Monday, 29th November 2010
The Social Media industry may at first seem crowded and a difficult place for entrepreneurs to find a niche, but Web strategist, Jeremiah Owyang cites specific opportunities for emerging technologies and start-ups. At a recent Entrepreneurship Conference he spoke about new research (due to be formally released in 2011) that discusses clearly emerging opportunities. While there are hundreds of companies that exist in the Social Media industry, gaps do appear to exist in the area of Social Analytics and Social Insights, the two areas that help “make sense” of what’s happening in social media and that offer “predictive analysis”.
Owyang, a Silicon Valley industry analyst and Partner for the Altimeter Group (http://www.altimetergroup.com) categorizes three types of companies involved in Social Media: Brand Monitoring, Social Analytics and Social Insights. He has documented over 145 Brand Monitoring companies (http://digbig.com/5bcyyp) but explains that they do not provide intelligence, or predictive behavior modeling but they mostly look at what’s being discussed.
Social Analytics companies go one step further and provide tools that help analysts derive meaning from patterns and in many cases, discuss how this meaning can influence business. Examples are Crowd Factory (http://crowdfactory.com/) and Crimson Hexagon (http://www.crimsonhexagon.com/).
Social Insights companies go even further in offering predictive tools. These companies can predict what consumers will actually do based upon social data. Companies like Bazaarvoice (http://www.bazaarvoice.com/) are representative of this space. It is in these last two areas that Owyang believes the biggest opportunities exist for companies to make a difference. His belief, supported by his studies, that measurement must evolve beyond web analytics and focus on community insights, is what leads him to highlight these opportunities available for entrepreneurs.
As a former Analyst at Forrester Research Owyang likes “to deliver insight on disruptive technologies and their impact on how companies communicate with their customers.” His recent session at the Conference was very well received and any information junkie involved in social media should bookmark his Blog (http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ and keep up with the new research being conducted in this dynamically changing industry. Owyang is frequently quoted in the mainstream press, speaks at conferences all over the world, and serves as a regular columnist for Forbes magazine.
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