Last year, SPARK came to me with a problem – they needed to come up with a way to manage social media assets that they could use for a creative campaign for Visit Florida. We discussed the concept of “Social Syndication” – a way to aggregate social content in an ad unit to help increase traffic. In our research, we found that people were more trusting of “influencers” and seeing a personal photo someone took went a lot further in their decision making than an image that was created by the client.
We partnered with a company called Spredfast to help us with moderation and cultivation of content on social media channels since we didn’t have the budget necessary to get access to unlimited API requests for twitter and instagram. We also leveraged their platform for content moderation.
However, it soon became evident that there system did not have everything we needed to make this concept work. I started out by building an add-on that would allow us to collect the data from Spredfast and build additional layers of content on top of it. Also, the API for Spredfast was difficult to navigate and not standardized. So I took it upon myself to start building out a database and a front-end so we could improve the ability to break the images down into keywords, categories and geolocation.
After a few months, I released the beta version of this platform. There are two elements – an asset management system to view, edit and modify image data, and there is the API – a way to access that information and use it via an XML or JSON feed that can be generated by the user within the system (the system itself also has an API that can be used to get additional versions of feeds).
In the end, we built out an ad unit using this concept which, over a two week period, received over 4 million views. The video below is a good overview of this campaign and the final numbers: