The Rise of Social Media Intelligence - Brandwatch Raises $33m in Capital Funding
As social media continues to grow and become a more established and habitual part of our everyday lives, social media marketing also continues to mature and become more established and concrete. In this, the path to ROI is becoming increasingly clear, and one of the main reasons behind this is data. According to reports, a full 90% of the world's data has been generated within the last two years - likely more than that now as that stat is now around 18 months old. Given the sheer volume of information, it's simply not possible that brands can understand the implications of it, there's no way of realizing what could be done with this new abundance of insights being generated through social media interactions, which is increasing every day. Smart brands, however, are mindful of this trend, and are looking for ways to rationalize it, to find the signals amidst the noise. Make no mistake, social data is going to change the way you do business. Sooner or later, all brands will be listening in and refining their process based on insights from their target consumers.
Moving in line with this, social intelligence platforms are rising up and taking more prominence in the wider social landscape. We recently heard from Twitter that they've decided to remove share counts from website tweet buttons, a likely move to promote their own data arm, Gnip. Hootsuite continues to improve its analytical offerings, most recently through a new partnership with Talkwalker, while Salesforce is continually advancing the capacity of its Radian6 monitoring solution.
Social media listening is gaining much more focus as businesses become aware of the opportunities and insights available in social content - and today, social intelligence company Brandwatch has announced that it's completed a $33 million Series C financing, lead by Partech Ventures.
Now one of the biggest players in the market, Brandwatch's social media monitoring systems crawl more than 80 million websites, including social media giants Facebook and Twitter (of which it's a certified partner), and translate their data into actionable insights for brands. The platform is used by over 1,200 brands and agencies, including Cisco, Whole Foods, Whirlpool, British Airways, Sony Music, and Dell.
From Brandwatch's official release:
"Brandwatch's continued growth demonstrates the strong appetite organizations have for a best of breed social analytics platform as social networks have evolved into a critical source of consumer and business insight. The funding will be used to accelerate development of the company's core technologies and products to keep setting the standard in an increasingly complex, global social landscape."
Brandwatch has also announced plans for expansion into new regions - they opened a new office in Singapore earlier this year - and to make further investment in strategic partnerships to offer more integrated social intelligence solutions. The company expects to be at around 400 staff by year's end.
It's a significant move, not only for Brandwatch itself, but for the wider social media data industry, and underlines the rising legitimacy of the function and the tools used to facilitate it. Brandwatch also recently added Samsung, Cisco Systems and Sony Music to its user ranks, which shows, once again, that big brands see social intelligence as a major investment, and an important channel to be tuning into.
And really, the emphasis on social data makes perfect sense. Facebook, as part of their announcement of their new search functionality, noted that there are now more than 2 trillion posts in their index, while on Twitter, more than 500 million tweets are sent, every single day. Social data can be used to detect earthquakes faster than traditional methods, to predict stock market fluctuations with surprising accuracy. Studies have shown that social data may even provide a better overview of people's psychological leanings than people who've known them their whole life. And it's only getting bigger and more advanced - social media algorithms may soon quite literally know what you want before you do.
In this context, it's no surprise to see social intelligence and analytics firms like Brandwatch be given more focus. Social intelligence is, really, the way of the future - it's worth considering how your business can utilize such insights.
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