There are many important tactical reasons for an enterprise to monitor social media: to protect its brand and reputation, gauge the effectiveness of its marketing, extend its customer service relationships, find and engage with influencers, and so forth.
But many social media analysts make an even stronger claim: that social media holds the key to strategic trend-spotting, providing specific, otherwise hidden, predictive insights into high-level decision-making processes. BrandIntel, for instance, claims, “we’ve cracked the code on early and predictive.”
Since this blog has recently gotten the attention of a number of these firms, who were quick to provide impressive proof of their listening power, perhaps a few will indulge me once more in exploring (and showcasing) this aspect of their craft.
How many social media monitors are specifically focused on extracting predictions? …and who will offer a sample prediction from the social media world? (Predictions about the future only please.)
Needless to say, predictions are inherently risky, and the most valuable the ones come with the longest odds. But understanding the kinds of predictions a firm can extract from the corners of the social web might help change perceptions about just how significant a domain this is. Think of it this way: a clipping service: a few thousand a month; actionable intelligence about the future: priceless. That’s why I’m predicting that social media monitoring will be a three billion dollar business by 2012. (Please refer to the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.)
Thanks again to all the firms who have responded over the past few days (and sorry to zap you again):