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The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age by PHILIP SHELDRAKE

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Social Web Analytics

Like many, I consider the social Web to be one of the most exciting developments in social, cultural, political and commercial history. I can empathize with any leadership team of any type of organization should they have considered the social Web to be an immense and fearsome creature. Their landscape for public stakeholder expression went in a relatively short space of time from consisting of the press and the occasional ‘letter to the editor’ to millions of public conversations; with all expressions not only everlasting but also everlastingly accessible. Organizations need help to keep track of it all.

Social Web analytics is the application of search, indexing, semantic analysis and business intelligence technologies to the task of identifying, tracking, listening to and participating in the distributed conversations about a particular brand, product or issue, with emphasis on quantifying the trend in each conversation’s sentiment and influence.

At least, that is the definition I used, and still stand by, in my Social Web Analytics eBook 200853 (although perhaps ‘conversation’ is too narrow in future, as we’ll see later). I’ll quote part of my ebook’s Preface here to lend some context:

If you could go back to the mid-90s and offer a marketer a little box that could sit on her desk and let her listen in on thousands of customer conversations and participate in those discussions regardless of geography or time zone, it would appear so far-fetched that she’d ...

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