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Making sense of Social

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Attensity’s Respond 6.0 is a unified customer listening platform through which customer requests to any channel can be addressed. It analyzes social media input as well as e-mails and other channels, classifies the message and routes it to the appropriate department for response. The input might be a request for help, a problem with a product, service feedback or some other type of communication.

The Clarabridge Intelligence Platform uses text analysis and sentiment analysis on the “voice of the customer” to identify issues, assess attitudes and resolve problems. The focus of Clarabridge’s suite of products is customer experience management (CEM), which includes monitoring social media channels and determining appropriate responses. Clarabridge Act also provides a social environment for sharing information among employees to help resolve customer issues, and documents discussions and actions.

Another way of analyzing social media content is to use a traditional BI solution. SAS, for example, has a social media analytics solution that can analyze social content including Tweets, conversations in consumer forums and blogs. The advantage of using a BI solution is that the social media content can more easily be ?integrated with operational data to better understand the social information in context.

The market for social business products and the ecosystem of social media are likely to get more fragmented in the next few years, rather than less so, as new and more user-friendly software products emerge for sharing knowledge within and beyond the enterprise.

Images in social media

Much of the information shared on social media is visual rather than text-based, but most analytics tools are designed for text. Therefore, it is difficult to analyze postings on sites such as Pinterest that have the potential to provide insights into consumers’ interests and preferences. Curalate was founded to address that issue by providing analytics for imagery used in social media.

Its image recognition technology identifies images such as a piece of clothing from a particular retailer, and tracks how many times it is posted on Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr. “A billion images a day are shared across a massive social network,” says Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, “but only a small percent of the postings include identification of the product by brand name. Without image recognition, this information is not retrievable.”

In addition, consumers are taking pictures of themselves wearing the items and posting those images as well. “User-generated content now constitutes a large part of brand-related imagery,” adds Gupta. “More broadly, over 80 percent of engagement activity related to products is initiated by consumers and not by the brand, whether the content is from a retailer’s website or created by the consumer.”

Despite the potentially huge impact of consumer social media on business, it remains isolated from primary business decisions, according to Gupta. “The folks in social do not talk enough to those in e-commerce and vice versa,” he says. “In most large companies, social media is still relegated to a small corner of the business and is not elevated to the level of the right decision makers.”

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