It’s been an exciting two weeks for Converseon. We’ve had the opportunity to speak at conferences, meet partners, and talk to major brands from Indonesia to Singapore to Copenhagen.
At the iBrand Summit, Asia, we met with a wide range of leading brands who are looking to get serious about social media, while speaking about the “Brutal Truth of Social Media.” There we met folks from Microsoft, Nokia APAC, Indonesian social properties, and more.
Then, just this week, we launched Converseon Nordics to expand our offerings in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland while keynoting the FDIH conference with the topic of Scaling Social Across the Enterprise.
Throughout it all, I was struck by how similar and substantial the conversations we had were, whether it was with Asian telecoms or Scandinavian insurance companies. Across all these markets there was a clear and evident thirst to strongly embrace frameworks that scale social across the enterprise to drive competitive advantage. The conversations were quite sophisticated; diving deep into issues like governance, and policies, infrastructure, advanced social intelligence and the best social strategic approaches across multiple use cases. It’s become quite clear, not only is social conversation a global phenomena with broad adoption, but following close behind is the desire for brands to “do it right,” from APAC to Europe, and a recognition that it takes some new thinking and capabilities to do so.
Rob Key, Converseon CEO, was recently interviewed by Steve Rappaport, Knowledge Solutions Director at ARF at the Advertising Research Foundation 2011 Re:think conference. In the embedded video, Rob and Steve discuss Converseon’s 10 year anniversary and the future of social intelligence.
Today’s acquisition by Salesforce of Radian6 for an estimated $326 million is a strong statement to the power of social intelligence.
Congrats to the Radian6 team.
Converseon is now the only remaining independent leader in Forrester Wave’s Q3 2010 Listening Platforms report. We continue to believe we remain at the front end of what we expect to be profound growth for the social intelligence space moving forward. The intersection of “big data,” sentiment analysis and analytics is powerful and is not only becoming the impetus for business redesign, but also a plethora of new products, services and applications. We’re just scraping the surface.
While social CRM is one important use case, our focus will remain on unifying real time monitoring with the deepest level of intelligence together with robust consulting and service offerings to make social data intelligent and actionable across multiple use cases. These investments help drive even more attention and interest to the category. As we say, a rising tide raises all boats.
We’re proud of our industry leadership and of our industry. Congrats again to all involved.
- March 28, 12 pm ET: Our SVP of Management Consulting Chris Boudreaux will be the guest of Stephen Rappaport‘s webcast. During the webinar, which is part of ARF’s Listen First! Webcast Series, Chris will share Converseon’s approach to creating rganizational frameworks to scale social Intelligence. Registration is free at http://my.arf.com
- April 4: Our CEO Rob Key will present The Brutal Truth about Social Media Marketing at the iMedia Asia Brand Summit in Nikko Bali, Indonesia
- April 5-6: The Converseon team lead by Senior Strategist Mike Moran will be at the Forrester Marketing Summit in San Francisco. Please make sure you stop by our booth and say hi!
- April 6, 12 pm ET: Our SVP of Enterprise Analytics Mark Kovscek will conduct a WOMMA webinar titled, In Search of Grand Unified Theory – The Evolution of Social Intelligence into Enterprise Analytics. The webinar is free for WOMMA members with registration.
- April 11: Mike Moran will speak on a panel titled, “Social Media and Higher Education: The Common Ground,” at the Pearson’s Cite 2011- Higher Education Technology Conference
Converseon at the ARF Re:think Conference
Converseon will again be supporting, presenting and attending the Advertising Research Foundation’s Re:think conference on March 20-23. For 75 years,the ARF has been a strong driver of innovation and ethics. Over the last three years, they have been especially focused on social and social intelligence, and an important advocate for transformation of the industry.
This ARF Re:think conference will convene the largest gathering of insights and research executives in the history of the industry.
Converseon will be participating throughout:
- On Sunday March 20, Converseon (along with Harris Interactive) will be participating in a private workshop on “Learning by Not Asking: Listening to Social Media Conversations” with Steve Rappaport, Knowledge Solutions Director at ARF and author of the forthcoming book, “Listen First.” This hands-on session will provide a balance of strategic perspective on social listening, its impact on market research transformation and some hands-on, practical applications. Copies of his books will be handed to attendees. If you’re interested in attending, some spots remain, just visit http://rethink.thearf.org/talks/17265
- On Monday and Tuesday, Converseon will be active in The ARF Insights Zone, which features learning sessions, product demonstrations, book signings and valuable networking opportunities. We will have a booth and demonstrating our industry leading Conversation Mining social intelligence technologies and solutions. Please come by. You can register for the Listening Zone here http://rethink.thearf.org/pages/register
- On Monday afternoon at 2:30–3:30pm, Converseon will be presenting on “Overcoming Social Media Paralysis.”
Last year, Hip Hop sales jumped three percent while almost every other music genre saw sales decline by double digit figures . Why? Partially because of the ways that hip hop artists use social media to engage their fans.
For example, Hip Hop fans embrace Twitter more than any music fans. Of the top 50 most followed musicians on Twitter, almost fifty percent are hip hop or R&B artists.
Social media is rapidly changing how hip hop artists and their fans interact, and also how the hip hop industry operates in general. The hip hop community has thrived by (1) using online platforms to build local and global followings, (2) using Twitter to interface with their fans directly with no filter and (3) bypassing record company agents.
At Social Media Week in New York, recording artist Saigon and blogger/social media consultant Karen Civil discussed how hip hop artists use social media to interact with their audiences. They also outlined two key ways in which social media has changed the industry:
First, while most recording artists were still using MySpace, hip hop artists like Saigon were already starting to build online followings through Twitter. At a time when most artists’ MySpace pages were managed by labels and PR people, Twitter gave recording artists direct and unfiltered access to their fans.
Social media has been particularly important to Saigon, who is an independent artist, as it has allowed him to use several platforms to build large followings all around the world (even playing packed shows in China) without first releasing an album. In fact, Saigon’s first album became the top selling hip hop album on iTunes on the day it debuted.
Austin during SXSW can feel a little unreal. Music, culture, technology and parties, all in that Texan landscape, can make one feel a little transported.
So it is apropos to those looking to reconnect with the real world that on Sunday, March 13 our Lead Scientist, Dr. Philip Resnick, will be speaking on a panel on “Using Text Analytics to Predict the Real World.” Text analytics is one component of how Converseon tackles the next generation of Social Intelligence — finding deep levels of meaning and insight in socially-driven conversation. Here is the description of Dr. Resnick’s session:
How can we use text to tell us what is happening in the real world? Text-driven forecasting is the challenge of making concrete, testable predictions about future events and trends from publicly available text data. Text-based modeling methods make it possible to discover the agendas and attitudes behind the words people use. In this panel, we consider some recent success stories that use various kinds of text (expert-written analysis, blog posts, tweets) to tell us interesting things about the future and about the people behind the texts in various domains (finance, political discourse, and public opinion polls). Session co-organized by the McCombs School of Business and the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce (CREC).
For a deeper discourse on our view of the evolution of Social Intelligence, you can read my interview published recently by Digiday Data.
Social listening is a hot topic, but despite the large volume of information and chatter about it we find that many companies are still not really sure what is it, how it is done, how it is used and where it’s going. That’s why we are happy to support the Advertising Research Foundation in its effort to provide research-based answers to these questions and equip business leaders to use listening better or become listening champions in their own companies.
This comprehensive webinar series is presented by Stephen Rappaport, author of Listen First! Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage, and is held over 10 weeks. Any or all sessions can be attended; they’re short and to the point, 30-minutes each from start to finish, including Q&A. This series is designed to “teach, learn and apply,” not merely “tell and sell.”
The webinar schedule is outlined below. To register for this series please head over to http://my.thearf.org and log in with your credentials. If you don’t have them yet, you can register for free on the site.
Webinar Schedule (webinars scheduled for 12 pm ET)
Part 1 – What is Listening and How is it Done
- February 28: Listening – What it is and it’s strategic value.
- March 7: Listening Tools: The 4 Types
- March14: How to plan and run a listening initiative
- March 28: Creating Organizational Frameworks to Scale Social Intelligence (Converseon co-presentation)
When people use social media to find insurance products, nearly two-thirds of their online posts are written before they select an insurance provider. The remainder of their posts (35%) are written after selecting an insurer (see chart right ).
In a recent study of the online behaviors of auto, health and life insurance-seekers, Converseon also identified the predominant online venues that insurance seekers use at each stage of the purchase funnel. Specifically, consumers tend to begin their search on Facebook, where they post status updates that express their need as well as requests for help from people they trust. Then, as they seek out more detailed information and guidance to help them compare plans and providers, insurance seekers are most active in forums (see chart below).
While some business managers have questioned their SEO process or provider after the recent NY Times report of JC Penney buying links to manipulate search results (and the subsequent reduction in Google search results), many managers are unsure of how to inform any decision. Ultimately, business leaders simply need to understand realistic expectations about SEO performance and the process of improving that performance, which are listed below.
For JC Penney, the NY Times article led Google to to take “manual action” that lowered JC Penney’s rankings in search results. Then JC Penney fired their SEO provider of nine years, and a torrent of commentary flooded the web.
Managers at JC Penney should have foreseen these events. Their SEO process reportedly focused on a simple metric of ranking for various keywords, rather than addressing the foundations of the web site.
Instead, business managers should expect the following from their SEO process:
- Your SEO process should begin with a detailed audit of the technical foundations of your website.
- Such an audit does not usually lead to a quick fix. It can require 6 quarters or more to resolve everything that an audit uncovers. During that time, more advanced SEO actions can also begin, but those actions will not bring the fullest possible results until the foundation is handled.
- To evolve a stable and truly agile SEO process, a company’s internal communications may also need revamping. New reporting and collaboration structures may be required. Certainly, new governance processes will be needed for that amount of change. It all requires time and internal resources, even when SEO is outsourced to a consultant or agency.