gazeMetrix: Monitor Your Visual Brand Mentions Based on Image Recognition

gazeMonitoring brand mentions, share of voice, sentiment etc. are the essentials of analysing what is being said about your brand online. But there is a dark side, which, until now, has been immeasurable, to the great frustration of social media analysts: Visual brand mentions. Meaning consumers making a reference to a brand through a photo without mentioning the brand name. Startup company gazeMetrix opens up for an entirely new way of monitoring online conversations. The monitoring tool allows brand to tap into a world of formerly unseen social data thus providing brands with new and valuable insights.


Measure visual brand mentions

gazemetrix adidasEveryday, millions of people post photos of their lives on the photo-sharing network Instagram. These glimpses of peoples everyday lives include visual brand mentions, and every time someone posts a picture of your brand logo on Instagram or other visual networks, it’s strengthening your brand image. Yet, this has been impossible for brands to track unless the photo is accompanied by a @mention or a #hashtag. With gazeMetrix, a service using image-recognition technology to identify photographed objects, it is now possible tap into the visual goldmine of the photo-sharing trend, track visual mentions and determine “share of gaze”. When signing up for a gazeMetrix account, brands are able to monitor photos posted of their logo on Instagram, and soon also on Facebook and Twitter. Monitoring visual mentions on Pinterest would also be highly relevant, and one can only imagine that the gazeMetrix eventually also will support this network.


Reach out to users and curate user-generated content

To count the number of times your brand is being mentioned visually is of course great. But to be able to use this user-generetaed content is even better. The guys at gazeMetrics know this, which is why the tool also allows brands to reach out to the person who posted the photo to ask for permission to repost it on the brand’s own channels as user-generated content. Curating user-generated content is a great engagement technique, as user-generated content shows brand authenticity and fan appreciation, as well as acting as peer-to-peer recommendations. In an article in Forbes, one of gazeMetrix’ founders, Deobrat Singh, explains:

“We currently let brands manually go to the individual pictures on Instagram’s website. We’re working on making it possible to engage with users while at the same time making sure it does not end being a source of spam for the users.”

The article also describes the PR-value of gazeMetrix arising from the fact that it can “help brands stem an ugly tide before it grows too big, or encourage the positive brand ambassadors to take even more pics.”

The article also makes a good point when stating that on top of being able to assess brand mentions, brand engagement and product adoption, you’ll discover in which context they appear: “You witness trends happening around your brand as they happen. You witness your brand being used as intended, in some. You witness your brand being used NOT as intended in others, which leads to new applications of your product to include in your communications.”

I’ve previously discussed the monitoring tool Venueseen here on the blog, a tool that collects the location-specific photos and sends a notification to the subscribing business when a customer shares a photo, a mention or a comment tagged with the company location. gazeMetrix takes this a step further, as being able to track images that don’t include a mention or a hashtag, will allow for brands to boost engagement, because of the possibility of reaching out and interacting with users.


Gain deeper insights

With all the various monitoring and social data aggregations tools combined, brands are increasingly able to collect true insights. In order to gain valuable insights from monitoring online conversations in general, brands must demand greater quality in the insights and analyse the data in depth. gazeMetrix will help brands sort out some of the noise and unreliable data in online conversations, which exist due to frequent spam, fake accounts and misuse of hashtags. In fact, as little as 40% of the total volume of brand conversations consist of actual mentions of the brand by humans, according to research agency, Millward Brown. This obliges brands to put in a lot of human efforts in filtering through all the data collected by aggregation tools. gazeMetrix’ image recognition technology will make this task easier, as brands will be able to quickly interpret whether the mention is relevant or not.

Take a tour of gazeMetrix’ features here:




Instagram’s New Algorithm – What You Need to Know

IMG_8423Nearly 6 years after its initial release and 400 million users later, Instagram is fast-approaching the ad-supported dominance of Facebook. Last week, it introduced its very own algorithm, following in the footsteps of Twitter and its parent company Facebook. Whether this is an enhancement is debatable and many seem to be divided on the matter as it stands. It begins with co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom explaining that “on average, people miss about 70% of the posts in their Instagram feed”, which may be alarming to some.


Twitter jumped onto the algorithm bandwagon only last month and has received its own amount of backlash from it. The fear that it will destroy live-tweeting and the key reason people love twitter is amongst the concerns. Of course, users tend to prefer what they’re used to on social networks and aren’t very welcoming to change, so this may pass.

Facebook’s introduction of its algorithm, which was due to extraordinary growth, was a much-needed overhaul of the News Feed. The fact that Facebook is bigger than the largest country on earth makes it almost essential for it to filter out unwanted posts and let its users receive the most relevant content. The question now is, does Instagram need it too?

Facebook Instant Articles was also released last year, which is a great way for Facebook to avoid the standard embedded browser mechanics that so many apps rely on. This allows users to view news more fluently by delivering a more native user experience. It also coincided with the release of the Apple News app, which has recently opened its doors to all publishers. The fact that developers are now realising the public’s thirst for news makes things extremely well-timed for the ever-growing amount of algorithms social is seeing. We need news, whether it be world news or friend news, and we need it fast – even if we missed it being posted.


What This Means for Brands

From a brand perspective, it is unquestionably going to become more complicated to market on Instagram. There are many visual-based brands that invest a great deal of money into Instagram to be able to reach a specific audience or age group. One example is brands paying influencers to promote their product, which has ultimately made it possible for those influencers to make a living by monetising their audience on the platform. This is achieved with a combination of brand sponsorships from companies, product promotion and follower reach. So how will it affect their livelihood? Companies will be much more demanding when it comes to requesting the influencer’s actual reach once it’s available, which will very likely decrease the amount that influencers are paid. This, in translation, means that influencers could ultimately be forced to take a pay cut with the introduction of this algorithm.

In layman’s terms, brands will be required to pay for their posts to reach their fans. This is especially true if the posts have little engagement, which exactly replicates Facebook’s model as Instagram takes its big brother’s handy advice. A key question here is, will the quality of posts increase due to content ‘needing’ engagement to push through?

Additionally, until now, brands have been supplied with little to no data on their Instagram channels. With this algorithm and a clear business objective from Facebook to increase ad turnover on Instagram, the company knows that advertisers expect something in return. The exchange is a classic eyeballs and actions for paid budgets and to prove delivery of reach and actions, Facebook will need to provide data and show that brands are getting their money’s worth.


Implications & Considerations

As general guidance, it may be efficient to stop thinking about news feeds as stories. A profile is a story and will probably always remain that way, but a news feed is a different beast altogether. With the algorithm, your followers might see some of your posts in their feed but far from all, making feed storytelling pretty much impossible. The challenge is to create a valuable brand presence on social that is recognizable without the context of other content.

Another discussion point is how Instagram profiles compare to Facebook profiles for brands. Facebook Pages made it easier to separate personal and brand pages, but Instagram has yet to do such a thing. Will we see something similar in the future? If so, it is sure to bring a great deal more features from Facebook to Instagram, which is undeniably the path we’re on with the two companies. Another thing to start considering is whether Instagram will eventually suppress almost all organic ads, like Facebook does. After all, having an algorithm like this can undeniably camouflage the real reason followers are missing so many posts.

Overall, Instagram is rapidly growing to greater capacities, users are posting more and we ultimately live in an algorithmic world as far as social is concerned. And as Instagram ads are managed through Facebook, they are extremely easy to target to a specific audience, which appealingly makes use of Facebook’s limitless data. These will undoubtedly merge together to form one giant supply of data and algorithms will most likely do the same. So it could be Facebook’s existing model that Instagram slowly turns into. Simply put, like father, like son.