Intelligent influence: How to use Google APIs to bolster your social media content

As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. For social media influencers, however, a picture or video can be worth thousands of dollars.

Social media influencing, driven primarily by sharing photo and video content across popular social media channels, represents a $1B USD industry with expectations of doubling in the next two years. Influencers need to seek out every advantage in order to survive in this growing yet infamously competitive marketplace. So how can social media influencers leverage technology in new ways to maximize the value of sharing media with their followers?

Below is a sample use case of how a social media influencer can leverage the power of Google Cloud APIs to bolster their existing media library. In this use case, it is important to remember to consolidate strategies into corresponding tool sets and try to keep them under one application as to not create disparate processes and data sets. One leading solution for this is the Synaptik framework, which will be discussed later in the post.

Tools: Google Cloud Video Intelligence API + Natural Language API

The Google Video Cloud Intelligence API allows users to, for a nominal fee, search every moment of every video file in a user’s catalog and find every occurrence as well as its significance. It quickly annotates videos stored in Google Cloud Storage, and helps users identify key noun entities of each video, as well as when they occur within the video.

The Google Cloud Natural Language API provides natural language understanding technologies to developers. Examples include sentiment analysis, entity recognition, entity sentiment analysis and text annotations.

Use Case: A fitness social media influencer wants to drive more insights from his collection of workout videos while better meeting the needs his current and potential followers.

Action Steps:

1.) Identification of nouns within video content. The influencer wants to make sure that videos are tracked by workout type. He uses the Google Cloud Video Intelligence API to identify noun keywords within each video including treadmill, kettlebell, barbell and bicycle.

2.) Organization of video content. The influencer is now able to take several action steps following noun identification. He chooses to crop videos showing certain activities to share daily on social media: one day highlighting kettlebells, another for a treadmill routine. Second, he makes his YouTube videos searchable by activity so his followers and visitors to his videos can easily find specific routines within larger workouts.

3.) Tracking of follower response. Using the Google Cloud Natural Language API, the influencer can also track the positive and negative sentiment of followers towards each social media posting. This allows him to drive his digital video content strategy to better serve his customers and ultimately continue to grow his social influence!

This work can seem daunting for a social media influencer, or really any small- to medium-sized business owner. However, Synaptik has the power to integrate Google Video Cloud Intelligence, Natural Language and dozens of other Google Cloud-based APIs into one easy-to-use, customizable platform. Sign up for a 30 minute consultation and we can show you what customers are saying about your products and services across multiple social media channels online (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).

By Joe Sticca


Sparking Digital Communities: Broadcast Television’s Answer to Netflix

In the late 1990s and early 2000s network television dominated household entertainment. In 1998, nearly 30% of the population in the United States tuned into the NBC series finale of “Seinfeld”. Six years later, NBC’s series finale of the popular sitcom “Friends” drew 65.9 million people to their television screen, making it the most watched episode on US network TV in the early aughts. Today, nearly 40% of the viewers that tuned into the “Game of Thrones” premier viewed the popular show using same-day streaming services and DVR playback. The way people watch video content is changing rapidly and established network television companies need to evolve to maintain their viewership.

While linear TV is still the dominant platform amongst non-millenials, streaming services are quickly catching up. As young industry players like Hulu, Netflix and Youtube transform from streaming services to content creators and more consumers cut ties with cable, established network broadcasters need to engage their loyal audience in new ways. The challenge to stay relevant is further exacerbated by market fragmentation as consumer expectations for quality content with fewer ad breaks steadily rise.

Courtesy of Visual Capitalist

One advantage broadcast television still has over streaming services is the ability to tap into a network of viewers watching the same content at the same time. In 2016, over 24 million unique users sent more than 800 million TV related tweets. To stay relevant, network television companies are hoping to build on this activity by making the passive viewing experience an active one. We spoke with Michelle Imbrogno, Advertising Sales Director at This Old House about the best ways to engage the 21st century audience.

“Consumers now get their media wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them. At “This Old House”, we are able to offer the opportunity to watch our Emmy Award winning shows on PBS, on or anytime. For example, each season we feature 1-2 houses and their renovations. The editors of the magazine, website and executive producer of the TV show work closely together to ensure that our fans can see the renovations on any platforms. We also will pin the homes and the items in them on our Pinterest page. Social media especially Facebook resonates well with our readers.“– Michelle Imbrogno, Advertising Sales Director, This Old House

Social media platforms have become powerful engagement tools. According to Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings in 2015, 60% of consumers are “second screeners” – using their smartphones or tablets while watching TV. Many “second screeners” are using their devices to comment and interact with a digital community of fans. Games, quizzes and digital Q & A can keep viewers engaged with their favorite programming on a variety of platforms. The NFL is experimenting with new engagement strategies and teamed up with Twitter in 2016 to livestream games and activate the digital conversation.

“There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games and tapping into that audience, in addition to our viewers on broadcast and cable, will ensure Thursday Night Football is seen on an unprecedented number of platforms.”-NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ,”

With social media optimization (SMO) software, television networks can better understand their audience and adjust their social media strategy quickly. Tracking website traffic and click rates simply isn’t enough these days. To stay on trend, companies need to start tracking new engagement indicators using Synaptik’s social media intelligence checklist:

Step 1: Integrate Social Listening Tools

The key to understanding your audience is listening to what they have to say. By tracking mentions, hashtags and shares you can get a better sense of trending topics and conversations in your target audience. Moreover, this knowledge can underpin your argument for higher price points in negotiations with media buyers and brands.

Step 2: Conduct a Sentiment Analysis

Deciphering a consumer’s emotional response to an advertisement, character or song can be tricky but sentiment analysis digs deeper using natural language processing to understand consumer attitudes and opinions quickly. Additionally, you can customize outreach to advertisers based on the emotional responses they are trying to tap into.

Step 3: Personality Segmentation

Understanding a consumer’s personality is key to messaging. If you want to get through to your audience you need to understand how to approach them. New social media tools like Crystal, a Gmail plug-in, can tell you the best way to communicate with a prospect or customer based on their unique personality. This tool can also help you customize your approach to media buyers and agents.

By creating more accessible content for users and building a digital community around content, television networks can expect to increase advertising revenue and grow their fan base. With Synaptik’s social listening tools, companies have the advantage to track conversations around specific phrases, words, or brands. Sign up for a 30 minute consultation and we can show you what customers are saying about your products and services across multiple social media channels online (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).


Joe Sticca, Chief Operating Officer at True Interaction

Kiran Prakash, Content Marketing at True Interaction

by Nina Robbins


Leveraging Data and Revenue Opportunities in Media Syndication

In the modern digital era where people are constantly bombarded by web and mobile content, any expectation of success for digital media creators requires advantageous placement of their content. In most cases, that means disseminating media across as many platforms as can conceivably host it. The benefits are innumerable, not the least of which is the expanded opportunities for scale and the considerable financial implications of an increase in revenue generation as a result of growing one’s audience. However, this process is not without its drawbacks. Our previous blog post delineates some key issues that creators are often forced to address once they decide to showcase their content through different online channels.


Building a brand by means of video content requires a close eye on the full range of analytics concerning one’s media. The reach and impact of one’s online presence is paramount to a creator’s ability to make strategic, data driven decisions. Though it might seem tempting, it is not strategic, nor is it actually feasible, to publish content on any platform indiscriminately. Some video content perform exponentially better in certain online environments and in some cases, its existence on a certain platform could prove to be detrimental to a creator’s overall brand, which makes its continued presence on that platform counterintuitive.

The key to combatting this scenario is for the supplier to maintain unhindered visibility into the data surrounding and generated by their content. Analytics on this scale, across different channels is understandably a massive feat. As a response to this challenge, media creators are exploring blockchain technologies (as we detail in a previous post) and leveraging its transparency feature in order to retain control of data tracking and reporting capabilities despite adopting a multi-channel distribution strategy.

Contract Compliance and Rights Management

Once a creator adopts a multi-platform syndication strategy, the increase in exposure is accompanied by the intensification of complexity in regards to contract agreements. There does exist a much simpler distribution strategy in which a creator simply sends the content files to a third party host and is then awarded a license fee, revenue share, or a combination of the two for their contribution. However, the tradeoff for the presumed ease of this distribution process is that the creator effectively loses control of their content. This concession of control does make a simple, cut-and-dry third party distribution less enticing for content suppliers and may deem the management of multifaceted contractual agreements worth it if it means that they retain the rights to their media.

EY astutely posits that “opportunities, across all sectors of the global economy, have at least one thing in common: they require multiple corporations to partner.” In adhering to that model, media syndication requires the interwoven partnerships between the content supplier, syndication partners, and advertising networks. The amount of involved parties can be daunting even from the beginning, as each one must find enough mutual benefit to forge on with an agreement. The resulting mass of contracts is irrefutably overwhelming. Establishing the contract will be inherently difficult with the sheer amount of parties and agents involved, but AdMonster suggests focusing on the terms of your syndication relationships, your business priorities, and the requirements of your advertisers when determining the terms of a syndication agreement.

Beyond the initial hurdle of contract creation lies the cumbersome task of enforcing the established contract. The agreement will cover everything from ad agency contract compliance to the rules of digital distribution as agreed upon by the content supplier and the platform that will host it. For many video creators, this is beyond what they are capable or willing to do, hence the common employment of syndication services such as Castfire or Grab Networks. Streaming Media reports that content suppliers value these services’ capability to manage relationships, especially with advertisers, and keep “track of advertising agreements and cross-promotion rules for the various sites that carry a video.” With the release of these video inventory and contract management systems, video creators are being spurred into creating more content and syndicating it to more platforms.

On a broader level, EY continues to laud the disruptive capabilities of blockchain technology, particularly in the media industry. The technology is brimming with potential as EY notes the advent of a blockchain-based music ecosystem “in which artists can place their songs and control song data and terms of usage, with transaction royalties distributed in real time to the artists, producers, writers and engineers involved in a song’s production.” Once this system is modified for video media, the means with which contracts and the terms regarding the rights to a piece of content are enforced will be conducted with significant ease and transparency.

Dealing with countless data repositories in a multitude of formats of structured and unstructured data can make the efforts not worth the ROI for many content suppliers. But True Interaction’s Synaptik platform has the ability to automate and aggregate your disparate structured and unstructured data across internal and external sources that will usher in a transformational return. It is becoming imperative for creators to learn more about the benefits of blockchain technology and the many ways it can be integrated into your business processes in order to steer your organization to success.

Joe Sticca, Chief Operating Officer of True Interaction, contributed to this post.

By Justin Barbaro


Can Blockchain help Media’s Data Challenges?

There has been a lot of discussion around blockchain and its framework in the financial services world. However in our organization’s continuing research as well as operations with our clients we are beginning to uncover specific opportunities that span into the media space. We feel blockchain can and should serve as a universal and cost effective foundation to address data management and insight decision management – regardless of organizational size, output, or industry.

There have always been three distinct challenges in our collective experiences here at True Interaction:

1. Data aggregation and normalization:

With more and more linear and digital channel fragmentation, the process of aggregating and normalizing data for review and dissemination has weighed down efficient insight decision making. One way to look at it is: you spend 40-60% of your time aggregating and normalizing data from structured and unstructured data types (PDFs, emails, word docs, csv files, API feeds, video, text, images, etc.) across a multitude of sources (media partners, internal systems, external systems & feeds, etc.). This leaves little time for effective review and analysis – essential to determining any insight.

2. Data review, reporting, dashboards:

Once you have your data normalized from your various sources you can then move to building and producing your reporting dashboards for review and scenario modeling. This process is usually limited to answering questions you already know.

3. Insight and action

Actionable insight is usually limited, usually because the most time and resources are allocated to the above two steps. This process should entail a review of your data systems: are the providing you with insights outside the questions you already know? In addition, where and how can “rules” or actions into other processes and systems be automated? Today the are plenty of business situations that exist where manual coordination and communications are still needed or utilized in order to take action – thereby obviating any competitive edge to execute quickly.

Blockchain can provide an efficient and universal data layer to serve your business intelligence tool set(s). This can help consolidate internal data repositories when aggregating and normalizing data. It can also be the de-facto ledger for all data management activities as well as the database of record to ease and minimize management of propriety data platforms and processes.
The following are additional resources:

How will Blockchain will Transform Media and Entertainment

Blockchain technology: 9 benefits & 7 challenges

Blockchain just fixed the Internet’s worst attribute

By Joe Sticca


The Changing Terrain of Media in the Digital Space

The rapid digitization of the media industry does not merely address the immediate needs posed by the market, but also anticipates the constantly changing consumer behavior and rising expectations of an increasingly digital customer. The World Economic Forum points to a growing middle class, urbanization, the advent of tech savvy millennials demanding instantaneous access to content on a variety of platforms, and an aging world population that is invariably accompanied by the need for services designed for an older audience as the most pronounced demographic factors that are currently contributing to the reshaping of the media landscape. The expanding list of accommodations that customers are coming to expect from the media industry more or less fall within the realms of the accessibility and personalization of content.

The Path to Digital Transformation

Average weekday newspaper circulation has been on a steady decline, falling another 7% in 2015 according to the most recent Pew Research Center report. This inevitable dwindling of interest in print publications could be ascribed to the rising demand for media companies to adopt a multi-channel strategy that enables the audience to access content across different platforms. Companies remedy their absence of a formidable digital presence in a variety of ways. One of the most common resolutions that companies have resorted to involve redesigning their business model by bundling print subscriptions with mobile device access, a measure enacted to address the 78% of consumers who view news content on mobile browsers. A more radical approach could be opting for a complete digital transformation, a decision reached by The Independent earlier this year when it became the “first national newspaper title to move to a digital-only future.” The appeal of having information become readily available on any screen of the customer’s choosing is magnified by the expectation of uniformity and equally accessible and engaging user interfaces across all devices. Of course, convenience to the customer does not only rely on their ability to access content on the platform of their choice, but also at any point they desire, hence the focus on establishing quick response times and flexibility of content availability.

Another expectation that consumers have come to harbor aside from unhindered access to content: the minimization, if not the complete elimination of superfluous information. According to the 2016 Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute, news organizations, such as the BBC and the New York Times, are striving to provide more personalized news on their websites and applications. In some cases, people are offered information and clips on topics in which they have indicated an interest. Additionally, companies are also employing a means of developing “auto-generated recommendations based in part on the content they have used in the past.” Transcending written material, streaming platforms like Pandora and Netflix utilize Big Data in order to analyze and discern the characteristics and qualities of an individual’s preferences, thus feeding information into a database that then determines content using predictive analytics that the individual would be predisposed to enjoying. In previous blog posts, we have divulged the value of understanding Big Data, emphasizing how execution based on the insight gleaned from Big Data could be as crucial to a company’s profitability as the insight itself. As evidenced by this growing practice of collecting consumer data in order to cultivate personalized content for consumers, it is obvious that the media industry has not been remiss in its observation of the discernible success that data-driven companies boast relative to competitors that are not as reliant on data. Finally, perhaps as equally satisfying as being able to browse through personalized, recommended content based on one’s past likes and preferences is the exclusion of repetitive content, as informed by one’s viewing history.

Media companies embrace their ascent into digital space in a plethora of ways. Some elect for a complete digital transformation, conducting a substantial part if not all of their business within browsers and applications rather than in print. There are also those that focus on enhancing the customer experience by maintaining contact with consumers through all touch points and following them from device to device, all the while gathering data to be used in optimizing the content provided. Another means through which media companies are realizing their full digital potential is through the digitizing of their processes and operations. These businesses are initiating a shift towards digital products; a decision that is both cost-effective (cutting costs up to 90% on information-intensive processes) and can bolster the efficacy of one’s data mining efforts. Warner Bros was one of the first in the industry to transform the ways of storing and sharing content into a singled, totally integrated digital operation that began with Media Asset Retrieval System (MARS). This innovative digital asset management system ushered in a transformation that effectively lowered Warner Bros’ distribution and management costs by 85%.

A Glimpse into the Future

So what’s next in this journey to digital conversion? According to the International News Media Association (INMA), all roads lead to the Internet of Things (IoT). By 2018, the Business Insider Intelligence asserts that more than 18 billion devices will be connected to the Web. The progression into this new era of tech where information can be harvested from the physical world itself will not go unobserved by the media industry. Media companies are tasked with having to evolve beyond the screen.

Mitch Joel, President of Mirium Agency, writes:

“Transient media moments does not equal a strong and profound place to deliver an advertising message… the past century may have been about maximizing space and repetition to drive brand awareness, but the next half century could well be about advertising taking on a smaller position in the expanding marketing sphere as brands create loyalty not through impressions but by creating tools, applications, physical devices, true utility, and more robust loyalty extensions that makes them more valuable in a consumer’s life.”

Big Data anchors the efforts into the Digital Age and the IoT will provide new, vital networks of information to fortify this crusade.
Contact our team to learn more about how True Interaction can develop game-changing platforms that cut waste and redundancy as well as boost margins for your media company.

By Justin Barbaro