Brands and Social Data: Minding (and Mining) the Fine Line Between Helpful and Creepy

Marketing Use Case Panel

Chad Parizman from Scripps Networks Interactive and Vince Golla from Kaiser Permanente discuss marketing use cases for social data.

Few topics are more deeply personal and intensely guarded than information related to our health. Enter Vince Golla, Digital Media and Syndication Director, for Kaiser Permanente and its 9.3 million members. With millions of health-related conversations taking place each day on social platforms, Vince is charged with deciding where and when Kaiser should engage – if at all. The question of the day, every day, is, “What is the balance between being helpful and being creepy?” The answer, unfortunately, is rarely binary, with Vince and his team relying on a mixture of common sense and trial and error.

Kaiser has thousands of doctors and other subject matter experts at its disposal so Vince and his team figure out ways to get them into social conversations. “Any time we can we’re going to involve one of our physicians who are on Twitter already.” Still, there’s a catch related to what Vince described as the “tyranny of metrics”: how do brands resolve the conflict between responding with an institutional handle that may have tens of thousands of followers or the account of an expert who may only have a hundred? Again, the panelists had no single answer.

Chad Parizman, Director of Convergent Media at Scripps Networks Interactive, faces a different set of challenges with audiences of networks such as HGTV.  Programming and live content driven by social data analysis is a pillar of his team’s approach – a strategy solidified by the tremendous success of HGTV’s New Year’s Day campaign that saw “more Twitter mentions by noon than during the best week of the brand’s history.” Chad added, “We put 1,100 Tweets on TV over the course of the entire day and the analytics around that were resoundingly positive.” One thing became abundantly clear: HGTV’s audience is active on Twitter in a big way.

Despite very different customer bases and social media audiences, both Chad and Vince described the pain of quantifying the impact of their work – for business leaders, advertisers, etc. – as a growing issue. Chad sees increased interest from Scripps’ sales force, adding, “Coke, GM, Lexus, they’re spending money with us to reach potential buyers. At some point, someone is going to say, what is the value of all of these eyeballs. Is it the same eyeballs? What’s the value of an individual Tweet?” For advertisers and ad sales teams, those sorts of questions have always existed. “The answers are more mature on the print, radio, and TV side and people generally agree,” argued Chad. “There’s way less agreement on digital.”


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