and timely insights, we can provide the strategic thinking our clients need to connect with their clients through content and change conversations.

The acquiring of King Content is a step further on in the value chain. Does this mean that there are other parts of your business that come further away from generating value, which you are planning to outsource?

Outsourcing has been key to our strategy long before the acquisition of King Content. The media intelligence industry is moving so quickly that we are always looking to expand on the value we can give to our clients. Sourcing for functions outside our core business is one way that we can achieve that as it means we can spend more time thinking and executing new ideas for the parts of the Isentia business that matter most and give key clear points of difference.

APAC is a quite diverse region. What are your main challenges to offer comprehensive products and services throughout the region?

APAC is the fastest growing region in the world, and as you note, highly diverse. The challenge is ensuring we are offering a personalised experience and services tailored to the needs of each country. No two countries look the same. Local knowledge matters and is key to success.

Business culture is unique, and while you need to find ways to adapt, to be successful in APAC, you must balance this investment into the development of your own culture, infrastructure and people.

The media intelligence landscape in Asia Pac is also made more complex by the challenges with language and local markets being highly fragmented.

You are currently Vice President of FIBEP. What are the most important things that an organization like FIBEP can contribute?

Ensuring the industry can continue to evolve and stay relevant. Our industry has players that have their roots as a press clipping agency right through to our newest members that are SaaS platforms and thinking about media content as a data set that can be overlaid with other data sources and smart analytics. It is this diversity in the membership that shows just how fast our industry is changing and the important role that FIBEP can play in helping members to change and continue to be successful.

FIBEP holds an annual conference, which is an important event – the learnings come not only from the key note speakers, but also from the valuable networking that takes place over three days, or should I say three nights!

How do you think or hope FIBEP’s role will evolve in the future?

I hope to see FIBEP continue to explore the changing market trends and best practices so that the media intelligence industry can be progressive or be at the forefront of innovation. To do this, we will need to attract new members. Diversity of our members and the ideas that will evolve our industry will be key, so too is embracing change. FIBEP, through its activities and leadership, will play a role in guiding this, but also connecting the industry with the necessary change agents to help inspire members as they continue to move through this journey.

When it comes to the actual data behind the media intelligence that you do, what kind of data or media that you do not use for media intelligence today, can be interesting in the future?

Podcasts and closed, “dark social” messenger apps are great examples of sources that aren’t typically utilised in media intelligence. Dark social is important, and when you look at recent studies, it is clear that dark social is not just occupying a small corner of the Internet, but is now the leading sharing method for news links, which is highly influential. As more and more of us become addicted to our mobile devices, it will be essential that media intelligence organisations can find a way to understand and make sense of this growing channel.

What would be the main challenges in retrieving that data or media?

The obvious answer is access. The best media intelligence organisations have made changes to their strategy to ensure they have strong working relationships with both traditional media and social media platforms. Not all content or data is free and there is a need for a commercial relationship with the owners. The other key consideration here is privacy and ensuring the security of users is protected.

How do you think the media intelligence industry will change in the next five years?

It is an arms race! Having the best people supported by the best technology will be key. The pace of disruption to the media intelligence over the next five years will be enormous. Automation and the rise of artificial intelligence will mean our industry and a typical media intelligence company will look completely different. Our tech will be smarter and so will our people!

It is going to be an exciting ride. I am looking forward to seeing what we do and how many more problems we can solve for our clients in five years’ time. Media intelligence will be very powerful and will play an even more important role.

By Renata Ilitsky

Twingly is heading to SXSW!

 

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Austin

Everyone at Twingly is going to SXSW in Austin, March 9-15. If you would like to get access to more blogs in Japan or news articles in Italy, discuss the challenges in collecting social data globally or talk about the current consolidation in the media monitoring industry, please let us know and we can meet up for a chat.

Twingly has moved on from being the leading supplier of global blog data, to now also include one of the strongest coverage of forum, news as well as other social data.

We hope to see you in Austin!

For meetings, please just send us a note.

The Grace of Latin Beauty Blogs

Beauty is important in every culture, especially in the Latin one. Latinas go out of their way to make themselves muylindas (very beautiful), taking their time to do their hair, nails and makeup. Here are three popular Latin beauty bloggers from around the world to give you a glimpse into how each one perceives beauty, and the advice they give to readers.

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Susana Chavez, Beauty Airlines

Beauty Airlines

Susana Chavez has worked as a beauty editor for the last 20 years. Her blog, Beauty Airlines, is part of Vogue Portugal, where she has worked for the last 12 years, writing about cosmetics and perfume.

In her posts, Susana shares the behind-the-scenes daily life of a beauty editor who travels the world to interview experts and review the latest products.

In an exclusive interview with Twingly, Susana shared with us her thoughts on blogging.

What was your motivation for starting the blog?
As a Beauty Editor for Vogue, I live surrounded by new beauty products, attend press-launches and travel extensively for beauty events. Not all of this fits in my Vogue Beauty pages, so I started Beauty Airlines to share a bit of the journey in my Beauty Editor life. I love traveling and airplanes, so it’s also a good place to share my geekiness.

What are the biggest advantage/disadvantage of being a blog writer?
Advantage, I’d say are to be able to share the backstage daily life of my work. Disadvantage is that it takes up much more time than anyone imagined!

Have you collaborated with any brands for this blog, and what was the purpose?
No, I haven’t. The blog is not monetized. I’ve done a few giveaways just to share good things with my readers, but no commercial associations.

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Jai Correa, Mami’s Time Out

Mami’s Time Out

Many beauty bloggers focus on the latest makeup brands and secrets, the problem is that makeup can be expensive, and not all the readers can afford to purchase it. Jai Correa, a Dominican blogger, realizes that, and addresses it in her blog Mami’s Time Out. Writing primarily for moms, she offers her advice for ways to look hermosa (beautiful) without breaking the bank. As she writes on her blog, “I love a bargain as much as I love a good lipstick.”

Mami’s Time Out is a one-stop-shop for everything having to do with beauty. She gives tips on how her readers can get the look of their favorite celebrities, like when she gave advice on achieving an ombre hairstyle, like her favorite telenovela star, Maite Perroni.

She works with makeup and beauty brands, such as Love & Glamour (Jennifer Lopez’s fragrance), Neutrogena, Covergirl and Pop Sugar.

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Rocio Isabel, RisasRizos

RisasRizos

Twenty-eight year old Rocio Isabel Mora started sharing hair beauty secrets on her YouTube channel in 2014, which has now reached over 40,000 subscribers, whom she calls “Curlfriends and Rizadas,” all over the world. In her videos, Rocio shares her knowledge about managing curly hair.

However, as hair is not her only passion, she started the blog RisasRizos. Living in New Orleans in the US, Rocio’s parents are from Mexico and Honduras, which is why you can find some Spanglish (Spanish and English) in her blog. In writing her posts, Rocio works with brands such as Caress, Aveeno and Bioré.

Rocio started her career as a local television show host on the Spanish channel Telemundo. She is a regular contributor for NaturallyCurly and Being Latino.

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If you need access to beauty blogs and global blog data, you can find everything you need at Twingly.com

By Renata Ilitsky

“In Latin America, the tradition of social media measurement is still based on quantitative data”

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Carlos Villa

Interview with Carlos Villa, CEO of buho, a social media intelligence company in Colombia.

Hi Carlos, what is your professional background, and what does your current role at buho consist of?

I went to the University in Bogota, Colombia, and graduated as an Industrial Engineer. I then completed an MBA degree at IESE Business School in Barcelona. As a founding partner and CEO of buho, I need to be sure that we focus our efforts on what is relevant for our business, and that the whole team has the resources to be able to achieve their goals, and have a good time doing so.

What differs buho from other social media intelligence companies in Colombia?

We give clarity to our customers; we let them know what all the data on social media really means. In Latin America, the tradition of social media measurement is still based on quantitative data. We can say that the quantitative data is the raw material for the qualitative evaluations that we make of the data. We provide evaluation that is not made solely by technology, but by a group of talented people that understand the particular needs of our customers.

We have a close relationship with all of our customers, and we get together on a regular basis with them. This is crucial so that we can understand their strategic priorities, and also important for them to really understand what the data means, and how they can use it to make strategic decisions.

What type of companies benefit from your services, and where are your current customers mainly based?

While we work with different sectors of the economy, 60 percent of our business (both traditional and social media evaluation) comes from the private sector, which includes financial, telecommunications, gas and energy, as well as mass consumption products. The rest of our business includes the Colombian public sector, such as the Presidency of Colombia, political campaigns, and quite a few public institutions throughout our country.

Although our operation is based in Bogota, 50 percent of our invoicing comes from abroad – the United States, Spain, Mexico and Guatemala – are our main international markets.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at buho when it comes to serving your customer analysis and developing your offer?

I divide the challenges into three categories, which are also related to my first answer as far as my role as a CEO:

  1. Having the best possible team – We need to be sure that we have the best people available in their respective areas of expertise.
  2. Innovation and technology – We dedicate 3 percent of our annual income to innovation. We need to catch up with the crazy rhythm of how communications are taking place today. The Brexit, the USA elections, and our local process with the Colombia peace referendum, are clear examples that the traditional methods of understanding communications are not working anymore. We need to offer our customers a new approach to data evaluation, while doing so in an efficient and profitable way.
  3. Education – Media evaluation as we do it is something relatively new in the world, compared to the traditional public relations services that are offered globally. And in Latin America, there is almost no tradition at all to invest resources in media evaluation. Therefore, education in order to promote the relevance of media evaluation is crucial for our sales growth.

Do you have any specific plans to expand your business in the near future, like new markets or products?

Our plan for the next four years is to grow an average of 30 percent per year. Fifty percent of this growth should come from markets such as Mexico, the USA and Spain.

Ninety percent of our income comes from media evaluation services. As a consequence of our evaluations, our customers have come to several conclusions; one of them is that although they have a clear PR strategy, they really don’t know how to tell their story to various stakeholders. So, we are now helping our customers to create their stories using storytelling techniques so that they can engage with their audiences. And, afterwards, we measure if the storytelling is really working.

New sources of income should come from other services that complement our evaluation products, like focus groups and spokesperson trainings. Those new services, in addition to the ones developed by our buho lab team, should represent 30 percent of our total invoicing by the end of 2020.

Can you give a specific example where one of your clients has made changes in their communication, organization or similar, based on the information or analysis you provided?

It’s difficult to choose one after eight years of providing service to our customers, but one of them comes to my mind.

For confidentiality reasons, I can’t get into specifics, but an American association funded by the government has been established in Colombia for a few years now. Their goal is to promote the relevance of a specific product and hope that the consumers take into account that product when they make their purchase decisions.

They made a social media campaign to promote the benefits and attributes of the product, and they asked buho to help them understand the impact that their campaign had.

After our first evaluation, we told them not to waste any money on someone that will tell them how many likes, tweets, retweets they had, or who the influencers that interacted with their campaign were. What we proposed to them was to evaluate how a significant part of the users that interacted with their campaign used their personal social platforms. The output was a profile of the users that interacted with the campaign, segmented by gender, age, and with rich information on the way that those users used their personal social profiles. We analyzed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest in this process.

Our customer used that data to design a new campaign with specific content according to the platform they were using, and taking into account the preferences of their audiences.

Which social platforms do you see having the most potential in the future when it comes to gathering relevant information for your customers?

In Latin America, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube will still be kings in the next five years.

Are there any social platforms that are closed today that you would be interested in tapping into for analysis that would benefit your customers?

Facebook is a closed platform, so it is not possible to get access to a big volume of data. We are more concerned with how to measure Snapchat; even though it is sort of an open network, the way that it functions presents a real challenge as far as how to measure it.

But the biggest challenge comes from the relevance that messenger apps, such as WhatsApp, serve as a communication and influence tool.

How do you think the measurement and social media intelligence industry will change in the next five years?

They will become the main source of information for people in general – news, products, marketing and entertainment. All the information will be searched for and discussed on social networks, which will become the largest source of consumer data available. This will bring new challenges for every kind of company, and buho is here to help our customers to understand and make sense of all the available data.

By Renata Ilitsky

The Rich Taste of US Food Blogs

Most countries are known for their regional cuisines; Italians love their pasta, France is known for escargots and India is famous for curry. However, there is no real consensus on what American food is. Is it hot dogs, apple pie or hamburgers? We interviewed three American food bloggers so you can decide for yourself.

Dan bing
Dan bing

Food-verse

Tesia Kuh’s blog Food-verse is the perfect example of what Americans eat, a smorgasbord of food from around the world. Her blog may scare some newbie cooks away with fancy titles, such as ghormeh sabzi, dan bing, and garlic soy soba noodles, but the names are just representatives of their host regions, which are the Middle East, Taiwan, and Japan.

In an exclusive interview, she Tesia, who works for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, shared her motivation for starting the blog: “I started blogging first through photos on Instagram. I wanted to show what I made at home and when I got such a positive response, eventually I wanted to tell others how they can make it for themselves.”

What’s special about this blog is that Tesia shares a little bit about herself in each recipe, such as where she got the idea, how she came to make the dish, etc. Regarding dan bing (Taiwanese egg roles), she wrote, “It reminded me of a Korean rolled omelet side dish I grew up eating but with an added crepe! Egg, crepe, Asian street food that you can eat with your hands! Whenever utensils are optional I can hardly contain my excitement.” Regarding the garlic soy soba noodles, she shared: ‘This was my I’m too lazy to cook, too lazy to go out and get food but hungry for something delicious – meal experiment that turned out so well I made it again the very next day.”

The Perfect Steak
The Perfect Steak

Grillocracy

Americans are known for their love of meat, particularly barbeque. Grillocrazy serves to meat-lovers around the country, with practical tips, recipes and advice on grilling and barbecuing.

Written by Clint Cantwell, called the “backyard griller on steroids” this grillmaster wears many hats! He is the Editor of Grillocracy and Kingsford, video content director of AmazingRibs.com, pitmaster of Smoke in da Eye competition barbecue and grilling team, and winner of Travel Channel’s “American Grilled.” He has recurring grilling segments on both CNN’s HLN and WREG-TV. It’s safe to say that Clint knows his meat!

Why does he blog?

“Being a blogger allows me to scratch my creative itch, creating countless out-of-the-box recipes for a global audience of grilling fans. The only disadvantage is the time involved in creating new content on a consistent basis.”

His recipes are carefully categorized in easy to find sections, such as grilling beef, grilling poultry, grilling fruits and vegetables, and grilling dessert (yes, you read that correctly). What’s unique about Clint’s food blog is that he doesn’t just share recipes, but provides advice on the entire grilling and barbecuing experience. For example, he has a “How To” section where he shares tips on using spices, adjusting smoking times and smoking turkeys. He even has a link to reviews on different grills and smokers.

Tasty Breakfast
Tasty Breakfast

Aluminum Foiled Kitchen

Many Americans are on the health trend diet, as evidenced by this young blogger, Judith Rontal. At just 20-years-old, she lost 60 pounds by changing her diet and lifestyle, which she shares on her blog Aluminum Foiled Kitchen. Living in Washington, D.C., Judith blogs about local cooking as well as cooking when she travels.

Her blog is fun and original; she doesn’t title her blog posts simply by the name of the dish, but uses titles such as: “When You Have 20 Pounds of Peaches…”, “What I should Eat for Breakfast Today,” and “Not My Mom’s Apple Cake.”

What was your motivation for starting the blog?

“I started the blog as a way to share what I was making with friends and family (beyond texts and Snapchat). I’ve always loved baking and cooking and discovered the world of food blogging when I started expanding my knowledge in the kitchen and wanted to get some inspiration. I’m an avid reader of Smitten Kitchen and one of my favorite parts of her site is the comment section under her recipes – she responds to so many questions! I’ve learned from her and want to be able to help others out in the same way she has helped me.”

“My blog was started as something for me, so I like that its message is intimate and very personal. I hope to keep that as I share it with people who I don’t know – hopefully it’ll be a way for them to feel like they get a sense of who I am as a person without meeting me!”

From ethnic dishes to barbecue and healthy options, Americans love a variety of food.

If you need access to food blogs and global blog data, you can find everything you need at Twingly.com

By Renata Ilitsky

“In 2017 we will see a monumental shift in how people spend their ad money”

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Moses Velasco

Interview with Moses Velasco, Chief Product Evangelist at Socialbakers, a global social media analytics company

Hi Moses, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Socialbakers?

My background for the last 18 years has been in technology; I worked in intellectual law in Silicon Valley and then moved on to product management and to VP of product roles. Right now, as Chief Product Evangelist, I have a cool job. I have the opportunity to travel and speak to different markets and use that information to inspire or influence our product development and product teams. I really enjoy it.

What differs Socialbakers from other social media analytics platforms?

Socialbakers started as an analytics provider and solution to measure social performance across various platforms in 2008. We’ve been collecting and storing aggregate data since that time, and now our best in class analytics is backed by having depth and breadth of data. I don’t want to say that we are the world’s largest data media storage, but we are close. This allows us to create next generation social media tools; we are leading the pack in this way. We look at social media performance and are able to provide recommendations on what our users should do, how they should invest their money on content that will provide the best results and take out the guessing work of how they can utilize their budget in the best way.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Socialbakers, when it comes to serving your customers analysis and developing your offer?

Analytics have been known as a single point type solution; customers tend to have three to five different vendors to manage social media strategy. The big challenge is that we’re moving to a suite solution to understand that the whole is greater than its parts. By integrating different parts, such as analytics and publishing, users will have more capability of using that data to make the best decisions than with separate vendors.

We’ve seen big improvements with a suite solution in customers’ performance because we help them understand their niches better. Customers are able to see what the most resonating content is, and the best time to publish that content to get maximum visibility. Our prediction algorithm helps them learn what their best content is so they can spend money on great performing content, which yields a greater ROI.

With the type of workflow that we integrated to help customers understand where to invest money, we’ve moved from an analytics type provider to a suite of solutions that help clients measure, manage and monetize across the main social media platforms.

Do you have any specific plans to expand your business in the near future, like new markets or products?

We are focused on ads and content campaign optimization for our customers. We’ve provided third party data integrations with web analytics to show how clients can realize a return on the investment they pay for content, and how that results in higher traffic to their websites.

With the introduction of our APIs, this is moving us closer to providing business intelligence, where we can push and pull data from other platforms. I find that very interesting for our customers and for myself.

In the beginning of the year you introduced Facebook Pages for listening. How well has that played out when it comes to your coverage and client adaptation?

Over the previous years, we recognized that we had a significant gap in the ability to provide an integrated listening product. Our customers told us there was a gap, and we listened (pun not intended). Once we did, our customers adopted it, which helped us provide a more holistic approach to our suite and our solutions.

This is a big benefit and unique selling point for Socialbakers, because we provide listening for free within our packaged solutions. This allows our customers to use and leverage listening to manage their discovery and crisis management, as they need to understand how listening fits into the whole solution. We’re one of only vendors that provides this as a solution for free because it’s integrated in our suite and we want our customers to feel the value of our offering.

What part of your current product has a lot of potential, but not been adopted at the same rate yet by your clients?

Our ads analytics section is something that is going to take off quite heavily. We’re able to provide information about how much clients are spending on ad accounts and what that’s yielding for them. The way we’ve built that into our suite is by showing an entire social performance management solution that allows users to understand when to sponsor their content, what content is getting the maximum value from how much they paid and how it’s affecting their relevance score on Facebook; a high relevance score drives reach and engagement. Our ads section will become a hot topic for us in the next few months.

Which social platforms do you see having the most potential in the future?

Aside from the basics, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, we’ll see the rise of Snapchat and Pinterest. Pinterest is open to a few selected marketing partners, while Snapchat hasn’t opened their APIs for analysis, but are moving in that direction. Our clients and our communities are asking us to support these platforms. We are waiting patiently and working closely with partners to see how this will play out. I also think LinkedIn will have a big play in social media as the platform progresses.

What kind of data, which would help you perform even better analysis, is the hardest to get ahold of?

Right now, we are monitoring very closely how bots are addressing client social interactions. These automated chat bots can help with customer service queries, and will be big part of automation behind customer care. It’s interesting to see how this automation affects the manual processing, and where the lines will blur between automated and manual operations. There will still be a need for the human element, but we’ll see big efficiencies from automation.

With monitoring, we want to see what are the best use cases, is it simply customer service, or is it purchasing or repeat buying? While I think there’s a lot to it, we want to avoid using any of the parts or cases that may be hyped up, so this is something we are considering how to analyze in the not too distant future.

What kind of data or media that you do not have monitoring on today, can be interesting in the future?

For us, more data will become social, as traditional media moves in that direction. Even podcasts or these types of activities will move to social. I don’t think there’s a big hurry to do anything else in that realm, but there will be a shift. We see a lot of that in the traditional advertising spend, which was largely on television, but the digital ad span will surpass the TV ad span in 2017. From this point, this is a monumental shift in how people spend their money, from media and publishing to digital and social. This will be an interesting change that we will monitor more effectively and closely in next few years.

How do you think the media monitoring and social media analytics industry will change in the next five years?

We’ll see less publishers going the traditional route like print. Print is still relevant, but less so as publishers go to social. If you want to be a successful business, you have to adapt to these changes; if you want to reach more audiences, it will have be through social. Social responsibility from companies like Socialbakers is to help those businesses and our prospects understand the value of social and how to leverage the communication channels and the largest consumer data source to be able to interact more effectively with audiences and customers.

By Renata Ilitsky

Three Fashion Blogs From Around the World

NY Fashion Week opens today and fashion means many things to different people. To some, dressing fashionably means following the latest styles from world-known brands, such as Chanel, Dior and Gucci. To others, fashion means expressing their individuality and personal sense of style. Although fashion varies from person to person, there are specific fashion trends that permeate entire countries. Here we take a look at three fashion blogs from around the world – China, Sweden and Canada.

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Elle is not afraid to be bold in her outfit selections. Just take a look at this colorful outfit from Cats Brothers. Wearing this in many parts of the world would likely result in curious looks from strangers, but it may be just right for the daring and often whimsical Asian fashion, which always pushes the edge!

China – Elle Lee

ElleIconLee is a blog by Elle Lee, who lives in Hong Kong. An ex-model herself, she writes about fashion and lifestyle, as well as vlogging on YouTube and writing for fashion columns on several websites.

Elle’s unique angles is that she writes in English and Chinese, and shares looks with both international and regional inspirations with her readers. In an interview with Sassy Hong Kong, Elle describes her style as “less is more,” stating that she likes “designs that are clean, well-made and stand the test of time.”

“Imagine a mash-up between the craftsmanship of Oscar de la Renta, the feminine subtlety of Lanvin, the uniqueness of Maison Martin Margiela and the creativity of Nicholas Kirkwood – mix those with my East meets West background and you get an idea of my personal style,” Elle explained.

We got an exclusive interview with Elle about her blogging:

What was your motivation for starting the blog?

I started my first blog when I was 10-years-old, but it was more of a digital platform to record my life for my family and friends as I was living away from home. Then social media started and I was getting a lot of questions regarding what I was wearing, using etc. So I thought I should start a blog and point everyone there for a more detailed answer.

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For a great example of how Elle mixes high fashion with everyday trends from around the world, check out this photo, where she paired a LABORON evening gown with a Mickey Mouse-shaped popcorn case she used as a clutch at Shanghai Fashion Week!

What are the biggest advantages/disadvantages of being a blogger?

A lot of influencers now only work on social media platforms with few words and strong images, that’s the trend. Writing a blog is very time consuming, especially since I still take care of my social platforms in both Chinese and English. However, I still feel like keeping the blog running as it’s more like a core of what I keep everything on, and people could search and look up content even after 10 or 20 years, which might not be easy to do on social media platforms.

How does it work with the different languages on your blog?

My blog is in both Chinese and English, but I don’t translate them, I write them differently as no language can be expressed in the same way. It’s very time consuming, but I believe it gives readers in Chinese and English a better reading experience. Some readers even use my blog as a way to learn English and Chinese, which I feel is pretty awesome!

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Fanny shares the outfits she wears in her daily life, such as this high-waisted swimsuit from H&M and jean shorts from Melrose market in LA she wore in Greece. She doesn’t only focus on high couture, but shares inspirational ideas for urban, sporty and everyday looks just perfect for active Swedes.

Sweden – Fanny Lyckman

Fanny Lyckman is a Swedish fashion expert. At just 25-years-old, Fanny has created a name for herself in the fashion world. She is not only an award-nominated fashion blogger, but has created a nail polish line in collaboration with NCLA, and designed two collections with the brand Nelly. She is currently working on a fashion line, which she hopes to release this fall.

Although Fanny is a Swedish blogger, thousands of people around the world follow her website and Instagram account. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Fanny says that she gets her style inspiration from following different people on Tumblr. Online, Fanny likes to shop on Asos; as far as physical stores, she prefers Zara, Urban Outfitters, Beyond Retro, Topshop, H&M and River Island. She shares that she can’t live without her jean shorts, and would never be caught in tax-me heels.

Canada – Jen Tam

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Jen not only posts photos of outfits and names of the designers, but also highlights how the clothes can alter the way the body appears. “The off-the-shoulder crop top from Giulietta and wide-legged, high-waisted Vionnet pants are definitely works of art on their own, but the combined proportions did wonders to flatter my shape and made me seem about six feet tall,” she wrote about this outfit.

Her Waise Choice is a blog by Canadian writer, Jen Tam. Her blog’s motto is that everyone can be stylish without looking down on others or being a slave to fashion. Canadians are known for being friendly and approachable, an attitude Jen strongly believes should be incorporated into fashion, which should be “accessible and not intimidating.” Since 2010, Jen has tried to inspire her readers, everyday women, to dress with approachable style that fits in with Canadian culture.

Jen is not afraid to be brutally honest, which undoubtedly appeals to her readers. For example, in a recent post, she shared: “I’m often still not totally happy with the way a certain piece fits, or I’ll wish I could change a detail or two about an overall look. It’s quite rare for an outfit to be executed in a way where I feel like all the elements really work.”

In a recent interview with Top 100 Style, Jen shares her style rules.

What’s one go-to piece every woman should own?

The perfect pair of black jeans.

Dress up or dress down?

I’ve always been a believer of being a little more dressed up but lately I’ve been more inclined to be comfortable. I think this has something to do with the fact that my style has been evolving into a slightly edgier vibe in the last year or two.

What’s one fashion rule you’re proud of breaking?

No white after Labor day—white is a great tone to wear year round and I especially love white on white winter wear!

If you need access to fashion blogs and global blog data, you can find everything you need at Twingly.com

By Renata Ilitsky

“The social media monitoring we know today and as it would be in 5-10 years, has to be considered a highly strategic activity”

Gianandrea Facchini_blog
Gianandrea Facchini

Interview with Gianandrea Facchini, CEO of Buzzdetector, a digital intelligence company in Italy

Hi Gianandrea, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Buzzdetector?

I worked in media and advertising agencies since the 1990s. In 2007, I founded Buzzdetector. My role as CEO is not only to manage the company, but try to be the engine behind the company. I try to look ahead and to get a vision of what’s going on in the market, such as new trends in our business.

I was very lucky because when I started to get into media and digital in general, I landed in a community called MarketingProfs, where I had the chance to interact with professionals such as Ann Handley, Scott Monty, and many others from all over the world. Interaction with prominent figures like them gave me an opportunity to get an early vision of the digital space, widened my vision about what’s going on in the business.

What differs Buzzdetector from other social media intelligence companies in Italy?

We are a rather small company, even if we act globally. We didn’t go for the most advanced technology from the beginning, but rather tried to specialized on decoding the information for our clients. We have our platforms and tools, and are not simply renting the platform, but renting the ability to decode and transfer all the information and insights into reports. This is the main difference; we are very experienced in providing clients with insights, and customized reports have been our key point since the beginning.

What type of companies benefit from your services?

We work mainly with multinational companies and high end clients. Since 2008, we have worked with Nestlé; we worked with Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical company for five years; MSC cruises at the global level since 2011; Versace; and HOMI, the most prominent trade show in Italy.

You have recently done some extensive research about the fashion industry. Why did you focus on that?

When we started thirty months ago, we were just doing a test on some tool to develop and we choose the Fashion Industry because it was the week of Pitti in Florence, but something interesting came out from this research, so we pushed on this analysis, which ended up becoming rather extensive.

We followed the most important fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan, Paris), and all the influential people and VIPs, such as celebrities around the fashion market, became very interesting for us. We collected information and categorized it in a deep way. All the materials we collected have been categorized, such as conversations, fabrics, individuals and brands, which are now in our database. The categorization took extensive work because we understood that the market was and is rather peculiar, and this was one of the markets that was most disrupted by digital. It became interesting for us to follow this market, which is why we developed The Signal. This is a pure digital intelligence project.

We are expanding this research to the movie and the music industries; in fact, we have already started to put this in place since we have the technology backbone, so we just have to fill it up with information.

What are your most important takeaways from your research about the fashion industry?

First, it’s an industry where the most relevant actors are just looking individually for their own way to face the digital disruption. Fashion brands mostly belong to associations in each of the main countries. But, nonetheless, each brand is trying to look for their own way to tackle digital; there’s nothing in common. There’s a lot of confusion, that is the main takeaway.

Second, most of the activity seems to be tactical and not coming from a real strategy. The activity comes after the creation and the unique idea of the designer for that season; the digital becomes part of the tactic to launch the collection, it’s not part of the strategic weapon of the companies.

I used to work in the fashion industry before working in advertising agencies, and I know that the creation of the collection is the main engine of the industry, which is absolutely right. Then there is no real strategy to dominate the media or a strategic approach to digital.

Third, even though we are being told that Twitter is dying or being buried, prominent individuals like celebrities and VIPs in industries like fashion, movies and music are keeping this platform alive because they have huge audiences on Twitter. Rihanna’s Twitter followers amount to double of her Instagram followers, for example. Why would she leave Twitter? She will keep it to communicate with and to sell to her audience. So, one of the main reason Twitter is still being used is because of celebrities and VIPs.

Do you have any specific plans to expand your business in the near future, like expand to new markets or develop products?

The Signal is a new product that we launched two weeks ago. We have a couple of really prominent organizations in the fashion and luxury industries testing it now.

It is a digital platform that we developed in which markets are tackled vertically and where the categorization within the market is making the difference.

For the Fashion and Luxury market we created a dataset of 75 brands, 97 fashion bloggers, 116 celebrities, 49 editors, 58 magazines, etc. We can use the data for public relations, media and celebrity strategy and competitive analysis. The main goal of The Signal is to provide companies with data sets of information that gives real insight and intelligence.

We are proud of the research we published along with Exane Paribas, one of the most important consultancy companies. We produced a piece of research which includes 36 brands in luxury and fashion, the digital environment and how they face the digital environment.

We looked for a link between the moment when collections are presented to the buyers, journalists and to the public, and the moment when people go to look for a product they saw in a collection on an e-commerce platform.

We found that hashtags used during an event, an advertising campaign die immediately after the operation and are not used as a hook to keep customers engaged with the brand. Hashtags are not used strategically to help find a product on an e-commerce platform. We ran a test and saw that the same products run in a completely different way on each e-commerce platform, with none of the descriptions having the same wording.

As a consequence it’s difficult for consumers to find products online. The e-commerce platforms are driving the search and not the brand, which is a problem. Brands are opening their own stores, but they can’t maintain control of the product online as they do in the physical world.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Buzzdetector when it comes to developing your offer?

That’s a good question; the greatest challenge is that whenever we enter into a conversation with multinational corporations, it is difficult to make them understand that it’s not the size of the company that makes a difference, but the overall approach.

We are used to working with these kind of companies. It’s not just a matter of making the technology work; the most advanced monitoring platforms, with hundreds of millions invested in development, provide almost the same results as a small platform if you are good at writing the query.

The real problem is trying to get sentiment analysis that truly works; today it doesn’t work algorithmically. It can be correct 60 to 70 percent of the time when you’re really lucky, and a company can’t make a decision with a 30 percent margin for error.

Are there any social platforms that are closed today that you would be interested in tapping into for monitoring that would benefit your customers?

I would love to see Snapchat’s numbers. The most important platforms of the close future are the messaging platforms where you can’t have access, which I’m not questioning. This is the reason why we’re shifting towards the digital intelligence, collecting information in conversations from the brand’s point of view.

Since we can’t collect conversations as we do on the open platforms, our work has to adapt to the reality of the new platforms taking the market. We as a market have to modify the way we follow conversations to adapt to the new platforms.

What kind of data or media that you do not have monitoring on today can be interesting in the future?

Photos are rather important, as well as videos. I don’t foresee any real solutions in a close timeframe on monitoring them. I’m afraid that photo and video recognition could become the new sentiment analysis of the time, with the accuracy being rather low.

Are there specific or typical needs in the Italian market for social media monitoring that you think differs from the rest of Europe or the world in general?

I see a focus on pure reputation analysis, which disturbs me. Monitoring is not just a matter of perception; social media monitoring is something strictly linked to the strategic approach of a company to the market and its audience. When you’re limiting your analysis to the reputation, you are clearly doing basic work. In my opinion, in the Italian market, pure reputation analysis is still too much adopted. A lot of companies are losing information for growing and expanding their market at home and abroad.

How do you think the media monitoring and social intelligence industry will change in the next five years?

Messaging is impacting the industry because we can’t get in this as we can in other social media platforms. We have to find a way to follow the conversation, but it will be crucial to the organization to control and stimulate the conversation with the customers because they won’t have any other chance to find out what customers are talking about in messages.

This is a call to action to a more proactive strategy on behalf of companies to customers. Whenever you can’t follow the conversation between individuals, the only information you will get is the one around the conversation you can stimulate for them. From a monitoring point of view, this is changing everything because you have to go through more relevant semantic analysis, which is taking the lead of what will happen in this industry in the next five years.

The social media monitoring we know today and as it would be in five or 10 years, has to be considered a highly strategic activity. It has the ability to positively impact an entire strategy, product development, sales, commercial aspects, communication aspects and logistics. Social media monitoring has the ability to impact every aspect of a corporation’s life.

By Renata Ilitsky

How Leonardo helps us shape the future of social data

Leonardo_blogFor every sprint we fight with the priorities to improve our services and products as much as possible for a greater value. Sometimes however you might get stuck in priorities that limit creativity and you might lose track of where you are heading.

So, we introduced Leonardo.

Inspired by Google’s “20% time” we launched Leonardo, for the developers to spend 20% of their work time on future projects that are not included in regular planning. However, they could only choose among a certain number of projects in social data, that all were on our future road map. It could be features, new products, improvements to our systems etc.

They were free to approach the project in any way they liked as long as they constantly logged what they did, so everyone could follow the work, give input or continue the work if needed further on. They could go at it alone or together with someone else.

The purpose is to give the developers more creative freedom, full responsibility at the start of a project that they have selected and a picture of the different parts of our distant future. At the same time it gives us all a better detailed idea of our challenges ahead which helps us prioritize among new projects.

After the team was presented to Leonardo and the projects to choose from (four times more projects than team members), they got three days to choose their first project. Some chose project almost unwillingly and we even had to schedule time in our regular planning for everyone to get started.

Now after 6 months, we are still not fully embracing Leonardo. The big challenge for probably any team is to really set aside 20% of the work time on regular basis. Daily and weekly priorities are made for a reason and that knowledge in relation to available hours sometimes dims the view.

A few projects have come as far as it is possible under Leonardo and waiting to be included in the regular planning, while some have temporarily been abandoned for the choice of other projects. Projects with longer runways to get off the ground have seemed a bit more difficult to get attention, probably because they clash even harder with the short-term of daily priorities.

In our struggle for a more improved effect, the picture of the future painted by our Leonardo is still important every week to keep us on the right track and to see future synergies. We will continue to evaluate and develop Leonardo to generate more value in the future of social data.

If you are running similar projects, please share your experiences and don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or thoughts about ours.

Why the name Leonardo? Well, Leonardo da Vinci was a genius ahead of his time…

By Pontus Edenberg

If you need access to local or global blog data, you can find everything you need at Twingly.com

“In the next 5 years there will be more dependence on social media intelligence, which means that the accuracy and speed of analysis will increase”

Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb - original
Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb

Interview with Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb, CEO of Trendak, a social media intelligence company in Egypt

Hi Mohamed, what is your background and what is included in your current role at Trendak?

My background is in nanotechnology; the idea of big data and collecting information regarding nanotechnology in the Middle East is what started me in this field. That eventually got me working with a team to conduct Arabic text analysis and collecting information. We moved from there step by step into social media in the end of 2011.

I am responsible for the day-to-day operations and working with the team to set the strategy for the company and for the products that we sell. I help with sales when the size of the deal allows for me to move around. In addition, I am responsible for looking at the competition and doing business development as well.

What differs Trendak from other social media intelligence companies in Egypt and the MENA-region?

I believe our technology is better than that of many of the competitors we have. Our accuracy in analysis and range of channels that we monitor and analyze is bigger than better than our competitors.

How does your set-up of employees look like and do you work with partners in different parts of the world?

We have 31 employees, 40 percent of which are female. We have a young workforce, with the average age being 31; in fact, the majority of our staff are under 30. Most of the team has a technology background either in software engineering or in data science. The business team has a lot of experience in sales and in running companies. Collectively, we have 120 years of experience between the top management and the sales and the business development team.

We have technology partners in other parts of the world. We use DataSift, and have partnered with Gnip for the last two years. We also have resellers in Europe and in other parts of the Middle East.

Which type of companies benefit from your services?

Marketing companies, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and media channels. When Ramadan finished recently we did a lot of analysis on the viewership, the actors and television shows that happened during that time, and what the response of the people during the month of Ramadan, a high season for us, was.

What are your greatest challenges ahead at Trendak when it comes to developing your offer?

A lot of analysis is required to understand the clientele of our clients. FMCGs or brands need to understand their clientele more, but there are restrictions on understanding that, even in aggregate form. We are happy with the PYLON offering from Facebook to segment the audience we are looking at, yet many other channels aren’t that easy due to restrictions on access to data.

What other challenges do you face in your market?

The biggest challenge we sometimes have with clients in the Middle East, especially international brands, is that they come with a set of specific providers for analysis that would work in Europe or in the United States or Canada, but they don’t have the capabilities to understand the Arabic market. Unfortunately, international brands have worldwide contracts with these companies, so the competition for us with international is quite strong. Many local companies face the problem in the region that they cannot have deep insights, but they are tied into long-term contracts with their providers, which is a big challenge for an area like ours.

Do you have any specific plans to expand your business in the near future, like new markets or products?

Yes we are working very aggressively to enter the worldwide market, specifically Europe. Our biggest advantage is the Arabic language; our accuracy is quite high, and that is where we excel. We want to offer this to countries with a high Arabic speaking audience.

We want to develop, and started developing, offerings in languages that have not gotten enough attention from other companies, such as languages in Africa and the Far East.

How did the Arab Spring change the conception of social media in Egypt and the MENA-region?

I think the effect of the Arab Spring was not only on Africa and the Middle East region, but worldwide. It was one of first times that social media enabled and concretely demonstrated its influence on real life and on the public. Until that point, most of the world was talking about it as a virtual world, and a small sample of the real life audience. The Arab Spring showed that not to be true, that it’s more penetrated, and is a powerful tool to communicate. One of social media’s most important features is being able to provide alternative news sources in almost near real time. This is a tremendous power, and the Arab Spring made everyone understand the importance and effect of social media.

Which social platforms are currently most important for your customers?

This depends on the region of the country you’re talking about; Twitter and Instagram in the Gulf area, Facebook in Africa. We believe that Snapchat and Telegram are also becoming much more important, especially in the regions where the young population is a significant part of the entire population, like in Egypt, where 40 percent of the population is under 25.

Which social platform do you see having the most potential in the future?

That’s not a simple question, but I believe Instagram has a bright future. I believe that one of the two, Snapchat or Telegram, will grow more and more.

Are there any social platforms that are closed today that you would be interested in tapping into for monitoring that would benefit your customers?

Snapchat, as the amount of information that we can access is not that available.

What kind of data or media that you do not have monitoring on today, can be interesting in the future?

Photos, especially photos on Facebook, as the amount of information provided with the photos is not enough. Having access to more of that information would be very interesting for us.

Are there specific or typical needs in the Arabic market for social media monitoring that you think differs from rest of the world in general?

Understanding of the Arabic language and the level of detail you need to be able to understand the text is different from other parts of the world, and it’s not that simple to automate the understanding of this language. Meta data on that information is not sufficient on its own to provide deep insights that clients would like to see.

How do you think the media monitoring and social intelligence industry will change in the next five years?

I think there will be more dependence on it, which means that the accuracy and speed of analysis will increase. The depth of analysis will also increase and insights drawn from it will be instrumental for industries. Again, in an area where the population is quite young, social media will play a more important role than in other parts of the world.

By Renata Ilitsky