Review: “Social Media Analytics” by Marshall Sponder

Marshall Sponder is a passionate thought leader who consistently asks the right questions and never holds back his views for anyone. Having been an avid reader of WebMetricsGuru.com for years, I highly value Marshall’s opinion and proven expertise in the field. This book comes at just the right time and doesn’t overextend itself at all. It provides a much needed wake-up call for both the skeptical gatekeepers and shiny-object bandwagon riders. Additionally, it is a great place to start for those just looking to jump headfirst into measuring the effectiveness of emerging technologies.

Providing in-depth case studies with well-articulated examples, Marshall showcases why the real power exists in the minds of the analysts rather than simply the tools being utilized. He shares his best practices for how to identify the precise data to pull, filter out the signal from the noise, and extract the relevant intelligence aligned with strategic/business objectives. He thoroughly examines some current challenges facing this dynamic frontier and offers his predictions on the future state of affairs with adequate rationale. The age of the Chief Analytics Officer is rapidly approaching and it is critical to be prepared for the evolving landscape.

With a detailed account of several prominent tools as well as some lesser known players, Marshall conveys the importance of crafting a tailored approach for the task at hand and empowers you to sift through the false claims of vendor sales pitches. This includes valuable methodologies for everyone from heavy enterprise users to SMBs.

A very easy read, I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to remain relevant when it comes to digital strategy. It is much less of a how-to guide and probably more of an eye-opener for most. Having been deeply engrossed in social media monitoring and measurement for years, this book really helped to validate my understanding of the space as well as spark new ideas to explore.

Buy it here and feel free to let me know what you think about the book. What were some of your major takeaways?

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Fishing for Insights: Twitter Lake

It’s been an #epic 5+ years of tweeting. What started as a micro creek quickly flooded its banks from the exponential downpour of 140-character drips to generate a blue ocean with powerful waves, innovative currents, and trendy metrics (insert additional buzzword/metaphor here). Twitter has successfully progressed.

“What are you doing?” –> “What is happening?” –> “Follow your interests”

However, when it comes to processing the data, we seem to recognize the potential, but still struggle to navigate these waters. Continue reading

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Webdoc: Too Early for Disruption?

Everyday I make an effort to uncover emerging technologies, how they can be utilized, and if I feel like they are sustainable over time. Over the past few years, I have made a serious effort to avoid shiny object syndrome and clearly separate the “me-too-regurgitation” from true innovation. Having an adequate understanding of the tech behind these entrants generally makes this a much easier task. However, it is impossible to predict additional factors like funding, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, lawsuits, etc. Regardless, every now and then, I will come across something I believe has the potential for instant disruption. A recent example of this is Webdoc and the only thing I question is if the timing is right? Continue reading

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Get Noticed with BO.LT

Tired of getting dissed by recruiters? Let’s be real…sending out resumes and cover letters are just no longer an effective strategy, particularly when attempting to land a position in social media or IT. Depending on the organization, getting noticed may vary from difficult to nearly impossible. Leveraging your digital assets is essential, but what can you do to really capture some immediate attention? Here’s something to consider… Continue reading

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A Second Chance at Social?

The highly anticipated next chapter in “The Social Iteration” by Google (+) has finally emerged. Let’s avoid wasting time talking about beta invites or criticizing its current functionality. Take a step back from the hype for a moment and think about what this ambitious play really means. Could this shiny Facebook alternative deliver just the “second chance at social” we need? Continue reading

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Bre.ad: Key Ingredient or Tasteless Promo?

When it comes to shortening URLs, bit.ly has been my weapon of choice for conserving characters, tracking analytics, and general organization. However, there is an appetizing startup looking to help you chef-up some additional flavor. Currently in private beta, Bre.ad gives shortened URLs five seconds of personalized promo before taking you to the final destination (ex: http://bre.ad/0ccfyw). Although yet to be released publicly, there has already been plenty of debate over its value proposition. An undoubtedly clever execution, but is this the reincarnation of the pop-up ad masquerading as self-expression? Let’s explore this in greater detail… Continue reading

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7 Deadly Sins of Sentiment Analysis

When it comes to monitoring and measuring social media there are plenty of tools to choose from ranging from the entirely free to the incredibly pricey. Generally, you will get what you pay for on the lower end of the spectrum, but the value really tends to vary once you cross over the $500 per month threshold.

As firehose data access becomes increasingly commoditized, it is the depth of analysis that truly differentiates these solutions. Terms like natural language processing (NLP), text analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) have become all the rage. However, it is sentiment analysis that has received the most hype and it is frightening how often it is abused.

The following will examine some critical mistakes to avoid when analyzing sentiment… Continue reading

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