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The State of Social Media Analytics: Listening is Not Analyzing

By Terence Craig

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are working on a vertical solution for Social Media Analytics. I chatted with a few folks yesterday over lunch who posited that the recent acquisition of Radian6 (R6) by (a good post on the acquisition by Susan Etlinger can be found here) meant that opportunities for a social media analytics product had passed. I thought this discussion was interesting enough for a post. But before I begin, my congratulations to the folks at R6 on a great exit and on being acquired by such a great company.

I think the best way to think about the current state of Social Media Analytics is to look at the history of brick and mortar retail. In any industry, it is initially very difficult to communicate with, and learn from, important external entities, be they suppliers or customers. The communication typically starts as a manual process and as the relationship becomes better understood, you then move on to automation, storing key interactions in some sort of digital system (such as a database, data store, or data warehouse).  Over time, as the ecosystem gets more sophisticated, the signals (red cell phones are selling, inventory is continually low in the Southeast, Retailer X always pays late) become richer, more varied, and frequent. Automation then speeds up the pace of business and those important or missing parts of the signal become visible. For example, in traditional retail, we went from manual PO’s, to faxes, to fully automated Supply Chain Management with EDI, and continue to enrich the signal between retailers and consumers with technologies like near field communication (NFC) that enables things like mobile payments, mobile ticketing, and smart posters.  (more…)

March 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm 3 comments

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