Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Ric Pratte, the Director of Meltwater Buzz. (see bio at the end of the post)
Meltwater recently acquired JitterJam a CRM and monitoring company to augment their currently highly competitive analytics product line and strengthen their social media presence and anlytics side of the business. Here is a snap shot on how Ric believes the industry is moving.
The Social Soapbox – What do you do as a company?
JitterJam is a social business platform, a brand monitoring and consumer monitoring company that builds community and development. We do integrated marketing reach out’s and targeted marketing to said communities. It’s a way to not only be listening to what is happening in the market place but become part of that community and engage.
Currently Meltwater houses Meltwater Buzz which is a brand monitoring and analytics system. With the addition of JitterJam which is a social CRM and social business company Buzz will move to be it’s own platform with JitterJam technology being released as modules to house a full suit of analytics and CRM.
Why did Meltwater make the decision to purchase JitterJam?
To have a strong solution you need to be able to do more then just monitor what’s happening in the market place. We now have a social business platform as a suite and then a very solid point solution for that spectrum so that we can do the analytics, engagement in the analytics and go forward with marketing and the analytics around that as well.
With new mediums constantly coming into the market place, how are you adapting your systems to be able to harness the data they provide? Take Quora for example?
As these new channels come online and we can utilize the API’s as appropriate, then we can bring them on. We build our architecture in a way so that we can easily add on new channels like Quora. Twitter may not exist five years from now but there will be something in it’s place.
What is the range of social media that you cover?
Currently, JitterJam is a small business and we focus on B2C as our core business. We look for products that consumer face and brands would want to be listening in on. We monitor the generals of Twitter and Facebook so we can get a wider range. But as we are maturing and as we are getting into Buzz, vertical market solutions will be helpful. If you monitor the restaurant industry then you have to do Yelp. It’s all about adapting to the market.
What is the biggest myth about social analytics that should be debunked and exploded?
Build it and it will come. Just get into social media and that’s where “it” is. People will go out and get all these analytics and then think, I have to do something? What does it mean to me?
I see these people who have all this data, and there is the initial fascination then it fades away. Every month they get this data and they don’t realize that things are changing and that they need to actually grab it and use it.
Mobile Access – Can you measure smart phone analytics and where do you think it’s going?
It’s a very fast moving market place. For the consumer it’s revolving around geo-tracking services such as Four-Square. For us at the moment we are trying to connect in with those services so that we can communicate back to the brand and at some point have functionality so the marketing group can be using it from their phones.
If people are using social media on their smart phones, logging into Twitter or Facebook then they are still going through the API it doesn’t matter for us that way. But our systems have SMS capabilities so we can push out a deal to you via smart phone or a group deal.
What are most clients looking for in the way of information from you?
Recentcy and frequency. They want to know how often and how long people are talking about the brand, and how they are interacting with the brand. Development of personalities and stories from the users. Shares is also a big one, how often do people share things about a brand you love. How often do you talk about it? They are looking for that specific kind of information from consumers.
What is the biggest risk in using social analytic tools?
That businesses believe that the sample they have is the entire market. There are a lot of consumers who are not involved in social media. There is a strong group of users who love social, but business forgets that’s there’s a whole other world of consumers out there who are not online.
Analytics is a sample, it’s part of the business it’s not the entire business. It is changing, more of the population is shifting to online and it’s an excellent time to be in this space but it’s not everything.
How do clients benchmark themselves to know whether they are doing good bad or indifferent?
Each of our clients have set up their criteria whether it be an increase in community involvement, or increase community numbers, or it might be sales related. They may have a project they are trying to accomplish and then where are they at in trying to reach that objective. There are others who have no objective and are just there, and are waffling about.
How are you rating your influencers or determining who carries the most reach? Are you using a Klout system?
We have something called a Jitter-Rater. This is an internal mechanism that measures all of a persons reach. It goes far beyond how active you are on just twitter, but how active are you in the digital space. If you have a blog for example that goes towards part of your overall influential score.
It is a huge part of our social profile so that the brands can find out who are the key people to reach out to.
What is the Future of Social Analytics? What are we not thinking about now – that we’ll all be thinking about a year from now?
Scary on one side as people realize how much information is out there in the public and how much we are able to analyze buying patterns and habits and geo location behavior. From an analytics point of view it’s very exciting.
However as we develop, privacy is definitely going to be a challenge.
Ric Pratte – Director, Meltwater Buzz
Ric is focused on helping businesses capitalize on new media to reach and connect with their customers and market. As a pioneer in Social CRM, Ric has shaped the development of how businesses can understand social relationships and conversations and effectively utilize that knowledge. As Co-founder and President of JitterJam, Ric drove the development of a unique and compelling Social CRM (SCRM) system that is being used by brands and agencies worldwide. JitterJam was recently acquired by Meltwater Group, where Ric is now Director of the Meltwater Buzz business unit.
Prior to JitterJam, Ric co-founded, Campagne Associates, developed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to help non-profit organizations increase their fund raising activities. Over 3,000 nonprofits throughout North America used Campagne Associates software and services. In 2006, Campagne was purchased by Blackbaud, Inc., a publicly-traded company based in Charleston, SC.
Ric, the father of two and an avid skier and backpacker, devotes time and energy to numerous non-profit organizations, including Girls, Inc., the Boy Scouts, and a local performing arts center.