Social media: Creating contagious content

James Burke and Euan Mackay
Kantar Media


Kantar Media Custom advises media clients on using research to fuel decisions. Increasingly our clients want to understand how to harness the power of social media to extend the reach of their content. We had noted the impressive diversity of content that is enjoyed in the social world, but were struck by the fact that the available social media metrics can only identify what is popular (volume of tweets, mentions, likes, etc), not why it is popular.

Despite a wealth of existing metrics helping to quantify social activity; brands continue to struggle to understand the motivations behind why people share their content online. Call it gossip, word of mouth or citizen journalism, the fact remains that digital content of all kinds regularly breaks and spreads through the ether of social media. Given that social media and word of mouth are such game-changers, it's vital that content providers understand how contagion works and how it can be utilised to best effect.