Getting Social: Do you have an affinity for it?

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Adotas talks with Sree Nagarajan, CEO of Affinity Answers.


Q: Lots of marketers use social actions such as Facebook “likes” as a show of interest in brands. How does social “affinity” differ?

A: Social affinity is designed to predict and quantify audiences that are in the ‘pre-intent’ phase – that place in the consumer journey between when they become aware of the brand, and when they actually convert or make a purchase. Therefore, purchase intent is usually the ‘sweet spot’ where brands can expect the biggest lift.

Q: How does social engagement come to represent a branding metric?

A: Translating social engagement from photo posts and content likes to something quantifiable and actionable is no easy task. Our proprietary scoring engine and algorithm examines a number of factors – recency and frequency of the activity, the type of activity, sentiment – to produce a single score that quantifies the relationship between one brand and another. Although it measures that one relationship, each score is taking in the scope of all of the relationships that consumers may have on social, across 60,000 different brands, TV shows, Internet personalities, YouTube channels and more.

Q: Why does social affinity matter?

A: Social affinity matters for a couple of reasons, mostly because of the quantification of ‘pre-intent’ audiences that we mentioned earlier. Secondly, it can provide valuable insights about the brands’ audiences. For example, social affinity between the new Seth MacFarlane show The Orville and e-retailer Stylin Online has grown 9% in the last four weeks. This is valuable information for both FOX and Stylin Online that can be used in developing consumer profiles and contributing to strategy and tactics in future campaigns.

Q: What is the next step for social affinity?

A: The predictive nature of social affinity makes it a natural candidate to link to all different kinds of business outcomes. Via our programmatic audiences, we have seen social affinity-based targeting perform well in boosting video completion rates and purchase intent. The next step would be showing how growth in social affinity boost sales; for example, does increased social engagement for a new TV show result in increased viewership, or does a boost in social affinity for a travel spot mean increased tourism? These are the questions that will allow marketers to take social affinity to the next level.

About Sree Nagarajan
Mr. Nagarajan is a software engineer by training. His previous experience includes product management, professional services, and field sales roles in various enterprise software and services companies. Early in the evolution of social networks, Mr. Nagarajan was fascinated by how much emotional affinity data was becoming publicly available. His passion for marketing analytics and the emergence of this social data led him to found AffinityAnswers with a mission to aggregate this information and make it useful for content and brand marketers.

About AffinityAnswers
AffinityAnswers analyzes hundreds of millions of active social media engagements across 60,000 brands each week, then predicts which brand’s fans are most likely to engage with content from other brands. By scoring cookies, device ID’s or any unique ID according to the associated attributes- Affinity Answers can build “act-a-like” models that can be used through any DSP to deliver programmatic audiences that perform at scale across video, display, social, or TV advertising.

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