Social Business + Big Data = Business intelligence

Mindjumpers Logo

Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Yes, that sounds like quite a lot – and it is! To put it into perspective, we have produced more than 90% of all online data that exists in the world today within these past two years. Combined, this online data equals Big Data. Being exceedingly interested in the talk of Big Data, I’ve recently been inspired by the research and development of Big Data related software and applications. Especially the articles of Jeremiah Owyang and Raj De Datta.

BDAs – what exactly is it again?
The massive amounts of data make the value of good social media management and engagement even greater – and easier to sustain. Parts of Big Data are produced via Big Data Applications (BDA) such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Applications that produce detailed user data to the rapidly expanding masses of online data.

Breaking down BDAs’ structure to us, Raj De Datta’s article explains: “Every user that joins LinkedIn adds a signal to the LinkedIn BDA stack, enabling the recruiter to harness all their millions of profiles, not just their individual silos. As a result, smaller, specialized recruiters are competing with the biggest executive search agencies with comparable reach.”

The point of Big Data and thereby BDAs is neither marketing nor PR. The point is that understanding how to interact with Big Data can transform how we live, how we interact – and how we do business. Insights and analyses we are gradually exploring at Mindjumpers. From a business perspective, it all comes down to business intelligence: if we can manage to filter and funnel this data somehow, we can start mining on the data and realise details about our business as well as our fans or followers that we never would have expected or realised otherwise. In addition, if we can manage the BDA’s data, we can essentially analyse how our followers’ friends and connections engage with us.

 

 

Social Performance Software: helping us to retrieve business intelligence
Enter Social Performance Software. Needless to say, the Big Data hype has also caught the attention of software developers around the world, and a new species of social media tool software is emerging: Social Performance Software (SPS).

The aim of this new breed of software is to, as Jeremiha Owyan puts it: “analyze the conversations of your followers, then suggest which content and media to publish, then determine when to publish, on which channel, and to whom. As a result, content will reach the intended audiences and result in higher resonation, or higher call to action rates.”

So, SPS enables us to perform data mining in the relevant BDA data. On top of that, the SPS will analyse when, where and to whom we should engage to strengthen our brand.

I have introduced the white paper on Actionable Social Analytics by Awareness before, but I would like to show a relevant illustration to underline the purpose of SPS in handling Big Data from BDAs:

 

Let the data revolution begin!
Social business is all about business intelligence. In November and in April I touched upon Big Data and the magnificent opportunities it entails. Continuously fascinated by the unlimited opportunities Big Data unleashes, I still think that the revolutionary thing about Big Data is the mind-blowing amounts of online data on social media users’ behaviour. Data that is sitting there waiting to be analysed, transformed and utilised. Data that reaches much further than to a simple status update or “like”: it can tell you where the segments hang out, what/who they like, who they are friends with, what they pay attention to right now, which brands they like, where they work, how they are connected within certain segments, how they influence their connections and last but certainly not least, it gives you access to the data of your followers’ friends and connections – in real time.

 

In the end, it’s all about Business Intelligence
At Mindjumpers, we believe that this space for social performance software development will only expand in the coming years and that the number of management and monitoring tools will explode. The tools that are already being used to monitor social media channels will most likely be upgraded to accommodate these increasingly detailed insight analyses and planning functions. To be able to filter and analyse these astounding amounts of Big Data from BDAs in real time, will mean an extraordinary value to all companies involved in social media activities. Not only will the actual outcome and ROI of the social media investment become easier to calculate, it will provide detailed insights about your business and your fans’ and followers’ network.

I’m following the development with increasing excitement and am sure that organised utilisation of BDAs’ data shortly will become paramount to all businesses.

 

 

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!