Integrated Social Business & the Future of Social Media Metrics

February 23, 2011 No Comments

This week as part of our executive series, I talked with CEO and one of the original founders of Collective Intellect, Don Springer. He provided his insight on the primary drivers in social media and text analytics for 2011, the biggest challenges enterprises are facing as they rollout integrated social business processes and the future of metrics.

How is Social Media challenging the way businesses operate today?

Well, let’s take a look at some figures. Industry research estimates that 127 million people, or 57.5% of Internet users, visited a social networking site at least once a month in 2010.  The steady rise since 2009 is attributed to the ever-increasing popularity of Facebook. Not only is the number of users growing quickly, but also the audience demographics continue to widen.  In 2010, it is estimated that 59.2% of adult Internet users will visit social networks monthly, up from 52.4% in 2009.

And as individuals adopt and begin using social media to exchange recommendations, referrals and opinions – all of these conversations translate into an enormous volume of data.  The growth of unstructured data is expected to grow with estimates pegging the compound annual growth rate at 62% from 2008-2012.

What this means from a business or market perspective is a seismic shift from one-to-many marketing to the considerably more-complex social media engagement. This represents a changing of the guard from traditional marketing techniques to a personal, identifiable marketing effort. Social media giants, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter provide the platform for the conversation, or word-of-mouth recommendation, which ultimately influences purchase behavior. The interactive and multi-directional nature of these social channels has given customers ownership of the conversation, which companies are increasingly recognizing.

Yet for many businesses, they are completely unaware these social conversations about their brand, products or industry are going on. All of these insights and user-generated content are simply not analyzed or reviewed to help inform business process or outreach programs. Social media analysis is real-time, publicly available information that can be categorized and filtered and is the type of data that really lends itself to open-ended white spaces analysis. Organizations can use a sophisticated listening platform to find out what is truly important to consumers; insights that are so unexpected or surprising, an organization may not have even known or realized these types of brand association or product uses were going on.

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