Tania Yuki is a lawyer who "likes making things" — and what better thing to make than a company? In 2013, Yuki founded Shareablee, a social media analytics startup that provides marketing data to companies and publications.
On her LinkedIn profile, she said she "thinks a lot about audience measurement and optimizing new platforms, and how traditional advertising and marketing can adapt to (disruptive) new ways of consuming and distributing content.”
Her goal is to "help simplify this convergence thing, keep it relevant and human, and to enable people to be reached in relevant ways by content and messages that are valuable to them, irrespective of where they are spending their time."
Making - and Measuring - Things
Yuki graduated from The University of New South Wales in Australia with an Honors Degree in Arts and Law with a concentration in media law, Internet law, film financing and screenwriting. That's quite impressive.
But what intrigued me most when we met back in 2009 was her thesis: “enhanced media law and film focus, ” written on legal rights management in the creation and distribution of media and new media in the digital age. Her research explored the challenges and opportunities of copyright law, the creative commons and the increased use of file sharing.
At the time we met, Yuki was senior director/cross media and video products at ComScore, where she focused on online video and social video media measurement, product management, video reporting and cross platform measurement.
We sat down recently at Argo Tea in New York City for, of course, a cup of tea — and conversation about her background, Shareablee as well as her involvement in wimlink, an organization that creates networking, mentorship and partnership environments for women in media and tech.
Sobel: Your college degree landed you a job at FoxTel, an Australian pay television, cable television, direct broadcast satellite television and (Internet Protocol television) IPTV owned in part by Rupert Murdoch. At FoxTel, you were involved with interactive and digital strategy as well as production of several programs from development through to post production. Can you share with us your college days as well as your work in Australia?
Yuki: I spent a lot of time learning about storytelling, writing and film. I was very focused on how we communicate culture and character, and believed that this was the understanding from which everything would grow. In law, I learned a lot about the business of creativity in terms of intellectual property, and also how to structure complicated deals, which first got me interested in co-productions and the business of getting a film funded.
Sobel: In 2006 you pulled up your roots to move to the US, where you joined Killer Films, a New York City-based independent film production company founded by moviemaker, Christine Vachon, the Godmother of Independent Films. This must have been both an unusual opportunity as well as culture shock.
Yuki: It was brilliant and so much fun. My first week on the job, I was on the set of Helen Hunt’s directorial debut "Then She Found Me," with an amazing cast including Colin Firth, Tim Robbins and Bette Midler. Coming from Australia, it was so surreal to be thrown right into the epicenter of things.
Sobel: When you and I talked back in 2010 — when you were still at comScore — we discussed one of your passions ... the intersection of social media and television and how there needs to be a company that can understand and collect audience and data across a variety of social media platforms. Next thing I know it’s 2013 and you are starting Shareablee, which you call “the leading authority on audience intelligence, competitive benchmarking and actionable insights for social media.” Share with us about that and how things are going today.
Yuki: It’s been an amazing ride. After leaving ComScore, I ran the Advertiser Solution division of a venture-backed company in New York called Visible World, founded by Seth Haberman. I learned a lot about the business of television and household addressability, as well as how to oversee sales, account management and so much more. Founding Shareablee was a terrific next step, and it’s been so much fun taking something from my living room to a 40 plus person company that’s really thriving and finding it’s unique voice in an exciting, rapidly evolving space.
Sobel: You seem very proud of your “Shareablee Social Scorecard” that measures total social media actions (post-level likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites) for a brand across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as your TV Ratings report you produce in partnership with Cynopsis Media. Can you tell us about this?
Yuki: Yes! The social media marketing industry is in dire need of a clear, consistent way to measure audiences and measure success, and we believe this is it. We’ve had a terrific reception to these rankings and plan to do a whole lot more with these across new verticals, as well as to help marketers make better decisions on where to place ad dollars and how to optimize their social communications.
Sobel: I mentioned earlier wimlink, an organization you founded in 2008. You mentioned back then “The purpose of wimlink is to hold events and create networking, mentorship and partnership environments for women in media and tech ... because there's not enough of this.” Tell us about wimlink and how are readers can get involved.
Yuki: I am a huge believer in modeling success. The mission of wimlink is to highlight the accomplishment of awesome women founders, entrepreneurs and executives — to multiply what we can all learn from each other. There’s still a huge opportunity for women to step up and take things to the next level, and a big part of that lies in understanding how others before you have succeeded. In the past, we’ve had speakers ranging from the president of Digitas and Match.com to the COO of Mashable and other terrific tech companies. We’re always interested in hearing from anyone interested in speaking or contributing content, and you can always attend an event. The latest news can be found on our meetup group.
Sobel: Finally, I’m interested in the recent article you write in iMediaConnection, “The Top 10 Commandments for Social Media Failure.” You said, “When I was asked to outline how to succeed, my response was that I couldn’t. What I could do, on the other hand, was the explain precisely how to fail.” Can you share this with us?
Yuki: Yes! I suppose that could sound a little cheeky. What I meant by that is that success takes many forms but illness and ill health all share common qualities. It was written less as a how-to and more as a cautionary tale for marketers based on the very worst behavior and practices that I’ve observed from the hundreds of companies I’ve worked with. Funnily enough, everyone I’ve met who has not done well for their brand in social shared many of the same behaviors and I summarized those creativity and success killers in that article.