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Rick Liebling Head of Global Marketing Unmetric

What are the key social trends of 2015?

The rate of rapid change and increasing level of sophistication in the marketing industry is no more apparent than what we’re seeing in the area of social media intelligence. What was considered cutting edge just a few short years ago, now seems elementary by comparison.

Competitive challenges, market forces and technological advancements mean that today’s CMOs are being forced to evolve into CMTOs - Chief Marketing Technology Officers. Here are five of the issues we’re seeing customers focused on in 2015:

Paid Post Detection 

Ever since Facebook introduced the ability to promote Page posts as part of their roster of advertising options, marketers have been curious - does it help or hinder? As Facebook continues to throttle it’s newsfeed algorithm with in-house logic - the rationale behind Paid posts continues to remain a black box. The inability to sift through Paid and Organic content across not just Facebook, but all social media networks prevents marketers from realistically knowing any return of investment on their dollar amount - and we aren’t talking about just sales. Marketers have no clue if $5 behind a Post really gets your content in front of valuable eyeballs. 

In November, Facebook set a lot of blogs on fire with the news that they were eliminating organic reach entirely (or sorta).  Interestingly, a recent - ‘more human’ - study by Facebook led them to deduce that sponsored content was pretty unwelcome on news feeds by their users. It remains to be seen what Facebook or any other network will do next. Twitter for one, is expanding its promoted tweets options to not just be visible on your Timeline but other locations as well. 

One of the true challenges of the evolving media landscape is the vast amount of content out there and the diversification of platforms.

Rick Liebling, Head of Global Marketing, Unmetric


Predictive Analytics 

Humans are obsessed with being seers. Marketers, a smaller niche subset, are no different and the ability to accurately predict performance of just about anything has been glorified endlessly in pop culture to egg this trend on for another year’s lifecycle. What is the real issue though? The problem of optimization and efficiency. With limited budgets, deadlines, constraints - everyone's working under tremendous pressure when it comes to getting quality content out there that generates the required results. 

Here’s the interesting thing - when it comes to social, predictive analytics are yet to catch on. Business analytics such as “How do you know who in North Dakota wants to buy a Tesla?” exists, sure. The applicability of predictive analytics to social still has a way to go. 

Real-Time Competitive Intelligence 

One of the true challenges of the evolving media landscape is the vast amount of content out there and the diversification of platforms. Sure, Super Bowl TV spots are huge - but there’s another parallel conversation happening on Social. How does one keep track of both? 

Currently, real time intelligence is misunderstood as knowing the number of people watching your TV spot as it plays, or watching that YouTube view counter tick. Rather, what one really needs is a live “pulse” - a tab on all the meaty, funny, snarky, intelligent conversations that make events what they really are - and to be able to do so while filtering out all the “noise.” Social offers that - it's a superset of all that’s good about the media world with added commentary. 

Cross Platform and Network Intelligence 

There are things happening on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and then there're things on TV and in online advertising. Grabbing data off each, analyzing it, merging them together, making sense of it all together - that's a tough one. Heck, columns in a different order from one excel sheet to another can drive one crazy. 

The state of consistency and collaboration of data between different media platforms right now in the social intelligence industry is pretty dismal. There are tenuous links sure - Pinterest pin to Web traffic at the retail site, for instance. But ninja level views - broad enough to detect health at a glance, granular enough to figure out what the problem is - are still lacking. 

Bespoke Social Math 

Rate or score? Absolute or Relative? Average or Median? One decimal point or two decimal points? One of the biggest challenges marketers face is accountability - being able to show numbers, data and insights and usually that involves some form of math and formulas. The trick is - what's best practice here? That hasn’t been established. Does what makes sense for Facebook do so for Instagram? 

The current state of the industry goes one of two ways - there are those that pick a formula and use it with all its pros and cons. There are those that use basic metrics and raw numbers. But now there's a new breed of marketer - the one that customizes their metrics. They create it based on a) the amount of data they have available b) their measurement needs. 

All these issues, and many more, are where social media intelligence sits right now. Technology companies and marketers working together will continue to push for innovative solutions.