Social media as a whole looks like total chaos. 200 million tweets flying around every day (stats as of September 2011), a billion or so Facebook posts every day and more than a trillion YouTube videos. If you think 200 emails in your inbox Monday morning is chaotic, try to comprehend this. It’s like every common person out there with a microphone allowed to speak what he or she wants to speak. In other words, chaos at its absolute best!
But just like chaos theory in mathematics, this social media chaos when deciphered using technology and looked upon by expert eyes has to do with there being great order in what looks like total randomness. And when you look closely enough at this randomness, patterns start to emerge which are nothing but absolutely beautiful.
Take for example a Presidential debate. People watch it on their televisions and use social media to express their opinions. Immense volume, contradicting opinions and complete chaos. But by using thematic analysis to extract the core themes out of the noise, we can find patterns in people’s opinions and their support towards a candidate. We can use predictive modeling to figure out what the candidate should speak or what she should not by analyzing the trends and sentiments in the conversations happening on social media.
The same technology and techniques can be applied in social media to find anything from how to spend millions on an advertising campaign to learning how a deadly disease is spreading in a country, from inferring the impact of a brand integration in a television show to understanding how a civic revolt took an entire nation to streets.
The beauty of information extracted from the chaotic social media is unparalleled to any other way of doing market research. The reason being it gives an opportunity to everyone, big and small, introverts and extroverts, book-smarts and street-smarts to express their views and make their voices heard. The data is vast and the power is immense. The debate is continuous and the reach is unmatched. All you need is the right technology and the right techniques to make sense of it and strategize your next move.
P.S. Try us at MavenMagnet to show you the beauty we are talking about!