Amazon and Apple are massively successful retailers, the envy of digital and brick-and-mortar businesses alike. Currently, the two tech retailers enjoy a place among the biggest, most successful companies in the world. But they have a blind spot. The premises on which they’ve built their market advantage are now no longer the most important things in digital. They’re missing a data asset that would allow them to understand their customers better: the interest graph.
What is the interest graph?
Not to be confused with the social graph, which describes who you know, the interest graph describes what you like. On Facebook, the difference between the social graph and the interest graph is easily understood as the difference between a friend request and a Like. On Twitter, the social graph and the interest graph is mapped via only one vector — the follow — but in this case, following influencers is what signifies interest. If you follow an influential account like @David_Lynch on Twitter, it’s safe to assume you probably like indie films.
The interest graph attracted significant interest from technologists in 2011. Read Write Web said the interest graph is part of “the future of the social web,” while PayPal founder Max Levchin boldly predicted success for companies that capture the interest graph. So far, all Amazon sees is your shopping cart; companies leveraging the interest graph see your hopes and dreams.
What must Amazon learn from the interest graph?
Amazon could detect purchase intent earlier and identify under-served customers
What Amazon already knows about its customers:
- products purchase data (backward looking)
- wishlist data (sparse)
What Amazon could discover from the interest graph:
- our favorite brands (aspirational)
- new purchases shared by our friends (social proof)
(Amazon attempted in 2010 to expand its recommendations engine with a still-in-beta program that taps into the social graph, but the app’s intelligence is currently limited to Facebook friends’ Likes.)
What must Apple learn from the interest graph?
Apple could recommend songs and apps with greater accuracy
What Apple already knows about its customers:
- songs and apps purchased (backward-looking)
- location (and possibly what sites you visit, though it would cause a privacy uproar)
What Apple could discover from the interest graph:
- musicians who we follow but haven’t purchased yet (forward-looking)
- our friends’ apps
Ramifications of the interest graph for e-commerce
In a surprise upset, Apple and Amazon, with their massive product catalogs, cash hoards, and fulfillment channels, could potentially lap Twitter and Facebook in the race to monetize social. The e-commerce giants could create a much richer portrait of their customers – and better predict their behavior — by leveraging the interest graph. However, if they snooze on the opportunity (or waste valuable time building “abandoned garden” social networks like Ping), someone else could develop interest graph technology for e-tailers first and gain the advantage.
Interest graph technology has powerful ramifications for e-commerce as a whole. Information in the interest graph (which is public, by the way), can clue retailers into the aspirations of their customers — at the brand awareness stage.
January 24, 2012 - 1 year ago
The first paid social ad campaigns for GOP presidential candidates are have already launched, and campaign teams are already betting big on earned social channels. We know how widespread social media is in general (78% of Americans are active on social platforms), but how important is social to political campaigns? How big will social be in the 2012 election?
Watch the video
Stay tuned for more from 140 Proof on the pivotal role that paid social will play in the 2012 presidential election. Any predictions? Let us know in the comments.
February 13, 2012 - 1 year ago
Every election year breaks records for ad spending. The total spend leading up to the 2008 election in TV alone was over $450 million. But in 2012, where does social advertising fit in to the political advertising landscape, and how does it work?
140 Proof CTO John Manoogian III (@jm3) reveals the secrets that political campaign managers use to supercharge their messages with the voting public. Campaign teams should be quick on the draw and use social to power campaigns with influencers and crowds.
With two-thirds of online U.S. adults using social feeds, campaign managers can use paid social advertising to reach large numbers of voters. And they can also zero in on influencers by targeting people with a high number of followers or users who demonstrate thought leadership on key issues.
The biggest revelation, however, is that there’s a marketable message in every story:
Campaign managers create messages tailored for their key audiences. And smart players will even capitalize on blunders. For example, the recent fracas between Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Barack Obama made headlines nationwide. Jan Brewer’s supporters in Arizona will be sure to spin the incident during her reelection bid. (To reach this audience, Brewer’s PAC should target Arizona residents following GOP accounts like @SenJohnMcCain and @JeffFlake.)
And, on the flip side, Obama’s team could use the story to craft a message alleging Republicans are refusing to reach across the aisle. To reach audiences of moderates and independent voters with this message, I’d recommend reaching beyond the already-outsized and committed following of @BarackObama, instead focusing on the audiences of more independent influencers like @fivethirtyeight and The Washington Post’s @mentionmachine.
Get the details on Mashable: 5 Tips for Reaching Voters in the Social Stream
February 21, 2012 - 1 year ago
Live sports events are one of the fastest-growing areas in social — all major US sports leagues (plus the worldwide soccer community) are doubling down on social. And with evidence building that social media drives TV watching, sports marketers that depend on TV viewership have even more incentive to reach Twitter users.
But how can a sports marketer expand reach in social to stay competitive? John Manoogian III explored three game-changing Twitter tactics and drilled down to the basics of the paid social campaign for sports marketers.
Here are three ways to use paid media to reach engaged fans on Twitter during a sporting event:
1. Target connected fans. Make sure your paid media campaigns during a real-time sporting event targets the super-fans who actively tweet and retweet and have thousands of followers. By targeting your campaigns to these fans, they will in turn share with their followers — spreading your campaign for you.
2. Link to the ‘second screen.’ Extend TV commercials and paid video campaigns to Twitter by launching a social ad campaign targeting viewers of a particular sporting event. Ensure a continuous message from screen to screen, so paid Twitter ads reflect and extend on the commercials and video you run before and during the game.
3. Own an event. Go all out and target your campaign to a mega-audience during a key event. For example, Chevrolet spent big to target all Twitter users following @superbowl and @nfl for 48 hours. As a result of this “play big” strategy, Chevrolet emerged as the Social Media Brand Champion of the 2012 Super Bowl, attaining the highest mindshare on social media of all the brands that advertised during the game.
Live sporting events are a unique opportunity for brand marketers to engage directly with core demographics while they’re excited, amped up, and plugged into one of their favorite activities. And Twitter is the perfect social stream to connect with fans in real-time. With a little ingenuity and some strategic paid advertising, marketers can connect with fans on Twitter during the game to build long-lasting brand recall and affinity.
Read more on Mediapost: How To Reach Sports Fans On Twitter - Live
March 6, 2012 - 1 year ago
Facebook is diving into the interest graph with Interest Lists, a Twitter-like tool that Facebook says can help users “turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper.”
Says the Huffington Post:
“Interest Lists” …allow users to make mini-newsfeeds that include the status updates, posts, pictures and stories only from the people and pages a user has added to a certain topical or “interest” list.
The trend among social platforms to adopt interest graph features is most valuable to marketers, even more so than the social graph. Here, Facebook is taking after Twitter and 140 Proof as it starts to emphasize interests over connections.
March 14, 2012 - 1 year ago
SAN FRANCISCO — 140 Proof co-founder John Manoogian III (@jm3) took to the stage yesterday with Intel, Starcom, Ogilvy, Brightroll, and others to bring the gospel of social ad innovation to the people.
Panel: Social Ads: Did Anyone See the Revolution Coming?
A lot has changed in social advertising, to the point where many best practices from less than five years ago are at best irrelevant and at worst detrimental to smart businesses. Social’s sphere of influence is no longer confined to social networks, and the big data generated by sites like Twitter and Facebook influences countless business and branding decisions. Application-based ads are still in play, but they’ve been surpassed by data-driven units influenced by the interest graph (140 Proof) and the social graph (Facebook). Social advertising vendors, analytics companies, and data experts will be asked to share their thoughts on social advertising, discuss how it has evolved, what it means, and how we can look at this evolution to predict where it’s going.
Tweet highlights from panel attendees:
Thanks very much to all who attended, commented, asked questions, and helped spread the world!
March 21, 2012 - 1 year ago
We’re pleased to announce our new social ad solution for political campaigns.
Political Stumping Gets Social With New Ad Solution for Political Campaigns
140 Proof, the leading social ad platform for Twitter and Facebook, today launched a new social ad solution for political campaigns that allows candidates to reach large groups of targeted voters within the social stream. 140 Proof social ads enable candidates to amplify their campaign efforts and extend their reach beyond existing followers, putting their messages at the top of the social news feeds of over 100 million potential voters.
Candidates Can Extend Social and Traditional Campaign Efforts Beyond Existing Followers
Whether candidates just want to broaden the reach of their existing tweets and posts, or they’re out to own the social conversation around a Presidential debate, 140 Proof social ads are a natural extension of any candidate’s ongoing campaign efforts. 140 Proof creates real-time, top-of-the-feed ads directly from a candidate’s tweets, allowing them to conduct far-reaching conversations with social audiences at the precise moments that are relevant to their campaigns.
For example, candidates can use 140 Proof social ads to:
- Reach new potential voters: a candidate’s regular tweets and posts are only seen by existing followers; 140 Proof gets these tweets in front of millions of new potential voters.
- Capitalize on breaking news: 140 Proof allows candidates to be first out of the gate with commentary on breaking news and events (and even opponent missteps).
- Augment crisis communications: when candidates must react to negative ads or campaign gaffes, 140 Proof gives them a powerful tool for rapid and far-reaching response.
- Enhance TV and video ad buys: candidates can use 140 Proof to run ads that include a video within the ad itself, drawing more attention to viral campaigns or TV spots.
- Own the social conversation around live events: candidates can run real-time campaigns targeting voters who are watching and commenting on live political broadcasts while on Twitter or Facebook.
Instantly Reach Targeted Groups of Voters on Twitter and Facebook
140 Proof also gives candidates the ability to precisely target these ads to their most coveted audiences, using technology that segments voters based on whom they follow, keywords used in their social streams and other publicly available keys from their social graph. Campaigns can work with 140 Proof to customize their own voter targets, or they can leverage 140 Proof’s pre-built political audience “clusters”, such as Swing Voters; Soccer Moms; NASCAR Dads; Greens; Tea Party; Union Interested; Hispanic; We are the 99%; and many others.
“Twitter and Facebook have become the de facto political platforms that decide elections, and experts are projecting that the ad spend in social media in this year’s election will be 15 times greater than in 2008. To be competitive in the social era, candidates will need to look beyond their existing followers and use tools such as 140 Proof to extend their reach,” said Jon Elvekrog, CEO of 140 Proof. “Candidates should be using their Twitter account as their mouthpiece, and 140 Proof social ads as their megaphone.”
Learn More about 140 Proof’s Political Offerings
All political stories from the 140 Proof Blog
140 Proof Debuts Social Ad Service for Politicians (Vator.tv)
How Political Campaigns Can Leverage Social Media Interview with 140 Proof CTO @jm3 (Ad Operations Online)
March 29, 2012 - 1 year ago
Cross-platform ad networks today are struggling to find a single, unified way to understand their audiences. For example, mobile networks’ panic over what to do about UDIDs has been going on for months. But on a broader level, how does a post-PC world deal with an audience that is everywhere, on every device, all at once?
The answer is social.
Social identity is fast becoming the great unifier of online activity. While UDID and other device identifiers can help direct marketers confirm that an app store purchase has completed, little else is available. Public social profiles include basic demographic and location information along with valuable context: who a person follows and what a person likes. This aspect of social is known as the interest graph.
The Quick Guide to 140 Proof Targeting
140 Proof has many ways of reaching a brand’s desired audience, but the most important and effective method we use is via the interest graph. We target people based on their interests, keywords they say and see, and who they follow. When a person logs into one of our apps, we take a look at the public data about who they follow. Almost everyone follows someone influential — and influential people tend to be influential on particular topics. For example, @Forbes is influential among financial products consumers, @nytimesbooks is influential among book lovers, and @ESPN is influential among sports fans.
Targeting Consumers in Social: 3 Examples
We effectively build audiences on the 140 Proof network by aggregating the followers of influencers on particular topics. Let’s take three big events coming up in May: Mothers Day, the Indianapolis 500, and the Grammys.
Lots of retailers want to use Mothers Day as an occasion to drive sales. Imagine that a consumer electronics retailer wanted to reach people shopping for gifts for Mothers Day. We could use a conquest strategy to reach people who favor consumer electronics brands and news. Brands such as @BestBuy, @Amazon, @Pinterest, @wired, @engadget, @gizmodo, @gadgetlab, @ForbesTech, and @mashable combines a large group of followers into a single group. And people who follow more than one targeted brand will be prioritized to receive the retailer’s message.
Now let’s make it a little more complex. What if you need to target two audiences at once? Let’s say a retail brand is sponsoring the Grammys and wants to make a continuity play in social to reinforce the other media in the plan. In this case, we would target both fans of retail influencers as well as music lovers. So the brand would create a custom audience of the followers of brands like: @hm, @TeenVogue, @TOMS, @Burberry, @americanapparel, @zappos, @Etsy, @JCPenney, @Target, @TheGRAMMYs, @Rihanna, @Eminem, @katyperry, @Shakira, @kanyewest. By an extremely broad definition, up to 50 million people can be targeted with this combination of personas.
Interest graph targeting works for every vertical or type of event. Let’s say a CPG brand wants to make a big push around the Indy 500 for a promotional tie-in with a specific driver it sponsors. The principle is the same as for the Grammys: target the followers of sports and racing influencers (including the sponsored driver!) as well as CPG shoppers. The CPG brand promoting around the Indy 500 would aggregate the followers of accounts like the CPG brands @kraftmacncheese, @Skittles, @Oreo, and @miraclewhip; the sports brands @NASCAR, @ESPN, @SportsCenter; and popular drivers @dariofranchitti, @danicapatrick, and @h3lio.
Now you should have a better understanding of how interest graph targeting can be used to aggregate followers into audiences. Do you know of a brand facing a unique targeting challenge, or do you have any questions about interest graph targeting? Let us know in the comments.
Related: The 7 Essential Elements of an Award Winning Campaign
April 26, 2012 - 1 year ago