By: Matthew Wong
Social media analytics can be a boon for businesses that use it wisely. Two founders of social data start-ups explain what they’ve learned so far.
At the Mashable Media Summit in New York on Friday, founders of two social analytics start-ups–Parse.ly’s Sachin Kamdar and SocialFlow’s Frank Speiser–spoke on a number of emerging trends they’ve seen from the heaps of social data they monitor.
Below are five points that Kamdar and Speiser think businesses should know about social media:
1. Viral content on Twitter lasts longer than it does on Facebook. “When content goes viral on Twitter, you have an influencer picking it up and then another influencer picking it up and it trends that way,” said Kamdar, whose company tracks 3.5 billion page views from content and digital media websites. “On Facebook, you’re going to hit more people but the life cycle is going to be shorter.”
Speiser added that businesses shouldn’t “beg influencers” to re-tweet their content, but instead produce “tweets” that are likely have utility for their audience.
2. LinkedIn is emerging as a distribution mechanism for content. “Right now, what we see is that business and education related items tend to do really well on LinkedIn,” Kamdar said. “I think more and more traffic is going to be coming from LinkedIn, as they start to have their own organic content and push their own editorial strategies.”
3. Don’t ignore your search strategy. While Speiser’s company focuses on Twitter data and algorithms to help companies engage users, he said companies should still value search. “There’s no way I’m going to convince you to stop spending money on search because it works,” he said. Kamdar agreed: “For any website, there’s some SEO that you just need to do.”
4. The worth of an individual “like” is not a good measure. “If you don’t build your audience with the contextual intention for them to consume that type of content, the ‘likes’ work against you,” said Speiser. “The ‘like’ itself is hard to value because the way you got it matters more than the fact that you have it.”
5. Social data is only one piece of the puzzle. Because social functions have spread across all company operations, Kamdar said social media data should be married with other data to present the best opportunities for businesses. “You want to combine social media on the brand side with sales or on the media side with users,” he said. “Businesses should really try to build social data back into other areas of their organization.”