I had the chance recently to sit down for an hour in London with a CEO who was ‘sold’ to me as having the charisma of Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff and the intellect of Oracle’s Larry Ellison.
Let’s face it - you’d go for a blind date on that basis, wouldn’t you?
Oh well, moving swiftly on…
The person in question was Jan Rezab and he’s CEO and founder of Socialbakers, a social media analytics firm out of Prague with offices in London, San Francisco, Dubai, Sao Paulo and other points around the globe.
Founded in 2009, Socialbakers works with brands, such as McDonald’s, Nestle and Unilever to measure the performance of social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+, and provide comparative benchmarks with rival firms in their respective sectors.
Social media analytics is the next big wave of interest, Rezab assured me:
“They are different categories - social marketing, social CRM, social listening. Social analytics is bigger than the listening category.
“There was a wave of social marketing, then a lot about social listening. There’s consolidation going on there. The next wave of big companies will come in the social analytics space.
“Social media allows you to monitor the competition but it’s through social analytics that you can monitor crisis management.
"We are the category leader in social customer care which is essential to a brand’s care.”
While attention has fallen in recent times to the likes of Salesforce.com’s acquisitions of BuddyMedia and Radian6 and the various marketing cloud and social claims made by the likes of Oracle and Adobe, Rezab sets out his stall with the declaration that social analytics is (a) different and (b) harder to do:
“Facebook, google, twitter - to be a truly global player you have to cover a lot. Building a social analytics company is a lot harder than building a social listening company.
“With social listening, you’re watching a key word then filtering it through. With social analytics, you’re looking at a million profiles, understanding their performance, monitoring all the interactions, all the pages. Then we categorise all this in the meta data.
“You are collecting that stats that matter, collecting all that data across platforms, benchmarking and comparing to see which content is performing.
“What Oracle and Adobe are doing is measuring the amount of business coming from social. They’re looking at how much money is coming in from campaigns, not the brand awareness metrics.”
What Socialbakers wants clients to be is socially devoted:
“A company is socially devoted if it responds to 60% of questions within an hour. Users want better than one hour; they want real time.
“We’ve seen an evolution from companies responding from 5% up to 65% of questions within an hour. Companies have really responded. We’ve been publishing rankings, stats, info graphics on this for seven quarters now.
“We’re also do studies into socially devoted companies. How do you achieve 24/7? We’re matching data and performance. If you have more questions, you’ll need more people. If I’m the CMO and my company is getting 85,000 questions a quarter, what do I do about that? How do I staff up? If you need 32 people, then you’ll need this much money.
“This is true insight. This is what a CMO needs.”
While bespoke analysis is done for specific clients, a visible manifestation of what Socialbakers does comes in the form of its quarterly Socially Devoted rankings which analyse and highlight the most ’socially devoted’ brands around the world.
The latest such ranking - published at the end of January - finds that over half of all social customer care queries are now directed at Twitter, although Facebook queries still maintain a higher response rate.
Other key findings from the Q4 2013 Socially Devoted report from Socialbakers include:
- 59% of all inbound customer requests via social channels are made via Twitter, as compared to 49 percent via Facebook.
- Brands overall are responding 12% faster to fan questions over Facebook and Twitter, as compared to Q3 2013.
- The airline industry has the highest response rate on both Facebook and Twitter, responding to 76% of all in-bound questions on Facebook and 56% on Twitter.
- The telecom industry receives the highest number of questions across both channels, with 426,451 questions over Facebook and 523,825 over Twitter during Q3.
It's all interesting stuff.
Another front opens up in the marketing cloud wars?
It’s an interesting pitch and one that a cursory glance down the Socialbakers client list indicates has merit.
What will be interesting moving forward is how Socialbakers maintains its independence. If its functionality is as appealing as it seems, it must surely be in the sights of the likes of Oracle or Salesforce.com?
But Rezab’s opinion on that for now is that independence of platform is critical and that Socialbakers is a nice size of organization for clients to deal with:
“They don’t need Oracle integrating stuff that they don’t really know. Nor do they need a small five person firm.
“We’re bigger than Buddy Media was when it was taken over by Salesforce.com.”