The latest news on big data,
analytics, and social media

  • Social Data Blooming into Social Intelligence

    Making More Sense of Customer Data With Social Intelligence

    The data that stems from social media platforms like Facebook is of ever-increasing worth to companies, and it’s said that businesses are becoming more and more interested in integrating data about audience interests and habits into their own systems. This data is being labelled ‘social intelligence’, and is being used by companies to give them a tough edge over their competitors. The Social Data Intelligence: Integrating Social and Enterprise Data for Competitive Advantage, a report from Altimeter, has backed up these claims and it’s said that whilst enterprises have an average of 178 social media accounts, the challenge for the businesses that own these accounts is making sense of the wealth of data that is accrued and storing it in a centralised, coherent way.

    Bringing Everything Together

    It’s said that the Holy Grail for companies is the ability to collect all of the data provided to them by various social media accounts and devices in a holistic fashion. By achieving this, companies can identify just what customer expectations are and can go about fulfilling them in a more efficient manner, driving sales and defeating the competition. Altimeter’s findings have enabled them to come up with a series of techniques for the benefit of social media marketers in the form of what it has labelled the Social Data Maturity Map.

    Prior Preparation Brings Results

    Another concern for business marketers is identifying and implementing new way to deal with the vast influx of data that is being generated in real-time to the point where behaviour can be predicted confidently. Whilst the vast majority of companies – especially SMEs don’t currently have the technology to implement all of this convincing, it’s said that they can start to prepare themselves for a scenario where they might be able to make use of the technology once it is prevalent with the help of the Social Data Maturity Map.



  • How to Use LinkedIn to Your Own Advantage


    A piece by Linda Dessua over at Social Media today has outlined some key techniques that users of the site can take advantage of to make the service more useful. It’s estimated by surveys that around 70% of all marketers are using LinkedIn, and that the vast majority of these are planning upon using the site more. Dessua describes the blogging services on LinkedIn as extremely helpful. The site has chosen a number of “Influencers” to post blogs on the site, and Dessau says that it’s a great idea to share key posts that you find on there with your audience.

    Sharing and Engaging

    Users can rest assured that the information included in the posts is relevant, accurate and useful due to the fact that the authors have been chosen due to their knowledge and expertise. Such posts can also increase your own knowledge of your chosen sector, whilst there are obvious additional benefits to associating yourself with such reputable content too. You can even follow specific authors and themes on there too by customising your settings.

    Make the Most of This Valuable Tool

    To build up a more robust network on LinkedIn, users can look for great content that has been posted by offers and show their appreciation by engaging with these posts. These steps can lead to your network blossoming, and therefore increasing exposure for your own activities. The “People You May Know” facility can also be instrumental in helping you to grow your network. When using the Connect button, it’s a good idea to use the note facility to offer a personal greeting. Users can even make it easier to share relevant and engaging content by using the site’s Bookmarklet feature. If you’ve had a LinkedIn account for some time but are yet to see any useful results stemming from your use of the service, these steps could make a world of difference.




  • The Future of Payments – How digital is changing the industry

    Change is afoot in the world of payments. As the industry struggles to adapt to the online environment, we are seeing increasingly dramatic shifts in the landscape, from the acquisition of Alaric and Digital Insight by NCR Corporation to the intensifying pressure to incorporate consumer technology and create truly mobile systems.

    The key to these seismic shifts in the payment industry is the rise of the Digital Native, as first described by sociologist Marc Prensky. Digital Natives are people born and raised in the connected world, people who assume the right to online citizenship and who demand interconnectedness in all aspects of life. The demands of Digital Natives are driving a global change which affects every form of enterprise, not just the payments industry.

    So what can we do to meet the demands of Digital Natives, and what exactly is it that they want?

    The answer is both simple and troublingly complex: They want what they want, when they want it. In practice this means that Digital Natives value convenience, control and accessibility over more traditional metrics. The emphasis is on function, meaning that a Digital Native will quickly abandon a product or service they perceive as too slow, too vaguely defined or not useful enough. For businesses, this means that traditional ideas of customer loyalty and habitual usage must be discarded in favour of a more dynamic worldview.

    While this change may be disorienting for some, it is actually the shot in the arm that global enterprise needs. For example, in the payment industry, offering Digital Natives the speed, control and flexibility that they demand creates a drive towards new, better products and services, which can also benefit traditional consumers. By following the evolving needs of the Digital Natives, whole sectors can be renewed.

  • Understanding the 360-degree customer view

    If you’ve been to a seminar of any kind in the last ten years, then no doubt you’ve heard, and probably even used the term ’360-degree customer view,’ but despite the term’s prevalence, the idea behind it is still routinely misunderstood and misapplied, leading to a loss of customer confidence and a missed opportunity for business to grow and evolve. So what exactly is the 360 degree view, and is it still relevant?

    Most simply put, the 360 degree customer view involves seeing your customer as a fully rounded individual, and organising your service so that it is inclusive of the widest possible set of needs and expectations. In practice, this means attending to every step of the customer experience, from brand identity, advertising and sales to data collection, expert advice, social media presence and support systems.

    In a properly implemented 360 degree operation, each aspect of the business is both customer-focused and designed to act in support of the other elements, so that – for example – customer service call records can help identify and eliminate common problems so that one customer’s experience can directly benefit that of future customers, and help to streamline operations.

    One aspect of the 360 approach that is consistently neglected is responsiveness. In our era of permanent technological revolution, the only certainty is uncertainty, which means any business has to be able to respond to seismic shifts in the marketplace, and to let consumers know that they are doing so.

    It’s never been harder to predict where the next change will be, and how it will affect your day to day operations. With this in mind, one of the most important aspects of the 360-degree view is flexibility, and the ability to give your customers what they want, when they want, on the platform they want.

  • Finding and engaging with key influencers

    Social media marketing is the undisputed success story of the early twenty first century, with businesses of all types, from local tradesmen to global financial institutions engaging with consumers in the online environment. Over the last few years, thanks to reams of studies and analyses, it is clear that some consumers are far more influential than others, and their support and advocacy has become a prime target for companies who want to dominate the online conversation.

    But who are these elusive influencers, and how can you recruit them to your cause? The most influential people online, the conversation-shapers, the issue-raisers, the crowd leaders, may not hold classical positions of authority. In fact, a politician or a CEO of a multinational corporation may be far less influential than a housewife with a hit blog. Social media makes it easy to identify the influencers, as you can gauge the size of an audience, the number of likes, shares or retweets, and track down the individual influencer who could help raise your profile.

    The best place to start when assessing a potential influencer is Klout, which markets itself as ‘the standard for influence,’ and specialises in giving individuals an ‘influence score’ from 1-100, allowing you to accurately audit levels of influence.

    So now that you’ve found and assessed your influencer, how should you approach them? The key, as spelt out in a handy guide by imarketingclass is to know how you are going to benefit the influencer before you communicate. Do your research, identify areas in their enterprise where you could offer assistance, and present them with a personalised, targeted service which they’ll want to rave about.