Welcome to my blog on Content Intelligence and Engagement Performance; I have spent years in collaboration, messaging and social space developing advanced technologies to improve the consumer experience and lead generation. Was inducted into the Viral Hall of Fame by Marketing Sherpa as well as other industry awards. Join me in the conversation.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Content Curation: Advocates, Influencers and Relevance

The success of Flipboard and Paper.li can be attributed to topic filtering and using the social graph of friends’ Facebook and Twitter connections to determine what content is trending. The overall success of social news generation depends heavily on this type of content creation.

Tools such as Curated.by, Tweetmeme, Topsy and twittertim.es, offer amazing features, from tracking number of clicks to who is grouping around a topic. The challenge is applying the right social intelligence to match enterprise-grade requirements and then scaling that technique to allow brands to mine this lucrative consumer data stream.
Tapping content shared among your friends, i.e. content crowd sourcing, is not new but the intelligence to parse what should be curated and how is. Enabling brands to be at the center of vertical content discovery is a valuable way to leverage this almost infinite information stream, while keeping the conversation relevant to your audience.

Current solutions can explore links from your Twitter stream, plus your followers and their followers, ranking them based on how many people link to them. These products are conceptually similar to Tweetmeme but sorted based on contributors. Paper.li also achieves this type of curation, while exposing influential people on Twitter.

Collaborative filtering has been discussed since 2002, but it was Twitter and Facebook’s sharing of links plus feed amplification through the social graph which was the game changer.
The visual below shows one such re-tweet path and links shared. The red lines show secondary re-tweets for this tweet http://bit.ly/99TmwN and illustrates something InfiniGraph dubs the “Content Consumption Graph.”

What’s the big deal? For a brand, knowing your audience and who has the most social resonance with specific content provides a valuable engagement conduit to similar communities. Finding your advocates by how much relevant action they’re engaged with in a content vertical is the best way of identifying authentic social interaction.
Below is a visual breakdown of a Twitter population based on who you follow, using segmentation categories created by Klout. Your content interests result in key social indicators that determine what content best matches a brand audience.

Tools that measure your reach and determine the best content approach are still primitive. Bit.ly and similar tools work most of the time, except when links are altered by other social services. Sharethis is trying to address this issue but requires the installation of the Sharethis widget.

Tools like SocialTALK, Zuberance also enable tracking shared reviews. Rowfeeder pulls data directly from Twitter and Facebook and counts brand mentions to help find possible advocates. While the combining social monitoring and analytics with various sharing tools is possible, challenges still remain.

Social media now offer marketers a way to map relevant conversations ranked by influence, something that was previously impossible. But identifying brand advocates based on true social interaction and authenticity is still not possible.

Yet it’s becoming critical for brands to better understand how their content is being shared, how similar content is being consumed and where the content of competitors is being shared online. Using large-scale social intelligence techniques lets marketers and community mangers find the most relevant content to supply their news feeds, while engaging their audiences with far greater relevance.

Going beyond keyword monitoring and looking for opportunities to optimize the word-of-mouth effect of your social network content will greatly increase your reach. So key questions to ask your team are: How do you track your content today? What content are you curating through your feeds and what is getting the most traction?


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