“There will no longer be a few media monitoring companies in a given country because monitoring will become diversified”

Paweł Sanowski

Interview with Paweł Sanowski, President of IMM, a media monitoring company in Poland and Romania.

Hi Paweł, what is your background and what is included in your current role at IMM?

When I started my adventure with the Institute of Media Monitoring in 2000, I had already had experience in different business sectors. Among others, I was in charge of standardization of the sales chain of the second largest insurance company in Poland – Warta SA. I was also responsible for preparing and finalizing the sale of Partner SA insurance company (acquired by Trygg Hansa). Additionally, I worked in an investment fund company, where I was co-responsible for the supervision of several firms from different branches of the industry.

I co-founded IMM from scratch in 2004, and yet, after five years, we became the largest media monitoring company in Poland, and have been strengthening this position ever since. In 2004, I also started the Internet portal, PRoto, dedicated to the PR industry in Poland. In the middle of 2008, we bought a media monitoring company in Romania – MediaTrust. Ever since, we have increased sales there by 11 times, and in 2015 we became the leaders in the second-largest CEE market.

I try to popularize knowledge about business intelligence, media analyses and the image of individuals and companies at the best Polish universities, like The Warsaw School of Economics and The London School of Public Relations.

I have managed the IMM group since the very beginning; however my role changes as the organization evolves. Currently, I rely more on the work of a fantastic team of co-workers that I have created over the past several years. My duties are very diverse, just like those of most of the heads of companies that employ a few hundred people.

What differs IMM from other media intelligence companies in the countries you are active in, Poland and Romania?

Both IMM and MediaTrust operate in line with the Media360 idea. Our media monitoring tools enable us to comprehensively analyse, research and control communication in all types of media – traditional (press, radio, TV, websites) and social media (blogs, forums, social networks, also photo and video).

Apart from media monitoring, we also have a vast spectrum of tools dedicated to communication specialists. For marketers, we offer monitoring of advertisements, for PR professionals, we offer a contact base for journalists integrated with online press offices, for social media managers from small companies, we offer a tool for autonomous social listening.

Comprehensiveness of the supplied services and tools helpful to a whole, generally understood communication industry, is undoubtedly IMM’s distinctive market quality. The second distinguishing feature that most frequently mentioned by our customers is the high quality of our services and analytical products .

What are your greatest challenges ahead at IMM when it comes to serving your customer monitoring and analysis, and develop your offer?

Continuous evolution of communication in social media, emergence of new platforms, migrations of consumers between media, increasing inflow of video and photo content, ability to provide media monitoring results in real time and the existence of ephemeral Snapchat-like content are the challenges ahead of the whole media monitoring industry.

Unceasing work on refining tools for collecting and analysing different contents has always been a priority for IMM. Currently, however, the dynamic of changes is much higher and the needs uttered by our customers play an important role in the process. PR specialists are increasingly aware of the benefits derived from the use of media monitoring for planning, carrying out and evaluating the effects of work in media. This, in turn, encourages us to develop further gauges and methods of measuring the communication activities.

Many young companies that specialise in Internet monitoring and the resulting price pressure are additional market challenges.

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

We are a family company, and as such, our activities do not carry too much risk. We always analyse potential acquisition opportunities both in Poland and in other countries. What’s important to us is continuous change, even if that includes small changes introduced to the offer or technologies – the continuous modifications make us stand out in the Polish media monitoring market.

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

I cannot disclose details that are confidential to our customers. Frequently, such changes result from media crisis situations which were effectively managed thanks to IMM media monitoring or the analysis of effectiveness of the conducted promotional activities based on which a decision was taken to stop, or, quite the contrary, to strengthen specific forms of activities, such as sponsorships.

What I can share is the information about a non-standard use of our media reports. One of the most interesting recent instances was performing a cross-sectional analysis of characteristics and media presence of a specific target group. The report constituted specific instructions for a customer, pinpointing for him where to invest his time and communication budget, and also what type of media communication to use to make it effective.

Analysis of the potential of sports sponsorships is another interesting example. Based on media presence of specific stadiums, a customer was able to make a decision on a sponsorship cooperation.

Sometimes media monitoring takes a more utilitarian form – our pharmaceutical customers use social media posts of patients as an additional element of reporting side effects.

Changes also take place on a meta-level. For several years we have monitored media citing other media. Throughout this time, our report has grown as the opinion-forming benchmark for media in Poland and the results of our ranking have had an influence on media outlets and media strategies more than once.

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

All social media platforms develop their streaming channels and live options. Facebook develops Messenger to adjust it to B2C communication. In addition, Snapchat raised the bar and provoked demand for content that disappear after some time, a functionality already introduced by Instagram and tested by Facebook. We assume that if customers find these forms of publications important to them, we will have to broaden the offering to include these non-standard channels.

You are a member of FIBEP; what are the benefits of being a part of organizations like that?

Undoubtedly a big advantage of FIBEP membership is the constant contact and sharing the experiences with entities of similar nature, as well as challenges. It’s easier to generate new solutions in a group or to cooperate on solving a problem that many of its members face. It’s also important to have the ability to inspire each other with each other’s solutions and sharing tips. FIBEP membership also enhances a supplier’s credibility in the eyes of customers. IMM has been in the FIBEP’s structures since it started.

What more could FIBEP contribute that would benefit your business?

FIBEP creates a range of opportunities, but not everybody uses them. FIBEP is a platform that helps achieve a lot, given a significant dedication. From my perspective, I would expect more of best practices presentations and more frequent workshop meetings.

How do you think the monitoring and media intelligence industry will change in the next 5 years?

I think that the situation gets complicated. There will no longer be a few media monitoring companies in a given country because monitoring will be diversified. There will be many market players – global and international companies that provide media monitoring SaaS-tools. There will be local companies – small and large – that will try to combine a range of the monitoring-related elements and analyses. We will see the emergence of the market linked with the monitoring that will supply a range of analyses and tools for business. There will be new areas of operations for media monitoring companies, but they will be low-margin and highly competitive.

I am glad to be working in an industry that evolves so quickly because it forces us to move forward and to look for new solutions, which boosts our energy. It gives me the impression that I’m not aging, and that I’m still young.

By Renata Ilitsky

“Other forms of media monitoring is almost futile without adding Facebook Topic Data”

John RosenbaumInterview with John Rosenbaum, Nordic Social Media Business Manager at Retriever, one of the leading media monitoring companies in Scandinavia.

Hi John. What is your background and what is included in your current role at Retriever?

I attended university in Sweden wanting to get into sports medicine, ending up moving to the US and getting a scholarship to Hobart College for undergraduate studies in journalism, media and religion. Then moving on to Ithaca College where I received a master’s degree in communications. I became fascinated by companies, organizations and people who were able to communicate better than everyone else; those skills are evident in everything they do and how successful they are. It is actually rather rare that their ideas are that much better than the competition, it is mostly about communicating your idea, product or otherwise, in an attractive way.

When I came back to Sweden, I joined a startup called Lissly, where I was the first one in after the CEO. The idea behind that company was to challenge firms such as Retriever and Radian6, among many others, to really build a simple and effective tool to be able to get effective data, and then be able to do something with it, which I couldn’t do at my previous jobs.

In just two and a half years, Lissly was named the #1 social media monitoring tool in Scandinavia based on an independent and in-depth analysis of all media monitoring tools. What was interesting at the time was that Retriever came in a close second, where I am now working.

However, eventually, I began to feel that the company wasn’t going in the direction I had wanted, and wasn’t improving in the areas I needed, so I left, rather abruptly.

I then joined Retriever in a matter of days in a very coincidental mix of right timing and chemistry with Retriever management; we just hit it off in a major way. My official title is Nordic social media business manager, but, in reality, my role is everything and anything in between. I am firstly in charge of the social media tool called Pulse and the social media analytics surrounding it.

I travel around the Nordic countries since we have offices in Oslo, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm, educating staff in departments such as sales, customer relations and analysis, while also educating clients and helping salespeople conduct social media presentations. I also lecture (more and more in the last few months) about the challenges facing many organizations trying to get value and analyze social media and social metrics. I also help upper management develop plans for the future, and I assist our engineers and product developers in what we can and should be doing. It is an amazing job at the best company I have ever worked for.

What differs Retriever from other media monitoring companies in Scandinavia?

I am the first one to acknowledge that the industry of social media tools is problematic. We deliver great potential that is rarely used anywhere close to a satisfactory level. Partly because no company has been able to assist clients using their tools really effectively but also because the client base has been slow to educate themselves and find the resources to understand the value in social media. However, while working at Retriever, I have undoubtedly changed how we work with clients to not only store data, but to alter the way that we think about that data. And most importantly, at least for me, how the clients use the data, analyze and interact effectively.

There really isn’t a lot that separates most of the top companies when it comes to the raw data itself. Most of the firms around the world have reasonably similar and good data coverage. However, when it comes down to enhancing the data via language filters, filtering down the data to relevant and usable metrics and then doing something with the collected and segmented data, there are huge differences.

And in this regard, Retriever is different because we have really talented people and a lot of them, a team of 160+ individuals with great educations and experiences in areas such as journalism and statistics, PR and marketing and business, which really analyze and dig into the data without preconceptions and without making outrageous statements based on a gut feeling or insufficient data. I know that might sound like “big talk” and a rather harsh critique of the social media industry as a whole. But some of the tool providers have been very “wild west” dealing in outrageous statements when it comes to things such as reach, potential reach and success rates. A lot of the metrics have been hugely overstated, and that is me being really nice and conservative.

That is also why I am trying to raise the level of communication Retriever has with all clients and truly try to understand their needs, instead of giving them a tool that they are not able to use properly or create enough value out of. In this industry, I would say that a very high percentage of clients don’t know how to use the data or the tools at a proficient level. I both want to change that and feel we have to make these organizations both understand the data, and learn how to use the analysis and insight we can provide at a more useful level. To create real value. I would also say that is exactly Retriever’s biggest advantage over other companies, which is trying to really help clients understand the data, not just collect it for them.

You have recently added Facebook Topic Data; in what way is that important for your customers?

If you want to tell clients what they have been missing out on so far, as well as being completely honest, you could argue that other forms of media monitoring is almost futile without adding Facebook Topic Data! Because Facebook not only has the most amount of users, but also the broadest demographics of users. Previously, all this information was unavailable, so we had to make do with what was available. But now 100% of the Facebook data is, except for the private messages, which will remain completely private.

At Retriever we can now find out what things people talk about in conjunction with other things, and filter on behaviors, such as what people are going to do. This kind of data can really get into that long awaited “big data” phrase everyone throws around and we can cross reference that with all the other data we have and provide. It is not that the other data we provide is pointless, it is just that Facebook Topic Data elevates everything so we can make predications even on other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. We will be able to analyze behaviors, patterns in communication and really understand the social media-shpere.

Another good thing is that it is anonymous; Facebook protects people’s names and makes it impossible to find out who the person behind the information is. But the value is in the demographics and the relationships we see, which gives us a great perspective. This information shouldn’t only interest marketers, but everyone.

I do have to say that other platforms we monitor and analyze, such as Twitter and Instagram, do give us a good perspective, but the demographics are limited. For example, Instagram users are mostly women, while Twitter in Nordic countries is geared mostly for politics, especially as of late. Facebook, on the other hand, has a more representative demographic, and is able to provide us with outstanding data, which is unparalleled. Based on that information, we can create behavior sets that are completely new, and can give that information to marketers, PR agencies and advertising agencies as wells as communication teams, to let them know if their campaign and advertisement worked, if they reached the targeted group, and if how they bought media was successful.

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

I believe that really depends on the purpose. For example, although Facebook has the best demographics and the most data available, it may or may not be the best or most accurate source to predict US elections. It is hard to say for any one given event or field and we have to let the data speak for itself. We still need other platforms and to look at other channels as a comparison to Facebook. For instance, political candidates change their message, the way it’s designed and delivered, to the person they want to target on the different social platforms. Does that change the data? It might. I have seen this happen when looking at data surrounding music competitions such as Idol and the Swedish Melodifestivalen.

Snapchat is a tool that still is in its infancy but has enormous potential. The problem is monitoring it. There are platforms that have enormous potential for companies but their data is not very attractive to monitor. That is a real challenge for us.

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

Twitter has amazing quality data, but they refuse to release very detailed information, which they already have. Another platform I would be really excited about being more open is LinkedIn. That data would be invaluable because it is the #1 professional platform, which would be a big help in learning to understand that segment of the public. From an employer branding perspective and recruitment it would be priceless and such a great source of rich data.

There are some current discussions about the lack of measuring reach and engagement properly. Do you have any ideas on how this can be improved?

I really want the industry to be a lot more aligned, and not to be a Wild West with outrageous statements with little to no basis in reality. I want to take a stand to create a standard within the industry in terms of such things as reach, potential reach, interactions and all the other debatable metrics.This will create trust and understanding among our clients.

So many clients tell me that social media monitoring companies approach them and talk about “six million people having seen or could have been reached by a certain message” and then fail to explain what it even means. When we check the data we see that one tenth of that number would be more appropriate. The client then asks me: “how can the numbers differ so much?”

Engagement rates are often company/product branded and far from universal, used without any standards, and often without any statistical understanding, and that needs to stop. As an industry, we need to provide services that are not counterintuitive, and offer products that are not based on error or by knowing that the client does not understand and is afraid to look bad by asking.

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

This is truly region based; for example, in Sweden, podcasts have made a huge comeback. They were hip six to seven years ago, died down, and now are back and more popular than ever. They are even sponsored by some of the biggest companies like Ikea, which have used the podcasts to cater their message.

I would also be interested in automated picture analysis. For example, getting data on a photo in a political campaign that has Ikea’s brand in the photo; if that would be tagged, that would be a big help.

And the Holy Grail would be sentiment analysis that actually works. In my opinion, on the data automatically analyzed today without any manual filtering, I have not seen any tool that is correct more than 65% of the time. This means that we can’t be totally honest integrating such a service into our system, because it would be too problematic. Although larger volumes of data would paint a broad picture, most clients don’t get such large volumes of interactions because the most common analysis is done over a month or a couple of months. I have a feeling we will see a lot of progress in this field over the coming couple of years.

How do you think that the media monitoring business will change in the next 5-10 years?

Tools will still be a necessity but most companies will only use them for customer service, marketing and crisis management. I think the future is in analysis where the data enters through a tool but the insight comes through a report. In fact, I am sure of it. The companies not investing in analysis are making a huge mistake; Retriever is heavily invested in tools, but are even more heavily invested in analysis.

Most Scandinavian companies will keep on buying and selling tools, but will need to sell them while increasing analysis and creating real value. More and more companies are realizing that real value is created through insights and those insights usually come from the analysis of the data and not from live alerts in a tool. Furthermore, I actually think this paradigm shift may happen in as little as three to five years from now.

By Renata Ilitsky

8 million reasons for transparency in media coverage

Hands_my_data
Show’em what you got…

Coverage is quite essential when it comes to all kinds of media monitoring. It is difficult to track what is said about a brand or to measure the effect of a campaign if you do not have the correct data supplied.

However, it is somewhat difficult to know if the sources you, as a media monitoring company, bring to your clients are enough or sometimes even active. It would be much easier to compare different data suppliers and their advantages, as well as a help for the media monitoring companies that are self-supplied, if there was a standard in how to measure coverage.

A first step to getting closer to a standard could be that everyone is transparent and publishes their numbers, whether it is blogs, news, message boards, podcasts etc. Then we can start to adjust and eventually there might be an accepted way to measure coverage among data suppliers and media monitoring companies.

For us, dealing with blog data, there will always be more blogs out there to monitor and there is a constant struggle in finding them. We are continuously adding new methods to increase the coverage but others’ numbers would definitely spur us even more, and most likely other data suppliers in this industry, to do better.

We have made the numbers for our data public, regardless of how the numbers measure to others, and it would be great to see others do the same. When it comes to blogs, we have chosen the term “active blogs” to separate the data that matters from giant empty numbers. An “active blog” for us is a blog with a post during the last 6 months.

Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pradesh, home of Telugu

Every new active blog that we add to our monitoring is important. Even though we are talking about them in bulk, every single source is a reason for transparency, whether it is the 3 new blogs that we add every day in average in Telugu (Indian language spoken mainly in Andhra Pradesh) or the entire volume of 8 million active blogs.

Naturally, the quality of the data you supply is also important. However, that is a more difficult task to measure when it comes to these volumes of data, divided over different markets etc. Please share if you have any ideas here, otherwise we can start to agree on how to show the numbers first and then get down to the tough business of quality 🙂

Please let us know what you think or if you prefer to see blog coverage presented in any other way. We can of course also supply you with other specific numbers from our blog data if you like.

By Pontus Edenberg

Medienbewachen.de close to listing 100 Social Media Monitoring Tools

(Zur deutschen Version dieses Artikels geht’s hier)

Medienbewachen.de

November last year we launched Medienbewachen.de, a Wiki in German for everyone looking for social media monitoring tools focusing on the German-speaking market. On the Wiki you’ll find dozens of tools that can help you monitoring and analysing the buzz on the web. Many services listed offer a detailed presentation introducing their core features, pricing and contact details. Medienbewachen.de shall make it easy for everyone to find the tool suiting their individual needs best.

Since its launch, the Wiki has grown – it now lists 76 social media monitoring tools of which 38 offer a detailed presentations plus another 38 where a presentation will be added in the future. Every week we get in new requests regarding the Wiki and we are really happy to see that Medienbewachen.de also clearly helps with generating new leads and giving additional reach to the social media monitoring services taking part.

According to Stefan Vetter, Head of Marketing at MeMo News AG Switzerland, Medienbewachen.de has become the fifth biggest traffic source for MeMo News. He praises the Wiki for being an excellent platform where everyone looking for  social media monitoring tools can gain a good first overview. Such a platform  has been missing before, he said.

Echobot, based in Karlsruhe, Germany uses Medienbewachen.de actively as part of its marketing strategy. Tobias Görgen, Managing Director of Toocan, thinks that being part of the Wiki means increased traffic and visibility for monitoring tools. We made an interview with Tobias last year, you can read it here.

Google Analytics shows that during the last month 75 percent of all visitors came to Medienbewachen.de for the first time, while 25 percent were returning to the site. This means that people started actively using it as a resource for their research of social media monitoring tools, but also that a lot of new people find to the site. A good balance!

We look forward to developing Medienbewachen.de further and would love to see your tool listed as well, so you offer a social media monitoring tool aimed at the German market. Get in touch and we get you started!

Medienbewachen.de listet bald 100 Social Media Monitoring Tools

(The English version of this article is available here)

Medienbewachen.de

Im November vergangenen Jahres haben wir mit Medienbewachen.de ein Angebot für alle gestartet, die nach Social-Media-Monitoring-Werkzeugen speziell für den deutschsprachigen Raum suchen. Auf dem Wiki findet ihr eine umfangreiche Übersicht zu Werkzeugen für die Beobachtung und Analyse von Sozialen Medien – viele davon mit einer detaillierten Präsentation. Ziel ist es, allen, die auf der Suche nach einem Social Media Monitoring Tool sind, bei der Auswahl zu helfen.

Die Site hat sich in den vergangenen viereinhalb Monaten sehr gut entwickelt. Mittlerweile sind 76 Social Media Monitoring Tools vertreten, davon  38 Tools mit oftmals detaillierten Präsentationen, sowie 38 weitere die noch eine Präsentation hinterlegen werden. Wöchentlich erreichen uns Anfragen, und Medienbewachen.de hilft ganz offensichtlich den gelisteten Unternehmen dabei potentielle neue Kunden zu erreichen und ihre Sichtbarkeit zu verbessern.

Stefan Vetter, Head of Marketing bei der MeMo News AG Schweiz, ließ uns wissen, dass Medienbewachen.de mittlerweile  Platz 5 der Besucherquellen für MeMo News einnimmt. Sein Urteil: “Ich halte Medienbewachen für ein sehr gutes Angebot, um einen Überblick über Anbieter von Social Media Monitoring und Analytics im deutschsprachigen Raum zu bekommen – das hat zuvor einfach gefehlt.”

Echobot.de, ein junger deutscher Anbieter aus Karlsruhe, nutzt Medienbewachen.de aktiv als Teil seiner Marketingstrategie. Tobias Görgen, Managing Director von Toocan, geht davon aus, dass Medienbewachen.de vielen Anbietern zusätzlichen Traffic und damit zusätzliche Reichweite bringt. Mit Tobias haben wir übrigens im vergangenen Jahr ein Interview geführt.

Ein Blick auf Google-Analytics zeigt, dass im letzten Monat 75 Prozent aller Besucher auf Medienbewachen.de die Site zum ersten Mal besuchen, 25 Prozent sind wiederkehrende Nutzer. Das deutet daraufhin, dass bereits rund ein Viertel der Besucher das Angebot aktiv für seine Recherchen nutzt, während gleichzeitig sehr viele neue Besucher zu Medienbewachen.de finden. Ein gutes Verhältnis, wie wir finden, und nun gilt es Medienbewachen.de weiter auszubauen.

Fehlt noch ein Anbieter mit Fokus auf den deutschsprachigen Raum, oder wollt ihr euer Tool vorstellen? Dann meldet euch!

“Oft ist die Twitter-Tatort-Gemeinde zwiegespalten”

Click here for the English version!

Der Tatort ist die in der deutschen Twittersphäre am meisten und intensivsten diskutierte Fernsehsendung. Stefanie Aßmann und Nicole Greiner haben vor einiger Zeit in einem Blog damit begonnen, die Twitter-Resonanz auf einzelne Episoden auszuwerten und zu analysieren. Im Interview erzählt Stefanie, wie es dazu kam, was twitternde Tatort-Fans bewegt und was als nächstes kommen könnte.

Wer bist du wieso bewegt dich das Thema Social-Media-Monitoring?
Meine Name ist Stefanie Aßmann, bei Twitter @miss_assmann. Ich arbeite bei VICO Research & Consulting als Consultant und beschäftige mich dort beruflich mit dem Thema Monitoring und Social Media. Vor zwei Jahren habe ich mich im Rahmen meiner Masterarbeit das erste Mal mit Social Media Monitoring auseinander gesetzt. Damals gab es nur wenig Literatur zum Thema. Für mich war das ein Grund, dies zu ändern und das Blog zum Thema ins Leben zu rufen. Außerdem finde ich es sehr spannend, wie die Nutzer online über Produkte und Marken diskutieren. Analysen zur Social Media Kommunikation ergeben immer sehr interessante Erkenntnisse.

Du befasst dich seit einiger Zeit damit, die Twitter-Reaktionen zum Tatort zu analysieren. Wie kam es dazu?
Wir haben auf der Arbeit montags über den Tatort gesprochen und uns darüber unterhalten, wie viele Leute doch auf Twitter darüber diskutieren. Da kam uns die Idee, das es lustig wäre, den Tatort anhand von Tweets nachzuerzählen. Mit Nicole habe ich die Idee einige Zeit später wieder aufgegriffen. Leider schaffen wir es zeitlich nur selten, den Tatort zu analysieren.

Wieso sorgt gerade der Tatort für ein derartig großes Echo bei Twitter?
Das ist eine gute Frage und ein gutes Thema für eine Analyse. In meinem Freundeskreis schauen sehr viele Leute sonntags Tatort. Da viele Freunde der Social-Media-Welt beim Fernsehen das Smartphone nicht aus der Hand legen können, haben sie wohl angefangen, den Tatort zu kommentieren. Das Ganze hat sich irgendwann verselbstständigt. In meiner Timeline ist mir der Tatort jedenfalls als erstes TV Format aufgefallen.

Welche Tools und Verfahren verwendest du für deine Analyse?
Angefangen haben wir mit der Twitter-Suche. Zwischendurch habe ich auch das Tool von VICO eingesetzt, um eine Tag Cloud zu erstellen. Anja von Twingly war nun so nett und hat mir ein Liveboard zum Tatort eingerichtet. Damit erhält man einen guten Überblick, wie viele User zu welchen Schlagworten zum Tatort twittern. Um die Tweets zu sammeln, nutzen wir aktuell die Twittersuche und Live von Twingly. Ideen für weitere Analysen habe ich genug. Mir fehlt nur die Zeit für die Umsetzung.

Welche Folge war bisher die mit den insgesamt positivsten Twitter-Kritiken und welche die mit den negativsten? 
Da wir nicht jeden Tatort analysieren, kann ich das gar nicht so genau sagen. Oft ist die Twitter-Tatort-Gemeinde zwiegespalten. Gerade der Tatort von Justus von Dohnanyi hat für viel Gesprächsstoff bei Twitter gesorgt. Entweder wurde der Tatort als Meisterstück gelobt, oder er wurde verrissen. Prinzipiell kann man auch sagen, dass bei manchen Tatorten der eigentlich Inhalt bei Twitter gar keine Rolle spielt. Manchmal sind gewisse Details im Tatort spannender als die Handlung selbst. Gerade wenn bestimmte Details im Film nicht logisch sind, wird gerne gemeckert.

Glaubst du, der Tatort wird immer eher eine Ausnahme bleiben, was das Social-Web-Engagement der Nutzer angeht? Oder werden künftig viele weitere Sendungen ähnlich viel Resonanz in den Social-Media-Kanälen erhalten?
Der Tatort war die erste Sendung mit so viel Resonanz bei Twitter. Mittlerweile wird alles mögliche – bespielsweise “Bauer sucht Frau” oder “The Voice of Germany” – bei Twitter diskutiert. In meinen Augen birgt Twitter bei der Analyse von TV-Formaten noch sehr viel Potential. Anbieter wie Couchfunk haben schon erkannt, dass man das klassische Fernsehen mit der Internetnutzung verknüpfen sollte.

Denkst du darüber nach, deine Analysen auf andere Sendungen auszuweiten?
Ja, da denke ich schon länger drüber nach. Allerdings habe ich noch kein Format gefunden, dass mich inhaltlich auch so interessiert. Mich würden hier generell amerikanische Serien reizen. Dort werden die verschiedenen Social-Media-Kanäle bereits jetzt schon verstärkt von den Sendern eingesetzt.

“Often, the actual plot isn’t what engages users in the online discussion”

Hier könnt ihr das Interview auf Deutsch lesen.

The German crime drama series Tatort (German for “crime scene”) is the most discussed TV show among Twitter users in Germany. A while ago Stefanie Assmann and Nicole Greiner started to analyse the Twitter feedback on a couple of episodes. In our interview, Stefanie explains how that happened, what it is that gets the tweeting audience excited as well as what the next step could look like.

Tell us a bit about you.
My name is Stefanie Assmann, @miss_assmann on Twitter. I’m working as a consultant at Vico Research, a German full-service agency for social media, dealing mainly with monitoring and social media. About two years ago I learned about social media monitoring for the first time while writing my Master thesis. Back then there wasn’t too much literature on that topic, which made me eventually launch a blog about it. It’s fascinating to see how users discuss brands and products. Analysing their comments always leads to interesting insights.

You have started to look closer at what Twitter users say about Tatort episodes and to publish the results on your blog. Why?
On Mondays at the office we usually discuss the latest episode of Tatort (which is always broadcasted on Sunday evenings), and we found it impressive how many people were doing the same on Twitter during the show. Nicole and I thought it might be fun to use those tweets by people watching Tatort to re-tell the story of the episode. Eventually, that led to a couple of blog posts where we evaluated the Tatort-buzz on Twitter. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to do that regularly.

Why is Tatort the single regular TV show in Germany getting that much attention on Twitter?
Good question and food for another analysis. Many of my friends usually watch Tatort on Sunday evenings. It’s quite a popular series. And as it is the case for many social media enthusiasts, they can’t stop using their smartphone, even while doing something else like watching TV. So they started to tweet about Tatort. Now that has become some kind of “tradition” on Twitter. I remember that Tatort was the first TV show that appeared in my Twitter timeline.

Which tools do you use for your analysis?
We started with the Twitter search, and we also used a tool from VICO, my employer, to create a tag cloud. Recently Twingly was so kind to provide us with a Liveboard that helps to get a quick overview about the amount and type of Tatort tweets.

Are there any typical patterns or reactions that you observe?
Since we don’t cover each Tatort episode it’s a bit hard to say. But my impression is that usually the feedback is rather varied, with both positive and negative comments. So some people love an episode while others hate it. Often, the actual plot isn’t what engages users in the online discussion. Instead it’s specific details that make people tweet. If the audience perceives a detail as unrealistic or absurd, that would usually lead to a lot of complaining on Twitter.

You think Tatort will be an exception regarding its Twitter buzz, or will other German TV shows become equally popular on Twitter?
Tatort was definitely the first show in Germany to create this kind of engagement among Twitter users. But nowadays there are other TV shows as well that get lots of tweets. I think there is a lot of potential in “social tv”, and specific web services are popping up to build on that and to connect traditional TV with the web.

Do you plan to extend your analysis to other shows?
I would love to, but I have yet to find a show which excites me enough to invest the time. A US show would be fun, since there the stations themselves already actively use social media.