What Began as a U.S. Trend is Now a Global Norm
On social media, opinions dominate.
What began as a U.S. trend is now a global norm. When marketers are nimble on social, they can turn opinions-at-scale into valuable data, but it’s no magic bullet. Good tools are required, and even then, insights gleaned from opinion data still need creative direction to fit into content.
Sometimes, different elements (such as data visualizations) are also needed to stand out, so beware of any data “solution” that’s a one-trick pony, or just too slow to be part of a fast feedback loop.
While opinions are certainly scattered, the trend of non-stop opinions is sticking around. Business who want to gather opinions can reduce steps through certain platforms. We spoke to one named The Tylt.
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Data Has a New Ally: Opinions
An era ago, when Netscape’s Jim Barksdale said “If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have is opinions, let’s go with mine”, it was pretty funny at the time.
But in the era of social media, data and opinion can combine for a one-two punch. Rather than putting emphasis on data tracking and telling people what your brand values are, The Tylt says it’s wise to look at real-time data on what customers, influential netizens, prospects and others believe — with statistically viable sample sizes and without the costs and clunkiness of focus groups.
Talking to The Tylt
Small Business Trends connected via email with The Tylt‘s general manager, Kyle Lelli. The Tylt is a polling platform focusing on naturally high-engagement hooks such as pop culture. It launched in April 2016 out of Advance Alpha Group, the 35-person special incubator for new projects and new products within Advance Local, the 9th largest news org in the U.S. As such, The Tylt employs journalists and editorial teams to present two sides of various debates as the initial spark.
As General Manager of The Tylt, Lelli is responsible for driving day-to-day operations of the business as well as long-term product and growth strategy. A self-proclaimed “people person and geek at heart,” Lelli has nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing. Prior to The Tylt, he worked at Complex with a focus on audiences.
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Small Business Trends: What does your company do? Who is it for? What’s the backend tech?
Kyle Lelli: Millions of people share their opinions on the internet everyday, and The Tylt is quantifying those opinions. We are the internet’s sounding board where social polling and opinions of Millennials and Gen Z are the focus. Especially for trending topics in culture, sports, politics and entertainment. Anyone can cast votes on the news of the day either at TheTylt.com or across social channels by voting with the corresponding debate hashtag. On social media, The Tylt brings a debate directly to audiences without taking people off the app they’re using.
— The Tylt (@TheTylt) April 24, 2019
Taking the Temperature of Online Opinion
We help marketers by helping them understand and measure consumer sentiment over time. The Tylt also offers branded content campaigns to marketers. Expert teams at The Tylt help to design those campaigns. Once the campaign is live, The Tylt delivers a simple, fun and engaging social polling experience and then gathers and visualizes opinion data.
The Tylt’s patented “Signal” algorithm is the underlying technology. We’re the only company marrying branded content campaign design with polling on social and the web. The Tylt’s team of journalists, community builders and social media experts work together to define and showcase two sides of a topic, skillfully crafted with effective campaign design and unique storytelling. We create the polls based off of what’s happening in the world. We offer data visualizations too, and polls can be embedded on other sites.
Small Business Trends: That’s a cool mix of talents at your company; I like the sound of that. How are things going, three years after launching?
Kyle Lelli: The Tylt now reaches over 50 million people each month across digital channels, primarily ages 18-34. The Tylt is able to capitalize on social media virality and gives marketers opportunities to engage with their audiences in unique ways and then translate those opinions into a powerful branded content strategy.
How Collecting Customer Sentiment has Changed
Small Business Trends: In the past, let’s say before social media was big, what were some choices for audience studies?
Kyle Lelli: For decades, traditional polling methods like focus groups and phone polls have been industry standards for data-driven audience studies. Calls are getting costlier and people are increasingly less likely to pick up. The Tylt believes that people’s time is valuable, and rather than forcing them into an inorganic position, The Tylt meets people where they share their opinions organically, which is by and large social media and the Internet. By tapping into people’s natural tendency to share their opinion with their friends, family and online communities, The Tylt removes many of the pain points found in other polling methods. We like to say that we help brands reach their audience’s audience.
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Pictured: Kyle Lelli and Sarah Schmidt of The Tylt
Images: The Tylt