Listening to social media is like trying to focus on a single conversation in a Manhattan night club. Good luck with that. If you can grasp that social media sites create approximately five exabytes of data per day, you wonder how anyone can make sense of any of it. There are people who do, though, and they do it with finesse. Buzzlogix is one such company that does just that -- make sense of the social media din, that is. I had an opportunity to speak to the CEO and co-founder, Scott Sims, at SpiceWorld 2015 in Austin, Texas a few weeks ago and he enlightened me on how he filters through the noise to collect meaningful data out of the digital alphabet social media soup.
And if you think about the bigness of big data, you realize that there's no larger database than the Internet itself. But Sims and company don't use SQL to extract meaning out of all the exabytes of unstructured data that's out there. They take a smarter approach by applying some artificial and some real intelligence to the process.
The language of his field is different than most. He speaks of taking disparate data sources, analyzing them, and creating 360-degree pictures of companies or products, as seen through the eyes of customers and consumers. He takes what people write on social media outlets and performs sentiment analysis on the information to find out if the general opinion of a company or of a product is generally good, bad, or neutral. Sims can also arrange data in such a way as to make inferences about gender-specific product preferences or biases.
Internet data is unstructured data. Text analysis brings structure to the data. Listening to these conversations brings you closer to your customers and the ever-changing market. People are talking about your company and its products. And they're being honest with what they say. Social listening puts your ear to the digital ground and allows you to engage in those conversations.
If you prefer to listen to Scott's overview of the Buzzlogix API and its features, I've included the podcast that I recorded during our visit.
Social listening and carrying on direct dialog is far more powerful than polls and surveys. Social media is real time. Poll and survey results can be skewed by how questions are worded and how grading scales sometimes bias numbers. But social media is honest. It's raw, unedited, and totally subjective. If used correctly, the Internet's data can become an asset to your company. You can become social with your customers, engage with them, and allow them to engage with you.
At an estimated five exabytes of data per day, the Internet is a wealth of a constantly changing source of big data. But it isn't just about feedback about your company and your products. You can listen in on conversations about your competitor's products and services as well. And if they're not listening, you can solve their problems before they do.
With the free Buzzlogix API, you can start right away analyzing text and sentiment. The free API gives you up to 50,000 transactions per month and you can upgrade when you're ready.
Text analysis is using keyword extraction from blog posts, social media sites, online newspapers, review sites -- basically anything text-based can be analyzed using the API. If you don't know how to use the API, Buzzlogix offers help and information to get you started.
The research is out there for the taking. You can work hard or you can work smart. You can turn a deaf ear to what's happening on social media or you can listen intelligently to the conversation.
What do you think of social listening? Do you have experience with it and its results? Tell us about it in the comments.