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Homo Naledi – The Social Impact of an Explosive Trend

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One of the things that we love about social media, is that we can get a realtime feel of what is going on and opinions and sentiments thereof without having to go through a lengthy research process.

Tracx is a platform on which one may manage and monitor their social presence.

Using Homo Naledi as an example; the news of the “new species of human ancestor discovered in South Africa” (McKenzie & Wende, 2015) by the University of Witwatersrand, the National Geographic Society, the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation of South Africa at the Cradle of Humankind yesterday (Thursday, 10th September 2015).

By using Tracx, one can determine the amount of activity surrounding a certain topic online. This topic may then be subdivided into specific categories (such as promotions). In the case of Homo Naledi, Digital Republic has set Tracx to monitor all social media activity in South Africa, as the news of the discovery began ‘trending’.

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Deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is an Influencer in the events as he kissed the reconstruction of Homo Naledi’s face and stated, “Today we unearth our past. In unearthing our past we also unearth knowledge, about our present. We get to understand our present even better. Today we also get to get a glimpse of our future.”

Tracx gives you an overview of the activity over a specific period of time. This overview may be modified to your specific needs.

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As you can see from the above overview, both the Reach of the activity (the total number of individuals who have directly interacted with the activity) and the number of Interactions (re-tweets, likes, comments etc.) are uncharacteristically high for an 18 hour period.

A post with at least one interaction is considered a Conversation. And the Engagement Rate refers to the percentage of posts that convert into conversations within in a certain time frame.

Tracx is able to monitor the Audience Demographics, and the Activity Breakdown or the total number of posts and interactions by social platforms.  

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We can see that there are more males have interacted online content related to Homo Naledi and that most of the activity is taking place on Twitter.

Tracx also depicts the Conversation Drivers around the specific or chosen topics. Here you will be able to see, in real time, fluctuations in the most discussed words by the audience.
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Through machine learning, Tracx is able to identify positive, negative, neutral and mixed Sentiments within the activity/topic– the general perception or emotion toward a particular brand, product or topic of interest as found in mentions across the social media world.  

In the #HomoNaledi campaign, the neutral sentiments are based on questions and news segments. The negative comments are focussed mainly on the evolution/religion aspects and the positive comments show how people are excited about the discovery, its impact on both SA’s economy and possible future insights.

These are heat maps of South Africa yesterday and this morning. Showing the increase in activity from yesterday at 15h00 and 9h00 this morning.

15h00 Thursday 10 September – Social Media: #HomoNaledi

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9h00 Friday 11 September – Social Media: #HomoNaledi

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At Digital Republic, we like to stay up to date with the latest trends, campaigns and discoveries.

We are excited to welcome Homo Naledi and to see what the future holds!

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