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Case study: How starcount became the world's first social entertainment chart

By Katie McQuater, Magazine Editor



Starcount article

November 9, 2012 | 5 min read

This case study details the creation, development and implementation of starcount's global social media chart. The work was awarded Chairman's Award at this year's DADI Awards.

Backgroundstarcount wanted to be the world’s first truly global social media chart – a massive project that would require input from social media platforms all around the planet. The idea behind starcount is to mine the data of thousands of social profiles, aggregating number of Likes, Follows, Circles etc, and then outputting a ‘starcount score’. It also wanted the concept to extend into events culminating in an global awards ceremony in Singapore in 2013 based on starcount scores. Dog Digital created the brand (with assistance from O Street), and designed and built the website starcount.com, as well as carrying out social promotion. Profiles and landing pages had to be set up on all of the social networks starcount operates with in order to give a presence on the network as well as integrating them into the site. starcount aggregates data from 11 social networks around the world. This was a complex technical task, with Dog working to integrate social feeds, plugins and APIs from networks from Facebook, to Orkut, to RenRen in China. Dog also initiated the social media campaign for starcount, creating profiles on social networks around the world and producing and publishing the associated content.
On starcount.com, data is aggregated from the top social networks globally and charts thousands of personalities across all genres, including music, sports, film, gaming, fashion, TV, brands and politics. This new digital platform is a world’s first, allowing fans to compare stars as well as discovering trends and emerging acts in social entertainment. The networks on starcount.com are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RenRen, Mixi, Youku, Google+, VKontakte, Orkut, Weibo and Tencent Weibo.Key objectivesstarcount required Dog to create a brand and website that would be successful on the international stage. This was not a campaign or smaller, regional site – this was a huge global undertaking which had to communicate with users in every continent. Other than creating an international brand, the main objective and task with starcount.com was to integrate a large number of APIs, plugins and feeds from the social networks around the world into the site, and then display them in an understandable and comparable way.StrategyTo include users from across the globe, filters and categories were included to display the most relevant content either by region, or by category. This was a large undertaking, and now every country in the world has their own chart. This met the ‘world inclusive’ objective of starcount, and has resulted in traffic from hundreds of countries. Geotargeting is also in place to change the language of the site depending on where the user visits from. Eventually this will also be used to determine the display of content on the site, whereby visitors from Vietnam will see the Vietnamese chart and relevant news stories. This will be rolled out in phase 2 of the site in late 2012.In terms of data integration and APIs, every profile has social integration, pulling in dynamic connect buttons (Follow, Like, Add to Circles etc) as well as their profile. Furthermore, latest tweets, social buzz and news articles are also dynamically pulled in, positioning starcount.com as a content platform as well as an entertainment chart. The strategy behind this was to offer features in addition to the data and chart aspect – users can easily connect with and read about certain celebrities without leaving starcount.com. With these features in place, starcount acts as a complete discovery engine for social entertainment. In addition to setting up and skinning social profiles on the 11 networks, Dog also undertook the initial social engagement, posting and messaging, creating content plans and schedules as well as briefing teams in various locations around the world in order to manage time zone differences. The social profiles ensure that starcount has two-way social process, whereby they are not merely ‘looking in’ at the social media world and displaying the data from it, but are playing an active part with their own profiles. As well the technical complexities involved in the project, there were also practical difficulties with such a global site, leading to Dog hiring translators to assist with the social media setup.
ResultsAt the time of entry, starcount.com had been live for nearly three months and featured over 90,000 social profiles. As a result of the advanced API integration, new content is pulled into the site every hour of every day. The starcount brand itself has had a huge international impact, with global stars and sports teams tweeting and Facebooking about the service. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo recently tweeted his 11m followers about being crowned by starcount as the most popular sportsperson on earth. Unsurprisingly, this produced hundreds of thousands of visits to starcount.com. Similarly, FC Barcelona tweeted about starcount to their 5.5m followers. This was an amazing result for such a new site and brand and shows that in the future, users, celebrities and brands will aim to be ‘number one’ on starcount.com. As a result of the long-term partnership with starcount, Dog has now opened an office in Singapore.

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