Your Brand in Pictures

Tracking your social media brand using image recognition

Every business & nonprofit uses images online to help tell their story. But is it possible to help understand which images resonate with your base so you can more accurately plan future marketing? Image recognition is not a new concept but it is representing a bigger share of major companies’ businesses but we think every size business should be aware of how to utilize it to their advantage.

Image Recognition works by analyzing pixels in images to identify faces, objects, products, etc. This technology is transforming a wide variety of industries, from agriculture and home appliances to social media and native advertising. It provides marketers with a creative means for connecting traditional media and physical objects to interactive content without requiring special software on the mobile device.

This month, Pinterest took its visual search functionality to the next level. It is now powered by machine learning and image recognition techniques. Instagram is also reportedly experimenting with a new ad format that users Apple’s 3D Touch feature to let users switch among multiple product options in the images. And Facebook, as many of us are aware when FB recognizes us in pictures before we tag them, has conducted extensive machine vision research to improve facial recognition.

So how can you use image recognition in a social media context?
Image recognition makes it possible to find and categorize those untagged photos by analyzing their visual content for patterns specific to a brand. This provides brands not only with useful content they couldn’t find before without accompanying text, but also with better connections to their biggest fans.

One company that is getting a lot of tractions with their image recognition tool is Mantii. Their software watches social media as new images appear, then grabs the images that are relevant to the respective brand and displays them on a dashboard. It works similarly to many of the text-based social media listening tools that marketers use today, except it’s using image recognition technology to scan the visual content in the picture instead of relying solely on words. Mantii also analyzes the demographics and sentiment associated with these images, so marketers can quickly get a sense of who’s talking about their brand and what they’re saying.

So, why should you do this?
Marketers can use tools like Mantii to identify the top influencers and engage with them through direct advertising or obtain rights to their photos for user-generated content which is a BIG deal! The next time an influential consumer posts a selfie with their face smeared in chocolate from their favorite candy brand, it could turn into a yearlong advertising campaign. In that sense, “going viral” becomes more scientific and accessible for marketers, so they can ride the wave rather than chase after it.

So, what could this mean for you? Well, it can help you or your marketing team make smarter decisions when it comes to posting images and perhaps give you some ideas for your next big campaign. And, as always, we’re here to help if you need it!