Salesforce.com is rolling out the next phase for Radian6 with the introduction of the Insights ecosystem platform for handling social big data. Acquired roughly 18 months ago, Radian6 is now expanding with this new platform to tackle sentiments, intents, demographics and more key metrics found within the most commonly used social media channels. The idea is to then convey this information in a way that will better enable business customers to optimize their marketing, customer service, and lead techniques. Rob Begg, vice president of marketing for Salesforce Radian6 explained via telephone on Monday that we have been seeing a "perfect storm of social media for business" over the last few years because as platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube grew, the volume of conversations about products and brands also kept growing. At the same time, the companies behind these brands have become more active in the social networking scene, so the conversations grow even more. Begg posited that brands that would have seen 5,000 or 10,000 monthly mentions on social networks a few years ago are probably seeing hundreds of thousands of mentions each month now. “Social media really has become social big data,” said Begg. He continued that because brands have been so active on social networks, the medium has gone so far beyond just one-to-one connections. Thus, it's not hard to understand its gotten to the point where correlating all that data into one big place is a tough task for many businesses. Nevertheless, it offers the potential to wrangle everything into a centralized space where you can ask interesting questions about metrics that Begg described as often difficult to define, such as demographics, likes, and dislikes. From a marketer’s point of view, Begg asserted that there is a bigger story. Up until the last few years, marketers have had to rely on non-real-time data sources, such as focus groups, surveys, other types of research that would have a small sample size and/or miss the market. But with acute awareness of social media, Begg explained, you can do all of this and more in real-time. Thus, Begg described Salesforce Radian6 Insights as an "amazing ecosystem" of providers that do really specific things. Insights serves as an app exchange that enables Salesforce Radian6 customers to add products à la carte for real-time social analysis to suit specific business needs. Examples include Clarabridge for text sentiment analysis, Lymbix for emotion and tone classification, PeekAnalytics for social audience measurement, Solariat for social intention analysis, and more features from OpenAmplify for customer service insights. Salesforce Radian6 Insights technologies are available starting today and will be included with Salesforce Radian6 deployments. Partner packages are priced individually, starting at $60 per deployment, per month. Customers can select add-on packages depending on analytics needs. Subscriptions for Salesforce Radian6 itself starts at $600 per deployment, per month.