The explosion of social media is causing businesses to rethink how they capture and analyze social information for business intelligence purposes. What started just a decade ago with a few novel websites such as Classmates.com has evolved into a fully integrated world of hundreds of social networks and tools that have fundamentally changed the way we think and interact. There will be more tools and networks tomorrow–and all of this new technology is changing and evolving at a dizzying pace.
The world's gone social
What's even more astounding it the rate of adoption. There are over 2 billion Internet users in the world, according to Internet World Stats. But according to recent statistics, almost half of them are Facebook users and Twitter users who log hundreds of millions of tweets every single day. People view pages at YouTube 92 billion times per month! Out there–among all the tweets, status updates, and viral videos–is important information about how your company is viewed by customers, partners, and the public.
How can your organization benefit from so much social data?
Many companies have spent the past year or two "catching up" with the social media whirlwind. Unless your organization was an early adopter, you may have only recently embraced a social marketing strategy or adopted social media as a form of customer feedback in customer service and support. Perhaps your organization is considering social media to provide effective collaboration tools for internal use across the enterprise, or you are using it for recruiting and engagement purposes within your human resources department.
Where does all of that data go? How can it be leveraged for more powerful purposes? You'll find the answer in business intelligence (BI) applications. Today's BI tools are starting to incorporate data streams from social media platforms. Expect much more of this functionality to evolve with future application development.
Social analytics will empower your organization to better understand how your customers behave, what they like about your products, how they view your business and your brand, and what they recommend to their friends and colleagues. As your organization is better able to capture and leverage this information, you can use it to help make decisions about sales approaches, marketing promotions, public relations efforts, product development, and more.