In our third installment, we reached out to four experts (from Anderson Analytics, Social Target, Gnip, and Zoetica Media) to gain insights into what social media data really is and where it comes from.
Text Analytics News, February 28, 2011.
As a lead-up to the
Social Media Analytics Summit, (Apr 17-18 San Francisco, CA)
Text Analytics News has partnered with Useful Social Media to publish a series of expert interviews with top Social Media Analytics professionals.
In our third installment, we reached out to four experts to gain insights into what social media data really is and where it comes from. The Social Media Analytics Summit will be held in San Francisco this April.
Today's interviewees include:
1. When you think of "Social Media Data," what do you think of first? Second?
First I think about all the data that we are generally not getting. The rich juicy stuff such as the connections between people on Facebook and the comments on their walls, even discussions in LinkedIn groups etc.
Then secondly I think about Twitter and blogs (RSS data), which is where the majority of the "Social Media Data" folks use is actually coming from - just because it's easy and free to get to.
Don't get me wrong, with a little thinking ahead of time you can get some very actionable data and insights from what's already available, and it doesn't have to be limited to Twitter and blogs. But if you believe your social media monitoring firm is delivering the web to you, they're not!
I think of the opinions, debates, thoughts, and insights that are expressed via public social conversation and how this data has unlimited potential to fundamentally change the way businesses operate.
My second thought is around some of the key publishers that are facilitating the generation of such valuable content: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Wordpress, Disqus, etc.
Nathan (Social Target):
I was trained by the early concerns about what people were saying in social media-only it wasn't called social media at the time. So the first thing I think of is the content people create: the blog posts, reviews, tweets, videos, and everything else they put out there for the world to see.
The second is the data created by all the observable actions people take in social media settings: connecting with friends; following interesting people; sharing, tagging, and linking to content; clicking on "favorite" and "like" buttons; voting on reviews... Most of the new features in social media create still more data, and the young companies that dominate the space don't seem to be out of ideas.
Kami (Zoetica Media):
Social media data is at the heart of understanding your community. Far from being cold and impersonal, data can tell a story that intuition alone cannot deliver. As much as we like to believe that we fully understand our community, what people say and what people do are often very different. Data can help to guide intuition.
For that reason, the second thing I think of when I consider social media data is it's importance as a tool to diagnose, prioritize and evaluate what you are doing as an organization and use it to make course corrections.