I recently had the opportunity to record a presentation Graham Mackintosh, an IBM social analytics expert, gave to business students at the end of last year.
One of the points that really resonated was the idea that web publishers can use social data to move from being content creators to service providers. Why did this resonate? I think one of the reasons is that thinking of the client experience is so ‘en-vogue’ (to borrow the phrase from Luis Suarez). Areas such as social business and ecommerce are strongly focused on optimizing the client experience right now. Furthermore, in management theory, we’re seeing the emergence of service science as a discipline.
Where does social analytics fit in?
Graham talks about the way in which publishers can look at social intelligence, whether this be sentiment analysis, keyword analysis or other social data produced by their target audience, and use this to develop a content strategy. A tough pill to swallow, I’m sure, for content creators who have been taught the inviolable nature of the creation process. However, when practiced most effectively, analytics does not negate creativity, but rather guide it in a direction closer to the end user. One example Graham suggests is looking at fan sentiment to determine content for a sports site.
Other key points from the presentation:
- Social media generates human telemetry that can be used to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems
- Social analytics can uncover useful insights in particularly fickle industries like fashion
- The industry is moving from monitoring to management where more and more systems are allowing actions to be taken or workflows launched directly from the reporting dashboard