Move from spreadsheets to actionable insights with a social media command center
For many organizations that are building a social media practice, the most commonly used social media management tool isn’t a high-end Social Media command center – it’s Microsoft Excel. Social teams build weekly spreadsheets about the number of mentions received, sentiment breakdown, and perhaps a comparison with the previous week. These spreadsheets are emailed around, or uploaded to a SharePoint site, and there they sit, unread and not actionable.
The bigger problem with this approach is that it fails to demonstrate one of the core values of social – that social data can be used to make broader business decisions. If the only intelligence you’re gathering from social is, “this week we have 400 mentions and the previous week we had 350,” what can you do with that?
At Synthesio, we believe that in order to drive those business decisions, you have to:
- Gather the richest set of data
- Layer intelligence and metrics on top of that data
- Share those metrics throughout the organization
Step 1, of course, means having more data, and more context about that data. Moving from 400 mentions to 400,000, and adding sentiment, language, location, influence, etc. In doing that, we’ve immediately left the realm of what Excel can handle, and we have to find better ways to visualize and understand what’s happening.
Big Data is any thing which is crash Excel.
— DevOps Borat (@DEVOPS_BORAT) January 8, 2013
Step 2 is all about our metrics: our Social Reputation Score that measures brand intelligence, our influencer scoring, our Activation and Reach calculations, etc. Taking those thousands or millions of mentions and distilling them down into KPIs, tracking them over time and surfacing insights.
Step 3 is the crux of the issue though. Now that there are social KPIs ready for the business to use, how do you get those metrics in front of the right people?
This is where our new announcements come into play. First, we’re launching a new version of our API. This new API goes beyond just allowing you to search and download mentions to opening up the entire Synthesio platform to programmatic access. Every metric, KPI and data point you see in Synthesio is also available via this API. Every filter – country, language, topic, sentiment, influence – are all available.
This means that if you’re already using a business intelligence platform or an enterprise visualization tool, you can leverage every metric already available in Synthesio. If your internal data scientists want to correlate sentiment changes over time, by city, with your sales data, it’s only one API call away. This API puts the intelligence of the Synthesio platform in the hands of anyone who needs it.
APIs aren’t the right interface for everyone, though – sometimes you need an out-of-the-box, beautiful view of social data, targeted towards business KPIs, and optimized for large, public display. This is our second announcement – a new social media command center platform called Synthesio Beam. Synthesio Beam is a high-level view of what’s trending, key KPIs for social and benchmarking brands and topics against each other.
With Beam, executives and other teams can get a snapshot view of what’s happening in real-time, and identify signals for further analysis. It’s not meant to replace the core Synthesio interface, but rather supplement it, by giving teams indicators on what’s changing and happening *right now*.
When we began the development of Beam, we wanted to highlight the power of the Synthesio platform itself, not just slap a pretty user interface and some animations onto the same views we already have. To do this, we decided to leverage our new API as the foundational technology for how we built our social media command center platform, so every metric and bit of data in Beam is pulled from the same API that our partners and customers have access to. I can’t think of a better validation of our new customer API than the fact that we use that same API to build our own products.
There’s a wide range of situations where Beam can add value to your organization:
- You can have a social media command center for your social team to always see your brand’s perception vs. your competition.
- Have an enterprise-wide dashboard for non-social teams to use to get a sense of what’s being said about the organization that day on social, or to help respond to a media announcement.
- Be able to easily identify and tune in to all the data around a specific event in a way that can connect back to your meaningful business metrics and KPIs.
In the final analysis, we want to help organizations get better at social – and getting better at social means moving from counting mentions to building business-driven metrics they can share with a broader audience. Our new API and Synthesio Beam social media command center are both designed to empower social teams to throw away Excel, build the right metrics and get them in front of the people who need to see them.