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Dispatches from the Social Data Revolution

August 24, 2015 Robin Fray Carey

Our recent webinar that reported on “Dispatches from the Social Data Revolution,” sponsored by Spredfast and including Chad Mitchell of Walmart, Ted Sclavos of HP, and author and head of research for Spredfast Chris Kerns was itself data-rich and action-packed. Over a hundred of you listened in, commented and tweeted and many more are looking forward to the archive.

Chris set the stage with the latest from the Smart Social Report, published quarterly by Spredfast and a valuable resource on what is happening and on what social networks with

  • Content & Community
  • Brands & Consumers
  • Fan Activation
  • Building Relevance

You can access the report here, but some of the big “ah hah” moments contained in the report were around Reddit, which continues to grow at a phenomenal rate but which remains either brand-unfriendly or just too darn hard for brands to participate in, and which contrasts with Snapchat, which becoming increasingly brand-friendly. We also learned that the half-life of tweets and Instagram posts is miniscule for media companies (like ours.) Great insights.

We turned to Chad Mitchell, Senior Director of Communications at Walmart, to give us a view of how these insights are playing out at the world’s largest retailer from its command center in Bentonville, AK. What struck me as moderator is how adaptive even enormous enterprises – Walmart has over 1M active followers on Facebook alone — are with their measures of success as these social platforms themselves evolve, and how much collaboration inevitably occurs between Communications and Marketing.

Ted Sclavos is working hard to bring a new brand story to a venerable and durable brand as it divides into two separate companies. HP is using social data to align with existing campaigns and gain real-time insights into the buyer journey for its software business. In business-to-business, where according to Sclavos 70% of decisions for HP are made before a salesperson is even contacted, getting the content right and relevant in the consideration stage is absolutely critical. Social listening and data are now part of how the campaigns are created and remain on-target.

During the final part of the conversation, the panel weighed in on what’s changing and what’s next in the world of social data. Perhaps paradoxically, all three panelists believe that the growth of social data is actually prompting greater need for human intervention at every part of the process, from analysis and taking action on the data to using the data for human-to-human customer interaction. Great examples of this abound in the archive, which I encourage you to listen to at your leisure. And here are the #SMTlive tweetchat highlights.

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