SXSW 2013: Hot chocolate and the art of Social Media analytics

Swissmiss is what I fix for my son every morning for breakfast. Then came SXSW 2013. @Swissmiss took on a whole new meaning for me. The fusion of high tech and art eloquently presented in Tina Roth Eisenberg’s keynote at SXSW took me completely by surprise – in a very good way.

I went to my first SXSW Interactive event on a work assignment. My expectations were mixed in that I felt there was probably a lot of hype. So much about expectations… until it hit me during Eisenberg’s keynote. Her ability to present to a large audience and yet create an immediate personal connection with me was a real eye opening moment.

Social media in the private and the professional sphere intimately connects digital technologies, software and people in all their individual facets. Eisenberg herself personified the fusion of the personal with the professional, hitting on the very essence of how social media MUST work. For me professionally that understanding is key to evolving social media analytics strategy for a business.

What might seem obvious to some, in a few days, re-shaped my outlook in terms of the power of social analytics for businesses. At SXSW, this lens allowed me to see the g….ap that still exists between how to capture social data in a meaningful way and converting it into actionable insights that move the needle.

As in any conference there were sessions whose titles sounded ground breaking but ended up being duds. There was a lot of talk about seeming opposites – the fun Vs. the measurement of Social media. While these two might seem to be on the opposing ends of the spectrum they really are not. The ability for a business to derive real time social metrics from a day-to-day “fun” conversation intertwines these opposing themes. That’s where the true value of a real-time brand reputation analytics capability lies.

Today, capabilities like that exist, but in order to realize their full potential, businesses need to start making that investment NOW!

Social Wordle

Going back to the framework of seemingly opposing concepts, one of my main take away from SXSW 2013 can be boiled down to this. My son is an artist, I am an engineer. At this year’s SXSW I saw the amazing potential in the fusion of these two seemingly opposing fields.