Co-Founder, Chief Strategy Officer
Through engaging with with many of the world’s leading brands across a myriad of industries from food to pharmaceuticals, we often get an array of insightful questions about social intelligence and the threats and insights that come from the open social universe. Given this, we’ve tapped our Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Mark Langsfeld, to periodically provide insight on questions surrounding social risk and social intelligence. Mark oversees ListenLogic’s Business Intelligence Command Center (pictured), the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world.
If you have a question related to social intelligence or social risk send it email@example.com.
As social media continues to grow exponentially, our team is regularly asked about various aspects of the open social universe arise. Here are a few questions of interest on the topic:
Q: With the sheer size of social media, how do you effectively cut through the massive volume of noise? -Sarah S.
A: Social can easily be intimidating to the largest, most sophisticated corporations. You’re talking about billions and billions of discussions from hundreds of millions of posters across tens of millions of social sources, and that is from a single day! This is a common question because many companies are trying to basically retrofit their social monitoring “buzz” tools to find threats from within social media. The problem with this approach is that these tools only see snippets of the open social universe and the keyword methodology they use requires the operator to know exactly what they are looking for, which doesn’t work well when you’re talking about countless types of threats that can present in countless different ways. Your essentially trying to see the next galaxy with a basic telescope, when you need the advanced technology of the Hubble Telescope.
A lot of companies aren’t sure where to start at first. The point you bring up is a critical one; filtering out the irrelevant noise is vital. However, you have to be able to access and process the entire open social universe first. This requires advanced technology related to big data processing and concept modeling to filter out the noise in real-time and classify the resulting relevant information. The challenge many are finding is that keywords deliver massive amounts of noise. Take the BMW X1 as an example – the items pictured to the right is just a sampling of the products named “X1” – a tremendous amount to noise irrelevant to BMW. Many would say “just use the keyword “BMW X1.” Unfortunately, this is not generally how consumers converse on social media. This is why using concept models and a discovery engine is critical filtering out the noise, identifying the intelligence and discovering new and evolving lexicon relevant to the brand.
The bottom line is social is a streaming “big data” problem and brands are realizing they need streaming “big data” solutions to filter out the irrelevant noise and identify the relevant information to discover actionable insight.
Q: Where do most corporate threats come from within social media? -Tina G.
A: There’s really no simple answer to this question. It largely depends on the corporation, threat type, influencers and a variety of other factors. However, even if you know these factors, they’re constantly changing. Social networks are certainly massive in size, but if an activist is trying to organize against your company, they aren’t necessarily going to use this type of forum. Or if your having an individual organize a boycott against your brand they could be doing it through one of 400 million blogs.
Unfortunately, we see threats come from all corners of social media – blogs, social networks, microblogs, forums, boards, open comment sites and many others. And these threats range from lawsuits to boycotts to protests to brandjackings to extortion attempts to employee sabotage to security threats to data breaches…the list goes on and on and is added to regularly.
You can’t pick and choose one or two sources to monitor for social risk because these threats are unpredictable. If they were predictable you could use a simple keyword search tool to find them. The key is for the company to be prepared and have visibility to the entire open social universe in real-time. Achieving this gives the organization and the risk stewards, particularly the frontline folks, a huge advantage in mitigating these threats.
If you have a question related to social intelligence or social risk send it firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you’re interested in more insights on social intelligence or social risk get a copy of our books Social Business Intelligence and Avoiding #FAIL.