Social Media is an undeniable part of everyday life. With the pervasiveness of mobile devices, social media is available anywhere at pretty much any time. Here are just a few figures that highlight and give a sense of scale of current Social Media usage:
- 1.43 billion people used a social networking site in 2012
- Facebook has 850 million active users every month
- 1 million Twitter accounts were added every day in 2012
- There are 175 million tweets sent every day
- 65% of social media users are using social media to learn more about brands, products and services
By now, most organizations are listening to the different social media outlets for information relevant to them. Listening is a good starting point for deriving meaningful, actionable insights from social media, but it is not enough. Organizations need a way to move beyond listening so they can collaboratively solve business problems.
Introducing Social Media Analytics
In early February, IBM announced the release of Social Media Analytics (SMA). SMA provides business users with advanced analytic capabilities and out-of-the-box dashboards and reports that are easily customizable. Some of the key capabilities that are built into the solution include:
- Increased scalability in terms of data volumes and user impact
- Can track sentiment in multiple languages
- Demographic analytics with ability to identify gender, marriage status or if they have children
- Extended discovery (Evolving Topics) capabilities to identify “what you may not know” about your analysis
- Influencer analytics for key author analysis
- Geographic analysis for regional uniqueness insights
- Behavioral analytics to identify users, detractors, influencers and recommenders
SMA is an integrated application consisting of several IBM technologies including:
- BigInsights (IBM’s Hadoop Offering)
- Cognos Business Intelligence
- SPSS (Predictive and Text Analytics)
- Emerging Topics (Watson Lab technologies)
The SMA offering is actually a bit of a departure for IBM, as it is delivered as a fully integrated application. Traditionally, IBM’s offerings are delivered more as a platform upon which customers can build their solution. In SMA, there is a significant amount of integration work that is already performed for the customer, which drastically reduces the time-to-value when implementing the solution. The figure below shows the high-level architecture.
IBM’s Social Media Analytics offering provides a platform from which organizations can link measurement and the tactical execution of social media strategies to serve the purpose of revenue generation. By combining social media data with predictive analytics, it allows organizations to differentiate themselves from their competition. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like a more detailed conversation about Social Media Analytics.