We’ve heard the buzzword term, big data, in many different circles, referring to the ability to collect large sets of complex data that is normally difficult to filter. But, once companies have the data, what should they do with it? As Jay mentioned during the Social Pros Podcast with Chuck Hemann last year, “The future is not big data, the future is big understanding, and it’s not the same thing.” So, how can you understand the data to further your customer service, PR, marketing and other business efforts?
Search “leverage big data” and you’ll see countless articles offering tips and suggestions. But, let’s get beyond the basics. It’s time to get creative with data.
1. Attribute-Driven Social Campaigns
Kingsford Charcoal sought to identify “The Nicest Person in Social Media.” They worked with our engineering team to develop a script that identified people who tweeted the words “please,” thank you” and “thanks” most frequently in 2012. But, being nice isn’t just about please and thank you. The algorithm also accounted for people with positive sentiment scores and those who avoided “foul” language. After analyzing more than 100 billion tweets, Kingsford Charcoal and Sysomos deemed Waukesha, Wisconsin resident, IT professional, and part-time wine blogger, Clifford Brown as 2012’s “Nicest Person in Social Media.” Clifford’s “nice score” was exceptional, thanks in part to tweeting the words “please,” “thanks” and “thank you” 1,574 times during the year – an average of 4+ times a day!
2. Influencer Identification
While your brand may not be concerned with identifying the nicest person in the world, surely you want to hone in on potential influencers, prospects and referrals – another critical business function that can be solved by creatively assessing big data. Using MAP, our media analysis platform, we recently worked with a FORTUNE 100 company to elevate their influencer identification program to a deeper, more meaningful level. For example, during last year’s Shanghai Expo, this company sifted through millions of pieces of data to identify influencers in the Asian market, as well as key themes being discussed during the expo. This use of data enabled the company maintain a laser-like focus on the right people and targets – empowering the brand to more effectively listen, measure, understand and engage.
3. PR Stunts
Whether it was Uber delivering BBQ to South by Southwest attendees, or “flying people” above the New York City skyline, PR stunts generated lots of buzz and awareness in 2012. Imagine if brands incorporated data into their stunt implementation. For example, a tree at Union Station was “powered” Canada’s Christmas spirit. Using positive Christmas chatter in social media, the data lit up 30,000 LED lights. Each light color represented the sentiment coming from a different social channel. The more social media spirit that came in at one time, the brighter the tree shined. Words like “Santa,” “snowflake,” and “magic” triggered various patters in the tree’s lights. Big data can “enlighten” stunts – providing the brand with more meaning, longevity, and, ultimately, value.
At face value, the amount of digital data can be overwhelming; however, your ability to analyze and understand the data is critical to your success. Once you understand what’s available, get creative. True innovation lies at the intersection of data interpretation and creativity.