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The CEO Sleep Out

hh5pdvan1a2wx2oaxi3tThe CEO Sleep Out Inaugural event is a global movement about looking beyond profits and looking toward purpose. It challenges South African business leaders to sleep under the stars for one night. The purpose of this challenge is to ‘bring hope and a home to South Africa’s most vulnerable children by raising money, with each business leader given a target of R100 000. There were over 200 CEOs who took part in this cause and have raised over R20 million rand! Yes, exclamation point.. This is a good thing!!!

On a chilly Thursday night on the 18th of June 2015, over 200 business leaders gathered outside Sun International, Gwen Lane, Sandton. The 18th of June was purposefully chosen as it was one of the longest coldest days of the year. Looking at a weather forecast on Time and Date  we can see that it was a chilly 8°C around 02:00AM. weather The cause had a strong message where they implored business leaders to sleep outside for one night so that millions won’t have to do it forever. According to EWN, ‘The 250 anticipated participants will each pay R100,000 towards the cause and will receive a sleeping bag and a cup of soup before spending the night of 18 June on Gwen Lane.’

We decided to track hashtags and keywords relating to The CEO Sleep Out to see what the social media universe had to say about this event. The keywords that were tracked: [#ceosleepoutza] OR [ceo sleepout] OR [theceosleepout] OR [the ceo sleepout] OR [ceo sleep out] OR [ceosleepout] OR [702 sun international sleepout] OR (([#ceosleepoutza] OR [ceo sleep out] OR [ceosleepout] OR [702 sun international sleepout]) AND ([charity] OR [raise])) We tracked the 17th – 19th of June 2015, as these dates pulled in the most activity. overview

  1. There has been a total of 586 posts relating to the sleep out with over 6 000 interactions
  2. 443 posts were interacted with, thus, generating conversations, creating an engagement rate of 76%
  3. The sleep out was mentioned a total of 684 times
  4. There were over 4 500 unique people reached with conversations having a density of 13.2 people per conversation

activity volume activity breakdown

In terms of activity, there was a total of 7 491 posts and interactions. Facebook dominated the activity holding 55.15% of posts and interactions, this was followed by Twitter with 42.1%, News Sites with 1.63% and Instagram with 0.75%. The most activity took place on the day of the sleep out with over 4 300 posts and interactions taking place on the 18th of June 2015. audience Females dominated online activity with the fairer sex making up 62.9% whilst males only made up 37.1% of activity. There were two dominant age groups who talked about the sleep out with 67% being between the ages of 35-44 and 33% being between the ages of 25-34. heatmapTracx’s  cool Geo-Heat map feature allows us to track where people were posting from (if they have their location settings switched on). 5 111 of posts and interactions were generated from Gauteng, followed by Cape Town with 355 posts and interactions and Durban with 151 posts and interactions. If we zoom down even further, we can view activity down to a street level. Can you guess where the most activity came from? heat map sandton

You guessed it, Sandton!

The Sleep out has inspired a teacher at Auckland Park Prep to conduct her own Sleep Out with the grade 5’s of the school. The sleep out will happen on the 19th of June 2015 but instead of donating R100 000, the grade 5 pupils were asked to donate a blanket in order to be a part of the sleep out.

 CaptureWe took all the conversation drivers and created a word cloud that aptly reflects this cause.

word cloud

It is amazing how much this event has inspired others around South Africa to also do their part. We’re very proud of the CEOs who participated, braved the cold and raised money for this cause, we salute you!


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Trevor Noah and The Sunday Times

On the 24th of May 2015, the Sunday Times published a story to their front page about an alleged tragedy that befell Trevor Noah’s family. The front page cover stated that Noah’s cousin had been brutally killed in KwaZulu Natal. The cover story went on to describe how the alleged murder took place which also included a statement from Noah’s grandmother saying that the family is “cursed.” Sunday Times had stated that due to the fact that Trevor Noah was travelling, he had not been informed about the brutal murder. The Sunday Times is one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper publications, publishing its first newspaper in 1906,  and until recently, was one of the country’s most reputable news sources. Trevor Noah rubbished claims of the family tragedy and tweeted the following post: “Thanks to some crafty journalism my family and I have spent the whole day trying to figure out if one of us died. #awkward”. sunday times front pagre We can see how traditional media easily translated into the online realm with many taking to Twitter to discuss the alleged tragedy. This topic has been trending on Twitter on Sunday and Monday (the 24th and 25th of May 2015). We decided to put the following keywords into Tracx to see what data the powerful social intelligence tool pulled in with the location set to South Africa ONLY. The keywords tracked were: [crafty journalism] OR (([trevor noah] OR [trevornoah]) AND ([Cebisile Khoza] OR [sundaytimes] OR [Sunday times ZA] OR [sundaytimesza])). The dates that were tracked were the 24th – 25th May 2015. overview

  • There have been a total of 74 posts with 880 interactions.
  • There were 45 conversations generated since the 24th of May 2015, resulting in an engagement rate of 61%.
  • The keywords related to Trevor Noah were mentioned a total of 64 times.
  • There were 828 unique people reached with the conversations having a density of 18.7 people per conversation.

activity Looking at the activity volume, we can see that majority of the posts and interactions occurred on Twitter, with the social media platform making up 99.06% of all activity. Facebook activity didn’t pull in as a result of the geo-location setting so we went with what we could put together in a short time 🙂 This was followed by News Sites and Blogs which made up the remaining 0.94%. breakdown audienceThere were slightly more males interacting than males, with males making up 57.4% and females making up 42.6% of the audience demographic. convo drivers The most popular words are determined by score, which is based on the frequency and uniqueness of the word being used: The top 3 most popular words/phrases used by the audience were:

  • ‘trevornoah’ with the top score of 10 (used 487 times)
  • ‘sundaytimesza’ with a score of 8  (used 57 times)
  • ‘charlizeafrica’ with a score of 7 (used 3 times)

most engaged It came as no surprise that the most engaged post was Trevor Noah’s tweet responding to the Sunday Time’s article. His post received 424 interactions, 1 favourite, 208 replies and 215 retweets by 397 people. The last interaction was on the 25th of May 2015 at 13:32. It is important to note that due to the fact that we are pulling in data from an active day (i.e. the 25th of May 2015), the data shown is likely to change as more people interact with it. (Please note that Facebook has been excluded from activity) There has been no retract or apology from The Sunday Times on their Twitter feed today. We wonder what this would do to the 109 year old publication’s reputability.


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Geolocation: What’s in it for consumers?

Reasons why you should enable geolocation

There have been many articles advocating the use of geolocation for brands, but what about from a customer stand-point? Why should I, as a customer make use of geolocation enabled Tweets or Facebook posts? What about privacy risks? What about safety risks?

Are we just lead by the semi automatic “don’t-allow-app-to-have-access-to-my-location” fear that someone, somewhere out there is tracking your every move? Truth be told, more often than not, you are being monitored. When you tweet something, that information goes out into the social ether and is there for anyone to see.

I had recently downloaded Uber and I was asked if I would let the application have access to my location. I had to consciously stop my opposable thumb from pressing “Don’t allow”, remembering that I needed Uber to know my location.  This made think: Why was my natural reaction just to block access to my location? Are we living in a world so scared of Big Brother that we deny access of applications to certain parts of our life that we in fact, by that very notion, are denying ourselves access to the sweet brand treats that use the power of SoLoMo (Social, Location and Mobile)?

As brands start using location based monitoring tools more and more, they are coming up with new and innovative ways to add value to the lives of their consumers. So why am I denying myself access to my favourite brands’ value-adds? I decided to take it upon myself to enable my location for my Twitter app.

Twitter: To Find things (AKA Search)

I enabled my location for Twitter, if you didn’t already know, you can search for tweets, hashtags and topics under the search bar and then further refine the search. This little feature is really handy, if for example, you’re looking for a service such as hairdresser or dentist.

So I searched for a dentist to see what the results were:

photo 1dentist

If you click on the two lines in the search bar you can refine your  search, press more and select the option “Near you”.

photo 3 photo 4

photo 5

And voila! All tweets within a 25km radius with the hashtag #dentist have been pulled in; people, news, photos, everything. Therefore anything information that I need is right at my fingertips.

There are literally thousands of articles online about the benefits of brands using location based monitoring tools to track a consumers social post and then use that information to send through promotions etc… For example, when Digital Republic  use the next generation social intelligence tool Tracx, to download heatmaps of posts and activity (of course Tracx will only be able to track the posts and interactions that came from people who allowed the location settings on their social media platforms to be switched on). This technology is so amazing that we can literally track posts and activity down to a street level.

south africa


Brands are becoming aware that more customer use  mobile phones to access information as well as to use various social media platforms. These brands are now using the power of SoLoMo to offer customers promotions and coupons solely based on the fact that the customer happens to be within close proximity of the store. Location searches are becoming more common than basic text searches as we are able to find the things that we are looking for much more easily and our results are becoming more accurate.

Still don’t think that switching on your location  settings on your apps will benefit you? Think again.


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Trevor Noah and The Daily Show – Case Study – The Importance of Cross Referencing


source: press.cc.com

During the month of March, we ran a campaign called #trackatrend. The aim of the campaign was to showcase the capabilities of Tracx using trends that were chosen by the online audience. These trends were topics of interest to the audience and covered trends like the Cricket World Cup, Lead SA Road Safety and Trevor Noah.

One of the trends tracked was the news that Trevor Noah taking over the Daily Show from Jon Stewart. This was very big news for our country as one of our own is set to grace the stage of one of the world’s most popular TV shows. Thousands of South Africans took to social media to show support and celebrate the comedians new appointment.

“For the next host of ‘The Daily Show,’ we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor” – said Michelle Ganeless, president of Comedy Central.

The comedian did receive some backlash from audience members who were concerned about some of his old tweets, which were viewed in a negative light.

We were asked by Genex Holdings to track the activity that surrounded the comedian and his new appointment and we used the keywords: [#trevornoah] OR [#dailyshow] and only tracked the 30th and 31st of March. We set the data to pull in on a global scale. The data that Tracx pulled in seemed to not be reflecting high numbers as we had predicted. We were sure there must have been more activity related to Trevor Noah, there just had to be!

It was suggested to me that I cross referenced Trevor Noah with the Daily Show and not just track the hashtags. So the keyword queries changed to : [#trevornoah] OR [#thedailyshow] OR [JonStewart] OR (([trevor noah]) AND ([jon Stewart] OR [Daily show])) and due to the magical powers of cross referencing, the data showed a better depiction of what was happening in the social universe. We will show the difference between tracking just a hashtag and tracking via cross referencing keywords.

Slide1The dates stayed the same but we can see some vast differences in the key metrics that were pulled in.
There were 20 000 more posts pulled in with conversations jumping from 419 to 4 847.
Interactions went from just over 4 500, to almost reaching 220 000.
Trevor, The Daily Show and Jon Stewart were mentioned over 23 000 times with a reach of 190 000+ unique people (people who actually interacted with content and not the potential reach of posts).


The audience demographic percentages changed, the age groups were further spread out with the age groups 0-17, 18-24, 55-64 and above 65 also engaging in content. This shows that the news was not only a global topic of interest but it also was discussed by all the active age groups on social media.


In terms of share of the voice, Twitter remained the most dominant platform in terms of posts and conversations with thousands taking to the social network to get up to the minute news about Trevor and The Daily Show. Whilst Twitter still dominated share of the voice in both comparisons, we can see a much greater share of the voice from Facebook pages and Blogs when using the cross referenced key words.


Facebook actually had the largest share of the voice in terms of interactions which is a stark contrast to the first data set (hashtags only).


There was much more activity tracked on a global scale as seen in the heat maps.

Slide7and a lot more activity came out of Trevor’s home country.

This case study shows just how easy it is to pull in data that does not truly depict the social activity relating to a trend or campaign. The lack of cross referencing on my part completely skewed the data for the trend and whilst more stringent protocols and sanity checks are in place when dealing with our client’s queries, I have learnt that tracking particular trends and topics of interest, although shown as a singular hashtag, must be cross referenced with related topics and phrases in order to give an accurate representation of online activity.

I pledge allegiance to the cross-reference and all the beautiful data that lies just beyond that singular hashtag.


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#trackatrend with Digital Republic

How many times have you been part of a trending conversation? Like some of these from today (16 March 2015):twiiter trends for blog post

Hashtags allow us to track conversation topics and if these hashtags are used enough times, they become a trend. But you already knew that didn’t you?
What if we told you that you can get more information around a trending topic apart from the usual “this and that is trending in SA tweets”.
What if we used our extremely powerful social intelligence tool Tracx, to monitor any trending topic of your choice and then, shared a high-level view of the data with you, for free.
No sign ups or bank details required; no signatures nor samples of DNA needed.

Digital Republic presents:


trackatrend creative

Social media is very powerful and it can catapult your brand into digital infamy. Alternatively, your brand could be completely torn apart and dwindle into the abyss of the second page Google Search. We at Digital Republic work with social data everyday using Tracx. There’ll be many-a-time when we use the tool to track events, trends and news worthy stories in real-time, all on one unified platform. Now whilst us sharing this information with you through various platforms like our blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts may be be interesting to a few, we feel like it lacks the involvement of audience inputs.

So, for the rest of March this year, we’re running a campaign called #trackatrend, we at Digital Republic want to give the audience the opportunity to take the power into their hands and decide what trending topics we should cover in our posts.

That’s right, you may have the chance to have your trending topic of choice be monitored for the day and we will share social data throughout the day. Yay!

Here are some examples of the metrics we may pull relevant to your chosen trending topic:

  • Overviews
  • Influencers
  • Share of the Voice
  • Conversation drivers
  • Geo- heat maps

So this information has to come at a price right? Well yes…

All you have to do is follow Digital Republic on Twitter: @Digital_R , tweet us  with the hashtag/phrase of the trend you’d like us to monitor followed by the hashtag #trackatrend

Let’s break this deal down one more time:

You get high level overviews of ANY topic of YOUR interest using true metrics pulled in by Tracx and all it will cost you is a follow and a tweet. Track a trend. Pay with a tweet.

Everyday, we will choose 1 topic to monitor; the cooler/more interesting/funnier/ the more exciting the trending topic is the better chance it has of being chosen.

#trackatrend is open to everyone in the audience: whether you’re a social media fanatic that is curious about the data behind the hashtag, a small business wanting to track your online conversations, or are just curious about a campaign that intrigued you.

So what are you waiting for?

Tweet us with your trending topic followed by the hashtag #trackatrend and your topic may be the next one featured.



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We’re Hiring!!! Job spec for Junior Social Media Analyst March 2015

Calling all Social Media enthusiasts:

Junior Social Media Analyst – Digital Republic

Digital Republic (powered by Tracx) focuses on Social Intelligence. Originating from a strong research and analytical background, we are passionately curious about driving relevant and actionable insights for our clients. Deep down, when you strip us down to our core, we are helpers; we care a lot!

At Digital Republic we:

  • Analyse the social data using our strong research and strategic background
  • Give brands analytical, strategic and insightful recommendations to drive actionable strategies
  • Aim at improving brand’s online communication strategies
  • Helping brands build stronger and more meaningful relationships with their consumers

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#Zoolander2 – Paramount Picture’s Epic PR Stunt at the Paris Fashion Week


This has got to be one of the greatest PR stunts of 2015 so far! Paramount Pictures announced that Zoolander 2 is going to be released next year (February 16th 2016). For those of you who have not watched the first Zoolander (um. . . where have you been?), the movie centers around top male fashion model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and the new rising star Hansel (Owen Wilson) who battle it out to be the top male model. So would it not seem only fitting to announce the sequel to a movie about fashion and models in a similar environment?

Paramount Pictures did just that and ‘crashed’ the Valentino fashion show at Paris Fashion Week yesterday. With their Magnum Faces at the ready Zoolander-Magnum, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson channeled       their characters from the 2001 movie and walked down the catwalk. The stunt caused a massive uproar on social media and #Zoolander2 quick became a hot topic of conversation.

We have to give it to the guys at Paramount Pictures, the #Zoolander2 PR stunt generated a lot of excitement about the sequel. We decided to track the #Zoolander2 hashtag with our social intelligence tool, Tracx,. Here’s a look at the global activity that occurred since the catwalk crash. Please note that we’re pulling in data from the 10th March and today (11th March). As Tracx updates every 3 minutes, the data shown will be from yesterday up until 10:00AM this morning, ah real-time data.

CaptureSo far, there have been almost 1 900 posts relating to the hashtag and there have been over 25 000 interactions on the posts. 867 of the posts were converted into conversations.
There were 25 449 unique people reached with conversations having a density of 28.5 people per conversation.

audience activity

There was slightly more activity from females than males, with females making up 54.5% of the audience demographic, whilst males made up 45.5% of audience activity. From the activity breakdown, we can see which social platform had the biggest share of voice in terms of posts and interactions.
Twitter had the most activity with 35.12% followed by Facebook Pages: 34.11%, Instagram: 18.71% and News sites with 3.49%.

Here are the top 5 influencers with scores calculated on 4 criteria: reach, impact, quality and volume;


Ben Stiller is the top influencer with 13 posts that had an impact of 9 900, (impact is the total amount of interactions created on relevant posts) therefore each of his #Zoolander2 posts had an average of 76 1.54 interactions. Taking  Stiller’s social following into account, (Twitter and Facebook), Stiller has the potential to reach 8 005 809 people and has so far reached 19 895 unique people.

blue-steel-ben-stiller #BlueSteel baby!!! Love it!


This really cool Geo-heat map shows where the activity around #Zoolander2 is being generated from. Majority of all posts and interactions originate from the US.

Picture3We looked at the most used words relating to the hashtag and decided to make our own Zoolander2 poster using all the conversation drivers. BAM!!!

Cannot wait to watch this movie!


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Digital Republic offering: Community Overview

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On 12 February 2015, Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA). In his addess, Zuma speaks about the current economic situation in various industries of South Africa and he also states how the government plans to boost the economy with various plans of action in place.

According to Parliament’s website, this is what the SONA is defined as:

  • The State of the Nation Address is an address to the nation by the President of the Republic of South Africa as the Head of State. It is commonly referred to as the annual opening of Parliament.
  • The President uses this occasion to set out the government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead in a wide-ranging address to Members of Parliament, which is the basis for executive action during that calendar year.
  • Since 1994, the tone of the State of the Nation Address has been inclusive, joyful and informal. The Opening of Parliament became an opportunity to showcase the country’s cultural diversity and a chance for ordinary citizens, especially children, to become part of this special day.  (Source: http://www.parliament.gov.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=7001)

The SONA is supposed to cover the government’s key policy objectives and what they plan to deliver in 2015, it’s supposed to be very important to the entire nation as a whole. South Africans will be made aware of the challenges and achievements of the government in 2014, and government will present the Programme of Action for 2015.

According to News24, here is the 9 point plan to boost South Africa’s economy

The priorities were:

1. Resolving the energy challenge;
2. Upping the agricultural value chain;
3. Beneficiation through adding value to mineral resources;
4. More effective implementation of higher impact industrial policy action plan;
5. Encouraging private sector investment;
6. Moderating work place conflict;
7. Unlocking the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives, townships and rural enterprises;
8. Reform of state owned companies, broad band roll out, water sanitation and transport infrastructure and
9. Operation Phakisa which aims to grow the ocean economy – such as the shipping and storage of energy products.

(Source http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Zumas-9-point-plan-to-boost-economy-20150212)

Here are some of the highlights:


  • Directing R23billion to Eskom to boost the balance sheet
  • Procuring gas supplies from neighbouring countries
  • Movements to procure nuclear power in the long term
  • The hydro electric power scheme with the DRC aims to procure 15 000MW


  • 200 000 jobs have been created in 2014
  • Unemployment has decreased in the last quarter of 2014
  • Youth employment is progressing well
  • Government plan to create 1 million jobs per year


Unfortunately, this year’s SONA was overshadowed by EFF outbursts and cell phone jamming. Naturally, South Africans took to social media networks to express their shock and horror at the pandemonic State of the Nation Address.

We wanted to monitor the online conversations surrounding #SONA2015.  The following keywords were put into Tracx: [#SONA2015] OR [#SONA] OR “state of the nation address” OR [#SONA15] OR [#zuma]


Overall there were:

  • Over 12 000 posts about #SONA with over 60 000 interactions
  • There were 5 855 conversations generated resulting in an engagement rate of 48%
  • The SONA was mentioned over 13 000 times with a reach of 36 000+ unique people
  • On average the conversation density was 9.8 people per conversation

audience demo sctivity volumeThere were more males (59.9%)  interacting online than females (40.1%). The dominant age group involved in the online conversations were between 25-34 years old. In the activity volume we can see the amount of posts and interactions generated over 3 days, namely, the day before the address, the day of, and the day after the madness.. I mean address.

Twitter made up the majority of the activity with many using to the social network to get up to the minute tweets about the parliamentary processions.

These were the top words used in the online conversations.

covo drivers

We looked at Tracx’s heatmaps to give you a visual, as well as geographic representation of the online activity that took place in South Africa around #SONA2015.

south africa

  • Majority of activity came from Johannesburg and Cape Town, respectively
    • Johannesburg had the most amount of activity with 26 902 posts and interactions
    • 22 859 posts and interactions came from the Mother city
    • Whilst Durban generated 3 042 posts and interactions

The unruly behaviour by members of parliament has left many South Africans in dismay about the future of our country. We are not going to allow the soapie, sorry, SONA awards as cause to immigrate, but rather we can now see the passion bubbling up from South Africans who have had enough. After all, if government cannot control the behaviour of their own members how do we as South Africans place our trust in their ability to gain control over our economic position. Just some food for thought 🙂


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